Life is Messy

wild_messy_everything

Every day when I wake up, I hope for a day filled with light. And every day I go to sleep looking back on a day that was really a mixed bag. My days are filled with Everything—one minute I’m sitting at work completely annoyed by a project that’s becoming tedious and frustrating, the next minute I’m riding my bike home and right there trotting down the path is a coyote. Thirty minutes later, the coyote just a picture in my mind, I’m at home beginning to think about what I’ll have for dinner.

This is real life. It’s nothing like the movies in my head or the movies in the theater. Sometimes it’s boring, crazy, sad, frustrating, awesome, heart-warming, painful. Sometimes I cry, laugh, scream, or sit quietly taking it all in. It’s a jumble of everything, and you never know what’s coming next. Maybe you have a general idea which direction you’re heading, but do you really know what your life will be like next year, next month, or even next week?

I find this hard to accept sometimes—I want to nail things down. I want to pin my future to a board like a moth so I can see what it looks like still, instead of always fluttering out there ahead of me, barely visible in its constant motion. I want every day to be full of light and ease and time well spent—days I can look back on and say, “yes, I really lived the life I meant to live.”

But then the wild beast of reality saunters in and dashes my plans for perfect lightness. It challenges me, pushes my buttons, and in general asks me to wake up from my fantasies of a perfect life and live what’s really happening, live in the raw truth. And the truth is: life is not any one thing—it is everything. It is messy. It is wild. It is all over the place. Some moments are easy, some are really hard. Sometimes you feel like the air, other times you feel like darkness.

In moments of understanding, I can see the richness of this. I can see how the darkness creates deep warmth in me when I look at it with kindness. And that life is just one big rollicking adventure when I let it be. But much of the time I’m just tangled up in the whole mess trying to understand which way is up and which way is down.

And maybe that’s OK. Maybe it’s just the process of life to keep getting lost and found, again and again. Maybe this is the only way to understand that we can never really grasp life. We are a part of life, we are riding the waves of life. Life is sailing through us for the one little flicker of our one little life, but it’s so much bigger and wilder than us. So, of course it’s messy and unmanageable, and we can’t control it. Trying to control life is like trying to control the wind. You just can’t do it.

There is peace in this fact when you can feel it deeply. If you can’t control life, then you don’t have to even try. You can just sit back and enjoy the ride. However hard it may sound to let go of trying, I’m beginning to find that it may be harder to live your whole life trying to get control of something that’s uncontrollable. So, everyday I try and remember to pry my fingers off the steering wheel and see what happens. Sometimes my life opens up wide in front of me. Other times, I spend most of the day slowly lifting each finger, and when I’m finally hands-free, I clutch the wheel again and start the process over. This is reality. This is life. This is the big teacher. Lost and found, again and again.

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9 Responses to “Life is Messy”


  1. 1 Cheryl January 8, 2013 at 10:31 am

    How exquisitely revealed. Thank you. Maybe there is perfection in the “suchness” of life.

  2. 2 Cynthia Bigrigg January 8, 2013 at 10:34 am

    This is a fantastic post. I know what you mean about wanting to nail life down, and the frustration in the fact that you can’t. But I also love how beautiful REAL LIFE is in its ups and downs. Thanks for sharing this. :)

  3. 3 Cynthia Bigrigg January 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Hey Nicole, I actually liked this post so much that I took a segment of it, put it into a quote, linked back to your page, and scheduled it to appear tomorrow. I hope this is alright with you – if you have an issue with it, please let me know and I will remove it. Thanks! :)

  4. 4 Amy January 8, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Nicole! How lovely to see you here again, and what a beautiful, marvelous, spot on post. Thank you for that–it’s a lovely reminder. Hope things are mostly well with you, even in the midst of life’s messiness. xo

  5. 5 karen January 8, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    reminds me of the time I either hallucinated or actually saw someone sitting in the driver’s seat of a car that was being towed on a flatbed trailer. it looked to me like he or she was turning the steering wheel, and I cracked up at the reflection it gave me of myself — so sure that I was in conscious control of my direction in life, not realizing that my wheels were not even in contact with the road!

    even so, sometimes it’s fun to pretend I can steer anyway. and sometimes it’s a relief to just surrender the illusion of control, sit back, and watch the scenery.

    so happy that you are posting again!

  6. 6 Casa Mariposa January 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    If everything were nailed down our lives would be like museum insect collections – dead. There is beauty in having to get up everyday just for the sake of not knowing exactly what might happen. Wonderful post!

  7. 7 inwardsun January 12, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Absolutely wonderful post and a great reminder! Thank you!! I’ll try not to hold on too tight today…


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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer living in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Thank you for visiting my blog!

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