Back when I was in my teens or very early 20s I had a vision of my future and it looked like this: I would finally make it, be wildly famous if only in a small circle, have lots of friends, and life would be largely effortless.
The things that would be difficult, I imagined would be amazing challenges–like hiking up high Asian mountains, or writing THE speech, or winning some national prize. I imagined that things like getting the laundry done, remembering birthdays, matching my clothes and looking passably fashionable would be so old hat. Certainly things like caring for children and getting a healthy dinner on the table and the grocery shopping done–that stuff would be done breezily in no time flat, leaving me lots of time to struggle nobly with poetry, and science and other meaningful critical important stuff.
I read this post today by Jena–Her blog is often a mirror for me–I go there and see so much of my own internal world reflected. In her post I recognized so clearly the way I sometimes hold the ordinary regular old stuff in my life. I wonder why it is 20 years later and I am still struggling to figure out how to get the cat fed and the recycling to the curb and the kitchen floor mopped, why small things can leave me feeling a bit flustered and why I do not have a perfectly ordered and neatly wrapped up life like “everyone else”. Or I stomp around grumpily through the mundane wondering when I can get through it, when there is going to be time to be brilliant and glamorous the way I imagined it would always be. Fortunately, I recognized too my own eventual settling into the notion that really at the end of the day I am enough. Happily enough.
I am so thrilled to be regular and unglamorous. To not always have it together. To screw up and make mistakes and learn.
Yesterday Jen Lemen talked about many of the things that leave her feeling foolish. Oh I have my list too. Many of them are mentioned above. Jen and I spend hours giggling over all the ways we play the fool and yet in this laughter I see beauty reflected back at me. I look in this mirror and know that I am exactly perfectly who I need to be right now. That its quite OK to be able to the kind of person who doesn’t always hold it all together so neatly but instead who runs around with life spilling over her arms, dropping pieces of lovingly constructed color along the way. Flawed but authentic. Jumping in with both feet. Getting messy. Living now.
And just now, I stood at this mirror. How crisply I saw my reflection in Bella’s story even though the contours are so very different. I am on the otherside of my divorce and am truly healed and yet the echoes of who I once was are still there. And I wonder what that means. Like Bella, after a long struggle to overcome difficult things I am used to being in healing mode. I laugh with glee when I realize that I am actually on the other side –not in the thick of it anymore and have to giggle when I say, “What is my excuse now? What is holding me back”
And speaking of now, I also today found this little gem at another of my favorite places to go for comfort–Cheerio Road. I thought Karen Maezen Miller just hit it perfectly–this notion of what it means to live in the moment. To be present NOW. Its so cliche, so chic these days to talk about THE NOW as though you need some special sort of wisdom, you need to have obtained some special enlightenment to live in the present. I am printing this post out and taping it to my mirror to remind myself that there is no future when I will be glamorous–there is no time when it will all fall together. There is no time when I won’t play the fool. There is no time when I will forget what happened in the past. No–there is only now. With me in it, enough–more than enough.
I am tonight standing at my mirrors, gazingly lovingly at soulsisters who hold themselves up so that I may see myself clearly. And am thankful.