It’s Your Life

My book club recently read the popular book The Midnight Library by Matthew Haig. First, let me say that I highly enjoyed this read. It focuses on the regrets we have in our lives. The times we want do-overs, and the repercussion of how those lives would play out. It definitely has given me a lot to think about! And I feel ripples of it still. I love the idea of parallel storylines, and paths untraveled. But I have to constantly remind myself not to live in the land of “what-if’s”. This is a book I recommend, 100%. So, if you are reading this: GO PICK UP A COPY. Or ask me, and I will lend you my copy. We were on vacation when I read it, so it is one of the few that does not come with Shannon’s underlining and annotations (you can decide if that’s a pro or a con). There are so many iterations of who we are, and each day we get to make choices that continue to grow us into ourselves (deeper and deeper). We are always us or self, but we are also constantly evolving along the way.

I know I have changed, grown, and evolved over the years. I know that 2020 really pushed me and made me dig deep. There were moments, in hindsight, I’m not proud of. There were situations that I wish I had handled differently. There aren’t many actual regrets though. Because I know what I lived through, and the choices I made, taught me things and got me to the place where I am today. And all things considered, it’s a pretty great place to be. (I sound some kind of enlightened, though I don’t actually feel that way).

An Aside

There are times in my blogs that I write about other people. I generally try and keep names or too many specifics out of it. Anonymity is important I think on the internet when the source is secondary (or further removed). But there are times folks know I am writing about them. Or have asked me if I am writing about them. Sometimes they are correct, and sometimes they have read too much into what I have said. This is one of those times that someone may know my words have them interwoven. And I’m okay with that.

I was talking with someone last night about…life. About the twists and turns and crazy happenstances and things we don’t see coming. About processing and progressing and just continually wading through the sludge. One thing they said to me was about wishing we could meet people at earlier points in our lives. It took me right back to The Midnight Library. And where there have been points I’ve wished this too, I reminded them that we wouldn’t be our same selves at those points. And so it wouldn’t be the same interactions as now. I find myself often slipping into counseling techniques and thoughts with my interactions these days (that’s positive and negative, to be honest). There is so much I would say to this person about what they are going through. So. Damn. Much. But I know that anything I say would not come to them without my unique spin on things. And that would be unfair. It’s really, really, really difficult to see clarity in situations that are not yours, and not be able to help the person traverse through them. It’s tough to sit back and watch it all unfold, even when you know that is “best”. As much as I am a bottler, it’s hard to keep all of the emotion and thoughts bottled inside. People have to make their own decisions. They have to do what is best for them. And if you care about them enough, you will let them do just that, no matter what is to come. I will always be full of a million questions. That will never end. I will always care intensely for those that cross my path. I will always dive in, head first, to those relationships that feed my soul and resonate deeply in my bones. Always, no shame.

Connection. Community. Intuition. Knowing. Seeking.

“When you can step back at moments like these and see what is happening, when you watch people you love under fire or evaporating, you realize that the secret of life is patch patch patch. Thread your needle, make a knot, find one place on the other piece of torn cloth where you can make one stitch that will hold. And do it again. And again. And again.”

Anne Lamott, Stitches
This song came on my shuffle this morning. I am nothing short of thankful for this life I’ve been given, this life that I live. I don’t want apologies. I don’t want regrets. The end lyrics particularly speak to me:

Hey man (yo)
Do you think they’re listening
To a thing? (no no no)
I wonder what’s on their mind.
We all should (go)
Break down the walls being built around us.
We’ll make a (show)
Make it for our sons and our daughters.Nothing’s gonna change my mind,
I’m walkin’ a different highway.
Nothing’s gonna change my mind.
I’m travelin’ a different line.
Oh, nothing’s gonna change my mind.
You’ll find what you need if you want it.
Nothing’s gonna change my mind.
I’ll find mine.

We are all doing the best that we can. Day by day. One step at a time. Slow and steady. Letting things burn slowly. It can be difficult. It isn’t easy. Sometimes you have to just sit back and let things unfold. Sometimes you have to be proactive. There is a good mix of both that are necessary in our lives. And right now, I’m leaning into being okay with the down time, the silence; just sitting back and letting it be. Just. Be.