i started writing this a week or so again. i deleted it for many reasons but am now posting it for Karma. just in case she needs it.
i have had a hard time connecting with the world today, i guess being sick and losing steve martin* in one's life forces you to finally. hit. the. breaks. and. stop. i always over promise, double book, run out of time, lose the keys, forget to take out the garbage, run late, and disappoint. even though i really spend easily 89% of each day trying to make everyone happy, i end up frustrating most of them in the end. however, the thing that has been weighing most heavily on my mind is spending more time on more dogmatic things and less time on those of no consequence. nothing glamorous or fancy, but i have always wanted to make a difference in people's lives. do something. you can have a job that you're good at, you can spend hours devoted to it, you can be amazing ... but if your family is left wondering why you're at work so much, it's an empty lifestyle. be amazing in both areas. it's possible. i think. i am going to try.
if someone is indifferent about having you in his or her life, let them go. be it family, friends, a boss, or a client. indifference about life, causes, the future, love, dreams ... that is something that hurts me. it's a complete lack of feeling. i'd rather be hated. i would rather see passion and yell and rage and fight than shrug my shoulders and walk away from someone i love, or let someone i love walk away from me. if an employer is indifferent about my work, i walk away. if anyone or any situation is indifferent, i feel that i am wasting my time because i am not helping or impacting it/them in a positive way. i have to find a way to live. if you're indifferent about something, leave it. find something you are passionate about. or something you hate. when you find something you hate, you remember what you love. i think.
how can i explain without sounding crazy that i often feel like, for whatever reason, small events in my life or people i meet unknowingly yet infallibly point my shoulders towards the life i was meant to live. if i get off track, something happens that subtly pushes me in a certain direction--the right one. just like the unconscious, common push of a tiller on a boat by its captain when headed toward the shore.
so maybe because i am an idealist and see the world in a different way than most, i am almost obsessed to find a solution or a way to "fix" things. i have a hard time saying or accepting the answer "no". i am impulsive. probably annoying. sometimes a hermit, often incredibly difficult to get a hold of. i can easily get wrapped up in my mind of how tangled random events of my life are going to create a masterpiece of a life. i live by faith. a lot. occasionally, my intuition is so strong i have to act on it.
there are moments, instances, or periods in my life where i know i have to do certain things. going with my gut has always had a much higher success rate than ignoring it. and i know i contradict myself sometimes and i get really confused too. i don't know what needs to happen and i am too old to make any more big mistakes. i just have to act more. the stagnant era of a devout workaholic has to end. i can still be amazing. i just need balance.
the only nagging thought that remains: but what? in college, i started believing that my life was leading up to something amazing--that "this" can't be it. "this" isn't what i was born to do. not in a negative way, but just like, i have a strong sense i need to do more. and i still feel that way. i don't ever remember not feeling that way. i have something that i need to finish; if i try hard enough i can find the solution; i can fix this; if we all pull together we can do it. i never imagined that my lofty goals would turn into a road that would bring me back to Mapleton, single, two daughters, everything much less sparkly than when i was a teenager. but i understand. in a way that makes it okay.
i asked Lauren tonight if everyone feels that way. not people who are unhappy or discontent, but people who are extremely happy and have fulfilling jobs but live life seeking for their real calling. you know, people who are content but know they are going to change the world. in my gut right now, i feel like am supposed to be a part of a cause for good that is bigger than myself. i don't know if that even makes sense.
typically i will have these big, amazing, over-the-top ideas but after a few days, maybe a week, after being obsessed and getting the rafiki rocks and hitch-kicking my enthusiasm all over town, i get distracted, million dollar idea gone, massive to-do list back in hand, working too many hours, with the highest priority on my "brilliant idea" list being to fill out my fantasy football roster on time.
i am rambling.
i am not jaded but i am just not easily impressed--a lot of times i will act like i am so i don't hurt feelings. i am rarely intrigued. i can see through others' motives very easily. i am not judging. i am not presuming, maybe i'm not giving people the credit they deserve. i don't even live up to my own expectations. i am not necessarily right. i am not noble or brave or clever. i have made more mistakes than an entire classroom of tenth-grade boys.
