Because that would be nice.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise to learn that I’m a ponderer. It’s hard for me to turn my brain off even to sleep, which is probably why meditation has been such a lifesaver for me. We NEED white space in our brain, wide open space with no words or thoughts.
But I realized that a lot of the things I think about are things I wish I’d known when I was younger. Younger, like, twenty years ago, and younger, like, two years ago.
So I decided to start documenting those thoughts in a simple way, on my social media sites with the hashtag #AdviceforGirls. I like to think they will come at just the right time for someone, and maybe in a parallel universe, a younger me will hear it too.
So today’s #AdviceforGirls is this; You are allowed to want whatever you want without apology. Period.
“She started to explain her project to him again but the words stopped in her throat. “You don’t have to understand it,” she said. “It’s mine.”
“We traveled so far and your friendship meant everything. It was very difficult, but there were moments of beauty. Everything ends. I’m not afraid.”
“She was thinking about the way she’d always taken for granted that the world had certain people in it, either central to her days or unseen and infrequently thought of. How without any one of these people the world is a subtly but unmistakably altered place, the dial turned just one or two degrees.”
“What was it like for you at the end?”… “It was exactly like waking up from a dream.”
“If nothing else, it’s pleasant to consider the possibility. He likes the thought of ships moving out over the water, toward another world just out of sight.”
For years now I’ve had a recurring dream. The details are never exactly the same, but I’m always lost someplace, trying desperately to get out because I MUST be somewhere else immediately. When my children were younger, it was usually that I was supposed to pick them up, and I knew they were waiting for me on the other side of a mall or city or office building that I couldn’t seem to navigate. Floors changed from gymnasiums to hospitals, hallways turned into mazes from which there was no escape, and city blocks seemed to morph before my eyes into an unrecognizable landscape. I’d end up wandering around, thinking, “But that corner was RIGHT HERE.”
Saturday night I dreamed that I was in a strange kind of dorm with my daughter. We were supposed to man a booth for charity at a flea market, but we’d both woken up late. She wanted to throw clothes on and go, but I preferred to take a quick shower first so I wasn’t so out of it. We were still negotiating when she decided to leave without me. So I tried to find my way there, but the harder I tried to escape the dorm building, the more lost I became. Eventually I decided to go to the first floor, reasoning there would at least be access to an exit, but when I got there it was a hospital with sick people in every room and no exits I could find. When I went back up to the second floor, it had become a sports arena, and in my dream, I wasn’t even sure I’d been on the second floor of the dorm to begin with.
And all the while, the minutes ticked by. I kept checking clocks on the walls only to find that it had become so late in the afternoon that there was hardly a point trying to get to the flea market at all. I woke up panicked, with a familiar knot of anxiety in my chest that told me how wound up I’d been even in my sleep.
After that, I thought a lot about why I keep having these dreams, and why they make me so anxious, and I realized it’s never the being LOST that freaks me out; it’s always the fact that I’M SUPPOSED TO BE SOMEWHERE ELSE. It’s that ticking clock telling me I’m late, that itinerary telling me I have somehow failed my responsibilities. Such an obvious connection to real life that “metaphor” hardly applies!
It seems there’s always someplace else I’m supposed to be, something else I should have done by now. I’m never where I believe I SHOULD be. Shouldn’t I be on some bestseller list somewhere by now? Shouldn’t I have won some kind of award? Shouldn’t there be a movie or TV show about ONE of my books? Shouldn’t I have more financial security? And this isn’t an entitlement thing. It’s a “what the hell have I been doing with myself?” thing.
But the answer is simple. I’m on the road. I’m working and raising kids and learning and growing and experimenting (when I have the luxury), and yes, making mistakes, too. I’m here because I need to be here, and because there is some purpose to this particular hallway, this particular floor. There is something important I haven’t yet seen or done on this city block, and I think I will be better off if I just stop looking at the clock and instead take a deep breath and look around.
I love this quote so much. I think from now on, if I have a quandary, I’ll just look at this and ask myself; what will bring healing? What will bring love? What will allow me to create something beautiful? Or alternately, will this action or these words harm anyone? Will they destroy?
It’s a very human response to think about how our decisions will affect us. Will this contribute to my personal gain? Will it make me look good? But what if we put those concerns aside and thought only about this? What a relief!
And it kind of makes every decision seem simple, doesn’t it?
Sending you healing, love and creation, Sweet Friends!