Viva la vida

Can you sense your destiny? I think for most people this isn’t a question they ponder. I think for some people, delusion plays a role in thinking they could be great. Just walk into any comedy club and you’ll sense the desperation. Comedy clubs being things of the non-present, just substitute Twitter and all the people who dream of going viral for a single tweet.

But for some people, I think destiny is very palpable. Being born for some purpose. Maybe greatness, though greatness is a matter of relativity, isn’t it? You can be an inert king or a bombastic commoner.

I was raised to feel a sense of destiny. Sure, my parents expected great things. But doesn’t everyone’s? It was more an internal sense that one day I would be called upon to do important things. At first, I though maybe an astronaut. Or a scientist. Later it was a politician and a lawyer.

I never really spoke about it. I think I burned with ambition. And I had a big mouth and a way with words and delivery. At heart, I’ve always been an orator. I’ve been giving speeches since I was old enough to hold a microphone.

But failure dampens the gunpowder of ambition and I too became inert for a very long time.

I still feel this sense of purpose. This thing that calls to me and says, “Get ready for big things.” I don’t know how to prepare myself and I’m somewhat apprehensive about the responsibility of it all. I don’t even know what these big things are. What I know is that you don’t just fall into success. You don’t just learn a skill as a child and, on your first professional try at the age of 41, have instant success. My whole life has been building up to something. And I don’t think this is the end.

Where it goes next, I couldn’t say. I don’t have clarity when it comes to my own future. I have weird woo woo hunches as to the future in general and deep intuition that guides me like a deft dancing partner. I follow its lead.

At any given moment, I ask, “Is this it?” Is this the person or thing that puts me into the path of my destiny? You cannot know these things ahead of time. I knock on every door never knowing which will lead to the perfect room. Sometimes, the light is dim and sometimes the path undulating. I can’t see around the corner, but I can feel whether it is right or wrong. I can sustain until I’ve rounded the corner and then adjust as necessary.

And I can feel the potential greatness in others. I can see their paths more clearly than my own. And more clearly than they can see for themselves. I hold my tongue because, just as I had to learn lesson for myself, they too have to walk the path before they can see their future. I can give them nudges, but it is not my place to force them into who they will become.

I thought everyone lived a life like mine, in which they were all told they were meant for greatness, only to find out that this isn’t a common thing. It isn’t smoke blown up everyone’s ass. It isn’t written inside of every Hallmark card. I always grew up with this sentiment, so I don’t know from greatness being heaped on me.

But they keep saying it. Even now. The soothsayers, the abstract intuitives, the admirers. Why would they all think that of me when I have very little to show right now?

I can’t worry about it. Yes, it nags, but I reassure it, pat it on the head like a neurotic poodle, give it a treat and keep going. I will care for it and nurture it. And only in looking back will I ever understand what it was. The greatness, I mean. My bones weary, my shoulders hunched, my face distorted by time. An old woman who didn’t know she was leading the charge to this very thing or leaving a body of work in her wake. Unassuming and tiny in her movements that cascaded into something profound.

These things I know. And I have to be ok with that. I’m not deluded. I am just a little tired of midwifing my own existence. I would love clues. I would love a planned out itinerary. But that is not how these things work. “Just meet me halfway,” is all I ask. And give me enough time to bask in it just enough.

P.S.: only after listening to more Coldplay did I realize I was supposed to listen to this song instead:

How long before I get in,
Before it starts, before I begin?
How long before you decide,
But before I know what it feels like?

Where to? Where do I go?
If you never try, then you’ll never know.
How long do I have to climb,
Up on the side of this mountain of mine?

Look up, I look up at night.
Planets are moving at the speed of light.
Climb up, up in the trees.
Every chance that you get is a chance you seize.

How long am I gonna stand
With my head stuck under the sand?
I’ll start before I can stop,
But before I see things the right way up.

All that noise and all that sound.
All those places I got found.
And birds go flying at the speed of sound
To show you how it all began.
Birds came flying from the underground.
If you could see it then you’d understand.

Ideas that you’ll never find,
All the inventors could never design.
The buildings that you put up.
Japan and China all lit up.

The sign that I couldn’t read
Or a light that I couldn’t see.
Some things you have to believe,
But others are puzzles, puzzling me.

All that noise and all that sound.
All those places I got found.
And birds go flying at the speed of sound
To show you how it all began.

Birds came flying from the underground.
If you could see it then you’d understand.
Ah, when you see it then you’ll understand.

All those signs—
I knew what they meant.
Some things you can invent.
Some get made, and some get sent.
Ooh.

And birds go flying at the speed of sound
To show you how it all began.
Birds came flying from the underground.
If you could see it then you’d understand.
Ah, when you see it then you’ll understand.

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