whether or not we choose to acknowledge and claim it, we are all living on the edge. some of us are better planners. some of us buy travel insurance. some of us decorate our skin with tattoos that express the person we know we will always be. some of us can hardly commit to a nice sleeping bag (and certainly not without a thorough spoken analysis in which pros and cons are weighed before a captive audience), let alone purchase real estate or decide on a paint color (i had my new year’s eve guests tally their votes on paint samples taped to the wall). it’s not really the struggle of indecisiveness that’s at play here, but the basing of actions on a staunch commitment to permanence as we know it. i witness friends making choices with an air of confidence and self awareness that, at first glance, leaves me envious. i wonder if it’s calming to make smaller moves when they are part of a 10-year plan, but i’ll certainly never know what that’s like. as i dig beyond the initial envy of what i identify as “having it together”, i realize that this has very little to do with confidence and a lot more to do with convincing ourselves that we aren’t afraid that things might not go according to plan.
i find myself to be more and more of a risk taker these days– not in an invigorating, adrenaline-rushing way. it’s closer to an acceptance that being a person is scary and, regardless of the posture we assume, there is no such thing as a sure thing. mystery will always be at work in our lives, no matter how feverishly we prepare for and expect the known. the only thing we can really plan for is for our plans to be turned upside-down.
maybe it is a matter of simply speaking aloud what it is that we want or where we feel led to go. we can say it out loud it and give our desires some breath. maybe someone will hear us and hold us to it. and hopefully that person will also sit with us when things change and it’s time to say some new things out loud. so yes, i can make some declarations to mark an alleged commitment to go out and get what i want. it doesn’t mean i’m married to the plan. it doesn’t even mean any of it will come to life, but there’s something helpful about saying the words, claiming it, all the while expecting to trail off in some other direction.
you’re blindfolded and dizzy, wielding a broomstick, and however ineffective, it’s nice when the person grabs your shoulders and attempts to point you in the general direction of the piñata. and you just start swinging and try not to hit any of your friends.