Life, Lemons, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

And I’m back on the horse.

October wasn’t a good month. I quit writing, I quit caring, and nothing seemed to matter in the wake of what turned out to be a pretty awful turn in life. While most can attest that the rhythmic humdrum of life helps us to stay in stride, we forget what it can feel like when that cadence changes – or stops all together.    

Now, I’m not here to write about my life; I’m here to convey and explore ideas. Yet, my day, my happenstances, and my occurrences all shape the way I continue to pursue my idea of life.

And for the last month and a half – my idea was to quit.  So I did.

My greatest aim in life is not to share it with others. My highest goal is not to garner praise, sympathy, or accolade. I don’t even care how many people will like this blog post (that’s probably a lie.).

My greatest goal in life is simply to enjoy it.

But sometimes life just blows.

Life is not a roller coaster – roller coasters are ridden voluntarily. Life is not. It just is. It just happens.

It’s hard. It’s wonderful. It’s beautiful. It’s filled with horror. It’s laden with sadness. It’s mixed with delight, surprise, and celebration. It provides us with ethereal moments of rapture. It vexes us with hardship and chaos.

It just is.

So what do we make of it?

When life throws happenings our way, we can take them in stride; we can let them fold us over.  We can step over them or we can let them drag us along. And really, I think all choices are appropriate depending on the circumstances. When life sucks we need to acknowledge it. We need empathy, not ignorance. We need acceptance, not blind optimism. We need compassion, not fatalism.

Yet. Eventually, we move forward. We must.

Yes, there is loneliness, depression, abandonment, and tribulation.  There’s a myriad of oppression, misfortune, and disillusionment.  At times, the life we breathe simply chokes us with sadness.

But then again, there’s this little thing called hope that takes up residence in our hearts.  It gives us clarity, recalibrates our dreams, and shapes the vision for which we aim. It paves the way for resilience -it tears its way into our outlook – but only if we want it to, let it. It helps us to determine our next steps, and it helps us to sharpen our focus on the present.

Albeit, only if we want it to. Choose to.

We have the choice of what to do with the present. And in this present, we get to choose which mode of operation will prevail. We choose to be bitter or better. And again, there is no wrong choice – but whatever choice we make – whatever bed we make, we must lay in it. And its up to me how long I lie.    

So here’s to lemons, horses, and fatalists: may you forever be over-simplifications and not models for living.

As for me, I’ll pursue the idea that life is - as always – what we make of it.  Life is not merely what happens, but how we act as a result. It is not the story we tell ourselves, but the narrative that unfolds before us. Life is the outward response to our choices and the unavoidable circumstances that come in between. Life is now. It’s the only one I have.