“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Drift; it’s a funny word that conjures images of fallen leaves and shards of weathered wood as they saunter their way down an indolent stream. How is it that sometimes it seems depressively applicable to our journey in this rather capricious life? (And, yes, I’m fully aware of the fact that “depressively” is not an actual word, but it should be. If you have issues with my fabricated should-be-words, you’ll want to leave this blog immediately as I am unlikely to cease my use of them any time soon ;o)) How is it that even some of us with the most driven, type-A personalities still find ourselves sometimes suffering from this-is-not-the-life-i-signed-up-for-itis?

When one imagines the aforementioned stream with dappled light dancing on its surface, it elicits feelings of peace and serenity, but when we ourselves feel like we’re ‘drifting,’ we feel anything but peaceful. Having been mired in a place of listlessness, I found myself coming to loathe the word ‘drift.’ It seemed to be the order of the day. Despite all my best-laid plans; my years of creating mental outlines complete with bullet points of all the things I’d accomplish by a specific age, I had failed.

Fail. Perhaps the only word in the English language to surpass ‘drift,’ in its ability to throw me into a state of total morose.

Sure ‘fail,’ is a relative term, but does it really matter too terribly much if everyone around us tells us we’re wonderful, smart, beautiful, funny, loved, etc. if we feel somehow differently? I mean, don’t get me wrong–anyone who knows me can testify to the fact that I am not lacking in self confidence–but, I am undeniably my most severe critic. I suspect this is true–to some varying degree–of each of us.

So as my choices and the Universe’s plans for me conspired to guide me down a path that was not in accordance with intended plans, I found my trademarked self-scrutiny becoming tempered. I looked at my life, that had seemed on some level to be lacking for whatever reason, and started to see something different. It was never an issue of not being grateful for things I had, because I was and am, it was more an issue of disappointment. Disappointment in myself for having somehow neglected to have systematically crossed off each item of decreasing significance from my mental checklist. You know what’s really ridiculous? The fact that as I get older/awesomer (another word from the annals of Hollie-bonix) I start to find plans becoming not only less and less appealing, but considerably more limiting. Maybe the Universe does know a thing or two about me and who I’m supposed to be. Maybe I don’t know everything.

Imagine that. Talk about turning your every notion on its ear…;o)

So I stand here, firmly planted in the garden of my thirties with a mental life’s list crumbled in a metaphorical wastebasket and a Cheshire grin pasted to my face. Don’t misunderstand me, I definitely have plans, they just don’t dictate my every thought nor do they determine my self worth. And, like life, they’re fluid. They’re open to evolution and influence as I become whoever it is Hollie’s supposed to be. We’re working in tandem, the Universe and I, rather than having me impose my charmingly-stubborn don’t-tell-me-I-can’t-do-whatever-I-want will on life.

So sometimes I remember the bullet points I’d so painstakingly composed all those years ago and as I do, I don’t become sorrowful or feel in some way inadequate. I feel…free. Free to have possibility and opportunity and to not always know with unerring surety what each day, month and year should entail. And then I chuckle to myself–no I guffaw–because I was silly and young and endearingly human (still am) and constantly being surprised. Like I am so often on those occasions when I think with warm affection about one of my new favorite words: ‘drift.’ While it perhaps shouldn’t be a life’s motto, it definitely serves a purpose. Without those moments of aimlessness, I would never have had the opportunity to be still enough to hear all the things the Universe had been screaming at me all those years and to reach the conclusion that seems to be becoming the slogan for my life: the Universe is pretty damn smart.

But I guess if I’ve learned that, maybe I am, too…  :*)



“The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.” -Elbert Hubbard