Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I Lack a Key Gene

And apparently it is the one required to be able to appreciate Paulo Coelho novels. Granted, I've only read the one, "By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept". It sucked. Sadly, I am anal, and thus MUST FINISH EVERY BOOK I EVER START. Exceptions are only allowed for anything that is a required text for a class, when it is imperative that I barely skim it, much less read it all, or for War and Peace right before a two week hiking trip.

However, there is seldom a book that I can't find something that ressonates with me. (Dan Brown may be the exception.)

You have to take risks, he said. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.

Every day, God gives us the sun-and also one moment in which we have the ability to change everything that makes us unhappy. Every day, we try to pretend that we haven't perceived that moment, that it doesn't exist-that today is the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow. But if people really pay attention to their everyday lives, they will discover that magic moment. It may arrive in the instant when we are doing something mundane, like puttin our front-door key in the lock; it may lie hidden in the quiet that follows the lunch hour or in the thousand and one things that all seem the same to us. But that moment exists-a moment when all the power of the stars becomes a part of us and enables us to perform miracles.

Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moment helps us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams. Yes, we are going to suffer, we will have difficult times, and we will experience many disappointments-but all of this is transitory; it leaves no permanant mark. And one day we will look back with pride and faith a the journey we have taken.

Take away all the God from this quote, and you are left with something I agree with. I don't like that part of difficulties not leaving permanant marks; I think they do, but that those marks will fade with time much like physical scars. I think it isn't always easy to see the moments that life offers us to make difficult changes. I think that often when it does, we look away on purpose because it all seems so damn hard. And yet, it is by seizing those moments in my own life that I have found the most happiness.

I think being happy is a conquest. It takes risk. It takes work. It takes a great deal of personal growth and a willingness to turn away from the expectations of those around you and tune into yourself. I suspect that it requires long periods of alone time. I think it requires absorbtion and thought and pensiveness.

My journey in the past year has not been easy. Leaving a life that I thought was going to stretch before me for years was difficult. Hurting the person that I most loved in this world for 7 years wasn't easy. Facing everyone I knew and admitting that I had chosen the wrong path was very difficult. More importantly, facing myself and admitting that I wanted something different was not easy.

And yet... The risk was worth it. It was the right thing to do. I am back in my own skin again. I am me and I am happy. If there is anything I could give to my ex right now, it would be the ability to see his own moment. The readiness to take that risk and find his dream. I hope he does.

Sometimes when I'm talking with someone and get excited about what I'm saying, I find myself saying things I've never said before.

This is me in a nutshell. (Well, okay, you couldn't fit much of me in a nutshell, but anyway...) I totally do this. This is why it is so hard to get me to shut up! ;) I totally learn by talking. I learn what I think about things. Stuff always comes out that I didn't really think about, or not in the same way, and the ideas bouncing off someone else just drives it all forward. I love a good chat.

He eyed the glass on the edge of the table-worried that it might fall.

It's a rite of passage, I wanted to say. It's something prohibited. Glasses are not purposefully broken. In a restaurant or in our home, we're careful not to place glasses by the edge of the table. Our universe requires that we avoid letting glasses fall to the floor.

But when we break them by accident, we realize that it's not very serious. The waiter says, "It's nothing," and when has anyone been charged for a broken glass? Breaking glasses is part of life and does no damage to us, to the restaurant, or to anyone else.

Our parents taught us to be careful with glasses and with our bodies. They taught us that the passions of childhood are impossible... that no one leaves on a journey without knowing where they are going.

Another quote about taking risks. Anyone want to hazard a guess that I've been thinking about what comes next? However, I have been an incredibly lucky person, because that last paragraph doesn't really apply to me. My parents have always encouraged me to follow my dreams, as impossible or unrealistic as they may sometimes be. Regardless of whether they approve of my choices, I have always felt secure in the sense that they will always support me and be there if I need somewhere to run away to and lick my wounds. I can't say how grateful I will always be to them for giving me such a beautiful gift. If only there was some way to package that feeling up and give it to everyone on my Christmas list.

And on that sappy note... I love you all and miss you all more than I can say. Thank you all for being my friends and loved ones, in spite of the distance between us. And Julie - we are all going to miss you so much. Safe journey.


Sofiya said...

Ugh, I lack that gene too. Can't stand Paulo Coelho. Annoying as hell. Why does everyone like him so much?

Amanda said...

I.don't.know. But then, I've only ever heard people mention "The Alchemist", so perhaps it isn't bad and the rest are shite. Dunno. In no rush to find out.

Sofiya said...

No, The Alchemist was the one I hated the most. It annoyed me so much I wanted to bite my nails. So much homespun allegory! So much yawn-inducing "subtle" moral message! Vom-IT!

Jen said...

I've never even heard of Paulo Coelho. Does that make me sound poorly read or not in with popular culture? As for Dan Brown, well, I've seen his bibliography and read a passage from his book; it was enough for me to know that I would not be reading his books. His writing is so shite it was like nails on a chalkboard for me and his research comprises an odd assortment of fringe books and a few very basic ones thrown in. Lack of critical thinking? check! Poor writing? check! Excellent marketing and Christian theme? Cheque! If you'll excuse me, I'm off to be quietly, but thoroughly, ill.