Saturday, January 16, 2010


I've mentioned 'pretty, shiny boxes with bows on top' on my blog a lot, and usually out of frustration. I don't have anything against them, really. I like pretty, shiny boxes with bows on top. I'm one of those people who likes to have all the Christmas wrappings themed and matching. I love to wrap presents in pretty paper with all the edges creased just so, equal-sized pieces of tape, covered with piles of curly ribbon or huge tulle bows. Perfection. I am good at it, and I like to do it. And when I'm done, I have a beautiful, perfected creation in front of me. Its an art!

This is what I have been trying to do with my life. Wrapping it up in pretty, shiny paper, trying to crease the imperfect edges just so, taping it shut with equal sized pieces of tape, and sticking a huge pile of beautiful curly ribbon on top. And after years and years of trying to do this, I have met my match. Something that was TOO BIG to even consider putting in a pretty box. It is SO FRUSTRATING!!! I don't want to accept that I will never get that pretty, shiny box of my own. I don't want to accept that my life is never going to be the life that I always wanted. The life that so many others still get to live. And now logically, I know I HAVE to. There is no choice. Yet here I am, still fighting, twisting, arguing, debating, pushing, kicking, screaming and digging my heels into the dirt just trying to MAKE IT SO. But danggit, it just won't fit.

So now what?

What do you do when your dream is over before its barely begun? What do you do when your dream turns into a nightmare? God willing, I've only lived 1/3 of my life, and yet I am now faced with the harsh reality that I will never have the life I wanted and dreamed of, no matter what I do, and the rest of it will always leave me wanting more. Its hard to face that reality with optimism and hope.

I know I should be grateful for other things that I have, and I do have some great things in my life. And I get really upset at myself when I start feeling bad, because I know there are others who have it "worse" than me (so not only do I feel awful, but then I feel guilty for feeling awful). But its kinda like getting a coat for Christmas, when everyone else on the block is getting bikes. And not a cute coat either...a bulky, ugly, scratchy, 100% wool, 'practical' coat that I can't return, and I am never, ever, ever allowed to take off. Ya, I suppose a coat is useful, and at least I got something, which is more than what some people get...but danggit, I really wanted that bike!!! And then I have to sit on my porch, wearing my stupid coat, while (seemingly) everyone else rides around on their bikes with big 'ole grins on their faces. Its hard not to be a little upset about it. Its really not very fair. And yet the coat is mine. And the bike is not.

So now what?

I'm not the first, nor will be the last, person to face this problem. Sooner or later, everyone gets knocked off their ladder, and then you'll have to clean out your closet, and try to make sense of everything again, and maybe not try to shove it in a pretty, shiny box with a bow on it (enough metaphors for ya?!)...but somehow learn to accept it for what it is and even, learn to love it and enjoy it, even with all its faults, and imperfect creases, and rips and tears, and no pile of curly ribbon. Just banged up, beat up, scarred for And accept that, whether you like it or not, its YOUR life, and you're only getting ONE, and somehow, you've got to figure out a way to make peace with it, despite the fact that its not the life you wanted.

While still accepting, that deep down, its normal to still want the bike, and you shouldn't feel guilty about it.