I read a line the other day, forgive me for not remembering who said it, "Life is suffering. And yet..." There isn't a whole lot of fluff to it and its certainly not the kind of line that usually sends me into a tizzy. But on this day, in this life, the 'And yet' could not have felt more righteous. I say this because I'm starting to realize that sometimes "the answers" don't come wrapped with shiny red bows and land directly on our doorstep. Sometimes, though we are taught to think otherwise, the right thing to do is not as clear or as obvious as we are told it will be when the time is right, when we are ready to see it.
Sometimes THE answer is just showing up. Showing up to life and giving it a whirl. Showing up to life and apologizing, head hung low, for whatever you're carrying on your shoulders. Showing up to life and saying, "I don't know how the hell this is going to work" and someone nodding and saying, "Neither do I." Showing up even though you have been throwing up the entire way there. Showing up even though its one of those days where you wish you had the financial freedom to stay in bed. Showing up because you said you would or because you love the person on the other side of the door. And sometimes, showing up means saying no, because you have something more important to do, like take care of yourself.
I guess this is why the 'And yet' spoke to me so deeply. Life right now, and for the next few years, is going to be hard and stressful and broke at times. There will be suffering and it will require growing up. But you keep going for the And yet, the moments where you look around, despite your account balance and overwhelming stress, and realize how much you love this life, the life that you get to shape into your own special story. Sometimes, my And yet moment is when I have a really exhausting day, the bus takes forever, it's hot as hell, and I get to the doorstep and Zach opens the door smiling, and it all melts away. Sometimes, my And yet moment is when my boss and I cannot fathom how we are going to get it all done, and in the midst of it, we find ourselves giggling like crazy. Sometimes, it's just seeing Maddy's face, after all this time, growing up together, and still getting to have her as my friend. Sometimes, it's when I cannot fathom how I'm going to make it, and Sara texts me asking for advice, and I realize we are in the same boat, or when Sara sends me a postcard, and all of the negativity flies out of the window. Sometimes, it's Phoebe pulling up aggressively in her weird little bean car to save the day. Usually, it's my meem, talking me down from whatever mental crises I'm having, and reminding me, how young I am and how good I have it. Yes, my people are almost always my And yets.
I have almost always put more weight on choosing the perfect career path than I have on actually liking my life. Over the past few months, I've realized how scary it is that I'm not 100% sure what I want to be when I grow up. But I've also realized that my life is really special and I am lucky to love a lot of miraculous people and to in turn be loved by them. Maybe I won't know what I'm going to do until I just do it. Maybe that's okay. Maybe that doesn't make me any less smart, just less convinced that there is only one right path.
I don't know what comes next and yet, I love right now.