Today, I discovered the Voice Memo app on my phone. I use the word ‘discover’ loosely, as I have always known it existed, but never thought I’d ever have use of it.
And yet, this afternoon, as I was driving and my thoughts were coming rapid fire, I thought how much I wished I could write things down, capture the moment somehow. At which point a lightbulb went off, and I talked to my phone for 4 minutes. Even weirder, it played back through my sound system when I was done. So it was just me, sitting in my car, literally listening to my thoughts.
I most assuredly yammered. But once I got comfortable talking to an application, my thoughts clarified, and by the end of the four minutes, I knew what it was I was trying to say.
It’s very easy to gaze across a fence, and feel one of two ways. Envious, of the other, seemingly more green lawn. Or condemning, of a lawn you feel is not to your standard. Perhaps, when looking at that ‘greener’ lawn, you think if only you had their resources, you could tend your lawn better, and be happier. Or, when looking at the rag-tag lawn, you think how much happier you must be, because you have come so much further with your gardening.
But the thing is, regardless of that unspoken life timeline we all know exists, life is neither a race, nor a competition. Often times, people are searching for validation of their life choices ~ “Yes, I’m doing the right thing”, “I’m on the right path”, “You approve”. But the thing is, so often all those people whose opinion we are searching for? Too wrapped up in themselves ~ because at the heart of it, we’re all pretty selfish and narcissistic beasts. So now we’re competing against the idea we hold of what other people may or may not think of us. Exhausting!
The only person who can tell you if you’re doing the right thing, walking the right path ~ is you. The man and I have a lot of friends, and they all have different lifestyles ~ none better or worse than ours. Yes, occasionally I get myself all worked up about owning a home and being married (I’m human, I whine). But what I really want to do is travel. And be healthy. And write. All completely possible to do from our cozy little abode.
I love my life ~ but I really love my life when I remember to appreciate it for what it is. And here is what my life is to me ~ a mosaic of all the choices I have made to try to be the person I want to be. I love my man, and I love my puppy ~ I love the apartment we live in, and our awesome backyard. I love our neighbors. I love cooking dinner ~ for just us, or for guests. I love that I see my parents and the man’s parents on a regular basis. I love our network of friends. I love our traditions. I love when we go on road trips, and have lazy daydreams about adventures we will take some day. I love the simple routine of days. I have come, over time, to appreciate the city we live near. I feel blessed and thankful for so many things ~ it seems silly to constantly stress or agonize over the things we may not have.
I know that there are people out there who wouldn’t find my life fulfilling. I am sure that people live lives I wouldn’t find fulfilling. But here’s the miracle of it all ~ if we stop comparing and racing and counting and measuring for just a second, we would all see that we have chosen and molded and crafted the path we walk ~ and we have the power to change it, if it isn’t what makes us happy. My life makes me happy. It isn’t important for my choices to make anyone else happy ~ or meet anyone else’s standard. When I fall asleep at night, my hand cradled in the man’s hand, I am completely content with being exactly where I am. That is the greatest blessing of all.