June 4, 2021
by Matisse Frazier, Intuitive Consultant & Medium
I moved to New York City with no job and no place to live.
Instead, I had one suit-case and a registration email in my inbox to a nine month course that would alter my life forever. On a rare Saturday morning, I wake up at 8AM to blue skies and sweaty palms. My first class starts at Noon; I’ve got four hours left until my life changes forever.
I looked for the man first. The Yin to my Yang, the Shiva to my Shakti, the Harry to my Sally. Every magazine, book, and couple growing up taught me that one day I’d find the person who “completes me.” Deducing, of course, that I was incomplete as I was. Maybe because I’m a twin, or maybe just because society demands of women that we “find ourselves” through our relationships with the opposite sex, I have been un-whole on my own for as long as I can remember. I didn’t just agree with this concept, I internalized it into my core.
I searched for "the one" because once he found me, then my life would finally make sense. Only then, and not a moment sooner, would I understand my place in the world, what I’m meant to do, and who I’m meant to be. After all, this figment of my imagination theoretically knows me better than myself, right? Wrong. After a series of desperate decisions resulting in lusty loves and depressing heartbreaks, I realized that this, that “he,” was not the answer. No man, no matter his charm, wit, wealth, height, or humor was ever going to complete me. Sally never compromised so neither would I.
"I lost all semblance of who I was underneath the makeup, smiles, and motivating speeches."
I looked at my career second. Sales was fun and I was surprisingly good at it, but the money never made me tick. The trick was in the promotions. Being good at your job is one thing, but having a seat at the table was an entirely different story. Not to mention, once I had the title, I’d have the opportunity to mentor and mold the future of the company. For a while this actually worked. Being a part of the inner circle, especially as the only female, and the youngest by a long shot, my ego kicked in hard and told me I was not only happy but I was living my best life. I worked with people that respected me, I had a say in where things were going, and I made a living that afforded me a lifestyle I had never dreamt of.
Until one day, as if someone snuck in backstage and pulled the cord before curtain-call, the veil disappeared. I didn’t fit here either. I’m wearing one mask over another trying to be the person I needed to be to make this life make sense. I lost all semblance of who I was underneath the makeup, smiles, and motivating speeches. I was just as lost as ever and further away from myself then I had ever been.
"I was climbing a never-ending ladder that led to nowhere."
The relationships and career that I’d just lost my twenties to didn’t bring me closer to the answer, they dug me deeper into the unknown. I’d lived with two men, and lost them and myself in the process. I kicked corporate America’s ass, made my way nearly to the top just to realize I was climbing a never-ending ladder that led to nowhere. So, I walked away from it all; my career, my BMW, and everything I owned that couldn’t be carried on my back. In a matter of days, the successful career I had sacrificed so much for, was gone and I was on a one-way flight out of the country.
"I may be an American, but this was not a place that I would ever fit in."
Why hadn’t I thought of it sooner? It wasn’t me that was the problem, it was the individualistic, racist, money-hungry country that I was a part of. I could never fit in, and wouldn’t even want to, in a society that only thinks of themselves. A country that still kills people of color in broad daylight with no repercussions. A country that elects a misogynistic, narcissistic, celebrity as their president. I may be an American, but this was not a place that I would ever fit in. So, I did the only thing I could, I left.
I traveled South into Mexico and witnessed the fifth largest city in the world come together to rebuild their walls after an earthquake nearly destroyed them. I bused West and watched blood orange sunsets slowly descend below the Pacific Ocean as baby turtles sat protected by the local kids on shore. I flew further south to Buenos Aires, Argentina and watched, mesmerized, as Tango dancers floated across the outdoor square effortlessly as if it weren’t 110 degrees, but a light, breezy 72.
"I drank olive oil and Raki in Greece and meditated in silence for 3 weeks in Sri Lanka."
