Being an adult is both gratifying and hard. The even balance of pros and cons that often feel off balanced is a process of life that proceeds through a series of lessons. These lessons either leave you a better more well rounded person, or break you. It's your choice in the end. Your choice, whether you give in to your emotions or whether you raise from the flames like a phoenix. And you can bet when you come back as a bad ass bird cloaked in fire, that nothing will ruffle your feathers again. At least not as much.
Growing up means becoming responsible for yourself, relying either on yourself, or on the shoulder of another - as a pair. Adulthood brings all sorts of big kid situations, decisions, and paths. Your entire life is a journey, and it should be embraced as so. Some things you don't choose, but they happen. Some things happen, and you know they were meant to be... some things occur and you are filled with the greatest most fulfilling joy. This undaunting progression of flying after jumping the nest, opens your eyes to just what you saw your caretakers experience...that you are now experiencing.
When you are a child you are young, dumb, and happy. Experiencing, exploring, and testing the boundaries to see just what you are capable of. It's the chapter where you are your most naive, inexperienced, and new. Like a baby bird you must first be fed and groomed, slowly weaned, then tossed out into open air. First roots - then wings a friend once told me with tears in his eyes. It has always stuck with me, like flies to paper on a farm porch come dusk. I think it will be one of my lessons... letting mine go someday.
Adulthood means you watch those who took care of you decline, age, and weather through their own storms. Most of time all you can be is an ear, a shoulder, and a hug. Family is about support... it is not compared to a tree for no reason. It's not it's many branches that we all dangle our feet off, but a strong deeply rooted foundation that tangles and keeps itself safe from all hard rains, heavy snows, and damaging winds. It's both difficult and eye opening to watch your parents age, your grandparents decline... all the while you are pruning your own wings and shining those of your children. What is life we all ask? It is a map with an X that you must find. There will be boobie traps, rolling boulders, and darts that fly when you least expect them... but I assure you there will be tears of happiness, moments when beauty grasps you by the throat causing your voice to falter, and realizations that completely take it away.
Today I am traveling to see my 90 year old grandmother, a woman who raised me and helped mold this clay into the shape it has formed today. She was always a rock to beat upon, a home to go to, a fairytale story next to my bed. She is in the slow sad decline that is the end. Her mind confused, altered, and more like an unruly child that doesn't listen, than a brain that has learned for 90 years. Watching her change has been less than easy. It often hurts to realize that the relationship I hold on to is no longer there. She knows me better than anyone else (except my husband of course). She can tell if there is something wrong just by looking at my face. My grandmother likes to hold my hand with hers that is as soft as indian silk, feels as fragile as a quilt that has been through the ages.
I know that this is a lesson on my path of self discovery. I know that walking these steps and experiencing whatever is to come will change me for the better as every test I take is returned with a red script A at the top of the paper. Someone recently said I am good at falling down, picking up, and dusting off... digging my heels into the ground and moving forward. I know the things I have been through in my life have given me that ability, and I am thankful for it.
I sit here and think about the circle of life - knowing that I am part of it from so many sides of the prism. I am watching different parts of it through others, and trying to shape the ones of my children. This life is all you have... what will you make of it.
Are you living, or existing?