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around the mess

October 22, 2018 2 comments

The other day, I headed off to the vet to pick up some meds for my recently acquired cat, Thor. The tiny god of thunder needed a little care, no big. I turned down the road I normally take to the vet’s office to find a sea of police people and fire trucks, rendering the road impassable.

 

I’m a person who can lean too heavily on routine. I hate getting lost, even though my sense of direction is admittedly good. (Just don’t ever ask me road names, because I’ll tell you to turn at the blinky light and if you passed the sheep, you’ve gone too far.) When faced with this roadblock, I wasn’t quite sure if I should just head home and go back the next day.

 

And then I realized I knew exactly where to go, how to get around the mess. Sometimes, we are far more capable than we realize. So, I went off on my alternate route, based on a vague memory of a way I’d gone twelve years ago—and I got to where I needed to be. It wasn’t the way I’d intended on going, but the end result was a win.

 

It struck me that life is often like that. When we’re faced with a difficult thing, a detour, an impasse—we have a choice. We can turn around and run, or we can figure it out. If it’s worth it, you muddle through it. Sometimes, you might even surprise yourself. A roadblock doesn’t mean you have to quit. It just means there’s another way—you just have to find it. It might lead you somewhere weird, on the way to getting where you need to be. It might make you nervous. But things that seem impossible are not always so.

 

Maybe you need this reminder. You don’t have to go the way you’ve always gone. You don’t have to turn around and give up. You can take a different path. You can try a different way. You can decide that you’re more than a comfortable routine.

 

Bravery, darlings, is never an absence of fear. It’s not letting fear take the wheel. This is your wild and precious life. How will you live it before you leave it? Because this I know: no one regrets being too open, in the end. No one ever whispers on their death bed, “I wish I was a little more closed off. I wish I was a bit more timid.”

 

You get this life. You owe it to yourself to live, not just get by.

Categories: Uncategorized

a crossroads, an unusual love

October 16, 2018 Leave a comment

So, I adopted a cat on Saturday, because my best friend is amazing. She took me to get one, because it had been a little over a year since I had to put my last kitty to sleep. And it was time.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted a kitten or a cat, but I was leaning toward cat. I swore I wanted to get a black kitty, because they’re less likely to be adopted. But when I got there, looked around and met all the little fur monsters, I had to leave my expectations behind.

The black cat I saw didn’t have the right personality for me. The black kittens were far too energetic. But then there was this diluted calico who seemed perfect. She was sweet, cuddly, loving. I nearly adopted her, but she needed thousands of dollars of dental work right off the bat — and as cute as she was, that was not a good choice for me.

Then, I met Bernard, a grey, polydactyl cat ( not pterodactyl, which is what I keep wanting to say) — who looks to be part Maine Coon. He’s wee, only five pounds, and very sweet. And I had a choice to make: put my expectations aside and go with heart or not.

I went with my heart, as I tend to do, and brought him home. His name is now Thor, because who names a cat Bernard? He’s a love monster, with soft fur, and he doesn’t shed. I’ve never had a cat who didn’t shed, so I’m assuming he’s some kind of feline magic. Regardless, Thor thinks he’s a dog and settled in quiet perfectly so far. He loves to play. He gives kisses and will shove his whole head in your face for love. Basically, he’s my kind of kitty.

But this experience made me think about life, too. Sometimes, we have a plan, a way life is supposed to go. Then we’re presented with a choice, a crossroads, an unusual love. And you stand there and you think, “Okay, to the left is what I’m SUPPOSED to do. It’s what I thought I wanted.” And the other direction, “But there’s this heart space, something I couldn’t have foreseen or guessed at. It requires leaving expectations and old thoughts/ways behind.” So, what do you choose?

The answer is simple and complicated, twined together. Because there’s always a “right” answer, but it may not look right for the outside. There’s always something that lights you up and makes your heart say, “Yes, this.” But it might be terrifying. It might require you to step a different way, and that’s rarely easy.

The truth is, when you choose the answer that’s right for you, it can often make you want to throw up. I mean, obviously, not in terms of cat selection, but life stuff. Life is a messy labyrinth that gets us all in end.

But you know where you heart lies. You know the way it leads. You know the direction it points. It’s possible to shove it down and continue on with the ordinary, pull expectations around you like a blanket. Only that blanket has holes in it. It’s too short. It’s frayed. It never keeps you as warm as you think.

And one last thing: sometimes, you have to figure things out as you go. Sometimes, life is one plot twist after another, and you have to decide on-the-fly. Sometimes you may even surprise yourself. When you do, you might end up with the most unexpected bit of love.

Categories: Uncategorized