*A song that has been in my head for days. I hear it on the radio and can't make out what the chorus is. It sounds, to me, like "One triangle goose", and even though I know that's not what it is actually saying, that is what goes through my ears when it's on.
Speed bumps in life are inevitable. We need them to expand as a person, to force us from our comfort zone and grow in new directions. Life would be flimsy and unsubstantial without them.
Some of life's speed bumps are a fantastic shove into new realities....marriage, the birth of your children, finding the most perfect job you could imagine for yourself. These are pleasant, soul-thrilling experiences.
Other speed bumps can be soul-searing. The unexpected death of a loved one, divorce, major illness. These are the ones that can run the whole spectrum of character-building. They can build you up strong or knock you flat. It's your choice as to which it will be.
I'm no different than anyone else, when it comes to my life's speed bumps. I've tried to excel at the good and tried to roll with the bad. The choices I made have dictated the direction of my life.
I was a young, irresponsible person once. We all were. I made choices at some turns in the road that had far-reaching consequences.
There is a line in "Out of Africa" that I think of frequently...
"I think the world was made round, so we could not see too far down the road."
My life has been charmed lately....a stable life, two great kids, great friends and a position at an organization that fulfills me and allows me to hold my head up high, proud that I am making a difference in the world.
But what happens when a voice from the past turns up, and instead of reminiscing about the fun and the good, shouts into my face all the real and imagined wrongs I am guilty of? Things that I haven't thought about in years, because the person I was is not the person I am now?
How do I deal with that?
What is the statute of limitation on bad choices? Do I deserve to be punished for a bad choice I made when I was a teenager or in my early twenties, when I have spent my life since then doing my best to be the best person I can be?
It has me in a tailspin, this voice from the past. Not from what the voice is saying, but the feelings it has awoken in me. Am I a better person? Have I evolved into what I wanted to be?
When does my responsibility end for situations that I would handle in a completely different way now, than I would have 10 or 20 years ago?
And just like that song* that will not stop running through my head with the wrong words, I cannot stop my thoughts from running in the wrong direction...backwards. Toward those irresponsible choices, the mess I was. It has proven to be impossible to see the real and true parts of myself while the song of the past serenades me from around the wrong turn in the road.
And until I can rouse myself from this abyss, I will stare at the map.
Not to find out where I need to go, but to figure out where I am.