Circumstantial Version

There will be a moment, every now and then, when I look up and wonder how I got to where I am. One day I’m washing dishes and looking out the kitchen window at the eucalyptus tree in the front yard of my house in Morro Bay and considering the steps – and possible missteps – that got me there. Another day there is a brightening behind my eyes and a quietening of my heart and I’m on the field in the football stadium at Cal Poly, having made it to my college graduation at age 43. It’s almost as if I awake into the moment, into my life. These are Talking Heads moments: “You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?”

I experience these awakenings with a frisson of tension and awe, and I spend a little time thinking about other paths I could have taken and the other people I could have been.

The woman I know myself as might be just a circumstantial version. Could I have been a never-divorced wife, the mother of twins, an entrepreneur, author, almost anything I wanted to be? Would I have been “me” if I had a different life?

I rather like these moments of dislocation, these little fractures in the apparent intentionality of my life. I’m humbled by the notion that I actually experience the world through experiences, opinions, decisions that owe as much to accident as to purpose. I have known people who had a plan and followed it and that’s admirable for them, but it wasn’t my way.

I certainly don’t regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it, but I do wonder sometimes just exactly how did I get here?

This entry was posted in Musings.

One comment on “Circumstantial Version

  1. Sheila says:

    I liked this one. Life can be more interesting when you don’t have a self-defined path. One tragic, exciting, or mundane moment is usually what defines the next segment in the course of our life. What possible wonders await around the next corner. There is a good possibility you’ll miss out on something wonderful when following a defined path – like me for example 🙂

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