I stopped on my way to work today to write down this quote from Ram Dass: "We're all just here to exchange notes about our own journey." And I thought, yes, that's what I'm doing... I'm offering up notes about my journey in the hopes that they are useful, not as blueprints, but in the spirit of transparency. And because I love exchanging notes about life. It's this amazing query with no answers, but lots and lots of theoretical memos.
I've had a bit of a battle with dishonesty and artifice lately, and what I've recognized is that I have very unproductive reactions to these components of human nature. And I've got some work to do on cultivating my own grace and generosity in situations when I am confronted by particularly overt displays.
In conjunction with this work on my ability to be graceful in the present, is a corresponding quest to consider what my "non-negotiables" for my life are. Because I'm in a rather unique position, in that I have no responsibilities outside of myself, I have time for these types of musings (for better or worse).
A friend of mine said, "Sometimes your skin just doesn't fit in certain places. You don't need to apologize for that." My skin doesn't fit when I inhabit some environs. I feel the need to try them on so that I can be certain, but I have to acknowledge when and where I am most fully me. I wrote once, "Look up. The stars will save you. They always do." I don't particularly need saving at this moment, but I realized that stars are non-negotiable (Yes, I know that they are always in existence, but I want to be able to see them). I've been weighing things: creating If/ then comparisons, considering trade-offs.
Do I need a Trader Joe's? Nope. Do I need seven yoga studios in a one mile radius? Nope. Would it be nice to have one? Yes. Would I trade good restaurants for a yard of my own? Yes. Is it possible for me to live for extended amounts of time without a dog? No. Do I really care about dating? No. (Great quote from Anna Quindlen: "It would take quite a man to replace no man at all." :) Do I need work that is fueled by passion and desire to make the world a better place? Yes. Will I succeed at this work? Probably not, but it's enough to try.
You get the gist.
Each experience I have, each situation I try on, allows me to hone in just a bit more on what is true north for me. And each experience also allows me to see, just a little more clearly, that the only person who can determine what is best for me is me. And I want to forgive myself the digressions because they are what help me find clarity. Someone else's "dream life" does not have to be mine, and vice versa. And slowly but surely I'm getting to a place where I can internalize this and operate from that stance.