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Posted on 2016.10.29 at 23:34
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Do you believe in destiny? Or is destiny what we create? Are we alone in this universe or is there life waiting for us to be ready to accept it? How do you know if the choices you make are the right ones? Do you feel a sense of wonder and awe when you look into the night sky and think of how far away the twinkling star is...and how insignificant all our problems are? To be honest, what really matters in life?

I don't have answers to life's questions, but I believe perhaps the answers are unimportant; the point is the search for the answer. We are told from so many angles to look at the end of the journey, results, outcomes...but are those truly what is the essence of our humanity? Are those the things we really should be focusing on? And will those things aid us the most in our efforts to make the world a better place?

I really don't think so. There is a time and place of course...without a goal there is no focus to drive us forward, but whether we reach that goal or not isn't the purpose of the goal. Maybe it is my age or maybe it is my life experience that has brought me here. As a perfectionist it feels odd to say such a thing, but as I say it I also know it is true.

Two conversations stick out in my mind. One was when a person told me if I lost weight I might have an easier time finding a date, that basically people were judgmental and would be willing to get to know me if I was thinner. To which my response was if they are going to judge me based on my weight they aren't the type of person I'm looking for anyway. The second was someone telling me she wanted me to have my masters before she retired, that it was the only way to get a raise in my profession. I didn't have much of a response because in my mind I wanted to tell her I just need enough money to pay for what I need and a little extra...I don't need a lot of money as I don't place a lot of value in things.

I don't see the world through that lens. To me what matters is the stories, the emotions, the memories... Those are the things that make me, me. Those are the things that I hold dear--not my car, the size of my house, or what new electronics I possess. I just don't live in that world and I don't think I can...and I'm not ashamed or sad about it. In fact, what pains me is that other people seem trapped in that world.

On another note...it's okay. I'm used to proving people wrong and I'm used to having to shut the door and transform the pain into compassion. I have more important things to attend to...and my only real regret is having taken so long to get to this point. Perhaps it was necessary to finally walk forward without looking back, but still.

My grandfather was placed in a nursing home, refusing to acknowledge a problem. I visited him this week...most of the time he recognized me. Other times he lapsed into the past. When it was the more recent past he would speak of me...when it was the distant past he spoke of his wife and baby. I wonder, is it scary for him? Is it confusing or does his brain just switch time periods with ease? Does it cause him a lot of frustration when he is in the present day? Is he aware of what is happening or is he truly oblivious of it?

I almost hope he is unaware, unable to feel pain or regret about what he cannot control. My maternal grandfather's body deteriorated, but he went quickly. My maternal grandmother I watched die in hospice for three weeks unable to really communicate anything except pain. Now I am watching as my paternal grandfather loses himself--his memories, his reality, his thoughts. And in doing so I watch my paternal grandmother break admitting what she can no longer do.

And I see and hear so many who choose to look the other way or walk past, focusing on their results and their careers...not even realizing what is slipping through their fingers. I have seen so much death, seen the awful regret in eyes young and old alike...our time here is so terribly limited. We must not waste it chasing after things that are strictly constructs of the material world. We are so much more than what we can hold in our hands and touch.

Our hopes, our dreams, our thoughts...that is who we are; not what we have. What we feel is so much more important than if we agree...when you look out at the sunrise, what do you see? How do you feel? We are part of something so much bigger than merely this life, our awards, our deeds, or our bank account. What matters is who you are, and who you are is determined by something much deeper than grades, evaluations, words, and achievements. You cannot purchase the soul anymore than you can purchase the sky, neither can you limit it.

So often we forget ourselves and allow the world to place limits upon us. We begin to believe that because they are more than me alone, that they must be more correct. How wrong we are...we determine who we are. We do not need them to take flight, for the air is already there to support us if we only spread our wings and believe in ourselves.

I teach, not to teach music, not to have some awesome orchestra, not to create amazing musicians, not to gain recognition or awards; I teach so that others will believe in themselves and take that risk to jump from the safety branch to discover who they really are and fly to their dreams and beyond.

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