Beware readers… I have decided to go deep today. I am not sure how many of you will be able to relate to what I am going to write because people usually start to look around the room uncomfortably when I bring this kind of stuff up, or their eyes glaze over like they are going to fall asleep. Sometimes they just go ahead and order another cocktail or glass (or probably bottle) of wine and then try (quickly) to change the subject.
But I am writing it anyway, even if only for myself. Hopefully at least one reader will relate, and possibly even have something to say in response. I would love that!
As a young child I thought that the people on the television screen were actually inside of my little t.v. set. When I learned otherwise I was completely amazed by the fact that television had been invented, and that these little people were actually on a set somewhere, and that people all over the country, if not the world, were watching them at the same time that I was.
How did they do that? I wondered.
And then there were airplanes. My family flew often, on and off of big jets, primarily 747’s (the ones with the living rooms upstairs if you remember that — it was totally cool). I would look out of the window in amazement. Sometimes we were right in the middle of clouds. How could such a gigantic and heavy airplane with so many people inside of them fly in the sky I wondered?
I was certain that there was another planet somewhere with another “me” on it. Why should Earth be the only planet that had humans? Surely all of us were living parallel lives elsewhere. And then that changed somewhat and I just started to think that there was life of some sort on other planets, even if they were not human beings like me. After all, why not?
Was there a God I wondered as I grew into an adolescent and then a teenager? Had he truly created all of this? It seemed like so much. Some people said that there was just a Big Bang or something — lots of gases exploding — whatever. But then where did the gases come from I wondered? Something had to have created those. How could something come out of nothing? And really, what was nothing?
Maybe I’m not really alive, I would sometimes think. Maybe I am just imagining this whole life. And why, with all of these questions, did every little thing seem so important? Would I get the Frye boots that I had been begging my parents for all summer? I was dying to wear them to my first day of high school. What would happen if my SAT scores were lower than I had hoped and I had to go to a different college? How would my life be different if I had taken a left turn on my bicycle one day instead of a right and had not met my new “best” friend?
How would I be different if I had grown up in a different family? Or in a different state? Or even a different country?
Why did I feel so different from everybody in my family? Should I go to college, or should I join the Peace Corps instead, and help people less fortunate than myself? Should I continue to let my parents pay for my education or should I join the army (really… I did ponder that!) and have my education paid for by them?
Sometimes nature bewildered me, especially when I saw things that were just so amazing. The ocean has always moved me more than anything. As a child I had looked at the horizon, and understood why people used to believe that the world was flat. Then I would imagine swimming all the way out to the horizon, but realizing that I would never reach it because the farther I swam the farther the next horizon would be.
You are never “there” my yoga teacher Elizabeth told me the other day. When you get “there” it is “here”. Stay in the moment I realized. Slow down. Be okay here today, right now.
How could the world be a round globe spinning at lightning speed? That was crazy I always thought, and I still do. What prevents us from falling off? And why are we here anyway? What is the meaning of all of this life that we live?
“Enjoy each day because it could be your last”, my father has always told me. These words are so easy to say but often not so easy to live by. We get caught up in the minutae of living every day. Paying our bills. Sleeping. Eating. Working. Trying to get things done. Working on relationships. Raising our children. Showering and brushing our teeth. Shopping and cleaning. There is so much to do every single day. Enjoy? Hard to find enough time sometimes.
But I try. I do try to enjoy every day, and not just because it could be my last. I try to enjoy each day because, for some bizarre reason, I am here. We are all here, spinning on this miraculous planet every day.
The Dinosaur Age ended, I often think. The Earth changed drastically, and eventually humans evolved. So what is next? I am certain that we are killing our planet as we know it. Pollution. Extinction. Global warming. Are we supposed to change all of this or is it just too late? Is the “something” that has caused everything prior to this already on the track to the next Earth? Maybe there is just nothing we can do about it.
The last thing I want to talk about before I leave for work (yes, I have to leave soon…) is having a baby. I hated being pregnant with my first baby. My body looked ridiculous to me. I was nauseous all the time. I could not sleep properly. Everything was just so off kilter. Why can’t this baby just be born in an incubator or something I wondered? We have come so far with Science and Technology, wasn’t this lugging a baby around in our stomachs antiquated already? After all, we could fly to outer space. We could cure diseases. Why were we being bogged down by this pregnancy business?
The minute my daughter was born I experienced a miracle. After forty weeks of misery I finally understood why I had endured that pregnancy, and I would have done it again at any cost. My perfect little baby was handed to me and I felt a love like nothing that I had ever experienced before. This little tiny baby had grown inside of me! She had hair and tiny little fingernails and toenails. She was perfection. And we knew each other right away. Our love for each other was immediate and intense. She was nothing like I had expected, yet everything and more than I had ever wished for.
I did it again with my son, and although I was just as sick the second time around I was not as miserable, as I knew the joy that awaited me at the end. My children are the two biggest gifts that I have ever been awarded.
And life is a miracle.