I have this theory about life. We’re only really as good as our recovery skills.
I’m pretty sure this theory is rooted in kayaking. I remember a quote I heard years ago, something along the lines of “you’re not a good kayaker if you make your A line every time; what makes you a good kayaker is what you do when you don’t get it.”
A lot of learning to kayak is learning recovery skills. Rolling, bracing, and even corrective strokes are skills we use to correct ourselves when we f*** up.
Maybe life is the same way. We get thrown a lot of curve balls, right? So we can’t judge ourselves or each other on the curveballs, but we can use them to practice our recovery skills.
Example: My last blog post was all about my sudden craving for stability, and not wanting to leave all winter this year like normal. I wrote about how I wanted to paint my attic apartment walls and really start to carve out a home for myself.
Ironically, only about a week after that post I was downstairs in the main house doing my laundry when my almost-as-much-as-a-hermit-as-me landlord appeared out of nowhere in the kitchen (we’re both the most awkward).
“Are you still leaving in October?”
“I was actually planning to stay here this winter.”
“I’m getting married in a month when my divorce is final (?!?!?!) and putting the house on the market. I’m so sorry to do this to you, but you’re going to have to move before the new year.”
I can’t remember what I said, I think I just mostly blathered and was like ok ok ok, but it felt like a rug being yanked out from under me. But Charles! This attic is the anchor for the stable life I’m trying so desperately to create! My little space represents so much more than the beauty of seven closets to fill with stuff, it’s my *home*.
The next few days I went through several stages of grief.
Denial: This isn’t happening. I’ll just stay here, no one will ever know. It’s an attic.
Bargaining: Maybe whoever buys it will want me, too. New house+mortgage payment every month! Who doesn’t want that?
Depression: I’ve changed so much about my life this year, of course this would change too.
Finally I called my older brother, also named Charles ironically, and cried about my plight.
“Maybe this is a sign. Maybe I’m meant to be a gypsy, maybe thinking I could have a stable grown up life was a joke and I need to embrace the fact that I am a nomad.”
“Or maybe, just maybe, you have to realize that if you want something, you have to actually work for it and create it.”
Damn it why are older brothers so right?!
I think what he was saying was along the lines of, you can’t expect life to just happen for you perfectly. If you want stability in your life, then you have correct your life when curveballs come at you and threaten to wreck that stability. You have to learn how to recover gracefully, not just wallow in it and allow it to knock you all over the place. Create the life you want, don’t let life create you.
Enough inspirational quotes.
Short sum up of this story, I found an adorable little tiny house literally across the street from me now with a yard for the dog and a full kitchen for me. It’s cheaper than where I live now. I bucked up and accepted that I had to create my own life, no one is going to do it for me, and tonight I sign a year lease.
A whole year.
Hello Flat Rock, I’ll be seeing you every morning for a year. 🙂