Saturday, July 31, 2010

On Enjoying the Agency of Others

There is so much in this life that we can affect, that we can choose for ourselves, how we can determine our attitude and destiny in so many ways. But then there are some things where our lives are incredibly affected by the choices that others make. There are the moments when others lift us when we fall, when someone tells us something we would have never thought on our own, but resonates so soundly with us, that in an instant, it becomes part of who we are.

It can affect us negatively too, in the form of abuse and intentional, or even unintentional hurting. There are lots of moments of uncertainty that come to our lives because of the agency of others, if we care about them, while they are making a decision, seeing what they will do, and how that will affect us.

This is the kind of thing that has in the past had the tendency to drive me crazy. If there is a possibility of some upheaval, I will just assume it is going to happen, so I do not have to deal with the reality of uncertainty. Uncertainty has been the state I try to avoid more than anything. Pain I at least have some coping for.

But now I am trying to embrace the uncertainty that others bring into my life. Embrace the thought that I don't know where tomorrow will lead, that the possibilities are there, and not all of the choices are mine to make to see where my life goes. To give up control of my life where I never really had it except in the artifice of my own mind. And to enjoy the uncertainty.

There is something thrilling about it. It is exciting, though it is really not doing -anything-.

I've come to this point after taking a while to just notice and analyze how other people's choices affect the relationships I have with them. It started with my ex leaving, but I've been noticing lots of things since, how other people's choices affect me, how they keep on choosing things even if I wait to choose, just sit back to analyze (which is a choice in itself I realize), and how life keeps going on, and I don't have to make it. And that there are plenty of people out there who willingly choose to be in my company, and treat me well, and appreciate me for who I am.

It feels like a river of choices, flowing all around me, and I know mine affect me the most, most determine where I will go, but the other choices matter a lot too. And when I don't know what someone else is going to choose, I can wait and see, and just enjoy the ride. For it is thrilling.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cosmic moments and the ordinary

There are these cosmic moments, the moments where lives hang in the balance, when life's purpose is evident, and life is full of meaning, because of the very choices being made in that moment.

But these moments pass. Not every decision is wrought with that intensity of feeling, and the knowledge of the all-important purpose. The majority of decisions in life are tiny, and feel so insignificant as to be purposeless. Showering, doing dishes, driving to work, what song to listen to on the radio, what to eat for dinner, what to do for entertainment. Contrasted with the potential actions that could help save or lose a life, with the huge changes that are made, marriage, divorce, children, moving. All these small decisions can begin to feel automatic, and meaningless.

But a choice is a choice. There is cosmic significance in the very act of choosing. We alter the course of our lives through the choices we make. That is the power we have. To alter ourselves, to alter our interactions with others.

I feel like in writing, it all comes to rest around these cosmic moments. It is not just some every day person doing some every day thing, though I do enjoy writing about those things. A person enjoying the first strawberry of the season. It is a scene, but not a story.

When I think of how important this day really is, in the scheme of things, it makes me want to weep, for I feel I have utterly wasted it. I have let myself get beaten down by little things that should not matter. Whether it is today or a thousand years from now, the only time I have to experience is now. I deserve happiness now, in this moment, and if I am not, I should be working towards it.

Today is not a cosmic moment. It is one more day in the uphill struggle for happiness. It is a fight against the current, to not let all the reasons to be unhappy win out, but to struggle for happiness, and end with a smile on my face, perhaps tears in my eyes, but tears that I know will dry into joy.

I love being alive, in this totally ordinary moment that seems inconsequential. The only thing that makes this moment matter is that I am choosing to be happy. That I am taking my ability to choose and using it. And I smile.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

There are angels all around us

I got food poisoning last night, and woke up four times throughout the night to empty the entire contents of my stomach. I woke up this morning with my stomach feeling a little uneasy, and incredible weak. I thought it would be good to just have some juice, and so I went into the kitchen to mix up some juice, and was overcome by my weakness, and had to sit down before I had even been in the kitchen a couple seconds. So I went back to my room, and got in bed, and called my sister, and asked if she had any juice or ice cream.

She brought me over both, and after a bowl of ice cream, I feel ten times better. An hour ago, I thought there was very little chance I would be able to make it to work, but now I feel like I can get myself some food together, and get ready and go and work.

I was thinking about this moment of weakness, and how dependent we are on other people. I was thinking about what if I was completely on my own. I probably would have tried to make the juice eventually anyway, and maybe I would have fainted, and be in an even worse position.

But today, I had my sister there, who I could call, and in a minute was over here getting me a bowl of ice cream, and giving me strength I could not have on my own. She was my angel today.

I didn't realize it until someone else called me an angel for being able to reach out to her, and offer my consolation to her. When we lift one person up, we lift up so much more than one. There are angels all around us, who help us in our times of need. I'm so grateful for my angel sister.