Tonight is the very last LOST.
Six years ago, I was a hot mess. In 2001, my marriage went pear-shaped in a major way. I spent most of 2002 dealing with the aftermath of that, until late in the year my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I spent most of 2003 dealing with her treatment and eventual death in December, on what would have been her 51st birthday. In early 2004, I had my second child nearly seven years after the first one. The day after I got back from maternity leave, they fired my replacement in my previous job, leaving me to do two jobs for six months, under the influence of post-partum depression and grief over mom.
So yeah. My millennium started off kind of rough. The hits just kept on coming, with little to no breathing room in between.
By late 2004, I was sick of, and sick from, obsessing about my life and my past. I had spent the last three years going over my personal history with a fine-toothed comb, trying to figure out exactly how my life had ended up where it was. I was making myself crazy looking for that wrong turn at Albuquerque.
After three years, healthy reflection and introspection had turned into unhealthy obsession. The more I obsessed, the more LOST I felt. In September 2004, in many ways my life had turned around for the better. (Thank you, counseling!) In other ways, I was as LOST as any passenger on Oceanic 815.
I couldn’t stop running from the community that could have helped me.
I couldn’t stop conning people into thinking I was fine.
I let my anger drive me away from love.
I let mistrust and dishonesty continue to infect my marriage.
I let my failures in the past color my present as a parent.
I believed the worst people said about me too much.
I sold myself short.
I had spent three years looking for “Why?” Looking for answers to questions that have no conclusive answers, this side of a face-to-face with the Divine. (Still looking forward to that, BTW.)
The Divine showed up in the middle of my mess, as He tends to do, in a lot of different ways over the last six years. But one of those ways was giving me something else to obsess about.
I read a quote from Winston Churchill once where he explained that you can’t just shut your attention off at the end of a stressful situation (like, for example, World War II or the Blitz). You have to get it to unclench for a second, and shove something else into its grip. Preferably, something capable of holding your attention as well as the stressful thing did.
LOST has been an amazingly entertaining television show, a master class in writing and acting, and a cultural touchstone. But for me, it was my beautiful distraction, at a time when I needed one.
It distracted my brain long enough to let my soul heal, because it let me stop picking the scabs.
I will miss it, but I’ve also realized in the last few months that it’s time to move into a new phase of my life. One with fewer and less compelling distractions–because I’m going to need all my attention (or most of it) for the tasks that lay ahead of me.