On having it all, almost

I woke today feeling extremely grateful for the second chance life has given me. Only a few years ago I was divorced, depressed and jobless.

Thankfully, I didn’t give up on life and kept on going. At 54 I feel I’ve landed my “almost” dream life.  

I’m one lucky woman who found her calling as a teacher very early on. I had best mentor, my father, also a teacher. I earn a pretty decent living now and I enjoy every minute of it.

I’ve led a life that has allowed me to exercise my passion while at the same time getting out of my shell. I am a naturally shy and introverted person. But I love interacting with my students. So, I’ve gotten a pretty good deal; two for one. 

I almost have it all.

Looking back on my life, I’m amazed at how many stepping stones showed me the way and kept helping and cheering me on. Yet, those moments in between stepping stones, I felt lost and powerless.  

In between the stepping stones there were sometimes cliffs. I looked down them and was sure I’d crash and burn. My wings were broken. Or so I thought. I stepped out off of those cliffs and found my wings. I flew. 

Some people held my hand along the way. Some let go of it. I am deeply grateful to both kinds of people. Because, thanks to them I am now on my feet, awake, looking around at my almost marvelous life.

We all have moments when life presents us with a cliff to stare down at in desperation. We may be overwhelmed by visions of our life crumbling to pieces, and crashing. Luckily, our reality after we jump off that cliff often barely resembles those terrifying visions of our dammed future.

I live in an extremely cute apartment, two minutes from the school where I teach. it is an amazing school with a heart, where I work alongside wonderful colleagues that would be the envy of any school. My job is fun and rewarding. I live in California where mountains and oceans coexist, making it an inspiring setting for any heart to thrive. 

But, I’m nearing 55, and as I try to settle, there seems to be a war within me that believes I probably need that other thing, that relationship that keeps my perfect life at “almost perfect.”

I know well that romantic relationships aren’t everything, but that little voice, that whisper, keeps nagging at me to “find someone to share your life with.” That, I tell myself is the one thing that would make my “almost” perfect life, perfect. 

But then I wonder whether I don’t already have the perfect life. I may never find that love, that life partner that I feel would take care of my life being “almost” perfect. 

I then console myself thinking how my grandmother was content without that “almost.” Even when my grandfather left her for another woman, she had us, her son, and her grandchildren. 

I too have countless friends and family who love me as I love them.

Some days I’m certain that the “almost” I seek may not even exist. 

In the meantime, I will continue to be grateful for my almost perfect life.

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