Be patient toward all that is unsolved in our heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers which can not be given you because you would not be able to live them and the point is to live everything. Live the questions now.
-Rainer Maria Rilke
I turned 33 a couple of weeks ago. It put me into something of a tailspin.
It was not a freak out of the Holy Crap, I’m Getting Old variety – I don’t do that. I see death as the only other viable option to ageing, so I never complain about it.
Nevertheless, a few days before my birthday, I was sitting on the couch blubbering about not knowing what I am doing with my life, while blowing snot bubbles at my husband.
Having a birthday in late December means all my ideas about what I should have accomplished by now, coincides with everyone else making resolutions and talking about starting fresh etc., etc. Now, I love me some reflection, but this double dose is enough to make a girl go fetal with self-analysis.
So, when the sputtering stops and I can get some perspective on my first world white girl problems, I say – I’m going to refocus. Recommit to my writing. Get my meditation and yoga back on track. Make something beautiful with my life. Don’t take things for granted. Be present. Live authentically, without fear of judgement. Stop eating so much sugar.
There. Life crisis averted. Right?
But then my brain chimes in. My brain (who is, quite frankly, something of an asshole) says things like “why do you need all this renewal yet again? Why didn’t it stick last time? What is wrong with you? If you were an authentically present and grateful and passionate person it would all just come naturally. If you were really a writer, you would just write.”
See? I know. Asshole.
But here is the thing. Of course I need to refocus. Of course I need to nourish my soul again. One wake up call never lasts forever, you need to reboot all along the way. It’s like saying that one rain should have nourished the land completely. No one says, “Why does it need more rain? Didn’t it get it the first time?”
There will always be questions and the answers will come in their own time. But I can only drink in so much at once; I can only take in what I am ready to receive. When the feeling of being lost comes again, I need to clear a space, still myself, and trust that the rains will come again to renew me. I try to live the questions, even be kind towards them, until the rains wash away what is no longer needed and breathe new life into what remains.
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