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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Missing Things

There is an enduring obstacle in life that when you accomplish something, it is done. Sometimes this is triumphant and satisfying. Sometimes, though, it begins an endless chain of 'what's next?'

Its always been hard for me to finish the last chapter of a book that I really loved, finish a movie I am really enjoying, or go to sleep after an absolutely perfect day. I am always afraid (ridiculously) that there won't be a 'what's next.' I'm afraid that there will never be anything as good as what I have right now.   

As I've gotten older, that has gradually gotten easier...in some ways. There are no longer (very many) unfinished books  on my shelf and I watch movies with every intent of seeing how they end. I've realized that as I move through life, it is very rewarding to have things complete. However, this made me realize something larger about my own life. I've realized that I'm reluctant to give up my job that I hate, or stop dating someone that I really shouldn't be, or any number of risks because it means I will have to surrender to the unfathomed, unknowable future.

Maybe this is what springs up in me when I come to the last chapter of a book or the end of a great movie or to the end of a relationship or the end of a journey; this age-old fear that the adventure has come to an end and I have no guarantees that it will come again. The flip-side of that fear, as the wise Laura Danly once said, is the excitement that comes from the very same source: not knowing what will happen.

I think what I have learned in my short experience is that although adventures and exciting events in life come to an end, and it may seem like the end forever, something new will always come to those who are willing to wait for it and are curious enough to find it. Sometimes it even finds me, in that moment (as cliche as it is) when I least expect it. In my opinion, it is better to enjoy the adventures when they come and let them go when their gone. There will always be more. 

The other thing I have learned is that when I surrender the long-dead ghosts of my adventures and give up the things that I thought couldn't get any better, that is when I find that they can, actually, get better. That is not a guarantee that the next stone I turn over will lead to action-packed-adrenaline-fueled-ride-of-my-life, but I think that it is better to give yourself to the present than to constantly reach back to the past.  

The third thing that I have learned is what helps me when all interest has drained from my life and more things are ending than beginning: that life is full of surprises.    

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