Almost exclusively as a result of this blog, it has become clear to me that I operate in periodic themes. What if and why not isn’t a theme as such – it’s more of an overarching philosophy I share with Chris. But the themes – they’re always there, sometimes obvious and glaring, other times ambiguous and cryptic. Sometimes they block my path, others they light my way. Some examples of the themed periods of my life thus far:
Aged 21: If you aren’t outraged, you aren’t paying attention!
Admittedly, I got this off of a bumper sticker on my friend L’s back fender in 1999. But it rang loud and true for me then, and still does today, if in a different way. Oh, I was angry…and as I say, I am still, but a revelation brought about by more than a few Social Science teachers helped at least give it focus…
Aged 23: Everything exists in a context.
Notice the full stop in place of the exclamation point! With education I was wiser, calmer. It wasn’t that so many people were assholes that got me now, but why so many people were assholes. And that helped me to realize that at least a few of the people I’d have taken for assholes only a couple of years before were actually Potentially Good People.
Aged 25: WTF? Me, me, me.
Yes, that year marked my move to London, and my almost instantaneous dive into personal problem-aggrandizement. Mr. Vonnegut would have laughed at me: he found people’s tumbles giggle-worthy; he also thought people didn’t laugh at themselves enough. He also thought the semicolon to be the single-most useless piece of punctuation in the English language. Using the semicolon is how I laugh at Mr. Vonnegut in return for all the laughing I suspect he would have done had he seen me mourning my pathetic self in London. Ting-a-ling.
(that one lasted a long time.)
Aged 30: Get up offa that thing! And dance till you feel better!
That was the year we decided to go abroad. That was also the year I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself. Sometimes we need a little incentive.
Aged 33: Acceptance vs. aspiration
So this is me, here and now. This is me always writing to-do lists too long to finish. This is also me finding joy even in the littlest wins, because I know I’ve got to take what I can get. This is me viewing the world around me and trying to find that place where I’m at once working to make it better and loving it for what it is. This is me finding beauty in the grime, problems in the perfect.
Who indeed knows what next year will bring?