Choosing a path meant having to miss out on others. She had a whole life to live, and she was always thinking that, in the future, she might regret the choices she made now. “I’m afraid of committing myself,” she thought to herself. She wanted to follow all possible paths and so ended up following none. Even in that most important area of her life, love, she had failed to commit herself. ~ Paulo Coehlo
The past is a powerful thing, much like a spiderweb that first traps a minute of our thoughts. As we fight for that minute back, the more we become entangled. Before we realize, hours of our lives are fighting to get free from what-were’s, what-could-have-been’s, what-should-have-been’s, and what will never be. Every detail of what-I-did-wrong’s and if-I-just’s tighten around our minds until we are snug in the cocoon of what’s-the-point’s.
I was stuck in the web for so long that I feared I’d never break free. It even became a place of comfort, hiding from the future in the silky wrapping of the past.
Thank God for Superwoman. Just as I was about to give up the fight, Superwoman saved the day with a cup of coffee and conversation that reminded me of hope.
I hate New Years Resolutions. Empty promises that we all eventually break. Is there a more sadistic tradition? I’m not one who will make a promise or commitment lightly for fear of being unable to fulfill my intentions. I’ve oft been called a commitment-phobe, to the point of setting a date with a friend for fear that something will come up and cause me to cancel.
Ah, but I speak of the past. It’s now 2012 and I face the future. So, I begin with New Years Resolutions.
Resolved: To discover me without the burden of expectations I used to carry.
Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor. ~Dr. Alexis Carrel
Since moving, I’ve found something missing in my life. Mainly? Me. I’ve been at a loss of who I am or what I want from my life. Making decisions has been downright painful. For a control freak like me, it’s been a kind of death. I come from a life where decisions were made without doubt and I owned life. Now, without the security of the past, I can’t even choose a couch. I’m in a process of remaking and, yes, ladies and gentlemen, it has been painful at best.
Resolved: To learn patience.
Patience is not passive waiting. Patience is active acceptance of the process required to attain your goals and dreams. ~Ray Davis
The problem is that I want to know who I am…NOW! In many ways, I feel as if I have wasted much of my life in the mundane, playing the game that we as a society somehow feel we need to play. I don’t want to waste anymore time. Yet, the process of change takes time. So, I stand resolved to be patient with myself in this time of growth and learning. I will remember that it took me 34 years to get to this point where I’m standing. I can not be new tomorrow. I will be patient with myself during every step, including the failures.
Resolved: To take risks.
The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open. ~ Chuck Palahniuk
I have been writing for ten years. Note: I have not been publishing or submitting for ten years. Just writing. Fear of rejection? Perhaps a little. I think it’s more about the fear of success, which doesn’t make sense when said out loud, but I don’t think I’m the only one. I think on some level, we all have a little fear of success, especially in artistic endeavors. The actual success isn’t what looms just beyond the horizon, but the fear of expectation that comes with it.
I’m beginning to sense a theme…
This year, I will take risks in efforts to achieve the only dream I’ve known.
I say goodbye to the psychological spider web. The past is a powerful thing, but hope can be stronger if you let it. Choose what to focus on, the horrors of the past or the images of the future. A conversation at the local greasy spoon with a cup of coffee and Superwoman reminded me of this.
And, so, I thank you, Superwoman. Not only for encouraging me to be better, but for modeling courage with your own life and choices.
Happy New Year!