Connecting the Dots
How do you go about moving on from a messy emotional roller-coaster ride to being okay with life again?
For a few days now, I’ve been wondering how I get back to my life after taking out some dark matter and playing with it a little too long. I’ve used all sorts of negative coping skills trying to get my life back on track. Since I’m older now, that mostly means isolating, avoiding exercise and overeating. A scoop down into a bowl of chocolate ice cream, a memory of my grandmother tapped me on the shoulder.
It was in the fall of the year. James and I were outside (we almost always were) and we got into a full-blown argument. The argument was very silly. Earlier in the day, two boys from up the road had come down to Granny’s to play with James and me. They both had minibikes, as did James, and they were all attempting to do tricks on them. This was during a time when all boys had completely lost their minds over Evel Knievel. Up and down the driveway they went. Long after they were done, the youngest of the two brothers returned and kept going up and down the driveway, showing off. James looked me and said, “He’s just doing that because of you.”
That was all it took and I was fired up. Yep, you guessed it. I had a crush and thought for sure that James knew it. He didn’t and had no idea why I got so mad. But my grandmother knew. She didn’t interrupt the fuss between James and me, but later when I curled up in her lap for her to console me, she said, “Young lady, you’ve got 24 hours to get just as mad as you want to get about this, but after that you get over it and I never want to hear another word about it.”
Looking down into the half-melted bowl of chocolate goo, I realized that I’ve been sulking over this for a lot longer than 24 hours, so it’s time to get over it. I’m sure that it won’t be over for good, but its high time I get my butt off my shoulders and get back to living my life.
Just as I dumped out the bowl and watched the sticky blob and residue wash down the sink, I noticed that The Dane was on a Steve Jobs kick again. The Dane is interesting like that. He will find someone creative that he respects and then read or watch what he can find on them. He’s been on the Steve Jobs kick before so I knew that in the days (weeks) to come, I’d be hearing and learning more about Steve Jobs.
What I didn’t know is that I would find some very good inspiration from him.
This afternoon, I walked into our office with the intention of finally getting around to planning a Christmas party that’s coming up. I delayed pulling up information I’ve been working on and somehow through the spiderweb of google, I ended up on an A&E sight with two episodes of Leah Remini’s new show, “Scientology and the Aftermath.” I was about halfway through the first episode when it broke for yet another commercial break. The Dane leaned back and asked if I minded him playing something he’d found on Jobs that was on YouTube.
It was a commencement speech that Jobs made at Stanford in 2005. In it, he said, “believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart.” I asked The Dane to back it to the beginning and I tuned in to listen. In the speech, Jobs is trying to tell the graduating class that there are times in life when it seems as though things are happening out of your control and it’s only years later when you realize that when you look backwards you can connect the dots that led you to just where you needed to be. I found this idea very interesting.
Sometimes, I get inside myself and do a great bit of wondering what life would have been like if something hadn’t happened. Taking the time to look at what wouldn’t have happened if something else hadn’t isn’t as easy.
After the speech was over, I started thinking about how my life has turned out based on the things that happened just precisely as they did. As Job’s says, “You can only see the connection of the dots by looking backwards.”
As I look back over the course of my life, I can see how each dot traces backward to the one before it and the one before that. And there are certainly things that I would not change for all the world. As I see each dot unfold – my marriage, my children, my career, my friends, my family – all those things that are the most important to me might have been quite different had my path not been put before me exactly as it was. Then it hit me, I LOVE my life just as it is right now. So there, I’ve been as mad as I wanted to be about it and now my 24 hours are up and it’s time to move on.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing my journey.