“Maybe I’ll surprise you,” he said to me. You know what? Maybe you won’t. A mere 28 years on this earth and some days I feel realllll old. Same old stories. Not very much surprises me anymore.

People are comprised of a series of predictable patterns and pathways, emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc., etc., etc.. We’re given a combination of a hardwired blueprint and all kinds of tools to tinker with it, transform ourselves if you will. As we truck along we become better aware of the kind of road we’re travelling, and if we’re lucky we get an inkling of the destination. The thing that never ceases to amaze me/doesn’t phase me in the least is how damned often we knowingly take the wrong turn. “Hmm, what’s around this bend?” Don’t you remember? The same stinky tar pit that you ran into yesterday! And the day before that. My goodness you’ve got a short memory.

Perhaps it’s not a memory issue. Maybe there’s something sacred, special about that pit. Maybe there’s gold in them there hills, and it’s possible the vehicle we’re wandering about in knows it…it leads us there and is quietly demanding us to dig. So many of us are scared shitless of digging. We keep wearing our masks and stamping down the rug and are determined to spin our wheels despite the patient, hidden gems.

My life kind of went, “BLAH!!! Here’s a handful of muddle for you! How do you like them apples, Lady?!!” over the last few weeks, but truthfully, thankfully, luckily, I feel solid, anchored, a-ok in the midst of it all. I like to think it’s because I’ve done a few dives in the pit, and that’s great, but the difficult aspect now is having to be cool with the fact that some other people haven’t, and most likely won’t.

Last summer I had the sad experience of visiting my grandmother on her death bed. Sad because, well, for one, she was dying, but the real crying shame was that even in her last moments she still refused to learn any of her lessons. Even after enduring years of a depressed, miserable existence, she stood so strongly on the corners of her rug. I don’t know much about her life before me, but murmurings and musings and half-told tales would lead me to believe she wasn’t a fan of facing her demons. Her energy and attitude and how she treated me, especially in her dying days, confirmed it. It just made me so, so sad. Here she was given the gift of 80 odd years on this glorious earth and could she see the joy in any of it? I honestly don’t know. And why couldn’t she? How frightening could those demons have possibly been? Probably nothing unbeatable or insurmountable. In fact, I’m sure they would’ve been a breeze. I believe it takes waaaay more energy to ignore and endure than to face and embrace, but it’s an illusion many of us are often fooled by. As sad as it made me, there was really nothing I could do. That was her journey. Yeah, it would’ve been nice to get a hug and an I love you before she dearly departed as opposed to, “Can you leave now?” but what are you gonna do? It’s her business really.

So this is a theme I’ve been faced with again this summer – you can lead a horse to water, that kind of thing, and as I said the more experiences I chalk up, the easier it is to stay cool and calm about the shit you can’t change and the horses that don’t drink. “Sweep your own doorstep” – that was a tidbit that was tossed my way years and years ago and it’s always stayed with me (although it’s still sinking in). After pissing in the wind for a long while, worrying about everyone else’s perspectives, I’ve decided it’s not my job to teach people their lessons, I’ve got way too many of my own to worry about.

In the chaos that has been whirlwinding around me, the worst of which was a “get the fuck out” from my folks, I feel confident in my separation of “this is mine and that is most definitely yours and I want no part in it, thanks…” I’m busy over here on my own step. I just hope you decide to pick up that dusty rug and look after yours. Unfortunately, I won’t be surprised if you don’t.