Tuesday, May 15, 2012
swirling in a petri dish
that's what it feels like some days, an experiment. i'm talking about this existence where we put one foot in front of the other and take tiny baby steps, trying to reach out and figure out how to move along, sometimes barely muddling along, and do the best we can.
who am i? i started out as a daughter—someone's child—then became a friend, a sister (also cousin, niece, granddaughter....), a lover, a wife, a mother. now i am on the verge, on the very cusp, of something brand new, too.
do i define myself by my relationships or do i define myself by what i do? am i a fireman, a nurse, a business manager, a pilot, a teacher, a lawyer, a shopgirl, a student, a bureaucrat, a writer, an artist? (a list like this reminds me of that game of jumprope we girls used to play as children where we sang out doctor, lawyer, indian chief, hobo, bozo, millionaire, thief.....or something like that, and the word we were saying when we tripped on the rope described with a single word the entirety of who our husband would be.)
i look through the glass and into the dish. what's in there? who's in there? who is struggling to get out? describe her. at this stage in my life i am finally realizing i am all these things and many, many more—they are the chunks that form the foundation of me.
when those sections of ourselves—of me, of you, of us—that ultimately combine into the whole swirl around—oftentimes blindly—they encounter trouble and hurt and frustration and failure, but also great joy. i guess what i'm trying to say is we never know where we'll end up or how much we'll stumble and fall trying to get here, there or anywhere, but the point is we're all doing it together, we're in this thing together. we humans are always falling down and getting up again, we're peeking over the top of the dish ready to pop out any minute and move on, hopefully not looking back too much, but rather focused mostly on forward. onward. completion.
i am in constant motion, cruising from being a daughter to a friend to a mother to a neighbor to a wife and now—oh happy day—almost a grandmother. one more description of me to add to my long, developing list, a compilation of the fabulous, thrilling mix, the experiment that is life here on earth.