Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Having It All.
Sometimes I'll read something and my mind will say "YES OH GOD YES! That's it exactly," my head nodding in agreement, face smiling, the works. It doesn't happen often but when it does, my bookworm soul just squeals with delight. There are few things I love more in this life than feeling a connection with a book, an article, a blog post, a motivational quote (if I'm being honest). And why? Because when we read these things and the author somehow knows exactly what has been buried in our minds that we haven't had the opportunity (or courage, or how-to) to pull out of ourselves, and when this complete stranger does it without even knowing us, it's brilliant.
I have a short list of books and posts and things like that that I keep tucked away in the back of my mind, for weird days when I don't want to feel so alone in my thoughts. I add to the list sometimes, if I find something really good, but like all really amazing, brilliant things, it doesn't happen too much. Just enough to be special. But just the other day I came across this article and fell in love.
In it, the author Delia Ephron talks about the idea of having it all, and how that idea is constantly changing, and really, never satisfied; it's always expanding and shrinking. She says, "to me, having it all- if one wants to define it at all- is the magical time when what you want and what you have match up," and goes on to describe it as little bits of time (fleeting moments as she calls them) when everything is just so. And just right.
The article was short- a quick two page read- but I've been thinking about it for days, and what the idea of "having it all" means to me. When I was in high school, I was certain that having it all meant dating the cutest boy and spending time with my friends every weekend. Back then if you would have asked me what it meant to be my current age and to have it all, I'm sure I would have said something about living in a big city, going out all the time, and not settling down until much later. But of course we grow up. We change. And like Ephron mentions in her writing, the idea shrinks and expands in accordance with our reality.
And right here, right now, having it all to me is like she describes- I don't think it's possible to "have it all" forever and always feel satisfied, but I do think it's attainable in these little moments and pieces of life.
To me, it's about family and friends. And it's about feeling like where I am is right where I'm supposed to be. It's when Hank and I are sitting on the couch at night, both boys asleep, and in the quiet of the house I know that my family is safe and sound and warm and fed. It's when I'm out with my oldest and dearest girlfriends, and I can look around and know that these girls really get me. After all these years and all this growing up, they're here. That's having it all. It's that feeling I had when I walked across the stage to receive my Master's degree, and it's that feeling I had when I walked into my classroom on the first day of teaching high school English. It's working towards something and getting there. And it's conversely the way I felt driving away from that school for the last time, 9 months pregnant, knowing that I was leaving one thing to begin another. It's when everything clicks into place, and even for just an instant, life makes perfect sense.
And I love that. I love that a little two-page article had me thinking for days, I love that it got me taking stock of my own life, got me talking to friends about their idea of having it all. I'm so thankful that there will always be writers out there who inspire me to see the little beauties around me, the articles and books and even blog posts that have me nodding in agreeance, and feeling like this huge world isn't really so big after all. Grateful for those "YES OH GOD YES! That's it exactly" moments, and to know that other people are out there too, smiling at the pages or the screen as they read the same exact words that I am.