Thursday, September 10, 2009

but the one thing i know

*warning: the following thoughts could be described as a broken record. or beating a dead horse. or something like that. however, this has been on my mind pretty constantly the last little bit, and i keep hoping the next time i write about it will purge it from my brain. either that, or someone will solve all my problems. someone, are you out there? please?

i suppose it is not uncommon for someone my age to look at the number and immediately want to fight against it. we get dragged into these years kicking and screaming, refusing to age gracefully and wanting to fight with every gut we have to stay this way, or to get younger, to keep our youth about us. i am no exception, except for the days (which are pretty frequent) when i simply ignore my age - i refuse to acknowledge it, expecting every morning to wake up late for mr. clark's advanced geology class.

and here is what i think is the problem: my life is the ocean. i'm out in the middle somewhere, treading water. and, for the sake of this metaphor, i am pretty fit and strong. i can tread water for quite a while, and i am happy doing it. there are people constantly swimming by me who stop for a while to have a chat and exchange smiles. there are people rowing by on rafts who invite me up for a rest. but eventually all of these people move on. they swim away or kick me off their rafts and go forward to one of the islands in the distance, leaving me to tread water again.

why don't i move towards an island myself, you ask? i'll tell you. i can't make up my mind about which one i want to swim towards. i can't figure out which one is worth the effort it will take to get there. they all look beautiful - nice beaches and warm sunshine and cool trees. but some of them have a fence around them, and if i go to one of those without the key they will make me turn around to find it somewhere out in the big ocean. and some of them only look inviting from a distance, but really the sand is poky and the sun is too hot and the trees are just mirages. some of them won't let me in until i go to some other island first and pass some test on that one that is a prerequisite for the next island. some are too far away, and just seem to get farther and farther the more i swim towards them. so i turn endlessly in circles, trying so hard to choose the right island and make all my effort worthwhile.

and i have to choose soon. treading water is becoming exhausting in more than one sense of the word, and i'm tired of this same scenery. i'm tired of people passing me by. i'm tired of trying to make decisions i am not equipped to make. i want someone else to choose for me, to tell me "that island contains everything you need to make the rest of your life happy - every decision has been made for you, just swim!"

but that isn't the point - i need to choose for myself, and figure out for myself what i need, as much as i detest the idea. and if i really stop to think about it, i know how to make those decisions i am dreading. i know that the right island will be clear at some point, and all the work and effort i put into getting there will be worth it, even if the path is not straight or easy. and everyday i become more and more grateful to have that knowledge, at least. if i don't know anything else, i do know that i am loved and watched over and guided. and i'll find the right place, with faith and hope and patience.


Stephanie said...

I sometimes feel like. Ok actually I always feel like that. I hope that you can find your "island" soon. :)

Stacy said...

Nice metaphor! I hate decisions like that! I found that in my life, I just had to start "swimming" toward an "island." There were a few times I found out they were not right for me, and that was discouraging and frustrating. However, by doing that, I eventually found an "island" that I plan to stay on for a while. Good luck!!