I trekked through Patagonia and cried when I smelled the cleanest, purest air I’d ever stepped into. I flew East and roared with London as they finally reached the finals in the World Cup during a heat wave they hadn’t experienced in 40 years. I hiked through sheets of rain in the Lake District, soaked to the bone and smiling ear to ear because I had never seen such a beautiful, expansive countryside in my life. I coached middle-school softball in Warsaw and taught yoga by the pool in Tenerife. I drank olive oil and Raki in Greece and meditated in silence for 3 weeks in Sri Lanka. I learned Muay Thai from an eight-time world champion in Thailand and scooted around 762 curves to get from Chiang Mai to Pai in the mountains.
"As the sun went down, and they went home, I sat alone. I was a traveler, a visitor, an outsider."
Twelve months, and 15 countries later, after desperately searching for a city, a village, a culture, a food, a dance, an anything that wasn’t my own to click, it didn’t. I found cultures filled with beauty, light, laughter, and community. Food that erupted in my mouth, and kindness that restored my sense of goodness in humanity. I danced and sang with strangers that felt more like family then the neighbors I had grown up next to my whole life. But as the sun went down, and they went home, I sat alone. I was a traveler, a visitor, an outsider. As kind as they were, as much as I loved their homes, landscapes and ways of life, they were not my own. No, this was not how I would find my place in the world.
I’ve spent my entire adult life looking for my place. I’ve looked in people, in job titles and in countries around the globe. I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars traveling just to return to where I started. I’ve dated and slept with men looking for a void to be filled just to wake up in the morning with the aching realization that the void just got a little bit bigger. But this morning marked something different, someone different.
This morning I woke up about to embark on a journey that was for no one else but me. That society, my friends, family and strangers alike, would very likely not understand nor accept. But after years of searching, I had finally received an answer, and today marked the beginning of that journey.
"I will learn how to talk to the dead."
At noon, after a 30 minute meditation to calm my nerves and three cups of coffee to send them back into haywire, I went to class. For five hours, once a month, for the next nine months, I will learn how to become a Physic Medium. I will learn how to talk to the dead. I tuned in, turned off, and opened myself to wildly receive whatever wanted to come through. Crickets. 5 hours became 4, dwindled down to 3, 2, 1 and then it was over. I logged off, shut down my computer and looked around me. The clouds were still in the sky, my dirty clothes were still in a pile on the floor, and the zit on my face was even redder than when I started the day. My life-altering day was a day just like any other. I was still Matisse: still unemployed, still single, and still extraordinarily ordinary. Damn.
"I may have an idea, a plan, a vision board. That’s cute."
Unlike every ounce of my conditioned, American being that says with drive, ambition and hard work you can accomplish anything, this journey demands the opposite. It says, “LET. GO!” It literally laughs at me for thinking I have any control over it at all. The timing is out of my hands, the destination already determined. I may have an idea, a plan, a vision board. That’s cute. I can hold as tightly onto my old way of being for however long my grip can stand it, but eventually my fingers will become numb and digit by digit I will begin to slip. Eventually losing hold completely.
This journey is not like those before it. I can’t just work hard to be the best. I can’t set goals, and be the first one in the office and last to leave to ensure I hit those goals. This journey won’t tell me platitudes to make me feel pretty after a long day, even though I’m sweaty and my breath smells like onions. Nope – this time I’ve picked a path that I can’t win. Or better yet, I can’t best. This course has no corners to cut or hoops to jump through. No men to stand taller for or smile bigger at. No monuments to trek over and cross off a list. This one is a true journey. A journey of the soul.
It will still take commitment but it won’t be hard work. Because this time my spirit is along for the ride. Not only that, they’re at the wheel. I trust that while today didn’t alter my state of being, today I took a large first step towards laying the foundation down for my future. I still have no idea what the future looks like or where I’ll end up, but I’ve learned that I don’t need to. As long as I show up with an open heart and am willing to receive, all the answers will show themselves – in due time.
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