This is your life

‘This is your life’ is a phrase that has defined the past three years of my life.  The first time I thought of it was during my junior year of college when, biking home, peering into the windows of nighttime house, these words floated into my mind.  I remember saying this phrase over and over to myself as I pumped faster and faster, the pavement humming as fall air rushed past me.  Images of cooking dinner with friends, settling down to study in my tiny bedroom, feeling happy and sad and full as I wondered in and out of classrooms filled my head.  This was my life, this bike ride home, this house, this story, this life.

Since then this phrase has been a means of measuring and evaluating myself.  This is your life, in moments that I am happy it is a celebration.  This is your life, in moments that I am unhappy it is a kick in the pants that tells me to make a change and take charge of creating what I want.

This is your life.

This is my life.

Today my life was eating blood oranges with red centers that stained my hands, Lee mandarin oranges so sweet they tasted sugar coated, and pink oranges whose flavor reminded me of pink lemonade.

Yesterday my life was walking through the hills of Malibu, scrambling over rocks to a waterfall where delicate strings of algae and moss hung like hair.

Last week my life was learning the names and favorite colors of five pure, sweet sixth grade girls, giggling at their jokes, braiding their hair, telling stories, and passing out hugs at night.

Two weeks ago my life was a long hike down hill to a natural hot spring and then a long hike back up, my body tight and hot from the climb, scrubbed clean by the sand and the water.

My life is also a restless feeling of dissatisfaction, a frustration with the lack of personal time available to me, a wonder of where I should be devoting my time.

This is your life.

This is my life.

I think that as long as I remember this phrase, as long as I celebrate the good and kick myself in the pants to change the not so good, that I’ll be ok.

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