The big why or why not of life…

The other night in the  midst of a 2 am convo with friends…okay…I can’t it was 9pm, but all 4 of us swore up and down that it had to be at least 2 am- Anyhow- my friend asked one of these profound questions that has rattled around in my brain.  He asked, ” Why do we all feel this need to fill our life to the brim with accomplishments, tasks, and just really stuff.” It was more of a pondering than a question.

Isn’t it all really just stuff at the end of the day- or rather at the end of life.

It’s this stuff that I feel passionate about that frustrates me, that rattles around in my brain keeping my up at night to write at 2am because the enormity of living a mundane life filled with so many injustices just makes me feel like I cannot catch my breath.  There are so many simple solutions to problems that we make very complex.
There are so many fallacies within a broken system.  And right when the system does begin to work, we as people are so flawed that we come in and sabotage the good that there could be.  It feels like an enormous amount of pressure to either check out or to get to work fixing it all.

It crashes in on me that I am the biggest part of the broken system of my life.  I constantly steal my childrens simple solutions and make it all very complex because of some imaginary pressure that I have put on my shoulders.  I haven’t always felt the pressures of society- and my life was actually much more meaningful than it looks to be now.  I allow all of these ponderings and thoughts to swallow me completely.  I can’t focus on the game of catch that my 6 year old wants to play because my thoughts are distracted by the injustices of the world.

It all just makes me begin to wonder if the good that comes from our lives is really just self fulfilling, because sometimes things change, but really the brokeness just keeps going around and around; it just looks different.

None of it really matters.  That thought is depressing and liberating all at once.

It doesn’t matter.  It really doesn’t.

What does matter? Is it as simple as saying honoring God.  It really may be, but how does honoring God show up in my life?! Is it self sacrificing and serving until I am depleted because those are the gifts that God gave to me so I must honor that life and walk through the difficulty…

Or, is that a complete lie that I tell myself to make my life hold some sort of unremarkable value.

The longer I think on this why the more I get the same corny answer….it’s love. It’s just love.  Love for the big things like people, but also love for the little things like the sunlight coming through the trees, the smell of a candle, the song on my playlist, the movie that makes me laugh, it’s all in the details.  The devil isn’t in the details…he is in the big picture that distracts each of us from the beautiful details.

None of it is real…it just all feels real.  My goal is to not lose sight of the things that I love- thinking, talking, creating, being, enjoying, laughing, exploring, learning…and, yes even accomplishing.  Accepting others where they are and myself right where I am.  These are the things that I will fill my life without; despite the situation.

Despite the frustrating events…my eyes are focused on the details; we all get to decide do we check out, do we buy in, or do we simple refuse to do either.

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Lessons in Living

Don’t let anything make you so mad, upset, sad, bitter, or hurt that you forget how beautiful the world really is. The world is broken and it can just suck sometimes…for all of us. Don’t be confused by that…it is sucky for every single one of us at least at some point. This is why it is imperative to always be kind. Always…even to assholes. They hurt the worst.

Focus on your life and the beauty in it. Work on a goal. Get yourself to the top of your game. Make yourself feel strong. Keep looking outside of your situation. Contribute. It will take discipline because your mind will trick you to just lay in bed. You don’t want to live like that.

Nobody can steal your perspective. This is where all of us have power. Perspective is powerful and without a positive outlook you are in danger of drowning in inches of water…look at it differently. Don’t make the problem bigger than it is… just splash in that puddle. Keep moving.

Wake up and Get going…we have more to do today

Gah- gag. And are you kidding me all at once….

Born into a world of inflation at the height of the American Dream we watched our parents live the charmed life… Aerobics class and connivence ruled the time. We played outside until the streetlights came on and carried our nokias in our back pockets as we rode through the neighborhood on the pegs of the skater boys bikes. We ate our cancer laced macaroni and cheese as we watched Full House. Michelle grew up in a world that was broken but with the safety net of knowing adults were guiding her every move- if only that were real for us?!?

Then, right as we were all at the peak of childhood…almost our turn; stepping out into the world with a college plan in hand, and ready to take our piece out of The American Pie sans whip cream bikin… the towers crashed down and war crashed in changing everything. We were lied to. Authorities had no idea what to do….other than to convince us that a 200,000 student loan was a good idea. Now everyone wonders why we question everything?!? Well As If the president lying to us wasn’t bad enough…we found out that our elders truly had no idea what they were doing thanks to a quick Ask Jeeves search….My Space was a place for us to express our thoughts and to find solace in music.

1986- the Golden year. Lightning bugs in a glass jar and Oregon Trail on our Macs. We had it all. It was the perfect collision of old and new and maybe we are all just rebels for kicks or maybe we are the link between the old and the new. The problem is nobody listens to us. The generation before shouts down from their pedestals mandating change…the generation after us sits behind their screens, comfortable to be complacent…wanting change, but to tired to do anything about it. Us? What do we do. We work. We work for the man. We work for our children. We work for our marriages. We work for our grandparents. We show up and we quietly work. We do what gen X is to privileged to do and what the millennials are to lazy to do.

Right when there doesn’t seem to be hope Bernie announces his candidacy.

Growing up

Laying in bed wide awake at 3am…again. Searching my soul for what it is that I’m longing for. Sure- I have my problems…sometimes they seem like nothing compared to what others deal with. But other times I can’t even believe that I’m able to push on and cope. Life is a bitter and mean game for us all…no one is safe from the destruction of so many imperfect people or just dumb bad luck.

