Ending and Beginnings: Happy New Year

 

A shofar made from a ram's horn is traditional...

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I know, New Year’s Day isn’t until January 1; but I still live in the cycle of the school year (as well as loving Rosh Hashana), so the beginning of the new year comes at the end of summer when school is about to start. That is the end of whatever summer adventures you have been living, and the beginning of the next adventure. This year, in particular, my life begins another chapter. We move to a new home, new jobs, and for me a new start to a career that has been struggling to some extent. Not completely, I guess. My career path has just taken so many twists and turns that I can no longer define it. When I was watching Eat, Pray, Love the other day I reflected on what one word describes me (for those of you who haven’t seen or read it, the search for that word plays a big role). I do not know my word right now. I cannot be defined by my career because it is so complicated. I am more than wife, mother, friend. I am hoping that this next year, this new beginning, allows me to discover that word. I don’t know why it is important to define ourselves, but I believe it is. I know I have been searching for something for a long time now, and that something involves my definition of self. Hopefully, as I move away from the negativity that has surrounded me for the past few years, I can reclaim the mysterious being that is me. I am very excited to be going back to teaching what I love and doing what I love. I don’t regret the experiences of the past few years, as they have made me grow in so many ways. I know, however, that this particular ending and beginning will just make the adventure all the sweeter.

On Selfishness and Stupidity

It amazes me how stupid, selfish, and disrespectful people seem to be in this world. I don’t know if that is a new thing or simply part of human nature, but I have a hard time comprehending it. I know I can be selfish about some things, but it is very rare that I do something that disregards the needs of others. I mean, my own selfishness is about taking time off, letting myself sleep in, reading a decadent book all day–things like that. I have never gone and trashed someone else’s space in drunken debauchery. I rarely even experience drunken debauchery (although I admit to drinking more this summer than I have in a long time). I never could comprehend how people allowed themselves to lose control like that, to the point of completely disregarding the people around them. Maybe I’m missing out because I’ve never let myself be that free, but you know what . . . I’d rather be myself than someone who may know how to have a good time but doesn’t know how to be a good person.

Remembering the Past, Living the Present, Wondering about the Future

I have been thinking a lot about time lately. I have a story, yet to be completely written, that convolutes the past, present and future of the two protagonists in a way that defines them and gives them both strength. That sounds complicated, but someday I hope to make sense of it on the page. Today, however, I’m reflecting on the complexity of time in my own life. Forgive me if my thoughts  take you on a rambling path to nowhere.

Every day I try to encourage my daughter to live in the Now, to focus on the things that are happening at that moment in time and enjoy the adventure.  She bounces from the past to the future in the blink of an eye, and cannot seem to embrace the present.  This makes her constantly worried about something, whether it is missing her friends or making new ones. Watching her struggle with this has honestly helped me ground myself in the present, but only somewhat.

I too, often reflect on the past–either with fond memories or regret. I sometimes think that we look at our past with rose-colored glasses. When living the events, the realities were probably never as perfect as how we perceive them through time. We forget the mundane, and to some extent we forget the pain, and we focus on the moments that make the somewhen seem somehow better than the now.  But, at the same time, I often have the moments that I call “should have, could have, would have” moments; the moments that I wonder if I had done something differently, would it have made a difference Now. I try very hard not to dwell on those moments, but there are times that is very difficult. I find that, being in touch with my past through Facebook (as I reconnect with friends) can make those moments stronger. I wonder, is it better to let your past go completely and not connect with the friends who make you doubt, or to confront the issues of the past in the hopes that you can truly let them go?

I too wonder about the future, but I have no clear concept of what that future might hold. My life has been changing too quickly and taking unexpected paths, so I can’t even hold onto a clear goal. So many books talk about the importance of manifesting your dreams, envisioning what you want in order to achieve your goals. But I’ve lost sight of how to do that. In my past, I believe, I had a much clearer vision of the future. While I have achieved many of the things from the past vision, I don’t know that I have achieved them all, and I no longer see a clear path to the future.

My past, my present, and my future are living and breathing inside me. I wonder where they will take me.

Electrical Magic

 

Intercloud lightnings over Toulouse (France). ...

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The skies were full of magic last night. Lightning flashes, thunder crashes for hours on end. The world was full of power. It always feels like mystical things can happy during those kind of storms. If only I knew how to tap into that magical energy, I believe anything could happen. But, I couldn’t get past the complex storm in my head. My mind bounced from thought to thought, confusion to confusion, fear to fear. The dogs shook in fear, and I focused on them. My mind screamed for rest and sleep, but deep inside I was also yearning for the magic. How does one reach that mystical power that I know is there?

I guess I’ll just keep trying.