All of These Lives I've Lived

I've been touched by the number of friends who've gone past Dot and told us how she's doing since we moved from Oklahoma City. The latest report said she looked grand. These reports make my heart so happy. More than how Dot is doing, I've loved how everyone has said they wish they could stop on their way by and say "Hello" to us. I wish you could too. Thank you. Not only for thinking of us, but for sharing the kind thought.

I've been thinking about how we live hundreds of lives in the span of one lifetime. One of my lives included Dot and Mesta Park and Westminster and Pie Junkie. I loved so many things about it. In another life, I was a high school English teacher. In another, a new mom. I spent a short life being a pretty good runner. A life in Chicago. Living in an old orchard. Watching every sunset in my life in Arizona. The life playing out here in Los Angeles. So many places and people all encapsulated in neat little boxes together forming a single life in the span of my lifetime. 

Sometimes my memory takes them off the shelf and I spend time reminiscing with each of them. Sometimes I actually speak up and reach out to people from the past, from a different path. Sometimes the lines of each life can bleed together, they blur, and it feels like they're all touching. I love those moments, even if they ache a little (or a whole awful lot). Those days and weeks where I get to pretend like every single part of all of my lives is within reach.

We make so many choices and each one clears a new little way on our path. Making choices has been on my mind too. There are many choices I've made that I can't imagine ever regretting. Even with these, I get caught up wondering where I might be had I chosen differently. Often these wonderings end in a sense of relief. But like everyone else, there are other things I look back on with sense of longing. A desire to know what would have happened had I turned left instead of right.

In an attempt to not live in what-ifs, I try really hard to remember gratitude always. To say, "I could be living a completely different life right now, but all of my choices so far have led to this life, and I'm going to make the most of it." But there are also times when there's an unrest inside (I hope you all have heard I Wish it So from Juno), when the path I'm on doesn't feel just right, and I know that doing something about it is completely up to me.

Sometimes the unrest is related to insignificant circumstances that affect my current comfort level, other times it has to do with something that could potentially change my course. Lead to an abrupt new life. I feel like I'm at the cusp of some big choices, but the dust still hasn't settled from the last big transition. I really want to be patient, but not complacent. I really want to pick a path and run as fast as I can down it, but there are times when I feel frozen thinking of what I might miss, or if I've seen my current path through.

When I think about the summation of my lives so far, I'm relieved. Because I know that somehow, in some way, everything always works out. Even if the thought of being proactive in helping things work out is really scary. Life can't be forced. It shouldn't be anyway. If the choices I make lead to Point B and then a Point C to recover from Point B, and even if I make it through the whole alphabet several times over, I'm trying really hard to trust that Point Z.47 will be the best one. Because at that point, everything I've been learning along the way will be present. That's the beauty of a lifetime. All these lives knit together to form one Life. My life. With each place and person, wherever I am and in whatever way you are present, making my experience what it is on this earth.

There are ribbons of sameness to all of these lives. Events I'll spend my whole lifetime growing from, tripping over, and finding ways to grow again in a new way with help from new friends, and sometimes old ones. There are places that will always be home. There are loves that will last a lifetime. I'm grateful for all of them. And for the ones still waiting for me to find them.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written. I too do the same thing but sadly there is a lot of regret involved. I have seen how God has made everything right despite it all, and I'm amazed, but that doesn't keep me from wondering what path I'd be on if I had always followed Him rather than my emotion.



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