Another year of life has come to a close. As that one leaves, a new one is budding in the wings, waiting to make its stage debut. It has watched this year closely, paid attention like a good understudy, yet it has intentions to make last second decisions and change things up a bit. To be out there on the stage, improvising, where no one can stop it. I feel its rapid heartbeat and know it to be not of nervousness, but anticipation of greatness.
This last year my mortality has loomed in a way it never has before. I have never doubted that I would not live forever; however I have always known the chances were good I will live a longer life than many people that I know. Its a gut feeling. There is no good explanation, other than that I don't smoke and I have no immediate blood relatives whom have had cancer. In fact, the distant relatives that left this world too early put themselves at great risk with their own actions.
Certain events of the past few years have had the effect of slowing things down. Most of the time, I feel as if life is passing so quickly, years flipping like pages in a picture book, with only glimpses and snatches of what is happening even making it to my eyes for comprehension. Now its going slowly, for just a bit. Its as if I am looking around, realizing not just how long I have been around, but how much longer I probably have. How much change I could be affecting. How many things I could do. People I could meet. I have years and years.
Lately I had started to feel like the years were going to drag on. Instead of stretching out before me as the unfinished promise of a long life to lead, I worried. Illnesses, injuries, chronic disease and suffering could take over, get worse and pull me slowly toward death... instead of the catapult I would surely want by then.
Just in time to feel sorry for myself came strength. The will to take charge, to get a better understanding. To gather myself up off the ground and peel away from the self sabotage. I don't have time for this, I have shit to do! That voice is always louder. Which is why I am not prone to long periods of depression. I could spend my time more effectively by telling someone what to do, giving out the free unsolicited advice I am known for...Really though... I know that I am not here for me. None of us are. We are here for us. We are all here as part of a collective group, we are here to push each other forward, to progress not as individuals but as an entity.
Its not what it sounds like. Depending on who you are, it might even be worse than it sounds. And yes, it's all hippie and shit, wearing beads with no shower in sight... I know that in order to do my best work, I have to do something that pushes other people up, not just fill my pockets. I have to learn and teach. GROW and help others grow.I have to help other people change so that I can BECOME.
The only way for me to live is to HELP. To INSPIRE. It may or may not make me rich, that much I don't know. But clearing the copier of a jam because someone sent through a stapled document is not going to cut it. I only feel alive when I get it. Really really get it. And then when I can show to someone else how to see through the crap, how to reach through to what they can be. I can't do anything past that. Everyone steers their own ship in the end. But so often, just opening the blinds for them is more than enough.
I will say though, that the surprising thing about getting older is that the slowing down every once in a while is more helpful than I previously thought. My body won't do what I want it to do when I snap my fingers. I have to teach it and reteach it new things. This takes time and has its ups and downs. It has developed its own system for being angry with me and has spitefully made every simple ailment a much bigger deal. It throws tantrums like a toddler, only you can't ignore it because it knows how to get to you.
I've learned to get better. I'm learning to put up with limitations and not see this as falling apart, but rather as slowing down to pay attention. The things I'm able to see when I look around at this slower pace are amazing. The inconsequential nature of daily activities that don't involve relating to people, making the world a better place or enjoying all that you have becomes crystal clear.
Fall apart sometime. Sit down, have a big ol' red-eye cry. Take a few days off. Walk around your neighborhood. See things you can't see when you are just driving by, on your way to somewhere you don't really want to be. Slow down. Tear away at the daily bits. See what is right in front of you. I can't recommend it highly enough.