We all have baggage. Some we carry around for decades—a snarky, hurtful comment is like an old tube of travel toothpaste that we find when we dig out a suitcase to go somewhere. We look at it and think, I’ll just keep this in case I need it again.
Despite that its freshness is gone and the expiration date is past, we cling on to it. We find comfort in these just-in-case things. Then, when we’re ready, we stop seeing the value of holding on and we let (it) go, wondering why it took so long for us to do so.
Everything Has an Expiration Date
We are the only species who come into this world and know, after we grow into thought-seeking and understanding individuals, that we have an expiration date. We ignore that fact for awhile, tuck it away. Think irrationally that “it” happens to other people.
Then we realize our mortality. It happens abruptly—this realization—usually, when we’re older and some major life thing occurs and we’re left thinking — “Oh, I’m not going to be here forever.”
Human condition—loss. We learn how to move about in a life that doesn’t have that someone in it. After the shock of acceptance, we get on with the sometimes daunting task and at the same time, absolute joy of living. The dichotomy of it never ceases.
We learn to treasure those insanely happy moments—laugh out loud, fall in love, not care what people think moments. We focus more of our time being with and enjoying those people who get us, love us and think we’re worth loving, even at our worst.
It’s great when we learn this. Virtual high-five.
Others, the people that come in and out of our lives, are just the “extras” on our life’s stage — them too going through their own condition of being human.
Human condition—the realization that no one else is to blame, for the most part, for who we are or where we are; and, if we are born into circumstances that do dictate the results of how we end up, we still have the human capacity to choose how to live our lives. There’s numerous accounts of these special individuals. We know who they are—they are the ones that help us better understand ourselves—the human condition, its frailties and strengths Thank God for them, yes?
We rush to accomplish this or that. Make lists of things we must do. A fierceness of purpose sets in until we understand, finally, that it’s not a race. It’s life and all that comes with it and we’re not going to get to do everything we want.
This condition of being human — stark realities, joy, despair, panic, anger, love, loss — all lumped into complex layers that make us who we are. We love, we lose, we love again.
And on it goes. We leave impressions here and there, each of us palimpsests of our own lives. When I leave a place, I know that someone else will be taking up the space I left. Looking out at the view I did with a different set of eyes.
We are connected and the thing that connects us is this: We are each on our own, discovering our true selves, alone. It’s not such a lonely thing though, is it? It’s a human thing, a condition of being the magnificent SELF we each are.
The Places We Go (and Others Too)
I read Dr. Seuss’ book, Oh! The Places You’ll Go, when I was a child and it sits on my bookshelf now, reminding me of where I came from, where I’ve been and the wondrous places I’ve yet to explore — whether that be from a book or a journey—literally—or within myself or my mind’s eye. We all have some “flax-golden tales to spin,” don’t we?
And, the knowing that I will be in places that other eyes have seen, countless times, generations and generations before — all of us in our own human experience. If you think about that, it’s wondrous, isn’t it—this condition we all have in common. We get the opportunity every single day to experience all of this human, ever-evolving condition we find ourselves in.
“The road is long and in the end, it’s only with ourselves.” Kurt Vonnegut.
Whether we’re in the heights of joy or the pit of despair, it’s simply a condition of being human. Utterly, beautifully human.
What’s Your Condition?
There have been times when I’ve felt that life breaks little pieces of my heart. We all feel that at waypoints throughout our lives. But, we mend and learn how resilient and strong we are. I’ve found the best thing to do at times is to just give into it: Take it, break it, have it, Life and I love you. And scream/sing at the top of my lungs.
Give it try, it works.
Happy Monday everyone.
What condition is your condition in? Describe it to me through poetry, prose or song. Or, just tell it to me — your way. What do you find in your suitcase when you pull it out to go somewhere? Can you come up with a better analogy than the tube of toothpaste thing?
Oh, and how it’s going?
***Photo Creds: The Human Condition by Rene Magritte Woman Face by Graur Codrin References: Shel Silverstein’s “Invitation,” Where the Sidewalk Ends.