July 13, 2018 by Julia
I can always do better. And maybe that is okay. It’s not an indictment of my character, or a wallowing in my mistakes, or a despair over my flaws.
After a failure I am tempted to roll around in shame, like a pig in mud, which actually makes it sound a lot more fun than shame is, which means I should probably find a better metaphor. I can find a better metaphor. Maybe not at the moment, as I write this. But that is okay. No need to panic. I don’t need to be improving in every single moment. That would not be better. That would be oppressive.
Making things better, making myself better, is what keeps me learning and growing and exploring. Better will always be on the horizon, calling to me. I want to plunge to the depths and climb so high I can see forever. There is no better life than what I have been given, but there are always better ways to live it and be in it.
Better can be my inspiration, rather than my paralyzing shame. Better can be whatever that means to me, a song that speaks to my heart and mind and body all at once, patiently pulling me down paths that I can’t forsee, but I can enjoy in the moment. A song composed of all of my favorite musical elements: joy countered by angst, rocking, rolling waves, an otherworldly element, layers upon layers of sound and meaning; complexity and beauty. I don’t have to run. I’m allowed to pause. I can walk, and take it all in, as I slowly move forward to better.
Perfection leaves no room for that reaching. Perfection has already arrived and has nowhere else to go. Sometimes I think I want to have arrived. Like, maybe I can finally get some inner peace if I arrived at all the goals. Like I could lie down and rest on the plateau of perfection. But the thing is, I would never want a life comprised of only rest, any more than I want a life of always reaching. I want pauses in the long journey, yes, and I want to forget about the reaching sometimes. This, to me, is better. The pauses make things better, just as the slow walk forward makes things better.
Better can be whatever I want it to be, in my life. Contrast. Light and shadow. Beauty and grit. Peace. Sitting and looking at a waterfall – or diving into the ice-cold water. It depends on the moment.
I want to go, go, go. I want to travel to the outer reaches. I want to rest, rest, rest. I want to see what happens when I do. This is my better.