I find myself torn between seeking new paths and new directions, and wanting the comfort and familiarity of the well-worn paths I’ve used my whole adult life.
I’m pretty sure this is an experience shared by many. How challenging it is to seek a new way of being, of doing… a new path through life that perhaps wasn’t anticipated, yet it beckons. Promises of new perspectives, new places, new ideas…
How does one follow a new path while remaining connected to the old? Perhaps intersecting with old paths periodically… crossing over, and spending a short time reconnecting to the path where it all started? Then continuing on, taking the reassurance of the familiar with us into a different future…
I am a questioner by nature. I don’t know if I align with Gretchen Rubin’s definition of questioners, but it is how I live my life. It’s how I make my living as a researcher. Question everything. Don’t be afraid to buck the trends, to pursue paths that others deem closed.
And yet. I hate uncertainty in my life with a passion. I prefer things to be the way I want them (ha, if you haven’t figured that out by now…). I have routines, habits that I live by. Breaking them and changing them is one of the biggest challenges in my life.
I have major issues with uncertainty in relationships. I prefer that people come out and say why they’re mad at me, or what their issues are. Just be straightforward – it saves so much time!
So… I seek stability in my daily life, yet I make my living by asking questions, by trying to subvert the dominant paradigm.
I’m comfortable with this dichotomy, even as it continues to puzzle me. Perhaps these two halves of me balance each other out? The yin and the yang…?
On to question for another day at work… and then to go home and fall into my comfortable afternoon and evening routine. Just another day in the life of a paradox.
I’m trying to be more okay with uncertainty. With not knowing how every little thing will turn out every day. Trying, really, to be less regimented, more open to what comes.
It’s hard. It’s really hard for someone who is a creature of habit, of routine. But I am still trying – I figure that counts for something, right?
It’s harder when it’s uncertainty in relationships, in the bigger “life” stuff, vs. just the day to day choices that I make. I’m more okay with making those at the last minute, or changing my mind. After all, it only affects me.
But the bigger stuff? There are others involved – not just me. And in many cases, they are the source of the uncertainty. People are so, well, unpredictable. I like predictability – certainty – knowing how people will act, what they will choose to do.
But I also know that I cannot dictate what others do, the choices they make, even when they involve me.
I’m trying to be okay with the idea of just knowing that there are angels, and they dance.
Do you ever realize something, have a thought or even a revelation of sorts, and then…the universe conspires to make you realize that yes, this is where you should be, this is what you should be thinking… ?
It happened to me yesterday.
I’ve been thinking – and writing, in my personal journal – about how who I was led to who I am. How as much as I sometimes want to go back – back to when life was, well, a bit easier, I can’t.
And I actually don’t want to, now that I think about it.
The past is viewed with hindsight, those lovely rose tinted glasses of nostalgia.
And yet, there were things that drove me crazy about the life I was living then.
Those things that drove me crazy put me on the path to who I am now.
Who I was is who I am… those elements of me that I miss now? They’re still in me. They’re not lost – they’re simply serving as the building blocks for who I am now.
So, thinking all of this, and pondering about it most of the weekend, and… then I got Oprah’s newsletter in my email yesterday. (Yes, I know, but really – sometimes there are good ideas or articles linked in there!)
And this was the quote – from the Buddha, no less – that was in the image at the top of the newsletter…
Synergy. You gotta love it.