and that was just today.
i don't know. i am trying to get my car unstuck out of this ditch so i can start going again. it's just been stuck for so long. and it's comfortable here. but i bet there is some fresh air somewhere that would blow my mind.
there is a lot of stuff going on, and most of it is just--for the lack of a better word, silly. again, total PMS-provoked, sinus, ear, throat, lung, chest infected commentary. i worry that the babies being born today won't have the same opportunity i had to genuinely love our country or be willing to fight for it. they won't have the instilled sense of patriotism, community, love, compassion, hard work ethic, family, and experiences we have had. i want to believe differently. and i want the traditions we have to live on. and i want my grandpa to still be around to tell me about the war, moving to Mapleton from the coal mines, marrying my grandma. how he became the first fire chief of Mapleton. i want my kids to know that history. i don't want it to turn into a big social media digital hell. instant gratification. thinking it's absurd that you would wait 30 days to get a letter from a friend.
it may seem i am giving the "walked up hills both ways to school" talk. if i talk to kids about my childhood or grandparents, they react as if i am talking about some old relative i had from the Colonial period before cars were invented. i don't want my daughters picked up by a date who honks the horn. why is that okay? if my grandpa were alive he'd walk out and shoot them. so i don't know where I am going with this. good people are out there. we'll always have good fire fighters, dispatchers, volunteers, police, service men, humanitarians, doctors, nurses, presidents, social works, and on and on and on to look up to. i just want the silly, waste of energy, weird stuff we do everyday to go away. for example, work 15 hours a day, get the corner office, make money, spend money, lose your sunshine, lose your passion, die with a sweet resume. i don't want to debate spelling errors and grammar. i don't have the time or energy to be passionate about processes and time clocks, or argue over colors and fabrics. i just want simplicity. and someone who can accept me for being the opposite.
i love where i work. to be able to work at a company with strong core values that align with mine. finally. where co-workers are kind to one another, i think you call them friends. where we go out of our way and work long days without hesitation. why? because we care about our product and helping its distribution to as many people as possible. at least i really care. and our executives (i get the feeling) care about us. the company is genuinely helping people to make their lives better. it's not a battle field internally. it doesn't have to be.
i want to leave a legacy for my girls. only. i want them to be proud. i want them to say, "mom did more than invented AstroTurf, she changed a child's life, she was in the right place at the right time and introduced two people who found a cure for a horrible disease, she showed us how to care about others. and stand up for ourselves. she knew people were taking advantage of her. she knew a lot more than she said. she loved us more than anything."
i remember watching Vince Young's determination and drive to lead the Longhorns to a victory over USC for the BSC Championship in 1996. Vince Young was straight up like, "alright, if you're not going to do it, i will. i'll do the damn thing. that's how bad i want to win." he is inspiring. and i don't care, i still love the man. and i do have his titans jersey and he is no longer active on the packers roster but we will get to that later.
living with purpose that extends outside of working to pay the bills, and allows us to be a part of something we will remember. living how we want. not making excuses. being where we want to be with whom we want to be around.
a tradition that's almost obsolete ... passion. boys walking 10 miles to see a girl. girls waiting four years for the love of her life to come home from the war. people staying married. couples being happy. loving someone more than ourselves. love letters. women being adored and not allowed to open a door for themselves. men being protective, loyal, committed. i don't even know if true love exists in people under 40. i don't even know if we know what it is.
that's it. that's all i got.
lauren. right now. at this very moment. go listen to Graceless by The National. find it wherever you can.
*i finally found a family doctor that i loved. his name was NOT steve martin but he looked like a young steve martin. skin that was way too soft, brown eyes, much too young to have white hair. but he was awesome with the girls and was working with natural supplements to make us feel better. then one day, after i declared we were officially moving to his practice, he was gone. and i sobbed.