Writing, Running, Being.

The finish line is a shifty Thing and what is life, but reckoning?
Ani DiFranco

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

missing the point

There was this woman I used to run with in college. I think of her as "old" but she was probably only in her mid 30s and that was old to me then. She told me I had an "old soul" and that made me feel really cool and mature at the time. Now I believe it means I'm just jaded before my time. Years later, while celebrating a friend's birthday at a bar, I pointed out that I was the youngest in the group. Then my friend told me that I got "bonus years" for having a kid. Having a child has aged me a bit I guess. It has put this weird pressure on me to figure everything out. It's like I have to hurry up and find the meaning of life before my son grows up and becomes aware that I am just another person who knows nothing. He'll someday find that just because I have always told him what to do, doesn't mean I hold any kind of authority in the real world. That any idiot can have a child. It's easy. And you don't have to be smart, nice, or even CPR certified.

There is so much I don't understand. I just don't know how to teach the world to someone who knows nothing. I have come up with a game plan, and that is to expose my child to as much of the world as my heart will allow and hope he develops his own healthy view of it. Maybe he will come up with the answers that have always eluded me. The things I do know make very little sense to me and I'm better off not knowing them.

You can convince yourself that you want what you have or that you need something more. You can see love as a choice, an emotion or a declaration born of necessity. You can work hard and receive nothing or everything, but there's never a guarantee. Sometimes you get what you deserve and sometimes you have to take what you think you're entitled to. You can try so hard to forget things, that eventually you truly can't remember. You can try a little peace and quiet and if that doesn't work, fill yourself up with people and noise. You can play these games because it makes life pass more quickly, or slowly, whichever you prefer. You can keep dashing between opposing extremes until you are too exhausted to care and then you can stop thinking about life and just breathe.

On cold mornings you can see your breath. Believe in it because it is proof that you are living. And life doesn't have to mean anything. You should just allow it to happen because it will happen despite the conflicting meanings you have tried to attach to it. If you try too hard to find the meaning of life, you'll miss the point. It will happen before you figure out what it meant.


Barefoot AngieB said...

Fantastic post! I needed to go there today as I turn 33 and am thinking that yesterday I thought I felt old but I don't really today. I don't know what to think and its nice :)

Marny said...

Happy birthday!! Hope you have a fantastic day that includes a run and some GF cake :)

H. Brown said...
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H. Brown said...

okay i wanted to say more. angie, i know that feeling! and marny, what a great post, seriously. i'm inspired and encouraged, both by your beautiful voice and the understanding you express. i'm right there with you on all of it--except the kid part, but teaching is sort of similar, i guess. i totally relate to the feeling of wondering how to "teach the world to someone who knows nothing."

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

okay, really this is just a beautiful post. I'm in awe over here at the moment. just love it. I'm going to quote it as a few of my favs of the week.

thank you

Anne said...

What a beautiful post...you're an excellent writer...thanks.

LMC said...

This is an excellent post. So well written and insightful. I am not convinced that there is a meaning to life. Thus, I spend little to no time trying to figure it out. I do the best I can every day and every day my best differs. I don't have kids, but I think you have the right idea in your approach to show your child as much as your "heart will allow" and hope that when you give your child to the world, your love and all you've shown will be enough.
BTW, I came here by way of AM-Goals for the Week. I'm glad I came. Have a great weekend!

Janice said...

Wow! I just found your blog and love your post. I started reading because I have to respect anyone who quotes Ani DiFranco -- I'm such a fan of her music and poetry.

Marny said...

Thanks for all the kind comments! Oh and Janice- I get to see Ani in concert next week!