It’s May 1st, aka “May Day”. For centuries this has been a traditional spring holiday. The day is celebrated by dances, singing and food. As a child I remember being in a little german village, Leavenworth, WA on May Day. We watched a traditional may pole dance, with girls dancing with long colorful ribbons, weaving them around the pole as they danced. A caution. This pole dancing should not to be confused with the other kind of pole dancing. Very different.
Mayday is also an international distress call. Used in triplicate, “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday”, it means the caller is in imminent danger. It originated in 1923 when a radio officer in London was asked to think of a word that would indicate distress, and could be easily understood over radio communication. He proposed the word “Mayday” from the French “m’aider”, a shortened version of “venez m’aider” (meaning “come and help me”).
Two drastically different definitions for the same word. One conjurs images of girls dancing in pretty dresses in green grass and the other of ships being tossed about on high roiling seas.
Sometimes I wonder if there is more than one definition of myself. I feel like I am now the 2.0 version and I’m not sure the upgrade was worth the price. There was the over busy, under medicated and distracted “me” of 2 years ago and the more intentional, more focused and significantly less busy me of now. Somedays I miss who I was before I knew I was sick. I miss the confidence, the full schedule, the feelings of significance.
However, I am hoping that somewhere down the road I will feel less like my personal definition was hijacked and more like I was evolving into something more beautiful. Perhaps, as is often the case, the review mirror will give me a more accurate view of myself than the one currently hanging on my wall.
The point is, we all have those “before that happened” or “after this happened” moments where we know our lives changed for better or worse. Mine was a diagnosis, others may have grief or tragedy. No matter the cause, life changes us. I have been fighting this with everything in me – trying desperately to hang on to what I was when in fact my new definition, who I am becoming, has the potential to be far more fulfilling.