Meet Me In The Middle.

Photo source: Unknown

It's incredible how many people out there are extremists. I count myself among them, to some extent.

People believe that they are supposed to be 100% committed to being one way or another; to having one opinion or lifestyle or mindset. I know I have a history of being that way. For much of my life I felt like I needed to be 100% invested in who I was, and where I was, and where I wanted to go. Being in the middle of the road on something meant some kind of indecisiveness and therefore a measure of not knowing yourself completely.

But you know... how can anybody know themselves completely? You are not a finished product.

And you likely never will be.

There's a beauty in the delicate balance of not really knowing something. Of being open to the possibility of taking life as it comes along and not closing one's self off to what's around the next corner. Why do we all need to be so steadfast in this "Who I Am" persona? Why not be flexible?

Goals are good, yes. I agree. Direction is good, yes. (One Direction is NOT good- for the record.)

Possibility is, however, better. Malleable definition is better. Potential is better.

I know people who get so caught up in filling the mold they've made for themselves that they stop seeing themselves. They only see who they want to be. They see only the past and future, and have no concept of what it would even feel like to live in the present without it BEING about the past or future. Life is a series of moments, a string of "right now" instants that pass us by if we forget to breathe them in. And so many, many people forget to breathe them in.

I think that your late twenties and early thirties (and for many people that bridge widens) is a tricky time for people. There are so many things that happen, and most importantly of those things is the projection of what we should be during that time. There's this projection that we place on ourselves, and that other people place on us, of who we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to accomplish. If you don't have X done be Y point in your life, you're a failure. If you don't have the house, the kids, the job, etc.- you are not on par with the person you've been mapped out to be. But who decides that? Who decides who you are an what you want and who you should be? Is it REALLY you who determines that hologram of a person? I'm not so sure that it is.

I have a couple of friends in my life who are at this crossroads where they don't know which way to go. Do I travel? Do I stay at this job I hate, but make good money at? Do I settle down and pretend I want "the calm life?" It seems like there's a Great Wall dividing the options. And in a time when people seem so intent on "having it all," and breaking those constructs of social norms... why are we still so set on filling shoes that someone else picked out for us?

We're coming to a time when there are no social norms. Where we can stand on that middle ground between The Wild and The Settled, straddling that line with one foot on each side. We don't have to commit to becoming the image we might have been brought up to see as "the boring adult," or "the lost boys." Who decided that those were the only options?

I say we make those goals of ours, and pencil down our dreams. Create the person WE want to be, and give them a taste for adventure as well as a habit of responsibility. Let some days be gusts of wind and others be grounding mounds of earth. This is your choice; your definition. Be a little bit of everything, and love not the backward glances of what you've done or the expectant view of what's to come- but each moment of what IS because it's the moment that you're in that is most precious.

The middle of the road never held such possibility.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely. With the exception of the One Direction dig... They're classy young lads just trying to function in a cruel cruel world.

*smirk smily

Brilliant post, truly.