I haven’t done a ‘tea talk’ in a while, and in the few moments I’ve had to just contemplate the meaning of life lately, something keeps coming to mind: the idea of clarity. As I mentioned in one of my recent posts, a lot changed in my life in a very short time, and it was a bit of a whirlwind that I’m still trying to sift my way through. However, the more life goes on, and the more minutes and days pass, the more I have this overwhelming sense of clarity. The definition of clarity is a clearness of thought or style (according to a free online dictionary), and I think that this is pretty accurate. I don’t know about you, but I feel really damn good about my life lately. I feel like I’m starting to get my stuff together, and realize I want to be. I want to look back when I’m sixty years old, with gray hair, and a big family, and know that I did something of importance to someone… even if it was something that was only important to me.
So, what is clarity? And how the hell does it apply to life? For me, clarity comes in the small moments. It comes rushing in in the moments when I least expect it. It consumes me, and overwhelms me, but lets me know that everything, and I do mean everything, is exactly as it is supposed to be. Clarity, or at least my interpretation of clarity, applies to my life because there are moments when I take a deep breath, and realize that everything in my life, including the awful messes, led me to where I am right now. And right now is really important because it affects where I go from here. For me, clarity has come lately in the sense that I’ve begun to understand things about myself I never realized. For example, I like being single. I have this really terrible tendency of falling for the wrong people, and putting my trust in people who don’t care or change their minds. But a few weeks ago, I was walking across campus, and I realized that people come into our lives for a reason, to teach us something—to teach us what we don’t want, to teach us that some people are immensely selfish, or to teach us that being loyal means different things to different people—but regardless of what they teach us, they spent time in our lives because we needed them for some reason. And when people leave our lives, we should let them go, because if they really wanted to be a part of us, they would be. And that was a moment of clarity for me.
My second major moment of clarity recently is that I have absolutely no idea what I actually want to do with my life. For years, I’ve wanted to be a writer, someone who writes something that means something to someone, and I still want to write. But I also want to go into publishing. Ever seen The Proposal? I want to be Sandra Bullock, but nicer, and with a soy pumpkin chai latte instead of her unsweetened cinnamon light soy latte. Anyway, lately though, the idea of law school keeps entering my mind. I don’t know why, and I don’t know if I’ll end up at law school in roughly 2.5 years, but hey, maybe. The clarity, though, happened when I realized that I really don’t need to know. I’m nineteen years old, and I have time to figure it out. I just need to do me for now, and maybe I’ll have a moment of clarity in the future that tells me what direction my life should go in. Who knows? What I do know, is that you can plan your life out exactly how you want it, and you can think you know everything about how things are going to go, but there are a lot of factors in life, and when one changes, everything is thrown off course. There are no re-dos in life. We don’t get to wake up tomorrow, and re-do today, and we can’t un-make decisions, and we can’t change the fact that what we do affects people, and we can’t change the fact that people are going to stop believing in us. What we can do is us. We can be who we are, and we can do things that make us happy, and we can be better than the people who change their minds.
Clarity allows us to realize where we are. It allows us to figure out what we like, what we don’t like, the mistakes we’ve made, the decisions we’ve made, and the people we’ve gained and lost. I don’t think I’ve ever had a negative moment of clarity. By this I mean that I don’t think there has ever been a moment of clarity where I think to myself, well, shit, I really screwed up. Usually, I just become unspeakably thankful. I usually am thankful for the bullets I’ve dodged, the people who love me, books that read me, songs that speak to exactly what I’m going through, chunky sweaters, pumpkin flavored anything, and oversized mugs that spread warmth. Knowing things is dangerous because it can tear you down, cut you open, and break your spirit, but at the end of the day, it’s better to know the truth because no one wants to wake up one day and realize all they’ve ever known was a lie. Clarity allows us to be okay, and for that, I am thankful. Have you had any moments of clarity lately? If so, are you happier now?