Full Moons and Shooting Stars

almost-full
In a comment a reader wrote that she was not sure who she was anymore and that her journey of daily self gratification may not be what was best for her in the long run. I have often wished that I could be one of those people that could throw all care to the wind and just live my life selfishly, not thinking about others or the long term results even on my own life. The reality is that some of these people never suffer consequences, but I never believed that they lived lives of much substance either. I’m not sure I agree with that anymore. A good friend of mine in her middle thirties decided that she had enough of her corporate world and that she wanted to have some fun before she died, whether it was that year or forty years later. So, she sold everything she had and followed the Warped Band Tour for the summer. During that time, she met and fell in love with a band member, and now lives in Berlin with him and is rescuing street cats. Maybe not the life that I would choose for myself, but she has lived a life. Definitely. And the more I look around me, I realize that people are divided by a very distinct line; one side defined by rules and expectations and the other side dominated by freedom and creative spirit.

This weekend, I was in a store and had raked up quite a large tab. While the cashier, who was dancing the entire time she worked to the loud music in the background, rang up my clothes, we talked about singers she and I both liked and how music was integral to the soul. She looked at me and said, “I’ll give you a 30% discount if you get on the counter top and dance for one minute.” My heart began racing as I looked around at the ten to fifteen people in the small store. I knew I could not leave if I didn’t do this small task. So, I got up on top of the counter, something completely out of my character, and began dancing to Michael Jackson as he crooned on the satellite radio. One minute felt like and hour. Afterwards, she told me how much my discount came to, but in reality, I had done it for the story, not the discount. I had taken a risk, no matter how small, and the payoff would be huge because I felt liberated, at least a little.

Having worked with addicts and alcoholics in recovery for over thirteen years, and being one myself, I have dealt with the issue of living one day at a time, but I’ve always believed it was important to plan for the future while living one day at a time. You can live in today while planning and being accountable for your future. This concept was often difficult for many people in early recovery. My mother was also a recovering alcoholic of almost thirteen years and even though she believed fully in the concept of surrender, she lived with fear daily which kept her from enjoying daily self gratification. So, what do I think…

I think the road back to yourself is in that mirror. Take away the old postcard and write a new one. Find a new quote to live by. Find a new theme song. Mine changes often. After my mom passed away, I found a painting I had done for her years ago with a saying I had written, “She never realized that when she reached that age she would simply cocoon into a shooting star…and dance away into her own secret wishes.” Truly live every day as if it were your last, but knowing that it isn’t. Kiss your boyfriend, husband, lover as if it were going to be the last time…take risks…dance on counter tops…but pay your bills and clean out the fridge, because this probably won’t be your last day. But give yourself an annual review. Are you living your life the way that will make you proud on that last day? Will you have achieved a third, a half or any of the dreams you had when you were younger or the new ones you have just conceived? Dream big, live big and be responsible. Accountability to our own souls and the hearts of others is important in achieving our dreams because we can’t be proud of what we’ve done, if we dance on the graves of others.

Take risks daily and enjoy your life. I make choices every day that maybe would not be accepted by others, but I do not live my life by their definition, I live by mine. I tango gently on that line between freedom and rules. That is where I am comfortable. Where are you comfortable. What are you ok with in your own life? Find that line and dance, dance, dance…

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