It is raining today. Actually it is pouring. A deluge. Monsoon-ish. Not that I have ever actually been in a monsoon. At least I don’t think so.
Anyway, yesterday was my birthday and today it’s pouring outside and I thought it was a perfect time to write a rambling random post, the type of which is so very personally satisfying and sometimes worth reading.
I made it.
I really came close to understanding how precious that is yesterday. Nothing drastic happened to bring this thought upon me, it just popped into my head of its own accord. I made it to 52. I have lived 52 years despite all those million of reasons for me not to. It’s actually very humbling in a way. If you think of life as something you survive, then I have survived 52 years for no particular reason except that nothing fatal has happened to me.
Boy am I happy about that.
Every year I come closer to understanding what blessings and what baggage I am bringing with me through this life. My family, my genetic make-up, my choices in life, my relationships with other people…all these things enter my world by the day, the minute, the nano-second. I am probably not even aware of the majority of what I am carrying with me. Every day I seesaw between knowing how fortunate I am and struggling to live life to the fullest (whatever that means).
And yet, despite the struggles and the blessings, I am still here and remarkably very much like the ME that was here 20 or 30 years ago. Sure, parts of my body are a little lower than they used to be. Sure, I can’t remember, or see or hear shit anymore. Sure, my body is still trying to decide whether to let me enter full blown menopause. But I am mostly the same person. I have always had bouts of melancholia. Sometimes it takes over my life and sometimes it is just a mild hum in the background. I have always been relatively healthy physically. I have always struggled with acne and sore feet and other various aches and pains. I am a slightly better cook now, unless you ask my husband who can’t stand being in the kitchen when I prepare a meal. I still don’t like swimming or riding a bicycle very much and I can’t roller skate, rollerblade or ice skate to save my life. I am still a mediocre piano player and I LOVE to dance. Classical music, show tunes, Simon and Garfunkel are on my iPod instead of in my pile of albums. I still love Carroll Burnett, Tim Conway and Harvey Korman and anyone else who makes me laugh so hard I’m crying. I love writing, sculpting creating, golden retrievers, cats, sunrises, sunsets, walks on the beach…wait, this is starting to sound like an application for a dating service. You get the picture…
So what’s different? Knowledge I guess. Or the knowledge of what I don’t know. And there is so much I don’t know. I am also aware that there is a lot I will never know and never understand. And I’m good with that. I actually like my little corner of the world, my teeny portion of this universe. That’s not to say I don’t try to expand my knowledge, it’s just that I know that my knowledge is and always will be a finite entity. And sometimes what I think is knowledge is just rumor, theory or a good old-fashioned guess. As long as I am still around, I am going to gather knowledge…through experience, reading, thinking, talking, writing, creating, laughing…any way I can.
On another note, some of this post was inspired by the passing of Robin Williams yesterday. (Ahhhh, now you understand, right?) In order to live life to the fullest, sometimes you just have to live. Unfortunately, this can mean living with pain, in pain, through pain, constant pain. And that ain’t easy. I don’t blame him for wanting to end the pain. Only he knows how excruciating it was. There are no rule books for how to deal with a brain chemistry that is constantly wavering, constantly moving you from one place to another with no warning and no safety net. And there is nothing that anyone else can do to fix it.
I am honored to have witnessed his gifts and I am sad to have known about his pain. I wish he had found a way to continue to live with it.
But I can say I’m still here. For some reason, here I am.
And it’s still raining.