figuring it out is a valid place to be

If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.
— anatole france

In process.
Under construction.
In the midst of figuring it out. 

There is much promise in those words. Promise of things to come. Excitement for what is next. Glimmers of magical hope. 

There is also a shadow of darkness in those words. They can mean incomplete. fragmented. insufficient. undeveloped. lacking.

It depends on how you choose to look at it. How you choose to look at your life, at your work, at the interruptions and obstacles. 

We live our lives on a timeline, linear, moving from one thing to the next and the next and calling that progress. First there's twelve years of school, then four years of college, then career, marriage, and children, ending in retirement from work, ease, and death. It's a grading curve that no one I know measures up to. I don't know a single person who is falling anywhere on that line in the way that we, as a culture, have been conditioned to define a good life. 

The reality is that plans are made and unmade. Life is lived well and then there are times of just getting by. Bumps and bruises are par for the course. Losing our way in order to find a truer way. 

The image above is of words spoken in a conversation with another woman who shares many of my own life experiences. We began our families young and we had more than the average number of children and we devoted our lives to homeschooling and homemaking. We could manage time like a boss! Juggling schedules and feeding children and doing laundry. Chauffeuring led to teaching them to drive. Lesson plans done and discarded and leaning into the trust that they will learn and thrive when given the freedom to learn and thrive. 

Now on the other side, she has all adult children and mine are all but one. We are returning to discovering ourselves as artists. We are excavating our next. It is new territory because we are doing now what society says we should have done when we were twenty. Does that make us less than? Of course not! In many ways, we are better equipped with our years of wisdom. 

It all feels new though. It feels like a life in process, under construction. We are in the midst of figuring it out. In our most vulnerable moments, we feel the shadow. We feel incomplete, fragmented, undeveloped. We feel the shame because ... good grief ... we should have our shit together by now! We should know that we know that we know what the next step is. 


This space? This being in process and figuring it out? This is a valid place to be. It is a good and worthy place to be. The false narrative is that linear timeline. The truth, and the wisdom of the truth, is that life is a scribble of lines, crossing back and forth over each other, circling around and again. We don't have to stay on track. It is a continuous line of discovery and mapping our own way. 

So, if you find yourself in that place right now, that place of figuring out your life when you thought you should know by now, rest assured that others are with you there. Young ones and old ones and in-between ones. 

Hey ... since we are all here anyway ... let's have a dance party! My favorite kitchen dance party song is Dreams by Beck. What's yours? Tell me in the comments! Even better, leave a link the song. We'll make a playlist.