Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Snow Globes and Caterpillars and Pathways, Oh My

Consider the snow-globe, if you will. A snow-globe is lovely just as it is, sitting on a table or shelf. A glass ball filled with water and ... For the purposes of this exercise, let's say that inside the snow-globe there is an owl. A white owl on a white porcelain perch. It's pretty.

Until you shake it.

And then? As white and iridescent glitter swirl around it and light dances off of it?

It's beautiful.


People like to ask me what I believe in -- I have the kinds of friends who like to talk about these things -- and I believe in the journey. I believe in movement, and learning as you move. I believe that the missteps and things you learn from them are every bit as important as the paths that are easy and restful.

And I believe that everything and everyone is a work in progress. You, me, the guy who lives next door and really likes club jams, the people who think you're awesome, and the people who have decided that you are not awesome. We're all on our way to becoming better versions of ourselves, all of the time.


I sometimes think that caterpillars must be scared out of their little bug minds in that moment when they start to build their cocoons. "Gonna become something else! Something totally different! I've never even had a flying lesson!" They build them anyway. They build them, and they totally remake themselves, and while the end result is astonishing, so is the rebuilding process.


It takes courage and faith not only to accept change, but also to embrace it.

It takes patience to believe in the journey. Patience, and the knowledge that even if you don't end up where you thought -- and you sometimes won't -- it's not the worst thing that could happen because you've figured a bunch of stuff out on the way. You've revealed some of who you are to yourself and to others. You have an idea of where to go next.

You could grouse about it. Folks do. You can complain that the people on the path are stupid and are ruining! Your! Life! and make them feel badly about their journey -- which, though it may be in tandem with yours at points, is not the same one -- and put your energy into big buckets of negativity. You could do that. But before you do, remember this: YOU carry those buckets. They will only hurt you. They will only slow you down.


You can be lovely. A snow-globe on a shelf, motionless, gathering dust. Or you can be exceptional.

You have to choose.

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