I’ve been thinking about you a lot recently. I don’t know why? Perhaps I’m on the brink of a ‘slightly premature’ mid-life crisis? Maybe I have reached a crossroads in my life and have no idea which way to turn? The truth is, you have always puzzled me. Just when I think I have it all figured out, you come sweeping in and take me right off of my feet. A favourite pastime of yours. And so I find myself lost in this sea of confusion, with no idea which way to paddle and nothing but darken skies around me, absent a guiding light.
Life, you are much like origami. A clean slate to fold in any way I wish. Simple, or so I thought. I was wrong. With an end picture unknown, the art of origami can prove somewhat problematic. I have dreams of constructing a piece of art, beautiful and intricate, but in reality, it’s more a work in progress.
I manipulate your folds, only to be greeted with twists and unexpected turns. The creases forever imbedded, a reminder of paths once travelled. Sometimes your edges become frayed or don’t quite fit together, other times, your seams fall effortlessly into place. But just when I think I am close to creating something beautiful, you always defeat me. I scrunch you up into the palm of my hand, exasperated, and as broken as the crumpled paper in front of me. As I release you from my control and watch you naturally unravel, it dawns on me, I don’t need to predetermine each fold and perfect the edges. With no instructions in sight, I realise my destiny is in my own hands, unfolding in front of my very eyes.
Life isn’t about chasing outcomes, it’s about exploring pathways. It’s about the journey of experiencing life, step by step and fold by fold. We only have so much control over our destinies, but the beauty lies very much in watching it unfold. We often meet our fate, unwittingly, travelling the roads we tried to avoid. It is during these erroneous paths when we learn the most, and although it seems like we are walking in circles – lost and confused – we will eventually find the light and realise what it all meant. It is only when we have experienced true darkness that we can begin to see the true beauty of light.
I’ve always believed, be it seasonal or lifelong, that people come into our lives for a reason. Like footprints in the sand, they either make their mark in our lives or, over time, the ebbs of the waves erase them away and all that remains are lessons learned. I see every footprint as a blessing, especially those that led me off track, for every footprint – good or bad – has made me who I am today.
Life, you were always such a mystery to me. An indefinable force of the unknown, teasing my unrelenting curiosity behind a veil of elusiveness. A mystifying masquerade. I muse your meaning but to no avail. Yet, I can’t help but question why it’s so important to search for answers? Why do I need to find meaning in my life?
Lost and in search of answers, I once visited a fortune-teller. The idea of a predetermined path always felt comfortably reassuring, so I handed over the hefty bill and walked into a little piece of hippy haven. I could hear the tranquil trickles of tiny waterfalls, incense tickled my nose and panpipes played peacefully in the background. A man, dressed in a tunic, sat before me and calmly told me to sit. Cynicism clouded my mind with every tarot card read. Firstly, He asked me if I was expecting. I may have been a little bloated that day, but I certainly wasn’t pregnant. He told me I would marry a man who was passionate about motorbikes. Funnily enough, the only pair of wheels my husband owned at the time were those on his pushbike, and he is yet to slip on his biker’s jacket. The only thing that held some truth was the vision he had of my father in a hospital. My father died two years later, but yet my scepticism burnt stronger than the air-stifling sandalwood. Needless to say, I walked out wanting my money back.
As my disappointment wavered, it struck me, perhaps I didn’t need answers to my existence? I no longer needed a guiding light, for the darkness of the unknown became comforting. And perhaps it was I who needed to raise the veil, for the answers were right in front of me all along; Life has no meaning because we ARE the meaning. Life has no answers because we ARE the answers. We don’t need to chase happiness because happiness is inside us all, waiting to be set free.
For me, life’s meaning is…
Tiny arms wrapped around me, my children’s laughter, getting lost in music, reminiscing with old friends, laughing so hard it brings tears to my eyes, nights snuggled up in warm arms, the excitement of exploring the world, and a future that is completely unknown.
Life, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for keeping me on my toes, for allowing me to experience what it feels like to hurt, to be lost, to be on the brink of insanity. To have loved both whimsically and unconditionally. To have made mistakes, to have learned from them and to have made them all over again. Thank you for making me stronger and for making me strive to be a better person.
You are quite simply, WONDERFUL!
Your old friend,
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
― Albert Camus