“Somewhere in the conversation we never have, lies an issue we never resolve.”
I opened my mouth, almost said something.
The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had.
But I didn’t.
The Kite Runner
my entire life is me dropping things and whispering ‘fuck’
like objects, dreams, expectations, opportunities and relationships
Figuring out life sucks.
I don’t care if you are 15, 35 or 55 … you are still trying to figure it out. And if you don’t believe that … well … you are just lying to yourself. Maybe more importantly is that somewhere in that conversation … the one which you don’t seem willing to have … lies that issue.
I am not suggesting this is some huge thing that is going to ultimately keep you from being happy or enjoying a highly productive Life.
But what I am suggesting is that we behaviorally ‘follow’ Life. I sometimes call the way we live ‘lily pad living.’ It’s not that we don’t plan or have plans its just that everyday Life demands a certain amount of focus … and that focus makes you … well … focus on short & midterm survival & success than it does longer term ‘figuring it all out’ horizon estimation type thinking.
And, once again, I am not suggesting this is some huge thing that is going to ultimately keep you from being happy or enjoying a highly productive Life.
We land on a lily pad and then look around for either the one lily pad we should jump onto or seek a lily pad we want to jump on to. Those are kind of the two non’ just survival’ choices you have. And then you jump. Land. Steady yourself and do what you need to do to be successful while on that particular lily pad.
This type of living can be pretty darn satisfying. You get to do some jumping. You get to encounter a little risk <you do have to make it to the lily pad>. You have some steadiness & consistency — one lily pad often has many of the characteristics of all the other lily pads as well as lily pads are typically stable and rarely die.
But all that jumping from one pad to pad after doing what you need to do on a pad and then looking around for another lily pad does not really leave you a lot of time to have lots of conversations with yourself.
And then … even if you did?
Life doesn’t really show you many lily pads farther than you can actually see from where you are.
This means … well … conversations in your own head, with yourself, have a boatload of conceptual what ifs and maybes and what could possibly be’s.
It is within some silent place in our heads where the conversation awaits.
I imagine the tricky part is that if you haven’t had the conversation with yourself that doesn’t mean you have stopped living Life. And Life demands that you have some image <even if it is simply an image created by what lily pads you landed on and what you did while on that lily pad>.
That could possibly mean behind this public image is a silent place in our mind which kind of is waiting behind all the thoughts, opinions and attitudes we most likely have held onto with ragged claws publicly.
Privately, in some conversation we hesitate to have, we ask ourselves … “why did I hold on to those things with ragged claws?”
No wonder we don’t have this conversation. All we do is start questioning not only why the hell I jumped on some lily pads when maybe I could have jumped on others … but … we start questioning what we believe and what we opinions we have shared.
But … when we do?
Without trying to be sexist … I tend to believe this is the conversation between “the big men and little men” <or the “big woman and little woman”> in our heads. We don’t really want to have the conversation and many of us do our best to never have it. But, for most of us, it will happen at some point.
I shared the big/little thought as I thought about what Jackie Kennedy said:
“The danger which troubled my husband was that war might be started not so much by the big men as by the little ones. While big men know the need for self-control and restraint, little men are sometimes moved more by fear and pride.”
That’s what happens in our head.
The war more often than not is fought by the ‘little men’ … fear & pride driven people.
I am fairly sure we really do have a conversation with ourselves … but I am just not sure it is the conversation.
That said, once again, I am not suggesting this is some huge thing that is going to ultimately keep you from being happy or enjoying a highly productive Life.
But because we don’t have that conversation … the issue is never resolved … and maybe we remain silent one day when some words would have changed the direction of our Life or maybe we drop things and whisper ‘fuck’ … dropping things like objects, dreams, expectations, opportunities and relationships.
I imagine that is my point.
The conversation we never have could cost us some ‘maybes.’ And in a big huge messy slightly chaotic Life … maybes are some fairly valuable things. Possibly not as valuable as ‘sure things’ but I could argue that Life offers you a shitload more maybes than it does sure things.
Figuring out Life sucks.
At any age.
What I would suggest is that sacrificing maybes is not exactly the best strategy to actually attempting to figure it out. I am not suggesting it guarantees you figure it out to explore the best maybes you can … but I have to imagine it increases the odds you actually get a little closer to whatever ‘figuring out’ actually is.
But … what do I know?
I am the guy who loves the thought of having “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world” on my headstone.
To me … the quarrel is what I have figured out Life to be.
If you have a chance, take the opportunity to explore the silence of another world that awaits you … and a conversation you can have. It may be the best conversation you have ever had.
“Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits.”