On Doing it Right.
I just read another eloquent blog by my friend, the always lovely and inspiring justatitch, and it really hit something. It reminded me of a lot of past thoughts and worries and insecurities. It got me thinking, which is always dangerous, about those times I sit and wonder about whether or not I’m doing this life “right.” What does that even mean? But more, why do I sometimes feel like I’m not doing it right, despite the fact I’m not entirely sure there is a “right” way to do it?
I have always lived a relatively uneventful life. I’ve called myself (and I’m sure others have also) boring, unadventurous and not spontaneous in the least. Most of the time it causes me no discomfort; this is who I am, I’m happy and not lacking anything that I can’t overcome with a good talk with good company and a good hug. But sometimes, just sometimes, I look around and wonder if this really is who I am; wonder what if I’m just a scared and insecure person who’s deluded herself into thinking this is what I want. And on these occasions I look at the other people; the people who just stand out in a crowd because they exude some kind of other-worldly experience; the people who practically have other-worldly experience because they are adventurous and spontaneous and nothing-even-close-to-being-average and I sometimes envy them. I envy them and then compare my life and think, “Wouldn’t that be nice…”
But would it? I’m sure they have adventure and intrigue and excitement just oozing out of their pores, but is that what I really want? I know for some people it should be what I want because it’s what they want, and surely they know what’s best. I mean look at all they’ve done, all they’ve seen, all they’ve met and all the fun they’ve had, of course they would know what’s best. Wouldn’t they?
My generation (Generation Y, as it’s been coined. As in “WHY did I ever wear/listen/do/etc. that?!” I wonder…) has been served a dose of, “YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!” that makes, in my humble opinion, people who don’t hunger for the wild and extreme and adventurous feel like they’re coming up short. When you’re told from the time you were a child that, “You can do anything! Be anyone! Go anywhere!” don’t you sort of feel like you should DO, BE and GO everything, everyone and everywhere you could possible think of? And then when you don’t, not because you’re afraid or insecure or miserable, but because you genuinely don’t want to, you feel like, “Huh…shouldn’t I want to do those things? Be those people? Go those places? Is this (your) enough?”
It is enough. It’s better than enough. Because life isn’t about “doing and being and going” all possibilities; it’s about making your own choices.
It’s the choice to say, “Yes, I want to stay home with my children.” “No, I don’t want to go to college.” “So what if I never make it to Germany.” “I don’t need to be doing everything, being everyone, and going everywhere to be happy. I’m happy doing this, being me, and staying right here.”
And the best part is that I can sit here on my couch with a laptop on my lap and a cat behind my head, and one at my feet, waiting for Eric to come home so we can read and chat and laugh, and that makes me happy; this life makes me happy. And while I’m completely aware that my life may seem boring and contrived and too ordinary for some, I am also aware that their lives are too hectic and too rootless and too extreme for me to ever be happy with calling that my life. And that’s beautiful…
…I am doing this right. And so are you.