Saturday, June 7, 2008

Days of Random Happenings That Fill One With Joy

I had an hour long talk with Stephie - who was once, offically, my step-daughter and is still a child in my heart. The conversation filled me with joy and I felt like a proud parent of this amazing, talking child who grew up to be an amazing, talking young woman.

And now, I'm listening to The Soloist on NPR. You can hear it here:

An incredible story about a homeless musician..."through no fault of his own" became homeless. My, how I wish the world would approach homelessness with this fashion. He even talks about how hard it is to house people who have lived outdoors for so long, the fear, the change, the paranoia that comes. If only, we all could love freely those who cross our paths.

I"m 44.....

...who I am is who I am, I'm not really going to change. Perhaps improve, perhaps become more of who I am, but I'm not going to change. I remain a person who requires a great deal of alone time. People drain me and in order to recover, I need alone time. I live on "the compound" - which I suppose at times looks much like a commune. We share meals, share wine in the garden, talk about who's taking the girls to the barn...and yet when I come home from work and close my blinds, they know, leave her alone. Not that I'm angry, just want to be alone and not share in the regular flow of evenings. No one gets angry, no feels slighted, it just is what it is. It's who I am.

I live in the grey. I really appreciate the dichotomy and ambiguity of me being able to think aloud, head one direction, change my mind and then change it back. I am directionally challenged and get lost regularly. When I really need to be at a specific place at a specific time, I print a map. My life is much the same. I have a map of when to finish school and a time frame for that. The rest of my life is rather directionally challenged. I don't have a plan, I'm going with the flow. For much of my life, that flow was dictated by others. Doing things I didn't want to do to keep peace, not doing things I did want to do for fear of what others would think of me. No more living like that.

I am radical (rad·i·cal –adjective 1. of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference. 2. thoroughgoing or extreme, esp. as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy of a company. 3. favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radical ideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues. 4. forming a basis or foundation). I am not going to go along to get along. I love to be reflective and ask questions like "why" to the point of hitting the void. I do it to myself and I do it to everyone around me. Last week I asked someone - who I really don't know all that well - why he never got married. None of my business, but his answer showed an ability to reflect deeply and evidence that he had pondered this himself. LOVE it!

I am also ambiguous (–adjective 1. open to or having several possible meanings or interpretations; equivocal: an ambiguous answer. 2. of doubtful or uncertain nature; difficult to comprehend, distinguish, or classify 3. lacking clearness or definiteness; obscure; indistinct: an ambiguous shape; an ambiguous future). I don't think I should have to choose one side or the other. I can see things from many perspectives, enjoy experiencing the same things from different perspectives. I disagree with myself sometimes. I'm a radical feminist but love the mudflap girls. Hate conformity, but took the mudflap girls off my car when I moved here so as not to offend the neighborhood and my co-workers. There isn't just one meaning, there are many realities. Mine is mine, your is yours - sometimes those collide, other times they co-exist peacefully.

Finally, I'm not in control. I tricked myself for a long time thinking I could control myself, those around me and life in general. I've grown up and know that I can't. I'm even able to just move along the tide of becoming, all the while being me.

This is who I am...and all the different parts come out at different times. I'm rarely boring, never quiet, you always know where I stand even though neither of us may know where I'm going. Enjoy the experience and all the different parts of me or not. It's okay with me either way. I think Billy Joel wrote "either way it's okay, you wake up with yourself." The only person I'm gonna wake up with every day is me. The only person I have to look at in the mirror is me...I hate the chicken skin forming on my neck by the way. Aging is a bitch!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Seeds of Discontent

discontent noun
1. a longing for something better than the present situation [syn: discontentment] [ant: contentment]

con·tent (kən-těnt') adj.
Desiring no more than what one has; satisfied.
Ready to accept or acquiesce; willing:

These past few weeks have been filled with discontent. Perhaps my life has been filled with discontent. Some time ago I had a long conversation with my father on the meaning of life. I don't recall he and my mother being filled with angst regarding whether or not their life had meaning. Worrying if they were making money in the right fashion, if thier job was satisfying, if they were contributing to society. And yet, these thoughts are never out of my head. Am I contributing to the community in which I live? Is there something more? Is this all there is? And if so, is it worth it? Yesterday I asked my neighbors (aged 53) what their greatest accomplishments were. One said her daughter, one said that if she ever got there, her greatest accomplishment would be forgiving someone that had wronged her. I wonder, will I ever be content? Desiring no more than what I have? I don't long for stuff, I long for accomplishment. For adventure, moving on, moving forward, learning more. Discovering something, someone, somewhere different.

If I died today, what would be my greatest accomplishment? Have I accomplished anything? And, what if this is all there is? If I spend the rest of my life lounging in the garden, walking on the beach, reading books to expand my own thoughts, is that enough? What if I never accomplish anything? Is a life lived without a goal in mind, an accomplishment being worked towards, worth living? If I'm not working towards something - what is the point of my life?

These are some things I want to do before I call it quits: hike in the Grand Canyon, live on the beach in Mexico, drive around the United States in an RV, go camping with a horse and a dog, ride a motorcycle (not be a passenger), publish a book.

It's not so much that I long for more than I have (discontent) it's content (willing to acquiese; give in) that I'm unwilling to do. Giving in: sounds like giving up to me. But, what am I giving up?

Do the rest of you question yourself, your life, your motives, to this extent with no satisfying answers?