Some of us are born knowing exactly who we are and what our place is in this world. I think that's a rare breed, up there with prodigies and geniuses, but I've known a few, and I've always been envious of their comfort, their certainty.
But I think the rest of us can catch up--one of the great benefits of aging is that you finally don't see any reason why you shouldn't get to know yourself a bit better.
We take to the road because we aren't happy--or we don't think we're happy--or because we think there's something else out there we *should* be doing. Well, no matter what the motivation, the essence of it is this: we feel harried and hassled to move up, move on, improve, or any number of 'get better' verbiage you care to throw in there.
So maybe, yes, there's a sprinkling of the unknown factoring in here, but I think what we fear most is what we know--that it isn't 'good enough' or enough, full-stop. So we keep pursuing this suspiciously out of reach carrot-on-a-stick dangling in front of us, never stopping to wonder who exactly is holding it in the first place.
Maybe we carry these things--crystals, amulets, lucky socks--not because we believe in the power of the object alone, but because we believe we're stronger with them. Amplified. And maybe we are--maybe belief is that simple, and if it takes an object to carry such an amorphous concept as belief, what's the harm? It's when we infuse too many objects with too much power that we become burdened, weighed down.
Whatever gets you heard and gives you strength in this walk is an amulet worth carrying.
Looking back, maybe our lives seem like a straight trajectory, but as we all too well know, that's almost never the case in day-to-day living. Each choice we make radiates away from us an endless, infinite variety of smaller choices--rhizomes of possibility, if you'll allow me a gardening metaphor in spite of the snow.
Straight lines make me nervous--they're too much like one-way streets that, once started down, there's no easy way to turn back. No short way, anyway. Instead, I like to think of our trajectory as a circle with countless criss-crossing and looping paths connecting one edge to another.
In a circle, we can never get lost. All we need to do is choose another path that will, eventually, inevitably lead us back to the source.
Maybe that's why we don't remember days, but moments--the remarkable can't sustain itself for that long. That's not to say that remarkable moments don't present themselves abundantly and often, just that we're too often mired in a mistaken sense of our own ordinariness to see them.
We know change is inevitable, and some changes are welcome (like the eventual return of spring, you know, for instance...). But even with the welcome changes come uncomfortable periods of transition--the periods of mud and waiting when we seem stuck in-between, neither one thing nor another. That, I think, is the hardest part of change. At least the adaptations necessary for a new environment come quickly and are handled, in large part, by instinct.
But there is no good, quick easing to the waiting, to the mud season, if you will. It's something we navigate with thoughtful care until the ground firms up beneath us and we can settle in, finally, for the season.
Sometimes all we need is for someone to give us permission to make a change--if it's the right decision, it doesn't matter who. Your mother, a stranger, your sister, your horoscope--sometimes we just need the burden of decision fatigue lifted in order to see straight, in order to see that we were drifting in a new direction all along.
Petals, we are like prisms--we can take something relatively straightforward and bend and refract it into something marvelous and extraordinary. We cannot ever forget this. It is this gift, this miraculous quality to create through adaptation, that allows us to see our way over, around, or through any situation. There is always an answer--even if it takes years of tinkering before we stumble upon it.
But the years don't matter--our faith in our own ingenuity and the willingness to keep trying are what does.
There's always hope, petals, and even though there is so much to do, and the thought of it might floor you, you do have the strength. You do. Color helps. Music helps. The people who love you unconditionally help.