I've written about how it feels like I'm going through some sort of "mid-life crisis" for lack of a better term. I've written about being unemployed and my subsequent "do-over" in terms of learning to follow my passion (and hopefully earning some money at it). I've written about photography, photographing the photographer, and photographing roads and paths. I've written about writing. I've written about my love for Twitter and the amazing friends I am meeting through Social Media. I've written about pushing myself to come out of my shell, to experience these new people, new things.
What I haven't written about is how all of these individual things, ideas, events come together. When put together (for we are all a sum of our parts--all of them--for good or ill) what do all of these things mean? What do they represent? What do they say about me?
The first thing they tell me is that I am going through my own personal Renaissance Period. A time characterized by thinking, art, literature, music, fashion, and ideals. A time of bright colors. A time of social and personal growth. A time of exploration and experimentation. In essence, a time of change.
The next thing they tell me is that I am reaching out. For possibly the first time in my life I am looking outside of myself for the answers rather than turning within. And, I'm reaching repetitively; more people, more directions, more experiences, more ideas. In the past, if I was forced to look outside myself I would do so shyly, quickly, in just one new direction. And, when I got some little piece of information I would quickly pull it in to me without question. The fear of being out of my comfort zone so much greater than any need for truth. Now I am reaching out constantly. And now, I don't want to just grab one little tidbit and blindly put it on the alter. I question everything, finally seeking out that which is true for me.
They also tell me that I am imperfect. So far from perfection that I am comprised more of faults than substance. I am impatient. I am flightly. I am insecure and unsure. I am hard headed and sometimes hard hearted too. I am imprudent, unreasonable, impractical, and impulsive. I can be dangerous, and spiteful, and mean. I am lazy, obstinant, obtuse, and ignorant and worse yet, arrogant. I speak without thinking and often think only of myself. I am over-emotional, clingy, and insecure. I require constant reassurances but only without criticism. I spend too much time daydreaming without actually doing anything to chase down my dreams. I settle for mediocrity and let my fears of being alone, of failing stifle my growth and hold me hostage. I abuse my body in so many ways. I abuse those closest to me by taking advantage and taking for granted. I push people constantly yet sob if any dare push back. I hurt myself repeatedly and yet blame other's for my pain. I play the role of the victim when in truth I am more like the victimizer. This list is so depressingly long yet so incomplete.
These things that I have been experiencing and writing about also tell me that I am human. That I am in pain. That I am working on so many parts of me simultaneously that I am overwhelmed. But I am making progress. As I seek, I am finding and being found. They tell me that I am so fortunate. Fortunate to have this period of self-discovery. Fortunate to have people in my life; family, old friends, and new friends who support me even and especially when I can't support myself. People who can take the pain I throw at them when I just can't keep it in any more and let it go rather than hurl it back at me. People who instead of walking away from me when I reach a dark place run toward me and drag me kicking and screaming back into the light. People of unfathomable strength who somehow manage to carry themselves and their families through the day to day and miraculously still have strength to lift me up.
I am listening to all of these things that my life is telling me right now. What I am telling you is, "Thank you." Thank you for being one of the special people in my life right now. I know I couldn't do this, couldn't go through this without you. I am also saying, "I'm sorry". I know I ask too much, demand too much from you. I know I have hurt you in so many ways and I truly am sorry for that. And finally, I am saying to you, "Please stick with me and join me on this adventure, this journey". I think the answers are around that bend in the path up ahead.....