Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Plot Twist!

Switching Washington's has been probably one of the weirdest experiences of mine to date. I ended up here because of a fateful visit last December where I was just entranced with the city and realized how much I just missed it and wanted to be back here (I grew up in the area). Things fell into place, and I left my barely-adopted state of Washington for the historic landscape of the DC region.

There's a quote I like, "When things in your life go wrong, shout, 'Plot twist!' and move on." While I'm not sure exactly what's meant by "wrong," I do appreciate the acknowledgement that life is funny like this. Things happen unexpectedly, change happens, time continues flowing, and the road through life contains as many blind curves and steep grades as the Pacific Coastal Highway.

I had the best drive of my life in Big Sur

I like to think of lives like narratives, that each of us has a unique life story that's held inside these frames of skin and bones. We can be the authors of our own lives, but that first means being willing to take responsibility and accept the risks that come from living. I've come to realize that I'm not who I thought I was or wanted to be, and letting go of these descriptors, self- or externally-imposed, is a challenge. You must be willing to accept the unknown, step into it, and let it be. When mystics speak of death to the self and desire, many are pointing to the process of letting go of what is not authentic, what is not really you, and in this process a truer, more authentic self is (re)born.

The times in life where things aren't working out as we'd hoped, we aren't who we thought, and life seems to be the Pacific Coastal Highway shrouded in fog are universal. I take comfort in knowing that the uncertainty and switchbacks aren't unique to just me, though that doesn't exactly remove the sting from shedding my old skin when it's time to grow. It's in this shedding when I have a chance to take ownership of the change and grow further into myself and the ground on which I stand. I shout, "Plot twist!" when I realize things aren't as expected, and then I do my best to let go of what-was and embrace what-is in the life story I'm writing. 

Cadillac Ranch in North Texas
 A monument to Route 66 which is pretty much I-40 now. Plot twist!

No comments:

Post a Comment