It’s been a while. Have you missed me? On second thoughts, don’t answer that. For since we last met, I’ve become increasingly accustomed to using the F word. Whereas it’s not a word I would use frivolously, I’ve grown to feel rather comfortable with the way it just rolls of the tongue in an incredibly gratifying way. And loaded with an emotion and an enormous strength that no other word can afford, the F word knows how to satisfy me in a way that nothing else can. Not even you, who knows me so well. Or so you think.
For whilst you were gone, something happened to me. Something that took me fully by surprise. And despite only being teased by the transience of the moment, this particular moment was undeniably momentous. Not to mention memorable. So memorable in fact, that this singular moment can be pinpointed to a sleeping policeman on a bridge crossing over a motorway at ten-to-nine on a dreary morning in December. For it was whilst flying over this bump, amid the grinding groans of over-worked windscreen wipers, the monotonous moans of sluggish school-kids in the back and the distant drones of the tedious traffic crawling beneath me, that I discovered it. A fleeting feeling that catapulted me momentarily to a most coveted space somewhere beyond infinity, to the very top of the world. A soothing sensation that sent ripples of serene totality and blissful wholeness throughout my body. An epiphanic state of self-completion that incredibly I wasn’t aware I’d been lacking all these years. What became of me in that instant was an unforeseen but unequivocal sense of Fulfilment. The F word: fully-fledged, flawless and finger-lickin’ly good. Fulfilment: pure and simple, yet achieved almost by accident. What a coup!
Now, where on earth I found Fulfilment on this day, which was in no way dissimilar to any other day, is well and truly beyond me. Thirty five years of soul-searching, a plethora of significant and not-so-significant life-choices, and the odd considerable achievement hadn’t delivered me to this point. Until now. For somehow, in this instant, I became conscious for the first time. Suddenly I was brought to life. At this second, without warning and without hesitation, I miraculously understood the meaning of Fulfilment. As if some sort of Divine Inspiration had granted me an incredibly sacred moment to feel it flowing through my veins, to see it sparkling through my skin. At this point, on a bridge crossing over a motorway at ten-to-nine on a dreary morning in December, I felt the pieces of my jigsaw falling into place. I began to know instead of simply believing. And it felt good.
Apparently it’s normal to desire Fulfilment in life, Fulfilment (n) being “the achievement of something desired, promised or predicted” and/or the “satisfaction or happiness as a result of fully developing one’s potential.” An interesting prospect for someone who has neither achieved anything spectacular nor even remotely touched upon one’s potential since we last met. So, perhaps more fitting a definition of Fulfilment would be “the meeting of a requirement, condition or need” or “the performance of a duty or role as required, pledged or expected.” That was it – it was staring me in the face. On that dull day in December, whilst on a bridge crossing over a motorway at ten-to-nine, and more pertinently – on the school run, it dawned on me that I was in the right space, doing the right job. Finally, I had started to meet the requirements, fulfil the conditions and satisfy the needs of my children by choosing to be a full-time mum. And for sure, what I hadn’t foreseen, was that by performing my duties as required, pledged and expected, I had actually found inner peace. Even amid shitty nappies, piles of washing and dirty pots. I was no longer a part-timer in every aspect of my life. I was 100% present, anchored and driven. Home was where my heart was. And it felt good.
But let’s not get carried away. For no sooner had I begun to even flirt with the idea of finding Fulfilment, it had gone. Vanished into thin air, strangled by the exhaust fumes being spat out beneath me and leaving behind just an echoey whisper of its existence as a legacy. Damn. I wasn’t expecting Fulfilment to be so short-lived. Surely I hadn’t reached my destination and hailed a taxi so soon? How could it be that this awe-inspiring moment, this moment that I hadn’t ever dared to expect, had just flashed before my very eyes and then disappeared dramatically behind an anti-climactic curtain of smog? And all of this without even an encore. So much for the F word.
It’s been a while. Have you missed me? On second thoughts, don’t answer that. For whilst I’ve missed you intensely, I’ve been busy finding Fulfilment. I’ve re-identified my values, discovered new purpose and started living according to what is important to me. I’ve followed my instinct, listened to my heart and connected it to my head in a way I’d never previously dared. And in doing so, I stumbled upon one blissfully secluded, precious moment of Fulfilment. And even though its magic was indeed short-lived and I was perhaps a fool to believe I could become complete in its wholeness, granted it felt good. So damn good that it had obscured my destination. For on that bridge crossing over a motorway at ten-to-nine on that dreary morning in December, I was actually on the first leg of a much greater journey towards Fulfilment. And with the F word around every corner, apparently I just need to keep my eyes on the road.