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Go Your Own Way

July 06, 2012 | | Comments 0

“She stood tall, all her insecurities shining for the whole world to see, and she smiled.”

To me, life is about experiences, knowledge, connections and growth. Of course, that’s not all, but these are key components. There are times in our lives when events just flow – nothing major happens to set a moment or a day aside in our minds, but we know the smell and the feel of the flow – it’s daily life.

Just when we become accustomed to life’s daily events and press the cruise control button to sit back and take in the scenery, something or someone comes along and suddenly makes us think we might need to take the wheel by both hands again…just in case. Of course, this can be called intuition, but who’s certain if the road will get curvy? So we must decide whether to be overly cautious and always prepared, or to take risks and steer with our knees from time to time.

I think I’m somewhere in between the two. Of course, there are times when I also believe I know exactly where I am until some wise-ass comes along and tells me my map’s upside down! I don’t mind being lost though; usually I meet someone I wouldn’t have, or I’m given a little extra time to ponder a thought that’s been nagging me.  Mostly, I believe the aphorism, “Some people will say you are going the wrong direction when it is simply a way of your own.”

People judge, and judgment can be harsh and difficult to accept when one is on the receiving end.   But judging others is something we all do.  So if someone says I’m lost, he is probably right according to his own internal compass.  If the word lost is interpreted within the literal context of physically having moved in the wrong direction, that person is probably right again, as I do have a tendency of getting lost on my way to new places. Two things I know for certain, though: I ALWAYS reach my destination, and a short detour has a greater chance of teaching me something new and offering me an opportunity to grow than does the more direct path.  Granted, these detours aren’t always the most pleasant of travels, and sometimes the scenery consists of the slums.  However, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m headed in the wrong direction.

Recently, I was told I am not an open or effective communicator.  Merely days before this statement, my critic thanked me for being so open and communicative. To be fair, I cannot omit the fact that I had gotten a little lost and had wound up driving through the ghetto.  However, my internal GPS had acquired a temporary glitch that had returned me down a road I’d already traveled; I was simply pressing the gas to get back to the place I was supposed to be. Mind you, the ghetto isn’t pleasant, and even I was surprised to find myself there AGAIN.  But I was managing the situation, and I had to keep driving for various reasons.  The main reason was that stopping would require me to stay a while, and I was headed for a more desirable destination!

All these analogies lead to one point. If I’m living, then I’m growing.  I’m trying to do what is right and good, and I believe in others the way I hope people believe in me.  If I’m sending only positive energy into the world and accepting my shortcomings and failures with as much grace as I possibly can render, how can anyone tell me it’s maturity I’m lacking?

Now, I’m not saying I have matured to the person I aspire to be.  Also, I am not denying I have enormous reserves of a childlike ability to have fun.  For example, I enjoy laughing into the wind and hoping the sound travels to places I have never been.  I do not disavow my use of the technologies by which my generation is defined, such as text message, Facebook, or Guitar Hero (which I haven’t played but plan to do).  However, these things don’t make me less of a quality being.  They do not identify me as an immature person or an inefficient communicator.  Nor do they define me as anything short of a woman in her 30’s who has experienced more than an average share of both hills and valleys.  But she has learned that the unsettling feeling of butterflies in the stomach isn’t scary if one knows when to get off the ride and walk once more among the throng with her feet on the ground.

I’ve played out some bad scenes in my life, but my script isn’t written in pen.  The mark I am leaving on this world is the mark of a woman who tries her best and loves with all her might.  For this, I have no shame.

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