Paths

I sometimes have such angry thoughts that I’m sure if they were words imprinted on my face or my body they would make me one of the least attractive people you might ever meet.  These thoughts are strange and upset me, mostly because I am really generally such a pleasant, happy, upbeat, joyful person, and when these thoughts begin to sprout and grow and take root, they occupy so much of my brain so quickly and I think, as I am thinking them, “who is THIS person with such vitriolic thoughts?!”  I do not like her very much, this angry woman, but she shows up now and then and it takes so much out of me; I mean it literally exhausts me when she’s around, as if I’ve exerted all sorts of energy and I feel sapped and used up and like it’s hard to get out of my own way…Like this morning for instance, I woke up tired and with aches all over, and yet I started a great new book and fell asleep quickly last night, but it matters not, because those horribly unattractive thoughts I was thinking weigh me down and make me feel unwell, both in body and spirit.

When I feel at peace and confident that all my parts are working as they should, and content that my brain is braining as it should, I have a calmness that I can’t describe but I sure do feel it.  BUT, when I feel uneasy or “off,” I’m many things and calm is not on that list of adjectives.  What makes me feel unsettled is my cross to bear, and what makes you feel unsettled is yours, and guess what??  We both have every right to feel what we feel about whatever the heck we want as  our paths are our own!  The way you get to your destination, and what you hope to achieve in your life, or dreams you wish to fulfill on your life path are yours, and mine are mine.  That is the beauty of it, and let me tell you, it is very much NOT beautiful when I feel myself stumbling or veering way too far from my destination, dreams, and path.  When I feel myself slipping into that abyss I know it is time to get some clarity and situate myself back on the path that feels best for me.

Before I was born, Justice Stewart famously stated, “I know it when I see it,” when he was explaining his position on whether or not something was obscene, and while you might think this is a silly way to reference what I am feeling, it’s my truth; when things are feeling wonky, I know it when I feel it, is how I best understand that I need to find some better balance in how I am managing myself;  my physical and mental selves, how I mingle among others, how I manage my home, my work, my relationships…when something feels amiss or seems amiss, it probably is.  There is a best seller right there if ever there was one!  A one page book in the Self Help section at B&N, If Something feels amiss or seems amiss, it probably is.  Best to get back on your path.  The End.

When you meet somebody who is new to you, where you are on your path and where they are on their path can be completely irrelevant to your connection or friendship or attraction or common ground.  We meet people wherever we are, and they connect to us however they are able based on where they are, and whether we can move forward together is what makes our connections fuse or disintegrate.  I have had many interactions with people where friendships formed but then simply fizzled, some sooner than others, and yet however long or short a relationship, there is hardly ever an instance where we meet somebody whose path is the same as ours, but yet with some we find enough similarity to move ahead, and with some there is too little and so we simply move on.  Sometimes we meet a person with the desperation of a drowning man, suddenly finding solid ground beneath his feet, either in our own desperation or theirs, but the result is the same, part gratitude and part relief.  Certainly there are other times when we meet somebody and we immediately feel ourselves finding our inner antelope, who senses a hunting lioness is near, and our fight or flight responses rise up like a great big bonfire!  Not by any measure to imply that all relationships are either or, but I do think they lean nearer to one type of connection or the other.  I have, like most, experienced both kinds of meetings, and although I am of an age where I ought to “know,” I still can’t say with any level of surety that one is better or worse than the other, or that I am better prepared for one more than I am the other.  We meet and sometimes we click and sometimes we don’t.

What appeals to me in a person, either platonic or romantic in nature, is my truth and what appeals to you is yours, and there are not any rules that any of us have to follow.  Sometimes it just feels right and sometimes it feels just too wrong.  It would be nice if we all knew who we were, and what we liked and didn’t, where we were on our path, but I think in many ways we are all still learning who we are, the constant evolution of the species, and perhaps never quite sure what we want, or need, no matter how old we grow.  I find myself thinking about this when I see stories on tv or read in magazines, about famous people or couples who seem to “have it all” and yet they move on, and in and out of relationships, thus letting the rest of us know the truth of the matter is that ‘having it all’ might very well mean much less than we think.  If you think it is financial success, travel to exotic destinations in private charter planes, a house for each season of a year, Louboutin pumps for every occasion, precious jewels, or invitations to the best parties that makes relationships thrive, well, I can show you decades of examples from the covers of magazines where famous couples un-couple to demonstrate how this clearly is not the case.

Some people’s paths are filled with dishes in the sink, closet doors left open, lights left on, weeks old sheets,  un-vacuumed floors, and unmade beds.  That is fine for them, but would not be fine, at all, for me.  My path might be too rigid, not relaxed enough, not fun enough, not lighthearted enough for some, but it feels exactly right for me, like knowing the perfectly folded linens are behind the doors of cupboards, and beautiful objects are in their rightful place, and that there is nothing wrong with wanting to read on a Friday night and go to sleep when I am tired and be under no obligation to do anything other than what I want to do.  The older I get and the more life experience I get the more I suspect some couples can un-couple over a misplaced remote control, just as easily as the bad choice to stay out too late or with whom.  I suspect many relationships, both romantic and platonic, end because of too many edited thoughts, bit tongues, or half-truths.  Lies of omission and saying “it’s fine” when it is not at all fine are good ways to find yourself off your path for sure.  If your path is filled with potholes and ruts, but mine is recently plowed, weeded, and raked,  it doesn’t really matter how much I wish our paths would cross and intertwine and from two become one, because some paths just don’t cross in the way we wish for.

Paths don’t have to jive only in romantic relationships either.  Great loving friendships fizzle too.  I know, I have had that happen also, where you think your friendship is deep and fun and filled with joy, and then one day it is over, you are blindsided,  and you had no say in the matter.  So I started writing today about negative thoughts, and the saying of bad things, and how it makes me feel like crap when I find myself there, and somehow got myself into a stream of consciousness about paths.  I felt uneasy this morning when I awoke, that I said and thought things yesterday that were unkind, and when that happens with any frequency whatsoever, I know and I feel, that it is time to readjust my sails so to speak.  To realign myself to my truth.  I am not sure how best to harmonize my thoughts, in fact I never am sure how to proceed,  but I do know that I have found myself tripping up of late, and so I must make some modifications, however great or small need not matter, just that changes get made is the right start for me for progress.  I suspect for you as well.  I know that when we think ugly thoughts they show in the form of wrinkles and frowns,  hunched backs and sad eyes, snarky responses and quickly igniting arguments, and I also know, because I read it, so it therefore must be true, that  “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”  So here’s to moving forward in the loveliest way possible, sunbeams are always a good thing, and clarity never goes out of style.

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One thought on “Paths

  1. Donna D says:

    Love your writing. Life so overbusy to the point where I have been saving up your posts like little time jewels, and I read one when the perfect moment arises for a stop in my life and a dip into yours. Thank you for thinking and writing and caring! You light our paths. Love the one line book

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