"Not to decide is to decide. Letting something go until it ‘decides itself’ is Life by Default. You don't want to live that way. So choose. Choose right now." Neale Donald Walsch
What’s frightening is how lost we are able to become and how just one puff of disconcerting wind can float us off our path. But what’s remarkable is how much power there is within ourselves if we are able to remain still and allow the passing wind to tickle our necks and drift on by.
When I left Vassar after sophomore year, I fell into a depression. I felt swept away from the life i was 'supposed' to be living. I lost contact with the dearest of the dearest friends.
Today? Today one of those dearest has moved next door - well, over a bridge and down a road and through a neighborhood. All I had to do was wait.
Stillness is not the same as indecision. Stillness is a choice.
At my most neurotic, I am a frenzied spark plug who talks a mile a minute. My mind moves faster than my mouth, so what comes out is a jumble of non sequitors leaving my companions confused but – at least sometimes – in stitches. I’m the girl who falls hard and strong for a boy with the right smile. A correctly placed palm at the small of my back will have me fantasizing about babies and houses and ‘futures together.’
What I’m looking for is a quick fix. The quick fix that will make me feel at peace, at home. Each ‘oh yes definitely I’ll do that for you though it makes my stomach clench’ is another compulsive attempt to belong to someone or something. To be a part of a bigger ‘thing’ that will ultimately take care of me.
So, decisions must be made…and fast. How else will I find the one, the only, the right way to live my life?
Well, what I’m learning – and totally banking on in an eggs-in-one-basket kind of way – is that there is no wrong way to live my life.
It’s easy for that wind to sweep me away though. All those other people and places seem to have it together much better than I do, so mustn’t I model myself after them, like, immediately?
Apparently not. So say all the gurus and the Trusty Therapists worth their salt. So say my friends, and even the people who’s perfectly put together lives I want to model.
But what I want is the crystal ball. I want to be absolutely sure that a) I will be taken care of, b) ….no, really all I want to know is that I’ll be taken care of. Spiritually, sexually, emotionally, financially. I want that crystal ball.
And I’m scared that My Life, bumps and bruises and hiccups and insanities, is not a very suitable life. I feel like I’m headed half-way to there without ever making it all the way.
Stay true to my heart? Sure. But how do I know what that is? And how do I know it’ll be enough?
The truth is I don’t know. And you don’t know, and that girl over there doesn’t know, and that old man at the bus stop knows how it was but not how it’ll be. We live with uncertainty everyday. And for those of us in flux, reaching around and trying to find the thing that feels right and feels safe, it’s a tough battle.
And all those pat statements about Truth and Heart just feel overwhelming. And that’s when I remember: the answers aren’t complicated at all.
Take care of yourself
That’s it. For real. Taking care of yourself IS listening to your heart. It IS tapping into your Truth.
So use those winds for good. Use them to cool you down or to smell the ocean or grass of f-ing gas station fumes. Don’t worry about being taken away or finding the right way to harness them. Choose to be still, whether physically or spiritually. Choose to stay still with yourself.
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The Loose Lip Brigade: stories
by Julia Newman
by Julia Newman