Friday, October 20, 2006

Today's contemplation:

I wonder if the ocean ever contemplates the nature of itself, if it ever has days where it just feels…so…wet. So formless.

I wonder if it ever wishes it could just escape itself, and become as tall as a skyscraper, or feel what it feels like to be on fire?

I wonder if it ever wishes it could grow legs and march through the city, or fly through the air?

Does it ever fight its own nature? Resist it? Wish it were something new or different perhaps? Does it ever wonder how it will pay for itself, or what it'll be "when it grows up?" Does the ocean ever aspire to greatness beyond what it is day to day? Or is it content within itself?

I was jogging along the bluffs of Santa Monica today watching the sunlight dance across the still, serene ocean. It was calm. Sparkling. Dare I even say it, happy.

Was it at peace with itself, I wanted to know?

I'm not. I rarely am. I fight my very nature constantly. I always have. Trying to grow up fast as a child, escape from my house as a young adult, wanting to get out in the world and "be somebody." Wanting to push ahead of myself, despite myself.

As if who I was, was so inconsequential. So small. So useless. So not enough. There were mountains to climb, roads to take, experiences to sample. I wanted to go places. I wanted to do things. I wanted to feel more alive, be more fully me.

I am still like that 20-some odd years after I left home. I don't know if I'll ever feel like what I've done with my life is worthwhile, valuable, profound, enough. I feel like I'm nowhere. Still haven't carved out an identity, a stable income, a career path, a contribution. You don't look at me and go, "Oh yeah, Tanya…she's the one who dat, dat, dat."

Yeah, yeah, you can give me lip-service about surviving my past, creating a home for my husband and child…putting meals on the table, herbs in the yard, clean laundry in the drawers…being a mother is the most important job in the world, yada yada…I've heard the speech.

It's just that I don't feel so important, so connected. I don't feel so alive, so worthwhile. I don't feel like I've done anything yet with my unique skill-set. I'm still waiting for it. I'm still in development, but how much time do we have here? What's it gonna be?

When the hell will I grow up and BE already? When? When do I get there?

When does it get to be OK? Enough?

When we're not always worried about the mortgage and the heavy debt, where I'm not always one step away from throwing in the towel, breaking down, dropping everything, where I'm not always striving, but actually thriving, where things are cruising and we're ok? Better than ok? When I can finally rest a little?

We're always building, building, growing, nurturing over here…this something from nothing kind of life…it's exhausting!

Where's the bloom? Where's the harvest? Where's the heady scent of fulfillment, of result, of contribution? What have I done with my life all these years? What price chasing after illusive dreams that go poof.

There are few places in this world for idealistic thinkers like me who "never made it." If I keep reinventing myself…I will never be caught…I will never arrive…I will never stand still…I will never allow myself to bloom…

This "yank" pattern was established very early in my life…as a young child at the hands of her mother's whim. I can see the trail of breadcrumbs leading here…."no, it's your sister's turn, no you're too young, no, I'm tired of that place, no, I'm not driving you anymore, no, figure it out yourself, no, you don't deserve it…too bad!"

Yet it is a negative pattern that doesn't serve me now as I falter in self-doubt, as I size up my meager accomplishments in life. Unimportant. Second-fiddle. Unclear. Foot soldier. Never the captain. Passed over. Invisible. Broke. Unworthy. NEXT! Step down.

I wonder if the ocean has a mind. And if it does, does it serve itself well? Or, is having a mind a tricky part of the illusion, unique only to being human?

The ocean, in all its greatness, can rise up and strike with the ferocity of a tidal wave or tsunami when called to, can push past levees and wipe out entire cities, can run as low as the depths allow, and swallow whole whatever comes in its way.

Other days, it just smiles and sparkles, sunlight dancing across its fingertips, tickled and caressed, content within itself, reflecting beauty and joy to those who might gaze upon her surface, knowing full well what lies beneath.

My spirit hasn't felt like dancing lately.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

How we gonna get that spirit to dance? Love you, want you to love you, too!

Suzy said...

Sounds like that Spirit needs to go easy on herself. I think life is a building up and knocking down process, and then rebuilding again until we're at some sort of place where we can finally get the perspective we need. It is a long haul, but so well worth it. I urge you to go easy on yourself and know that it will come together. I have the utmost faith in your instinct and being.
You are the best...

Lee Wolfe Blum said...

Thank you for your honesty, as you know I feel very similar these days. Then I remember that really the most important thing really is our relationships with others...our connectedness. You have that...with your husband, your daughter, your friends.
Someone said this to me the other day and I believe it is true for you too! "You may only be one person in the world, but to one person you may be the world."

It isn't perfection we are striving for, but progress.

Thank you so much for writing this. It helps me feel not so alone in how I am feeling too!

Jenny Rough said...

Cool post. Oh, how I miss the Pacific. Say hello to it for me!