Every day is a struggle… a different kind of struggle, sure, and varying wildly in intensity, true, but a struggle nonetheless.
Struggles against fear & frustration, loss and abandonment, or even just struggling with getting out of bed or running out of coffee.
Yet it is these struggles that define us. Like the lines that define a picture – without struggles we are just empty space.
Without these struggles, we are just consumption machines; mindlessly turning food into waste heat.
We all struggle – each and every one of us. We face our own struggles, every day, but we face them together.
So take heart, my friends, and struggle on…
Recently, I was out for a walk at a place where I’ve gone for walks dozens of times in the past. But this time, I noticed a trail off to my right that I’d never seen before… and so, with no real destination in mind, and some free time on my hands, I turned off the main path and down this new one, just to see what was there.
Turns out, there is a whole other system of trails, and some beautiful big fields (where you can find wild bunnies frolicking, no less!) which I never knew about. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy (and surprised) I was to find this, just a little ways away from where I’d been so many times before.
Is this an analogy for life? You bet.
The thing is, you really do never know what is coming around the next bend, and life being as unpredictable as it is, you never know when you’re going to see that turn coming that leads you to someplace really special.
Having personally been in some dark places over the years, I can tell you, it’s hard to believe that these turns or special places even exist – but they do, and eventually, one way or another, you always seem to find them when you least expect it.
Looking back at the last 10 years in my life – what a journey! (And what a handy summary of my life, in case you don’t want to read the rest of my blog!)
I’m going to do 2 little retrospectives this year, but I’m going to start with a personal one first, so if this isn’t your cup of tea, just move on to the 2nd article (which is more about the world at large) and read that instead.
The last 10 years (10 years!?!) have been quite interesting for me, now that I really sit down and think about it. Of course, a lot has happened (which I’ve written about in more detail elsewhere in my blog), so I won’t go into details here – but I will summarize, because summarizing and making “top X” lists is what the New Year is all about!
- I leave college after 4 years and start my own company (though not by myself).
- I got my first apartment in Fitchburg and lived officially “on my own” for the first time (the time I spent at college – even when I lived there over the summer – only half counts).
- Amanda, my long-distance girlfriend from Australia, packs her backs and moves to America to live with me!
- Amanda and I get married! Who-hoo!
- After a lot of prodding, I finally go back and finish the 2 classes I needed to graduate from college!
- Through a very bizzare series of events, I end up with 2 pet rabbits!
- I buy a new car (my beloved Mitsubishi Outlander) and end up getting screwed by a corrupt car dealership.
- I travel back and forth to Australia more than a few times, and see some really neat stuff while I’m there!
- I learn to cook more than just the meat & potato casseroles I used to eat in college.
- I move to New Jersey! (And I get to work from home!)
- I’ve gotten better at acting “grown-up” (though it’s still an act, because I’m still a kid at heart)
And that just about brings us up-to-date with the crazy journey that has been my life thus far. It’s been a wild ride, to be sure – there were ups, and there were definitely downs as well. But lately there seem to be more ups than downs, which is good, because now that I’m in my 30’s I’m getting too old for the drama of youth. But life is good these days, and fate has been relatively good to me lately, so I have no complaints. And of course I’m looking forward to the next 10 years of crazy adventures as well!
I’m sorry if this post has sounded a little sappy, or even self-serving in some ways. However, around this time of year I always like to look back fondly, rather than look back and see all the negatives. I know they happened (I can never forget them), but I’ve moved past them. I prefer to face the new year optimistically – that’s just the way I am.
So, if you’re looking back at your own life, hopefully you’ll look more at the positive things rather than the negative things, and see the possibilities of a brighter future ahead. I know I am!
Happy New Year, everyone! See you in 2010!
Getting in the car, putting on some tunes, and just driving… nothing else makes me feel so “free.”
Now, this might be something that’s restricted to those of us that grew up in areas where there was no such thing as “public transit” and the only bus you could catch was the one that took you to school (if you were lucky). So if you’re a city person, or if you grew up with public transit, then this may not make much sense to you.
But when you go for a drive – just to drive, just to get out of the house, just to get somewhere – anywhere – that’s different from where you are – to get away from what’s bothering you – it all just melts away. All your troubles are literally left behind you, and your mind is clear and the freedom of the open road beckons to you – all you have to do is drive…
To me, that’s freedom. That’s why I love driving.