Sometimes I think that I am the one that holds us back. I think that I am the problem. And I don’t even know why I can’t be honest with you. I know the feelings are there. It’s obvious. But you think I don’t know what I want, and sometimes I am afraid that you may be right. But how will we ever know what can be between us if I don’t take the leap. I know I am hot and cold, but I think you could be the one to help me. I can’t explain what I mean. But somewhere I just know that it can work. For some reason I feel like you have the patience and understanding to help me be unafraid of whatever it is that I am scared of. I never knew someone like you, and it may seem like I don’t know what I want but I do know. There is some pull that you have on me, and I know you think that it’s just the idea of us that I like more than the reality of it, and I know what happened in the past. But that was the past, this is now, and right now you are pulling on my heart. I know it seems confusing, and I don’t mean to appear so hot and cold, it’s just that I have never been able to let my guard down, but for you I want to try. You just have to help me, you just have to show me how. I know you feel it. So where do we go from here?
So I was just thinking the other day – you know about life and the people who walk in and out of it. It’s funny how you think you’ll be friends with someone forever, without really understanding what “forever” means. I think we like to kid ourselves – not in a bad way, more subconsciously kid ourselves into saying and believing in “forever.” It makes sense though, because who wants to think about the possibility of someone meaningful not being there the next day?
But what also goes along with people walking out, are those the pass within our reach as well. No one can leave without first walking in, and maybe this is why I am sitting here typing away. I think we forget about those moments where people can unexpectedly walk in – even if just for a moment.
I think in the midst of life’s confusing moments, conversation calms the storm. Earlier this week I had the opportunity to talk with someone who gave me perspective – a way to see my life through a new lens. First of all, I am by no means unhappy with where I am at in life, but I guess you could say I am more wandering with no particular end point. So we kind of had an informational meeting about life…about decisions that need to be made and about the possibilities that are before me. It’s refreshing how a conversation can change how you feel, especially with a stranger. I don’t really know what it is about talking to someone new – maybe it’s because they literally have no idea who you are and they have no preconceived idea of what type of individual you may be – but I always seem to come away feeling better.
So…basically the whole notion of walking in and out…of people slipping by and wandering in unexpectedly. I guess all I can say is this: no matter your opinion on their importance, both are inevitable and both teach you how to deal with the beautiful strangeness of life.
When we wander we usually find more than we are looking for. Often when we think we’re lost, we forget that with each step comes the excitement of the unknown. It just takes the courage to recognize that even the unfamiliar can bring new adventures, new hope. It requires an intimate look within, to accept that wandering does not mean you have lost your way through life. It does not mean that you have done something wrong, nor does it mean that you are any less worth the life you have been given. It just means that we each have our own path and that there are many opportunities and directions that we can choose to go.
So, the next time you find yourself questioning your purpose, your life, remember that wandering can bring with it the pleasure of something new, something that could change your life in a way that would have been impossible if you had decided to go right instead of left.
“Most of our life is a series of images. They pass us by like towns on the highway. But sometimes, a moment stuns us as it happens. And we know that this instant is more than a fleeting image. We know that this moment… every part of it… will live on forever.” — Lucas from One Tree Hill
I have recently been re-watching old episodes of One Tree Hill, and I forgot how much this show is a testament to life. It captures the simplicity and the beauty of the everyday, of the seemingly mundane pieces of life that most take for granted. I think what really kept me interested over the course of its nine seasons was its ability to take life, take the ordinary, and comment on how our relationships with each other reflect how we live and act in our own lives.
Oftentimes, it is in these everyday moments that an extraordinary one emerges. Take the life of the average person. That person has a family. They have friends. They interact with the world and move through it with an almost eerie sense of regularity. But then it happens. That stunning moment when the regular is turned on its head, when everything we are familiar with is challenged. And it always happens in the most unlikely of places, with the most unlikely of people, in the most unlikely of times. But then, when is life ever truly regular? No matter how hard we try to anticipate the slightest change, there is no lesson that teaches us to prepare for the stunning moments. And this is what the characters of One Tree Hill taught me. They taught me not to question the why’s and the how’s, because when we get lost in these questions, the moments slip by, and we miss out on something that could have changed our lives forever. Because you see, that’s the key, the most important part of the puzzle. We have to remember to hold on.
How do we know if we matter? How do we calculate our existence and our importance with others? Is it by the number of followers we have on Twitter or by the number of “friends” we have on Facebook? Things, most of which hold little meaning, have become important features in our lives. Obscure numbers that measure influence, so that we can compare said influence with others, has shifted into the front of what is important. Status has become something that we strive for, and whether or not we find truth in this idea, ignoring its presence is impossible.
So back to this idea of knowing if we matter. Where do I even begin tackling this concept, this age-old question that, I think, each of us encounters in our lives. Does mattering consist of someone just saying “I love you?” Does it mean gaining a specific number of followers? Is it measured by the amount of money we happen to donate? How do you quantify a person’s matter? While I am sure that a super genius somewhere in the world has come up with an equation, I like to think more abstractly, without science and without math. I think matter is never constant. It is never the same. It is adaptable. It changes with each individual.
Pick a major city and imagine the flood of people walking along the sidewalks. Some are on their phones. Some are humming to the music from their i-pods. Some are walking just for the sake of walking. And while these details are fun to notice, what is even better is the fact that each person quantifies and understands their importance differently. While there will be traces of similarities, there will also be differences, and it is in these differences that we realize the inability to clearly define how we matter. So where does this leave us? Well it leaves me with three paragraphs of words, but it also leaves me with the realization that each of us does matter, even if some of us do not always see it. We are breathing. We are living. We are here. That I am sure of, and because of this, we matter. In the simple act of living, of being present, we matter, regardless if our mattering mirrors the standards of society.