Friday, October 5, 2007


"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."- Annie Dillard

There is something to be said for hard work. There’s something to be said for setting clear goals and making up your mind not to falter in a such a way that it is impossible to get yourself back on track again. I have struggled my entire life with sticking to things that I know are good for me. I tend to live in extremes, an all or nothing existence, and I’ve finally realized that this lack of stick-to-it-ness doesn’t serve me or help me in any way.

I want to wake up in the morning and take care of the things that need to be taken care of without feeling myself drowning in the responsibilities that seem to confirm the mediocrity of my life. I don’t want to admit that I’m just an average person with an average life who gets up every day and doesn’t really make a difference anywhere. All too often, I take the easy way out by wishing for things but never putting forth the effort to attain those things. Then I get all indignant like I've been cheated and I look outside myself to place the blame when I know the blame is mine alone. The truth is that life is ordinary a lot of the time and no amount of wishing will make it otherwise. I keep waiting for the time when I can accept that without feeling like I'm losing something important.

I feel lost in my life a lot. I want to write it down somewhere that I’ve let years go by feeling lost–-surrendering myself to this wandering around without purpose–-to this living just to get by. I need to be able to see it in writing so that I can read it over and over again to remind myself that I have choices. I feel ashamed that I forget or ignore that fact that I do have power. It really sucks knowing that I haven't done my very best at things that really matter. I don't know of any other way to put it. It just really sucks living with that knowledge.

But what I’m learning is that no one is coming to save me from myself and this internal struggle of mine. I'm like a hitchhiker that everyone keeps whooshing by, but I think I'm ok with that now, although I haven't always been. I have people who love me, who adore me (really), so it is not a question of not having people to lean on, it's more that I need to believe I can navigate this world on my own and this is what I am working on. I'm trying hard not to be too distressed that I'm in my 40's and still haven't gotten this life thing figured out yet.

It’s hard work. It’s about trying to find peace. It’s about forgiving myself for the mistakes I’ve made and not falling backwards and becoming immobile when others continue to bring those things up. And it’s about forgiving them for not letting things go and not realizing how damaging it is to whip out that mistake list the minute it becomes useful again to bring it up. In the past, I never felt like I could let anything go when someone was always reminding me. I want to be able to let things go.

There are things I know about myself that are hard to know. The truly awful things, I simply want to deny but they do not cease to exist just because I don’t want to face them. I’ve asked myself what I’m afraid of, what I feel will happen if I acknowledge that I am hopelessly flawed? I think I’m afraid I won’t be able to live with myself which is ridiculous because I get up every day and live with myself being hopelessly flawed. I even think that some of my biggest flaws are things that win over other people's hearts, so there's proof right there that making mistakes is all part of the journey.

Anyway, I don’t know why it is always such an awful shock to realize I'll never be perfect.

And who knows, maybe it's good that the really important things are hard work.

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