We're 7 days into 2021 and...what is happening.
Of course, we all knew that the problems, global and national, wouldn't end just because the year changed. We all know that, as rational human beings. We know that when the clock hits midnight on December 31st, nothing is REALLY changing, but it's nice to mark the passage of time, and it's human nature to take any chance at all to wish for better, brighter days. We want them NOW. We want to be able to peek at the future and say, "Wow, it's better! My problems, the country's problems, the world's problems are all doing a lot better! Somehow, I can count on something coming along to save me in the future. I can stop worrying now, because I know that things turn out okay."
Unfortunately, it's just not possible.
A few days ago, I posted a query in the women's group Truth in Boudie (join us!). I asked, "if you could ask your future self one thing, what would it be?" The answers varied, but the tone was the same.
"Does it really get better?"
"What's my end game?"
"Am I finally happy?"
"Did I do enough?"
"Did I make the right decision?"
Overwhelmingly, we want reassurance that we're on the right path. That we end up happy. That things will be okay. They will be okay, right? Not knowing is like being asked to do a trust fall...blindfolded. Without knowing who is behind you.
In my personal life, I'm going through some big changes right now. Some hard decisions have to be made, some difficult truths need to be faced. There's a lot of pain and sadness that always comes with endings and beginnings. There's also a lot of possibility, and potential. But it's so hard to know if I'm doing the right thing. Do you ever feel something is right, deep down in your heart, but you try to ignore it? You want to ignore it because, right as it might be, it hurts? Maybe it's easier to ignore it, more comfortable. Maybe you feel like you don't deserve to listen to your heart. Maybe you're afraid of being that selfish. Maybe you're just scared for things to change, or to make the wrong decision. It's that fear of falling, not knowing who or what is going to catch us, or when.
Yesterday, I went for a walk on the beach. I love living in a beach town. The water clears my head and soul in ways that nothing else can. I listen to the waves crash and I feel at home. Mostly I walk, or sit on the beach, but yesterday I thought, "I'm going to go look for some beach glass." I love following beachcombers on social media. I love seeing their treasures and finds. Viewing their photos is just as exciting to me as if I had stumbled across the pieces myself.
Beach glass is sort of like those really, really delicious moments in life. They're scattered among the ordinary rocks. Not an overwhelming amount, but enough. Plenty, even. When someone else finds one, you never think, "Oh, that's it, then. There's none left." You know there's zillions left. You've just gotta wait for them to come across your path. And there's lots of other stuff to find, too. There's no shortage of cool rocks on the beach. Shells. Fossils. Even trash you can pick up and feel good about removing from the beautiful beach. There's lots of stuff waiting to be found within all the everyday rocks, but beach glass...
I've never been great at finding it. My eyes are just terrible (but hire me tho) and I move too fast sometimes. But yesterday I went out, and while I walked and looked, I talked to the universe.
"If I'm on the right track...if I'm doing the right thing for me...I need a sign. I need to know. I trust you, universe, and I know you'll catch me. But I could really use a sign right now."
Boom. Boom. Boom. Just like that.
And of course, because it's human nature, I was still not convinced. "Ok. Ok. If this is really MY SIGN, I need to find a yellow piece of glass."
How fucking arrogant is that? The universe basically threw glass at me and shouted, "Just fall, woman! Just fall and trust that I've fucking got you!"
I turned around, and laughed out loud. Okay, universe. You got me. There sat a bright yellow square, couldn't miss it. But it was way too perfect. No way is that glass. That's plastic off some kid's coat or something. But I can pick it up and throw it away, clear some trash off the bea-
It was glass.
It's tile or something, for sure, and maybe it isn't even glass. But it's something that feels a lot like glass, and it's good enough for me. I'm not going to demand anymore answers. Because honestly, we just don't get them. We can't. To know how everything ends would be the ultimate disappointment. What's the point in living if it isn't a grand mystery, an adventure to embark upon?
It hurts. It's scary to fall. It's natural to want to know who is going to catch us, and when, and how low we'll get before it happens. But it's gotta happen. You can talk to the universe, you know. "Hey, I need to fall. I know I need to fall. I'm afraid. But I know I'll be caught."
And even if you fall allllll the way down...
Then you're at the perfect level to find that beach glass.