As is usually the case when life throws me a curveball, I’ve been taking some time to reflect on things this morning. I’ll be seeing my father on Sunday and I’m hoping things will clear up sufficiently that he doesn’t need to lose his leg to this. He needs a good scare to help him get his shit together. I know what to say for encouragement when I see him, and hopefully it’ll have the impact I want. We’ll see.
It seems to me that every time I think I’m in the clear again, life packs another punch against me. Then it occurs to me that that’s a little grandiose a notion, and that I’m probably not nearly as important a target in the grand scheme of things as I might like to think I am, and this, as opposed to all appearances, is just how life rolls. It’s like they say, if it was supposed to be a good time, we’d be paying admission, don’t you think?
Every now and then, I’m struck by the immensity of it all. Aren’t you? One small planet, one fraction of space, and yet there are six billion people on this planet, and a good many of them facing every bit of the adversity I face on a daily basis, if not far, far more. And yet we all share so little of that pain and tribulation we endure. And yet we learn so little from it.
Me, I hate the adversity sometimes, but this morning I was sitting there somewhere in the midst of my coffee and a thought occurred. I’m so fortunate that I’m able to learn from these things, I thought.
I’ve always believed that I’m fairly good at distilling the happenstance of life into the meaning of life. I think I take all the events that I’m fortunate, or not so much so, enough to experience and glean from them some kind of meaning that makes it all somewhat worthwhile. Knowing that every experience brings with it some wisdom or understanding sometimes makes it easier to endure while it’s coming down the pipes.
But, you know what? It only works if I share it with others. I have to be able to trust others and let them in during those harder times, or else the voices in my head get a little too loud for comfort, if you know what I mean? The inner dialogue, not multiple-personality disorder. Heh.
When I was unable to convey what I was experiencing to others, say seven years ago after Mom’s death, life was harder. Much. I always, always had huge issues with trust. I wouldn’t tell people what I was experiencing, and I sure as hell couldn’t open up. Learning to trust has been the hardest journey of my life, but I think I’ve made the last leg of it this past year.
(Perhaps you don’t know that about me, but this blog has definitely been a record of a personal journey as much as anything else you might think it to be.)
And the trust part of my life has only been underway in the last five years. Slowly I’ve learned to let people in. Used to be that you had to know me for years to get under my shell, but nowadays I seem to have a multi-week plan for schooling new folk in the life of Steff. And it feels great.
It seems to me that everyone needs to come upon the lesson of learning to trust in their own time. I think what winds up happening is that you open up and trust someone, then you realize you’re not going to self-detonate as soon as you reveal your innermost thoughts. This is new, you think. Then, something happens and that trust goes awry, and through all the frustration and sadness or even pain, you realize you didn’t crumble and die. “Strong. Like truck?” you wonder. Then you decide, while it was good, the trusting thing made the rest of it all worthwhile.
It’s really that simple. A cliché. The doing of it hurts far less than never doing it at all. The doing of it is worth every bit of the struggles endured along the way. And it’s amazing how stupid we are in the face of that simple truth. It seems we don’t trust anything that seems so simple. So, we stay boxed up, stoic, strong because we need to be, and we go without some of the greatest experiences we could ever have – the real bonds that form in the face of true trust. Instead, we reserve trust for a small handful of people in our lives. We put up facades for the rest.
We’re some very silly bears, it seems to me.
So, some hard times again, but one way or the other, I’ll live to see another day. Older/wiser, all that. The only thing I know is, I have absolutely zero power over what happens, so all I can do is take it as it comes. And maybe trust a friend or two to be there with me through the process.