• Lara Blacklock

The First, Second, and Hopefully Last Deaths of my Quarantine

So it's week five of the quarantine and another month of quarantine has been declared with who knows how many more to come. I didn't write the last couple of weeks even though I promised myself a blog post a week. Let's just say I've been going through some major losses in my life (not because of the stupid C word thank God, but to other of life's circumstances.)


In just one week, I’ve lost two of the most important people in my life as of late. A romantic relationship, and a spiritual teacher and writing coach. One has been with me through my journey in settling back into a life in Venezuela, the other helped give me the confidence I needed to write a book.


When you're involved with someone for a while, they inevitably become a huge part of your life. When that dies, a part of you dies with them... just like another part of you is born as well as you grow and learn through the process. It takes some time though and you will be lost for a while. Time can be a bitch unless you let it be. Letting it be can be a bitch too though. That's just life.


While I won't give too much detail on my relationship situation out of respect for that person because who the hell wants to be mentioned and talked about in a blog in the midst of a break up? Instead I will do what I always do. Offer my own confusion! Jack Kerouac style!


Who the hell initiates a break up in the midst of a quarantine, you may ask? Well, apparently I do. It seems ridiculous and I doubt this choice every day. But I've noticed a pattern in myself that I can't see like a better time to work through, heal and release than now. And that is my codependence on relationships. I love being in love. I love being with in a relationship. I love the security of it, the support of it, the companionship... Who the hell doesn't?


But here's the thing about being in a romantic relationship. They have a great influence on who you are. And when you don't know exactly who you are or are still in the midst of self discovery, being in a relationship can often make your perspective a bit foggy. Don't get me wrong. Relationships definitely help you change and learn new things. When you become involved with someone on an intimate level, there's no way you're not going to become exposed to that person's world and with that, new things you might have never tried or known about before. This changes you and helps you evolve. You learn about what you need and don't need in a relationship, what you want and don't want, and maybe you pick up a few of the good things you liked about that person whether it be a new hobby, a different perspective, way of thinking, some new habits... etc. And that's what's so fantastic about relationships. Other than the whole fun love part.


Now I'm no relationship expert. In fact I don't think I'm all that good at them, ironically enough. Mostly because I have so much of my own shit to figure out. Shit that was very hard to think about because I kept distracting myself with the company of the person I was with. Shit that would always catch up with me and start affecting my ability to be a good companion. Breaking up with someone who's an amazing partner and has done nothing wrong is very hard. I think it hurts a lot more than when you break up with someone who did something that harmed you. That's just an opinion I take from my own experience. I've broken up with people who really hurt me and the anger and disappointment that comes with that really helped me move on by realizing I deserved better. It takes a whole other level of strength to stay apart from someone who's perfectly nice and supportive just because you know you got some inner work to do and can no longer cope being a "we" knowing there isn't even a "you."


But I know this is the right choice. Not the one I want but the one I need. And one I have needed for a very long time but didn't follow my intuition on because what's life without love? After years of being in a variety of relationships though, it's time I start learning to love myself. And to love myself. I need to start with getting to know myself first. This does unfortunately mean I need to be alone for a while and learn how to be bored within my own company. It's uncomfortable and sometimes not very fun but if you can't be happy alone, sweetie, you will not be happy with anyone else. True love is not the key to happiness (no matter what the romantic movies and novels say...)


But the breakup hasn't been the only grief I've been dealing with. One day, I decided to stop crying over the man I'd decided to let go of and have a semi productive day. One that didn't involve watching Sex and the City episodes (I've been obsessed but finally finished the show, so I'm back to living my own life now.) I got up, meditated, made myself a facial mask for the emotional acne I've been suffering through, and made breakfast.


