So, I spent the entire Thanksgiving weekend thinking (waaayyyy too much IMO). But for those people who actually think about what they want in their lives (vs. being blissfully happy and unaware of their surroundings…….. which I envy … more about this later), “having it all” is a theme that seems to occupy a lot of my thoughts these days.
“Having it all”… what does this mean? From my experience, it has different meaning for every person – There are probably as many different ‘meanings’ as there are people on this earth…. but, the idea is that people will be able to give love and get love in equal amounts, in ways that they can understand…. and/or balance their work and life.. and/or balance work, personal needs, kids, etc. …. and have financial security, and have passion…. all this bundled into one happy life.
“Having it all”… is it possible? For me, the answer is yes. But the history behind this answer goes back to 1994, when one of my favorite movies came out – Shawshank Redemption. For me, “having it all” means that I make a point to live life fully and completely, that I create my life thru conscious choice. For me, this means that I won’t be sitting on the sidelines, that I will be out there, living and experiencing life to its absolute fullest. And by doing this, and only this, will I find the love, passion, excitement, and happiness that I so crave and deserve.
Now that I’ve decided that “having it all” is possible, what does that mean for me? It means getting engaged, staying engaged, and be willing, no matter what, to succeed (or fail and picking myself up) in life:
- To be confident enough to stand alone (when no one will stand with me),
- To be strong enough to believe (when others tell me to be o.k. with what I’ve got),
- To be humble in success (when others say how lucky I am .. and I know differently),
- To move on in failure (even if its just to the closest local Taco Bell)
I haved lived this way for 14 years (since 1994), and it has not been easy. The road has been rocky, chalk full of good (and bad) choices. But I live without regret – because it takes a lot of energy to live consciously… and I do know, without a doubt, that when I go to my grave, I have done everything to the best of my ability.
So how has the idea, this notion of “having it all” effected me? Immensely and to the core of my being. I want it all – a loving an attentive partner, lifelong friends, supportive family, passion, security, possibly child(ren),… all the regular trappings that most folks want. Simple pleasures really. I thought I had this, but it wasnt meant to be. From the outside it surely looked like I had everything… but it didn’t feel like that on the inside – unfortuntately for me, I couldn’t make my partner love me (all my efforts were futile). And I learned, the hard way, that the only person I can be is myself, and people will either love it, or not. Nothing I can do about that except be wiser, smarter, and more aware the next time around.
Giving up the comfort of my marriage was the hardest decision I’ve made to date. My marriage was not bad, and in some respects it was very good: It was safe, it was comfortable. But it wasn’t loving, it wasn’t connected, it felt distant to me, and this is why I was unhappy. I’ve had people tell me (all well meaning advice) that I “should just be happy with what I’ve got”… or use it as a stepping stone to get all the things I want (financial stability, a child, etc..).. niether of these choices felt like options to me. I decided to take my chances to “have it all”. I am so very aware of what I’ve left behind… what I’ve chosen to let go of for the chance for “something more”. Why did I do this? Sometimes I wonder.
Every day I ask myself myself why, and pretty much, I come to the same conclusion: Because what I couldn’t answer, or rather I did answer and didn’t like what I heard/saw/felt was, “what would happen to me, my spirit, my being IF I had stayed for the wrong reasons?” I know myself and I know I would have died inside… On the outside my life would have looked grand, but I would have been numb inside, going with the flow, unhappy, and truth be told, busy dying (vs. living). The only person I would have deceived by being complacent was me.
Anyway, life is really hard right now. My sadness has effected every aspect of my life. BUT, I do realize that I have made the choice to walk down a different path, take the chance, give up what I had, in hopes that I can have/find “it all”. Right now, all I hope is that I recover from the heartache, awake from the fog, and be strong, able, and grateful to actually experience “it all”. Right now, I am focused on the daily to-do’s such as waking and getting up, engaging in life via friends, work, etc..
So, yes, to summarize this very long post, I believe that “having it all” is not only possible, but that I’m closer to “it” than I was before. But I also realize that I will not truly “have it all” until I fully engage in life (whatever that is … time will tell), choosing awareness, lose my inhibitions, take risks, and get out there and play in this game called life. And most of important of all, do whatever it takes to live without regret (again). This to me, is living life fully and completely.