take the leap
i’ve been meaning to post for a week now. i’ve had an extreme amount of stuff on my mind in the past seven days, and i’ve had a lot of need to get it written out into some semblance of release, but i haven’t had the will. i wrote some on paper, and that helped the most pressing need of my itchy fingers, but not all of it. i’ve been thinking of a great deal of things. this week has been one of upheaval, confusion, pain, and worry. a couple themes have come through to me, and those are the ones i am going to try to write about today. so here goes.
this is something i try to do all the time. my favorite vampire slayer likes to say, “seize the moment. cos tomorrow, you might be dead.” or, as one of my favorite movies reiterates, “carpe the diem, man. seize the….carp.” if you don’t seize that carp, it’s gonna slither away, and you’ll never get it back.
this is something that has been on my mind for months now. and that is that life is short. at best, i’ve got about three-quarters of my life left. time slips away, it slips away so quickly. days roll into months, which turn into years, and before you know it, you’re looking back on a decade wondering how you got here. apart from that, we never know what will happen. a thousand times a thousand things could happen to truncate our already fleeting existence. it’s weeks like this when i am reminded of the lessons learned by our mortality. my mom landed in the hospital this week with a couple very serious conditions — a blood clot in her leg and 16 pulmonary embolisms (a fancy doctor way of saying that her the arteries in her lungs are blocked partially). she didn’t get admitted, but she will be monitored very closely. her health has been deteriorating for a while now, and it worries me that they didn’t catch this when they did. she went to the ER a few months ago as well, and they didn’t catch this blood clot then. my mom isn’t yet sixty.
my friend’s dad got in an accident, as well. ended up in the hospital with a possible collapsed lung and internal bleeding. two things, and they serve to remind me of how precious and fragile our time here is. we can’t take a single breath for granted here. as i sit and listen to the pounding of my heart, beating so quickly lately from all the stress, it is a reminder that i’m still here. i’m still alive.
i try to live every day knowing that my time here is short. i moved to dc because i had to do it for me. for my own well-being, my own life. and the things i am doing here are things that i will look back years from now and be glad for. some situations are difficult for me right now, but i never want to look back and feel like i didn’t try my hardest. there comes a time when that’s all you can do. and then you just have to see what happens.
which brings me to the second theme of this week.
i’ve heard a lot of people talk about timing, as if it were a separate being in and of itself. when i look back over the events of the last several months, i can categorize the timing of events in a lot of different ways. but at the end of the day, this is what i think: there will never be such a thing of perfect timing. our lives just keep moving. time keeps going, and it waits for no one. there will be ups and downs, obstacles and challenges no matter how good or bad the timing feels.
a for instance is my move here. it might have been more prudent for me to move later rather than sooner, especially financially. that said, if i had planned to move in mid-june instead of mid-may, my car would have still died the first week in may, and i would have been pretty royally screwed. as it was, i landed here, with a place to stay and ended up getting the job i had been hoping for for months. it was a gamble moving here; it was a big fucking risk. and yeah, the timing’s not perfect. i have a whole hell of a lot to do in not very much time, and i’ve spent a lot of the last week feeling distinctly overwhelmed, but i’m glad i took that leap.
there is a much more personal side of this theme that i can’t bring myself to line out here in detail, but my thoughts still hold, however vague this paragraph will sound. after a year has gone by and countless hours of thinking, wondering, hoping have passed, i’m here. life will always be full of complications and interruptions. if we go through life always looking for reasons not to jump, not to take the leap, they’ll be there. there will always be reasons not to. i’ve thought a lot about the season finale of how i met your mother, which is where i got my phrasing — it’s called “take the leap.” marshall spends a good part of the episode perched on the concrete firmament on the building’s roof, trying to jump to the next building over. he has a lot of reasons not to. he could fall several stories — that’s probably the biggest one. but in the end, they all do it. they all jump. one of the other key lines is that life never takes you where you think it will. unexpected things crop up all the time. the point is, if you want something, whether it is a canadian “suit” or to reach a garden the next building over, there comes a time when you have to take the leap.
all that said, you see, is simply to say that life, in all its twists and turns, rollercoaster days and weeks — it’s just life. and in the end, all that means is whatever we make of it. you can let it just happen to you and wonder why the things you want pass you by, or you can jump out on that limb and see where it takes you.
all of the risks i’ve taken in this life, not a few of them being in the last several weeks, have led me somewhere. i might fall flat on my face. i might end up really, really hurt. but i’m still here. and all the trouble, all the anxiety and worry — it’s all worth it in those moments when everything just goes still and tranquil. when i know with perfect clarity that i am right where i am supposed to be, and when for a while everything is effortless, and i can just…rest.
so to end right back where i started, although i do feel a bit better…where do we go from here? i know where i would like to go, but you get nowhere along the long roads in life if you can’t take the first steps.