I stood there waiting. I heard a definitive bell chime systematically as others arrived at their goals. Finally it’s my turn. The doors open before me. I step in, finally a move up, a change, a new beginning. I turn to face the doors just as they close. A thousand choices to my right. I determine my destination but not alone. Every memory, every experience, every thought; my dreams, ideas and fears crowd around me competing for space with logic and hard work. I begin to move upwards it seems like everything is going well just like my life, which moved steadily in the expected and appropriate direction:
Marriage… ding, open- close.
First child… ding, open- close.
House… ding, open- close.
Second child… ding, open -close.
Degree…ding, open -close,
Job… ding…ding…ding but the door doesn’t open this time. I’m stopped. I realize I’m not going anywhere at all. Not up, not down, I’m just still. Frozen. Silence has dominion over the moment as it sinks in that I’m not going anywhere. I panic. My breathing gets heavy and hard. I try to remain calm, but inside I want to run, I’m desperate to go, I’m ready, I just can’t. I see flash before me all the places I haven’t been yet, all the places I have wanted to go for so long. I need to move. An eternity of thoughts have passed since the doors last opened. I go over all my choices again, but I come up empty. I try forcing open the doors but I’m too weak. I’m helpless. I’m trapped.
The day is sunny and bright, the sky is blue and I sit on my patio reading but I’m trapped, stuck. I want to move, change, begin again, get on with life, but I can’t. I want change, a different view, but it feels impossible to even hope. I feel Trapped by feelings that hold me after an argument with my 12 year old son, when he stomps upstairs disappointed and angry. I feel trapped by the past, by what I didn’t do or couldn’t. Trapped by time, by unhealed memories, and agenda’s that don’t let up, routines that don’t work, work that doesn’t pay off, people who can’t understand me and chase me away with their unpredictable behaviors, into my predictable ones. My never ending ever growing to do lists. Trapped by piles of laundry and dishes and bills. Trapped in this town, trapped by familiarity, trapped by financial insecurity, tethered to a mortgage I don’t want to give up and a house that won’t let us go. Mediocrity presses in without mercy. Tied to addictions and fears which surround me like shiny metal walls and doors that won’t open to free me to live in a promised land of milk and honey. Anxieties bounce off the stainless steel revealing myself, my lack, the image of inabilities. Here I am chained to dreams which may never see the light of reality.
“LET ME OUT!” I bang on the heavy doors which refuse to release me. I pound my fists in frustration, I cry out, I fall to the floor in discouragement. Helpless powerless, unable to move up in time or space. I’m waiting, waiting for someone to save me. Someone to show up with a key, and deliver me to the place I’m supposed to be, the place I so desperately desire to be. I once again dream of a place different than where I am, another dream, to add to this crowded space and my world gets smaller.
The elevator proves to be nothing more than a compilations of my imaginations, fears and silent words decorated by heavy emotions.