I Cannot/I Can

I’ve decided to return to India, to follow Arun and Anjali’s advice to attempt to confront the woman they found, who denies, as is her prerogative, any relation to me.

I cannot control the outcome of a potential meeting.

I cannot control whether or not this woman is related to me.

I cannot control if I will feel a connection to this person.

I cannot control whether or not this will be a positive experience for me.

I cannot control whether or not this woman will even agree to meet me.

I cannot control whether Arun and Anjali will be able to locate her again.

I can control whether or not I go.

I don’t know what exactly I want out of this experience. It feels complex in ways similar to searching that make me feel hesitant to take the next step. It is hard to know if going is a good idea or worth it in any objective sense (a somewhat useless endeavor, nonetheless). It is expensive, time consuming, geographically isolated, time sensitive and saturated in emotional uncertainty. It feels likely to unearth historical trauma and introduce new trauma. It feels like an insane endeavor.

These “rational” or logic-informed hesitancies are tempered by a gut feeling*. I want to go. I need to go. I need to see for myself. I need to be able to see that she is real. That in some ways her realness allows me to be real, to exist. I’ve felt like a passenger much of my life, an observer, wondering why I was assigned this body and experience. I can see, intellectually, that I’m not a passenger, but I need to feel that. I need to know that my existence is like that of others, from birth. I didn’t just appear without any trace of an origin. I want to fully believe that my story is more than just an abstraction.

This mystery of origin  blocks full acknowledgement of my experience as anything more than a passive existence.

I want to feel ready to not have control over the outcome. I want the trip, journey, to be empowering, an additional step of acknowledging and owning the agency I possess in this process. I want to feel that the outcome is of secondary importance.

Maybe I am ready to pick a date, buy a ticket and request time off. I’m at least ready to be ready to take that step.

*My understanding of a gut feeling is that it is spontaneous, unexamined or not examined. It just feels somehow incompatible with a rational conclusion and in that way feels difficult to justify or explain and so articulating it as a feeling allows me to examine it. For me, these feelings build upon what I have already experienced and know, but in ways I do not fully understand, but still “feel” to be true. Gut feelings may transition into articulable feelings.

2 thoughts on “I Cannot/I Can

  1. Once you’ve been handed the that magical key that has the potential to unlock the answers, it changes everything. Just remember to breathe and that your loved ones will be there whatever choice you make. Best to you.

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