Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a biography buff when it comes to reading. I just finished reading a biography by Melissa Gilbert entitled, “Prairie Tale…A Memoir,” and I have to say, quite an awesome read. It turns out she is in the same answer-seeking time of life that I am in and it was refreshing to find that I am not alone when it comes to soul-searching and deep thinking. In fact, it almost seems, from people I have talked with and other bios I’ve read, that this “mid-life” era in one’s life, is the time we tend to become soul-searchers. Almost as if it’s programmed into us and if we don’t find the answers we seek to the most sought-after question, i.e. who the hell am I, then we go into an almost panic mode, which I believe is where the term midlife “crisis” comes into play.
Although I’m not sure I would categorize myself as being in full “crisis” mode just yet, I am seeking earnestly for answers. Anyway, I digress. In Melissa’s book there is a section toward the end where she mentions a theory her therapist shared with her about believing that before we move on into each life, if we believe we have many, we sit at a huge, round conference table and choose the souls who will be involved with us in the next life, usually because we have unfinished business with them. The thinking here for Melissa was what lesson each and every person in her life has brought to her, parents, friends, children, enemies, etc. Absolutely anyone and everyone ever to have spoken with you or bumped into you on the sidewalk and didn’t care to say excuse me.
From this I decided on my next round of therapy (self-inflicted as usual). I have started a journal in which each story dons a picture of the person I am writing about and each story is that of lessons learned by this person having touched my life in some way.
I chose this picture of my friend Dawn and I because until I met Dawn, way back in 1997 when my son was 4 (he’s graduating high school this year), I had no one in my life who shared my interest in art and creation. Not only shared it, but had an enormous passion for it as did I. This was huge to me. Not only that, but she has taught me over the years that the quality things in life, writing letters to one another (not on the computer but actual mail), swapping art projects to stay close, sending birthday presents, and just working at staying close (even though she has lived in Ohio forever now), these are things that make the difference. She taught me that perseverance and the “slow and steady wins the race” attitude, will carry you through to your goals.
Now I have an entire journal to get started, but I wanted to share this revelation because maybe other answer-seekers who read this post could really benefit by tackling such a project. I can tell you first hand, even the small amount of work I have put into it thus far has brought me so much perspective.