Turn the Page
I like this as a life metaphor as a writer. Life is a page turner for sure. Each day its own page in our book of life. Making changes often seems way harder than simply turning a page but is it really? Or is that just our thoughts about it?
My life has taken some interesting turns...to be clear. All of them have ultimately benefitted me and those around me more than the trajectory I was on at the time. I can see now, looking back, that each seemingly abrupt departure, each ending, each page that was turned into what I didn’t know, resulted in me being happier, healthier, more invested in my life.
I wish that I could say that I wasn’t afraid to flip that page, but often I am. Not content so much with what I have but the fear of what lies on the next page, next chapter, so daunting to me that I fear it. Which is mostly silly since I can review the book of my life so far and see that it is a story with grit, heart, immeasurable love, growth, change, and the heroine (that would be me) always comes out ahead...at least thus far.
And, like everyone else on this planet, I am going to ultimately lose the fight. I am going to die. I am going to, if I am really lucky, live a long life that will result in my death.
Which brings me to a question...
Why, if that is everyone’s fate, are we so afraid while we are here? Afraid to love, to lose, to turn that fucking page? I mean, sure there are things that we fear along the way, but most of them don’t really rival death! So why do we stay in that crappy job, the horrible marriage, the friendship that blows? Why do we willingly accept a living death when the real one can come at any time?
I think we would all like to believe that we are responsible for the page turning. But, alas, we are not. We are here to live the life we are given to the best of our ability and serve others. That is really all. Oh, we will pretend like it is about a whole bunch of other things but in the end who we loved and who loved us back is all that really matters. Did we show up, in our best skins and do the hard work of loving ourselves and those we chose to spend our lives with? That to me is the final question on the final moment. Did we love hard enough, long enough while all those pages turned?
Some of us have but a brief novel. Others lives more resemble War and Peace. The rest of us are somewhere in the middle of all too brief and way too long. If no one is getting out alive, why are we so fucking afraid to live, to be ourselves? To say the stuff we love, the things that hurt, the things that turn us on, and off and truly inhabit the lives we are given?
Life is going to turn pages whether we like it or not. Whether we embrace the page flipping or whether we stubbornly refuse and resist with all our might. It is going to happen anyway. The marriage can end, our loved ones can die or leave, or worse still, sit right next to us refusing to really, meaningfully participate in the life we share. We waste so much time, like we have been given filler pages that mean nothing. But every page counts. Every line, word, deed, action taken matters.
And since we are all careening to the end, death, why are we not enjoying it more? If death is the final chapter for all of us, why aren’t we enjoying every single moment of every single day, a page at a time?
For me, I think that I forget that pages and chapters are not promised. Sometimes, books, like lives, just kind of peter out. Sometimes, the book ends suddenly without warning or a neat wrap up.
So far, I can say empathically that every page I have turned has been worth the effort, worth the heartache, worth the pain. There is no page that has been turned by life that I regret or wish was different. I am happy with the book of my life so far. I have achieved a great deal, mostly on the inside, and am content with the life that I have. In fact, I love the mother fucking hell out of it. I am the most comfortable in my own skin that I have ever been. I spend a great deal of time in nature, surrounded by the things I truly love which are always found in the natural world. I love my family, my children bring me delight and love every single day. I love my pets and laugh with them and at them every day. I do meaningful work with wonderful people. I am healthy, well most of the time. Last night I may have eaten chocolate for dinner...
While I, like everyone else, hope beyond hope that my book of life has many more chapters...I am content right now with all that has been written, every page turned has resulted in me being more me, less afraid and more present in this life. I am grateful for the journey and hope that I am blessed with many more blank pages upon which to write this life story of mine.
So turn the page. Allow life to write a new chapter for you instead of holding on so tightly to the script you have written for yourself. Allow life to be the author and you more of the reader. Life will always stun, surprise and delight you if you let it turn the pages. Be less afraid of what is coming for you, it is death to be clear. So every day you are blessed enough to be given another moment above the dirt, is a good day. And since you are above ground walking around, you might as well find out how you can be of maximum service to those about you, because what I am learning is that it is all about the connections we make that make this whole life journey worthwhile. Love, always, completely and with abandon. Love like your life depends upon it, because it totally fucking does.