Why Is My Life Like This?
In my mid-40s, when I was still single after many years of being single; when I continued to hold a Never Married status in a society where people pair up and marry, I often turned to the big scratchy question of Why?
Why was I single? Was I not circulating enough? Was it something I did or didn’t do? Something in my psychology? My choices? Was it carelessness, like the person who didn’t hear the music stop during a game of musical chairs, and found herself the last person standing — no chair?
Finally, after turning over endless rocks, talking to my Wise Woman/therapist, boring my friends, scribbling away in notebooks, walking my neighborhood, and musing over my life (and enjoying a lot of my solo years too), I came to this conclusion:
There was no reason.
People marry, people stay single, and in the end, we’ll never know how to make sense of any of it, because life isn’t to be made sense of. There is no making sense of life — and that’s its beauty. The wonder of life being lived through each person is mysterious, magical, and unpredictable.
Let’s face it: We love to analyze our own lives, other people’s lives — friends, family members, celebrities (people we’ve never met!) — as though we can land on The Reason behind a person’s behavior or station in life.
But do we know why this azalea is so pink?
Can we really begin to understand why this cactus produces such a fancy splash of blooms?
Why is the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean so mesmerizing that you just have to stand there staring at it until the very last bit of glow dips below the horizon and your eyes see dots for an hour afterward?
We can come up with a lot of theories to our Why questions.
In some cases, there might be answers, or logical reasonings that make sense in the moment. Other times, we can stand back in a state of no-judgment inquiry, but this is different than the search.
But when it comes to those nagging questions about who we are and why we did something and what that means for where we’re going:
Let’s agree to stop trying to know — to constantly root out an answer as if it will secure something for ourselves (it won’t) — because we’ll never really, really know.
Just like, after I married at 49, when I looked back on all my single years: the relationships that didn’t work out, the wonderful solo chapters and lonely ones — I still didn’t understand. Because there was no reason. Never would be.
So if you stop trying to find answers, or come up with reasons that support a circumstance or pattern in your life, and instead get on with living it, what will you do tomorrow?