I’m evoking the indomitable spirit that I came into this world with. I was a handful as a toddler, my mother told me. I was not someone to be trifled with, even at two. I learned how to be cowed because of the violence I lived with, but staying oppressed has never been my nature. My mother says that I was always vocal about what I liked and didn’t like. I told her I was sorry for being a complainer, and she was quick to correct me that I never complained, I just let everyone know how I felt. I appreciate my mother making that distinction. I have never lost that quality, but I know it’s not always a strength.
I do pretty well in keeping quiet and trying to accept how things are rather than how I wish they were, but I can forgive myself more knowing that it’s a personality trait and not just dissatisfaction with life. If I have a purpose, and that quirk has never left me, I imagine that I am one of those people who provides an irritant until things change. Maintaining the status quo doesn’t allow creativity to flourish.
I can’t see myself as others see me, but I know that I’ve changed over the years, and I do the best I can in my life. I probably have less anger than fear at this point in my life, but the fear that remains sometimes stops me from pursuing my dreams. Anger is often useful to replace fear or procrastination. Unfortunately, the kind of anger my father had is usually sparked to memory when I’m angry, so it can also hurt more than help me.
Fortunately, I have an easy sense of humor which can trump both anger and fear. I have also found friends everywhere I’ve lived or gone, which has helped me through this life, and I enjoy the variety of personalities in this world. When I stayed at the hostel in Israel, the owners, Rachel and Rahmin, were wonderful hosts, and I was usually in the breakfast room before anyone else (or perhaps after everyone else!), but I got a chance to have conversations with Rachel on everything from religion and politics to the many people she has seen come and go through the years of running the hostel, and I was flattered that she felt I was one of the better ones. One of Rachel’s friends came to Haifa to stay for a week a few days after I arrived and we shared the women’s dorm for the rest of the week. She was a lovely, personable woman and we also talked a lot about life and humanity’s follies.
I was on a spiritual quest, and ironically found out that the path I was on was not the path for me in a traditional sense, but I still love aspects of the religion I was following at the time. I found out that I cannot tolerate having my life micro-managed by some unseen, unknowable essence, and while religions aren’t usually horrible, the followers can be.
I’m grateful that my early experiences made it nearly impossible for me to be a faithful follower or believer in anything. As a result, I’m forced to believe in myself, and trust that I’m where I’m supposed to be. It’s somewhat ‘Zen’-like that it’s the right path for me because I’m on it, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy walk.
I remember when I first got into a recovery group I learned that we were ‘trudging the road to happy destiny’, not skipping it. The recovery community has its own dysfunction through its followers, but I always defaulted to the founders who stated they ‘knew but a little’, that more would ‘constantly be revealed’. I began understanding that whenever you concretize a fluid principle, it starts to lose its meaning and value.
I especially appreciate Grandma Moses’ statement that: “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.