So, one of my best friends is an amazing traveling woman. She is the free spirit I know inside of my heart. She’s the one who helped get me back in touch with the 1997 me. The free spirit of my “youth”. We both love alternative rock like The Shins, and “The Mountain Radio”. She’s my vicarious living friend. I do things from reading about her adventures in Thiland, Europe, the Big Island. She surfs, kayaks, hikes, plays kickball, works with people who have disabilities , and is the most giving person you will ever ever know. She pretty much rocks. Oh, and did I mention she’s done two triathlons? Yea. She’s the reason Paige and I wanted to do it at all. ‘Cause she’s just that motivating.
Anyway, before she left yesterday, we had a great chat about culture and religion and all those deep topics you’d sit and share with a BFFIRL. I believe this is the source of my peace right now. I believe it’s the reason I remember that living is perspective and I am alive because I enjoy living. I believe it got me back in touch with my inner me. What kind of conversation could do that?
Have you ever sat down and really analyzed your life? I mean, reflected deeply on it. I think we all do this to a small extent via blogging. I think it’s why we blog . We sit, think, and reflect on today’s events. I think we’re all seeking for ourselves. I think, and I believe this with my whole soul, that blogging has helped provide me with a tool to of awareness. And awareness is key, people.
I love philosophy. I used to go to groups to talk about life in general. I’d sit and write in my journal for hours and think about the Big Issues. Lately, the Big Issues revolve around if the kid slept, if she’s eaten, how to keep the house clean when people are coming over, etc. I don’t spend very much time actually thinking about Life. In passing, I may reflect for a bit, but I don’t really get down and dirty with my own humanity. Lately, if I’m getting down and dirty it usually entails cleaning up the turd off the carpet in the living room because my toddler got loose for 45 seconds without a diaper. That, my friends, is adventure in my sheltered life.
I live a sheltered life. I do. I live in a smallish town and work in a smaller college. I have never been to New York. I travel to places where they speak english (or Texan). I watch the same movies, I listen to the same music and I travel in my car to and from work. I am blessed, do not get me wrong. I am very very blessed in so many ways I can not even pick one to tell you how thankful I am for them. My life is a good one. It’s just.. small.
I always thought I’d do big things. I thought I’d move to Alaska and live in the wild and be Maggie from Northern Exposure. I know it was naive of me to think life is like a TV show. I know I get depressed in the Winter without sun and six months of darkness would not suit me at all. But still, I thought I’d be the paddle person*, not read about it from someone else.
But, it’s after our visit that I realized that maybe my life is adventurous in it’s own way. I mean, maybe raising a child and cleaning the house can be just as fulfilling as traveling the Atlantic or kayaking the San Juan Islands. Thing is, it has to be. ‘Cause that’s where I am at and the key to happiness is to live right now. The key to happiness is awareness. The key to living life is knowing you are living it.
* “I made you, paddle person, because I had a dream -
a little wooden man smiled at me. He sat in a canoe
on a snowbank on this hill.
Now the dream has begun to come true - the sun spirit
will look down on the snow, and the snow will melt,
and the water will run downhill to the river, on down
to the great lakes, down again, on at last to the sea.
You will go on with the water, and you will have
adventures that I would like to have…”
- ‘Paddle-to-the-Sea,’ Holling C. Holling
Well said! I love the quote “If only we’d stop trying to be happy we’d have a pretty good time.” It’s so true. We’d all be miserable if we were always trying to attain happiness but never actually took the time to stop and experience it.
By Paige (CoraBelle) on 2005 10 25
okay, once again, you kick that ass. Great post and I totally identify with it. Because we are twins. but something tells me I am not the only one who feels kin to you. very very nice, hon.
By texasbelle on 2005 10 25
your blog is prompting me to analyze life more…thanks!
By Amy_M on 2005 10 25
Back in the day, I was something. I had…. whats that word? Rbelle scratches her head passion. I had PASSION. Iwas a raving, bleeding heart liberal that went to conferences on womens issues and fought for women’s rights. I was the FREAKING STUDENT GOVERNMENT President at my COLLEGE. I met Barbara Bush and gave a speech in front of her. I talked to her assistant about how one would get that type of job. My career counselor was all over my ass about big deal law schools, and working in DC. I blew her off and went to a state school. The passion remained, but with every year my passion became my husband, my family, my friends. Over time, I have an appreciation for the women that go to DC and “make an impact.” I see the need for women like them, and yet my passion is here, in Podunk, SC, trying wreck cases. Occasionally a social injustice is brought to my attention adn I get all riled up and handle it pro bono. I write wills for my friends so that I know their families will be protected. I get hugs from my clients, I hand them kleenex when they suffer a catastrophic loss. I fight for them to get custody of their children, or I represent the kids and I fight like hell for them not to go back if necessary. I look at a little boy that nobody wants and I feel his pain transfer into me so strongly that I want to sccop him up and bring him home with me. You want passion? You want to change the world? You are doing it. I am doing it, Erin is, YAnkeebelle is, we all are. The truth of it is, the world will just keep clicking on, and the most important thing any one of us can do is shape the lives of others in a positive matter. Pay it forward my friend. None of us necessarily became what we set out to be, and thank God for that. Who would read my blog if I was some screaming liberal politico bitch in DC?
“Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”
By RB on 2005 10 25
awareness is definitely the key…
great post leslie…
By maiji on 2005 10 25
Thank you. What an inspiring post!
By Jan on 2005 10 26
This was inspiring, makes me feel like I need to do some things that I enjoy doing. I had big dreams too! But I remember most of all , I wanted to be a mom. I know when my kids get older there are things I want to do. Anyway, Thanks , it made me think a lot :0) XOXO
By kelli on 2005 10 26
I often struggle with that idea, of what I could be doing instead of just living this domesticated life. I know people who just go to India to learn yoga, who move to Hawaii, people who seem to just do what they are drawn to do regardless of money or what-have-you. But very often I need to remind myself that what I am doing is important too. Thanks for wording so much better than I ever could.
By candice on 2005 10 26
Wow… nice to finally join this little blog community (see, I’m good with all things water, and can’t sit still for a second, but am a bit slow with technology…) and be introduced to y’all. Basically, I just wanted to say hi to y’all and thanks to Mrs. Flinger for helping me see ME through your eyes. Yes, I am a very philosophical girlie, and so often spend large amounts of time (mostly while driving all over the place to my clients’ homes or to my wonderful friends who live TOO FAR AWAY) just thinking. And here’s the thing… I don’t really think much of myself. Yes, I’m happy in my world. Yes, I like myself. Yes, I have confidence. But I think we all tend to minimize ourselves, our lives, our actions. But when we’re lucky enough to have wonderful friends to point out that what we do IS important, DOES impact others and the world - no matter how small we might think our world is - it’s a pretty frickin’ awesome thing. So, right-back-at-ya, Mrs. Flinger! I just have to say how incredibly wonderful it was to see you and your own little growing family this weekend. Seriously - I LOVED being a part of it. You’re an amazing wife, mom, and friend. You got your world together and it’s a pretty kick-ass world, my friend! Thanks for sharing it and always being willing to jump right off the deep end with me and talk about all that shmack! Oh, and I LOVE the Paddle-to-the-Sea quote. (I have that book, too. I guess great friends think alike!)
By Water Girl on 2005 10 27