Mar 1 2012

on fixing what’s broken

And letting be what is not.

The hardest part is deciding which is which. Choosing what to excise, considering what is worth keeping. It seems like it should be easy, no, simple. But if there is one thing I have learned in my almost 50 years of life, it is that very few things are simple.We want answers where none exist, permanence where there is only temporary, stability where there is only change. Constant, continual change.

It’s can be hard to keep up. Hard to let go of old habits and possessions and comforts. There is always the possibility that you will get it wrong. The potential for regret. I’m not a fan of regret.

And some of it comes down to actually attempting to change who you are. To overcome your own weaknesses and turn them into something resembling strengths. Part of me wonders if it is even possible. I am not an overly-organized sort of person, my desk is always, always a scattered mess of papers, I put paperwork off to the very last minute, I procrastinate about doing things that need, truly NEED, to be done.

There are smaller things in my life that have needed fixing for years. Literally years. Some days I stop and I wonder how this happens. The door that still doesn’t close quite right, the shower spout that needs replacing. The window I never open because the screen needs repair. These are all things I know how to do, yet, somehow, they never manage to be done.

All things I want to change, things I have attempted to change over and over again. And almost always, I have failed. Am I attempting the impossible? If I’m simply not wired to be a certain way, should I just live with the way things are?

Except. I’m not happy with the way they are.

So the quest continues. New resolutions are made. Habits are battled. The square peg that I am becomes a bit more worn around the edges, slowly evolving into roundness. Very slowly. Shape-shifting is a difficult thing.

Perhaps that is because deep down, I’m perfectly fine with being square. Actually, more than fine with it, glad of it.

However, the world I live in is round.

And so, I compromise. It seems to be a matter of survival. I learn as I go along, and hopefully don’t make the same mistakes too often. I struggle with my imperfections, my inability to be the kind of person I am not. I find ways to work around it, ways to be who I am and still live in the world that exists.

But it takes a lot of effort and energy and time. Time I would rather be spending otherwise. My aptitudes lie in other places. But I am realizing, as age chips away at the time I have left, that getting better at fixing and maintaining and discarding will, in the long run, give me more of the kind of time that matters.

I just have to keep working on sanding down those square edges, getting them to fit into the places I need to be, at least on the surface.

Of course, in my heart and my head, I will always be square.

And I will always be fine with that.

I can’t help it, it’s who I am.