I’m beginning to realize that maybe I know the problem, I’m numb. Numb to the guilt, the disappointment, frustrations, joy, dissatisfaction, unhappiness. Happiness, excitement, stress…numb to the possibility of anything. Consumed with the feeling of now after realizing the heartache of preparation, hard work and feelings of purpose.

The routine of the mundane has set in and my soul despises it. It’s a beautiful thing to see the world in color- it’s an exhausting thing to try to convince others of the rainbow…beg them to see it.

I want to express, experience, love, explore, learn….the walls of reality seem to press heavily on me and the line between the practicality of responsibility and the practicality of living is growing larger. Driving life right out of me. Driving the idea of feeling anything real out of me.

I know that I am jaded, expecting too much and not appreciating enough. Drowning in the shallow water that I’m standing in. My life is beautiful; filled with answered prayers…why am I so empty? Why can’t those prayers find my lips? Why can’t I find myself? Why can’t I find that connection that reminds me? Why can’t I have faith in anyone or anything?

Has the fire of my life already faded? The intensity that I once lived with? The me that loved life and was so excited by all of the mystical moments that truly was too happy to sleep…to excited…Is this growing up? Is every adventure tainted from this point forward?

I still have enough optimism left to say I hope not.

Strangers

Wish I knew you when you were young-two strangers in the bright lights… plays through the speakers- cold snow covers the road…We are making the drive that we should have made before- it’s too late now and the reminder on my phone to bring a baby doll crushes down on my heart and I can’t really tell if it’s the fear of what will probably happen to me or if it’s the realization that you are there- alone even when around others. Is it scary or is it like living in your own version of happiness? I hear that your neighbor is sassy and it kind of makes me happy, because I know y’all will have daily spats and that will bring you a little bit of daily adventure.

You and I will be strangers this time when I see you- I still have that same excitement in my heart that I did as a little girl as we cross the long Oklahoma bridges and to roads that lead to your house. Life has changed fast in the last 10 years. I thought you were so tough that you would be saying shit under your breath as you covered your mouth in a giggle. You aren’t though- I wasn’t there. I let you slip away without trying to even stop it. I thought about kidnaping you for shopping trips in Tulsa or scooping you up to stay at my house for a week, but I didn’t. I wasn’t there for you. I should have done it.

I will join you wherever you are right now. I will cling to this time we have. I’ll hold your hand and be whoever you want to believe that I am. I will make believe any adventure that you want to go on.

Her

They don’t make afternoons more beautiful than this…the sky is 100 shades of the purest blue. The fall leaves have shown their beauty and are falling to the ground as the sun shines through. The radio is playing the most perfect soundtrack to the day.

In moments like this I think back to a time that’s been forgotten, but also one that wasn’t that long ago.

I think of her. What was it like for her to sit next to her husband on a day like this. Did she have the joy for the day in her like I do? Being happy has never been difficult for me…it’s getting harder everyday. Did she feel the tension from the drivers seat? Did she try to think up ways to say things that would make him happy? Did she fail like I do? Did she hold in? Did she have a side to her that none of us knew? What more could she have offered us?

Did she live her whole life for him? Did she allow him to steal her joy? Did age steal her joy or did she simply get tired of living in a world that she couldn’t win in?

As the holidays approach I think of these women who came before me. These selfless women that never put themselves first. I think of the men who drained them. Most of all I think about how I’m not that strong or selfless. I can’t live my entire life for someone who doesn’t see me.

                                         ” I would rather be a poor writer than a rich lawyer.”                                          -Gretchen Reuben from The Happiness Project

Hmmm… I heard these words after meditating on the thought of education for a few days and thinking of what it means to be an educated person…In my case in what I needed to do to create educated people too.  Gretchen’s words have rattled in my brain for a few more day before it came together for me.  Hold on tight…I will make a full circle of strange connections that could loosely support my perspective on this subject…I hope it leaves you with something to ponder and if you are an educator with a little bit of hope.

This all started for me as the new school year approached.  The stress of tiny name tags and perfect dismissal list that keep  the well oiled machine of an elementary school running.  These are the details that can sometimes get under my skin with the amount of energy that it take to fuel the place that all learning should occur.

Why do I feel like a better person when the sun is on my shoulders and my feet are connected to the earth? Why does that feel more meaningful than labels and schedules?  Perhaps, my ancestors were gypsies…maybe it’s The Cherokee blood in my veins….It just makes me feel like we are missing it in schools.  We do so much well, but it takes a lot of time.  I have always wondered why do I have this desire to write..I am not particularly skilled.  I don’t think my opinions are invaluable, but yet here I sit sharing my voice.

I am beginning to understand that most of this life is just a distraction from the few things that matter.  Well the problem with that theory is that I value learning so where does that fit in the free for all agenda that I have in my mind?!?

I think I have found the answer in Maya Angelo’s writings that my sixth grade teacher shoved in my brain as a sixth grader…If every single repressed society was not allowed to read and write then it must have meaning it must be important.  We must learn to express our thoughts and we must share them.. We can hate the bloggers as much as we want and disagree with them as much as we want, but they are using their education for what it is meant to be used for…to think…to share…to read…what is it all for if you can’t take a minute to be introspective and to think, to share your thoughts in some way.  It has value…more value than we can ever know.

I guess what I am saying is don’t feel bad for sharing that insta pic of your lunch…don’t feel bad for that facebook post…yes, it was a bit on the crybaby side and yes we rolled our eyes, but hey it was your truth and you shared it…you are growing….we must all keep growing…keep collecting thoughts and keep sharing any way that you can express yourself.  If nothing else it will give others the self righteous moment of knowing everything.  In the words of my other favorite, poet, Jack Johnson everybody thinks that everybody knows everything about everybody else….