Anyone, Everything

I don’t know how you’re feeling. I don’t know who needs to hear this. And I don’t know how to make things right.

But if you, like me, are at a loss today: of understanding, of confidence, of words. Then I will speak for you:

You are enough.

You are not alone.

It’s okay to be scared of the future.

It’s okay to be angry and upset.

It’s okay to emote and not hide.

It’s okay not to feel anything at all.

Like I said, I don’t know what you’re feeling at this time. But I’m here to tell anyone, that feeling everything at once is okay. You’ve got a lot going on, and your plate is full. We have a lot going on, and our plate is full. So, drink deeply of your emotions and take one mouthful at a time.

Love,

Bailey

Held Back

I’m not sure if anyone gets held back in school anymore. I feel like nowadays students can go to summer school or do some extra credit to boost their scores and keep themselves from becoming little Ferris Buellers. But once upon a time, if you failed a couple classes in a grade, then you would have to stay back until you were taught a thing or two.

Sometimes, I think life is holding me back a grade.

Why? Because I can’t seem to move forward. And I’m sure at one point, everyone has felt this way. But if you haven’t, it sort of feels like you should have accomplished so much more at this time in your life. It’s a crippling sense of your own personal failure, and it is coupled with the aromatic scent of ramen noodles and spilled beer.

I mean, I am constantly hearing how one decision someone made in their twenties completely changed everything for them. Yes, the moment I decided to live in the wilderness of Alaska is when I realized that I was meant to be a tuba player. 

So, I ask myself: Shouldn’t I be doing something…I don’t know…important? Before I get too numb to the world and start having sleep-deprivating children?

And the troubling part is every other 20-something I know (EXCEPT ME) seems like they’re moving right along in the current called life. They’ve already figured it out. They land a job, move out, and find their soulmate in about a month. And a month later, they’re pregnant. Not that I’m totally envious of all that. (I like sleep way more than I’d like a child right now. But you can eat whatever you want…)

But really, what gives?

And sure, everyone tells you that you shouldn’t rush it. You’ll get there. You’re a late bloomer. You’ll figure it all out. But I can’t help but think that I’ve been waiting my whole life to grow up. And at the same time, I’m still waiting for it to hit me that I already am.

Which is why I’ve come to the very sound hypothesis that I’m being held back a grade in life. For some reason, the universe is confident that I am not ready. And if I think about it, I think whoever is making that decision is right. I’m not ready. I need time to puzzle things out about the rest of my life, even though the calendar says that it’s time that I had everything together.

But more than that, I also feel that I have more to learn. I honestly think that life has been trying to show me, trying to help me understand, what I need to do to pass this grade level, and I’ve been ignoring it. It’s like I have a blindfold on, and I’m lifting my foot up to step over an obstacle, but when my foot hits brick, I realize that I can’t step over the obstacle because it is an entire wall that I need to scale. So, I reach out and feel along the wall and realize that I don’t have the tools for climbing the wall, either. I’m not equipped yet, and I think life knows it. But I’m also not sure when that will happen for me. So, I grow impatient, and I bloody my knuckles from hitting the wall out of frustration.

The point is, I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing or even when I’ll get there. That’s for life to decide. But I also need to trust in the process. Because I’ve always been exactly where I’ve needed to be before. And I will get there again, someday. And so, assuredly, will you.

That is Not What I Meant At All; That is Not It, At All.

That is one line in “The Love Song by J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot.

It’s a gorgeous poem, and if you get a chance, you should read it. (I’ll even pardon you if you must leave this blog to go read it. But you should come back because I have other things to say.)

Although the poem has such gems as Do I dare disturb the universe? or In the room the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo, the most powerful line for me is the one I’ve inserted into the title.

Because it’s absolutely mad.

I mean, you have to be a famous poet to write that line. To suggest that when people misinterpret what you say, you will have the chance to correct them. Wow. I mean, that deserves some applause. “That is not what I meant at all; that is not it, at all.” Do you know how the world replies to that? Too bad.

Because everyone is off and judging before the word “go.” Anything you ever write or say or do is going to be misinterpreted and misjudged. Whether you meant anything by it or not, people will read between the lines that you never intended. I wish there was a nicer way to say this, but chances are you will never give off the impression that you want. Meaning is not for you to hold on to; it is for the world to decide.

So, if it doesn’t matter what you mean, why am I telling you this? If you can never make people understand your exact vision, then what’s the point?

The point is you can’t hide because you aren’t sure of the impression you will make. Simultaneously, you cannot try to tell people that they aren’t understanding you correctly. Because that’s an endeavor in futility. It’s like standing in a modern art museum and trying to convince everyone that every piece deserves to be there. It’s simply not happening. Besides, in everyone’s minds, they are the masterful painter of their own reality, not you.

So, let people think what they will, and try your best not to correct them. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, whether you believe it or not.