This morning, after a night of restless sleep, I woke early and just lay in bed thinking. The rest of the house was quiet—it was hours before Bear woke up and filled the house with his impatience to be taken out and begin the day.
I think too much. I know it. It gets in the way sometimes of the things I want to do- and I am left only with regret and my thoughts. But, this constant analyzing and turning things over and over is part of who I am—at the core of it—so I can only fight it so much.
What had my wheels turning this morning is just the fragility of everything. One decision made, one wrong turn, and your life is collapsible, suddenly different. Or the worst, you do nothing wrong—no bad decision, no mistake—but just wake up one morning to the phone ringing- a doctor on the other end delivering news that could mean the beginning of misery, or very much the end of your life. It’s not fair. Any of it.
In the last few months, I have personally been on a rollercoaster of my own. A mix of realizing yet another wish becoming a reality—moving back to the city I love with the man I love—but also twists and turns of bad luck, misfortune, and lots of doubt. We are struggling and joyous at the same time. It is a rickety foundation to stand on, but we are balancing somehow.
This morning I thought of all the unknowns we are living. We are both in a questionable career place right now, with lots of expectations, but little certainty. I LOVE that we took this risk and are riding the chances together. I try and will things to happen as fast as I want them to, but I know I can only control so much. In my heart, in my gut, I know we are in the right place. I led us here, even though we both wanted it, I truly steered the course, so I feel responsible.
Two years ago, I had really set my sights on turning my lagging career into an excuse to make my real dream come true- to put writing first and to finish my novel. I would make progress, lose my way for a month or two, then come back renewed and write in extremely productive spurts. Even though it wasn’t consistent, I felt like my goal was still at the forefront.
This morning, an image kept coming to mind. I saw myself in a little boat in a big sea…and ocean around me…and getting farther and farther away from the shore, from land. That shoreline was my dream of writing, and it seemed to be getting smaller and smaller as I floated away. Then, nothing around me but all this uncertainty… calm, but uncertain.
Here I am, with so much to be thankful for, so much accomplished, and I feel lost.
I love reading quotes about “doing what you love”… if only it were that easy. I think it was Steven Spielberg that said “Dream for a Living”. Nice thought. I know he didn’t start out wealthy, I know that he worked hard and sacrificed to get where he is…but when I read words like that, I think- THAT would be nice, if only we didn’t have bills to pay. I would write all the time, I would live my dream for a living.
On the flip side, life is so short and fragile. It’s ridiculous to NOT do what you want, to be what you want. In the scheme of things it is all over in a flash. I can get myself near panic lying awake at night thinking of all the things that could happen, that ARE happening to people I know and care about.
I have watched friends get diagnosed with terrible illnesses and greet the news and the struggle with such strength that I feel ashamed worrying about all the little things I fret about. I know that right now, any one of those friends would trade my problems for theirs—in a blink—in an instance. I can’t make things make sense. Why do these really amazing, GOOD people have to suffer through things like this when others who CAUSE pain and suffering go unscathed? It can’t be explained away by fate or God or reading “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”. No one can make this make sense to me. It is wrong and unfair.
I can remember so vividly when I was in grade school how much I worried about doing the right thing. Part of that was my conscience, part of that was who I am, and part of it was that I truly believed that if I was careful and did good things, nothing truly bad would happen to me. I am shocked to think back on how long I held that belief—it was well beyond grade school. Then, the years add wisdom and the shock of reality. You watch as good people fall victim to the horrible things in life- getting robbed of years and happiness. You stand mystified as the bad guys win—watching the corrupt conquer and their lies somehow go unpunished—and shockingly even sometimes rewarded.
I don’t have answers for any of it. I find a way to keep going and planning the next week without worrying myself insane about all the things that could happen, that might happen. I allow myself windows into these moments, but I can’t stay looking too long. I just wish for things to be different. I wish for certainty in a world that offers no guarantees. I know I am not alone, I know we all do.
So many people have commented on how much turmoil my husband and I took on at once. We moved across the country, I started a new job, and Shea is changing careers, all in a span of weeks. It is daunting, and perhaps part of the reason my head is so cloudy right now. It’s a lot to take in.
Maybe a week from today, my words will have a completely different tone, maybe this week will be the week when I feel more certain about everything. It could be tomorrow, it could be next month.
The ONLY thing I know for certain is that in one moment everything can change—for good or for bad. One moment. And there’s nothing I can do… but make the choices I think are right, and do my best.
That, and wait and hope.