With all that is going on in the world, I can’t tell you how many people are disappointed in life. Not just their life, but life in general. I get it, and I feel it. With political divide growing, a never ending pandemic, crazy weather in Texas that has never before been seen and the fallout on the backside… it’s enough to leave you shaking your head and gasping for breath at times.
I’ve thought much over this last year about so many things. As I have a child who was Class of 2020 (the first class affected and imagined the last), there have been a WIDE array of emotions that have spiraled into a roller coaster that continues to go up and down (with more downs than ups) and a never ending feeling of treading water that will never go away….
For some reason, today it all kind of hit me. We are living life “In THEORY”….
Over the last four or so decades (I believe more, but trying to give the more conservative side), we have lived life in luxury. We have had few major issues to deal with as a whole, though yes we have at times dealt with locational devastations which are horrible (Katrina, Northridge Earthquake etc). But by and large, the majority of us have lived in comfort and joy with little upset to our lives.
This last year has been a HUGE awakening not just locally, but across the globe. I feel I can saw with confidence that I don’t remember a time in my life (50+ years) where we were all struck by something that will forever alter who we are. And some are having a harder time of it than others. Yet, we are all struggling on some front.
Now this post isn’t about the pandemic per se…but it’s about expectations dashed about the lives we were supposed to lead – and we got cheated….and it HURTS…. Well, YES….absolutely….but…well, NO…not really… (and this is why I’m here)
In THEORY (expectation) we should be able to live the lives we want, because we are the land of the free.
In REALITY, yes that is SUPPOSED to be true, but a pandemic tramples all over that crap and you have to abide by the masses, even if that means life as we knew it won’t be for a while.
Now, this is a hard one to swallow, so I will spend a few more words on this. I know this is a hot topic and my focus isn’t just on this, but as we are all affected and handling it all very differently, my wish “in theory” is that we would all get through this together…but there is great divide and disrespect which SUCKS. But the TRUTH is…we ARE all in this together and though we are all getting through it, some are struggling harder than others. So IN this, I just pray we can set aside our differences and just BE there for each other. Grace is a good thing, even if you are coming from opposite sides.
Life is a constant battle between what we want and what we get. IN THEORY(and fair warning I won’t be going in order of life itself, so bare with me), relationships should be cut and dry. But the REALITY is relationships are LITERALLY like a garden; not all plants bloom at the same time, some require different care, some want sun while others want shade, but if given the right care, THEY ALL BLOOM….The goal is find the balance and feed each other properly. This falls right into marriage…only way more complicated. IN THEORY, your wedding day is supposed to be the best day of your life. Only the REALITY is, your wedding day is THE day that you commit to figuring out which plant you married and work your way through figuring out how to keep it alive. If you didn’t know that you are a water lily and you married a succulent…you got a LOTTA work waiting for you. But don’t expect a water lily to be able to jump out of the pond and live in the desert. And YES…marriage is just that complex. And don’t get me started on throwing in children to the mix. Good Golly, that is a book in and of itself. The pressures kids put on a marriage (I’m literally sitting her shaking my head, pursing my lips because this one is deep)… If you are struggling before children, a child WILL NOT FIX what you got going on. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you there have been times I didn’t feel I wanted to be married anymore. In hindsight, if I look back on those times I can see the fractures that were going on around us. Only I couldn’t see them at the time. Life is NOT an “in theory” place to live.
I need to leave that all right there, because I could go on for days weeks months and years, but I’m trying to keep some of you with me on all this….
Let’s talk growing up… (oy…this is yet another book and my eye is already twitching…)
IN THEORY…. we grow up in (I’m gonna date myself) “Leave it to Beaver” life … the perfect nuclear family with mild issues and a Dad that said, “Well Golly Gee Beave …”….
LET ME MAKE THIS CLEAR…. There were NO “GOLLY GEE’S” in my house growing up. My generation was more likely to be handled with spankings (if not beatings), belts and switches. If you don’t know what a switch is…you are blessed.
Granted…we DID grow up with WAY more freedom (which I wouldn’t trade for a MILLION Iphones), but the lessons were harder. I was a latch key kid (look it up). I was 4th out of 5 kids; I was merely a body count at the end of the day. I was raised in a family of faith; Catholic, sacraments, etc… but it wasn’t a charmed life. It was a privileged life on MANY counts and if I wanted to leave out the details, you might actually be jealous. That would be the “IN THEORY” life. But reality was a bit harsher with a lot of life lessons that actually hurt. (don’t read to deep into this, it really is a book and my parents were the best parents they knew how to be and I love the hell out of them.
Moving on to friends…my favorite subject… IN THEORY…you find your pack in Kindergarten and SOAR all the way through Senior year with nary a scratch amongst you all… (sorry, I think I just snort laughed at this)….
IN REALITY… let’s talk Merry Go Rounds… with knives…. well, you get the picture. Thankfully, nobody actually dies in person….just in spirit as kids go from one friend to the next and they cycle back and leave again. I’d like to say this ends in adolescence…but alas, I have experienced much of my own derision from “friends” and it’s blown my mind…. This isn’t the case for all, but it’s a ride nonetheless…again…another full book in its own rite…
MY POINT IS THIS…. Life is a NEVER ENDING roller coaster of ups and downs with daggers flying at us at every turn. I know what we think we SHOULD have in life. But honestly (at least for me) on 9/II I have had my antenna up because when trauma happens, it throws you. I still examine aircraft in the sky and wonder the motive. Fast forward to 2020 and now 202I and it’s hard to know how to process it all.
And as I was thinking today, I was thrown back to a few things in my life. Long ago, I was mad that my birthday wasn’t really recognized by my family. I was talking to an ex boyfriend (still friends today) and he said, “What makes you so special?” I thought, “WHAT???” He said, “What makes you so special on this day from any other?” … I won’t lie, it’s very possible that this was a defining moment in my life when I thought about how entitled we are on certain days… and it kind of changed me. Actually, it really changed. me.. My birthday shouldn’t be any more special than any other day. I mean, sure, it’s nice to be celebrated… and I HAVE been on many occasion. But what I realized is, we don’t need to “save” our celebration days to certain days. We should celebrate when we CAN. I have learned, I don’t want to wait. I’d rather live each day like it’s my last than relegate a day that is called special.
The truth is…every good day is special. Every day we wake up breathing is special. Every day we can celebrate each other is special.
IN THEORY…holidays would be AMAZING….but what actual percentage actually LOVES every last stitch of it all?
In this craziness of 2020 and 202I…celebrate EACH day… don’t live “IN THEORY”…live in “THE NOW” and live the shit out of your life and what you CAN do.
Every day of life is a gift. Live, Love, LAUGH as often as you can.