β€œIt is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

No, unfortunately, not real journeys. While I’d love to take an actual trip, that’s just not going to happen mid-pandemic. 
But the journey of self-discovery is going strong. I feel like I’ve spent the last few years really trying to identify who I am at my core. 
I also feel like I’m a bit old to be doing this. 
Then again, did I really have the insight, the experiences, the knowledge, needed for this (occasionally arduous) journey 20 years ago? 
Probably not. 
Yet now, with a birthday behind me this weekend (more on that later this week…), it seems as though the path to self-discovery, the journey of trying to figure myself out, may finally be leading to some actual knowledge. 
I am finally comfortable with who I am. 
I know what I like, and what I don’t. 
I know what I want. I know how to get it. 
And I also know that any timeline I put on that process is going to be ripped to shreds sooner rather than later. 
It’s funny how the Universe provides the tools for whatever you need at this moment… as I go further down this road, this path, of learning who I am, I received a book in the mail from a mentor and friend. 
It’s a workbook for self-discovery, using prompts that ask the reader / writer / explorer of self to consider past experiences, and consider what the future might bring (And, of course, what one wants to see in that future). 
I also purchased another workbook on writing my life story. 
To say that these two go together is likely stating the obvious. But I’m good at that! πŸ™‚ 
Anyway… it will be an intriguing process as, over the next months and years, I consider what was, what is, and what will be. I’m eager to see where this leads – to become even more comfortable with who I am, and who I will be. 
Sorry for the esoteric Monday morning post… hopefully back to more regular programming soon. πŸ˜‰ 


I know that this is far from an original thought during the pandemic, with all of the ways, large and small, that we’ve been required to adapt to the rapidly shifting circumstances. 

But yesterday, my perspective shifted a bit and I realized, this has become, well, normal. At least normal for now. It’s normal for me to have my mental list of “things I need to take if I’m going to the store / going on a walk / etc.” And for that list to automatically include “mask”, well, let’s just say that it obviously wasn’t that way this time last year. 

It hit me yesterday when I was talking to my second mother. I asked what travel plans they’d canceled (too numerous to list; they’re retired and love to travel [and have the means]), and somehow we got around to people who have stayed with them in the past 6 months. That included a couple who came from Florida, en route to a northern destination. My 2nd mom said something along the lines of “Well, we asked them to wear their masks in the house, and we kept the windows open even though the air conditioning was on.” And it hit me… that it was completely normal to me that she asked them to keep their masks on. 

I mentioned to her that I’m likely not going back to the office for at least a calendar year, and again, that’s now, well, normal. 

I am perpetually behind on reading others’ blogs, and one thing that’s been really interesting is reading pandemic-related posts a few weeks after they went up. The hardest ones to read were the ones from May, when states were reopening and things looked, well, reasonable. Until it all went south (as, honestly, I anticipated it would) in June. Everyone was so hopeful – looking forward to “getting back to the way things were”. And I think, as we’ve all realized, that just isn’t going to happen. 

Adaptation to change is part of being human. If you don’t adapt in some way to changing circumstances, you’re not going to get very far. Evolution. Societal shifts. Changes in the political leadership of our country (although, honestly, I haven’t normalized the person currently in the White House, I find that I have normalized the insanity that emanates from there on a daily basis…). Sometimes this happens so subtly that we don’t realize it’s happening. I think what hit me this weekend was how quickly we had to accept the way things are now had to be. 

Anyway, like I said, not an original thought, but it is fascinating to see how it plays out in life. 

β€œThere can be no life without change, and to be afraid of what is different or unfamiliar is to be afraid of life.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

Seeking answers… and trying to live with the questions

 I was struggling to find inspiration from my usual sources last week… poems, emails from BrainPickings (seriously, check it out if you have not yet:, texts from friends… and I was failing miserably. It was one of those weeks where I was seeking the wisdom of others, and yet nothing I read, nothing I turned to (whether old or new) really resonated with me. 

Until this weekend. When I read OnBeing’s transcript of Krista Tippett’s interview with Jane Goodall. You know, Jane Goodall, the woman who revolutionized our understanding of chimpanzees…? Reading the interview transcript, one quote stood out to me: 

“And I believe, part of being human is a questioning, a curiosity, a trying to find answers, but an understanding that there are some answers that, at least on this planet, this life, this life-form, we will not be able to answer.” (Jane Goodall)

It occurred to me, reading that (and then rereading it, and rereading it again) that perhaps I am in a time of questioning, of learning, of seeking…. and not a time of having the answers, knowing my direction, aware of what is to come. 
When I went back to find the quote this morning in one of the electronic notes I keep with quotes that speak to me, I realized that the vast majority of those I’ve found in the last few weeks highlight the importance of questions, of seeking answers, of not knowing the answers to everything. I like to know the answers. It’s one reason I’m a researcher – what better job for someone who likes to ask questions… but who really wants to find out the answers, too! 
Yet, for so many people, including me, this is a time of upheaval, of questions without answers, of wondering, worrying, contemplating what the future will be. I know I like having the answers, but perhaps this time is teaching me that I won’t have all of them, all of the time. Learning to live with the questions, the uncertainty, the unknown… perhaps that is teaching me something I need to know. 
I know these aren’t novel thoughts during the pandemic we’re (still) caught in, but it does seem as though the realization that the uncertainty will continue for the foreseeable future comes at different times for everyone. Seems to be mine, now. And I suppose it’s time to see where it takes me. 
Life is always such an interesting journey, isn’t it?