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They used to be my best friend, my comfort and my home. Behind them, I used to rest and relax knowing there was little to be done behind-the-scenes. They wrapped me in a cocoon within which I could nestle in my indecision, my inferiority and my introversion. They were my way to control life, the weird curveballs that it so enjoys flinging at each and every one of us to make us check in. They were the ultimate deflection shield and I loved them for it.

And then I got bored. I got bored of an existence governed by caveats and opt-outs. I realised that I’d used so many in my life that I no longer really knew what was me and what was choice. I realised that my judgement came after the excuse instead of the other way round, that the tail was wagging the dog. And I realised that if I lived my life the way I wanted, I’d have less people to whom I had to offer up excuses in the first place.

I still excuse myself, extricate myself, ease my way out of options, opportunities or outings, but at least I feel I do it by choice now. And I do it with the truth, rather than a tangled cobwebs of elusive versions of my reality. I’m no longer someone who relegates herself to the path of retreat without ever a chance of expansion or exploration.

And life is better for it. Of course it is more challenging, more scary, less predictable. But that’s what life is. And if your life is monotonous, single dimensional, then I feel that you have to question what you want to accomplish with your time here.

I had a friend once. He passed living right on the edge. Although I mourned him leaving us, I smiled through every year shed because I know that he lived by what he said to us all: if you’re not living on the edge, your edge, pushing yourself to bigger and better things, then what are you doing?

For some of us, that’s just getting up every morning and daring to hope. For some of us that means choosing to eat and to eat well. For some of us, it means living the other side of the world from some of your most precious connections. But whatever it is, don’t let excuses be your best friend. They shouldn’t be your go-to, nor a singular expression of all-that-you-are.

For me, when he passed, I looked around and saw I had little reason for excuses. I have my health, a fully functioning body and mind and spirit with all their quirks and unique foibles. I have resources and friends, skills and interests. And now I strive to make better friends with them instead.

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