I had a meeting scheduled with my writing coach and spiritual mentor, the woman who has been convinced that I can actually write a book and who's been holding my hand through it the last three months by giving writing advice and feedback on my writing on a weekly basis, as well as monthly meetings that went beyond writing advice to live saving spiritual lessons and words of wisdom. Her name is Phyllis Rawley, but she calls herself the Modern Oracle. This woman, with all of her love, support and spiritual guidance is the person who kept me going these last few months. (This is hard to write without crying my eyes out.)


Seeing that I had not been doing much writing and was also distracted by my breakup, I couldn't freaking wait for her words of advice to get myself back on track. And I did get them, as I always do when I talk to her. But with them also came the type of news I had only seen human characters give in movies. "It's time for us to wrap up, mamma." My coach and spiritual guide wasn't quitting on me though, she was dying. And consciously dying, too. She's been given the blessing to be able to say goodbye to the people she cares about the most and to give her final words to the people she's been helping, guiding and encouraging to create, tell their stories, and live a life that is authentic and meaningful.


I couldn't hold back my tears. Nothing prepares you for this kind of situation. And though I know the grief of breakups well, and I know the grief of loved ones dying too... I didn't know what it felt like for someone you need on a weekly basis to all of a sudden say, "It's my time to go and here are my final words for you." I had no idea what to say. I wanted to ask a million questions and I did. She patiently answered as much as she could. She was surprised with the news herself, but after going through so many near death experiences in her past, she was finally accepting that now was her time to go and grateful to be able to get her affairs in order, and say her goodbyes. I wish I would have been stronger for her and more supportive but all I could do was cry out: "How am I ever going to write this book without you here!" Sadly, the session ended in her consoling me. What could one possibly say in a situation like this? There are no right words but I hope I get it right the next time I go through this because that's the thing about death: we all end up there and there's no avoiding that.


I've been very overwhelmed from all of these endings the last few days. For the first time in a long time, I feel alone. Not only am I without someone I loved, but I am now also now losing the person who was guiding me through my creative work! Someone who I knew didn't do it for the money, but because she truly believed that what this world needs more of is creativity. And helping people to tell their stories along with sharing spiritual guidance on the internet for free, is the way she's been doing her part. I cannot put into the words how much of a loss this will mean for all of us.


So here I am. Left to fend for myself. No relationship, no mentor. I am terrified and I truly do not know how I am going to write without her encouragement every week guiding me through this process that I know not much about. Yes, I can find another coach to help me through this, but I know no one will ever be able to replace her. She was more than just a coach, she was a spiritual teacher who really cared about who I was.

But maybe it's time I stopped looking for support in everyone else but me. Maybe it's time I start truly believing in myself without looking for others to do that for me.

I'm angry that this is happening to her but I know there's absolutely no use in those feelings. Feeling acceptance and gratitude is the choice I need to make. (Slowly getting there...) Acceptance that her time in this earth is coming to an end, and gratitude for having the privilege to have had her as my mentor and teacher, if only for a short amount of time.


Yesterday I was lying on my couch, watching the ashes flying around outside my window from the wildfires we've been having in Caracas. The days have been foggy and the sunsets beautifully coloured because of it. "How the hell are the ashes flying from so far away and into our apartment?!", my mom asked out loud as she swept the ashes from the floor. And I wondered... is this what happens with us?


Do our souls turn to dust when we die the same ways our bodies do? Will my modern oracle's soul ashes come flying all the way from where she's been living, in Ecuador, to my apartment in Venezuela and into the other hundreds of homes of those who were blessed to know her too? I like to believe that yes, soon Phyllis's spirit will be forever amongst us.


All of the invaluable things she's taught me will be with me forever and will probably still be there to catch me during the worst of days... But it wouldn't be fair for me to not share these with you.


I've always wanted to start a podcast interviewing people who inspired me or whose stories I found interesting enough to share with the world. I'd been holding it off for a long time but what better way to start than with hers? What better time to start than now?


Stay tuned, my loved ones! Wisdom awaits in my very first podcast episode coming soon with a woman's whose story will surely change you as it changed me.


I'll be posting it here and on my Instagram page.


Write you next week!


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