Monday, December 17, 2007

Turn the page...

I know I am early for a looking back at the year post - but this is my blog, my time table and frankly on my mind. When I was younger - particularly as a college student and coming into young womanhood - I had the zeal and mind set of youth. I was charging forward, it was me against the world, watch out here I come. Did I feel that swagger - no not really. Did I see life for what it really is - a complicated stew of experiences, emotions, ideas, ideals and events. No!

Now as I have amassed some life experience, had my heart broken (sometimes little chips and one big - hugely hurtful crack down the middle), experienced the highest HIGHs and some lows, bore children and made some really big choices - I see and embrace the gray area for what it is. The Gray Area is the space we live in everyday. It is the cloudy area we make choices in - sometimes having all the facts and sometimes having some of the facts and sometimes having little but our gut to guide us. The Gray Area is the reality of life - people doing the best they have with what they have in front of them.

The best part of life - aside from the love and the joys it brings is nothing is permanent. I did not know that as a young woman. I was striving for perfection. I was so afraid of messing it up or making the wrong move. What if I failed. I know where this fear came from - now I no longer let it control me and therein lies the lesson I think.

Remember when you played ball as a kid and the coach said, "There is no do-over." Well in a sense that is true on the sports field - but in life there are many chances for a do-over. Will the experiences be exactly the same - will you have to work harder? Maybe. The beauty of life is you can turn the page. Once the page is written you cannot go back and change it - but you can choose what comprises the next chapter.

This year has been huge for me - I have finally tackled some really big things - within me. I have done the hard work, I have made some crucial decisions. In conversations with old friends and new - I sometimes get a pitying look when I explain that I have made some decisions and decided to make a fundamental changes. I do not want that. I made the choices I made in the past and do not regret them at all, now I have evaluated the reasons I made those choices and have CHOSEN to change. I am a collection of my experiences and they have lead me to this point - and for that alone I am grateful.

Is this an easy process - no! Does it hurt, yeah it does. Does it require you being completely honest with yourself - you betcha ya. It has lead for me to days staring out the window, feeling mopey, angry, cranky, thoughtful and many other emotions bundled into one. It has lead to more poetry than I ever thought I could write.It has lead to many of the blogs on this site and some not published - but saved because while I needed to write them - I did not want to share them. This introspection - has also lead to long pauses in the entries on this blog - while I process and rebuild key parts of me.

I think Maria Shiver once said - that women can and do have it all - but they cannot have it all at once. I think this is sound advice. I am learning that each chapter is ours to write in our own ways. Every time you turn the page or end a chapter - the next page is blank - it is yours to complete - on your own terms and at your own pace - if you are willing to embrace the process and proceed thoughtfully.

I have to say that 2007 has really been my year. I have made many changes - I have accomplished much - of which I am so very proud. I did not do it alone and I am sure there will be other times in my life - where I will need to devote a fair amount of time to self evaluation and personal change. But it sure feels good - turning the page.....


IHateToast said...

regret is pointless unless we're given the same opportunity, but then it's not really regret, it's a lesson.

no regrets. you make the decisions with all the knowledge you had at the time. when we do time travel, then we can use that. until then...

Susan said...

Right on - I like the idea of lessons learned - life is a journey and sometimes we can wander a bit and then sometimes we need to sit down - pull out the map and do the work.

I just feel like life is so much about the journey!