Holding the Reins

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~George Bernard Shaw

Hands_3_and_1When I was 15 I thought I was on the verge of finding myself, on the precipice of some huge realization and ready to jump out into the abyss, hoping my feet hit solid ground without folding. I was convinced that wisdom lay just the other side of 16, when I would be an adult and life would rise up and find me.

At night I would sit on my bed and stare at my poster of Alyssa Milano, imagining what she would say when she found out I was finally going to be an adult, pretending that she knew me and that she cared. It would become a ritual that didn’t stop even after I hit 16 and nothing whatsoever had changed.

Nobody told me that the dividing line wasn’t so obvious, that it was neither thick nor outlined in pixie dust as I had imagined. Instead there I was months into being 16, still trying to find myself when I thought I should have already been found. By whom, I wasn’t sure, but even then my expectations had started to subtly shift. Even then my idea that things would happen as they should was eroding like so much rotten shale.

That’s when I realized what I should have known all along. We create our own fate. We are the masters of our own condition. If we wait for the world to move because we want it to move we will be waiting when the aliens come to take us home. It’s not about what happens to us and around us. It has only ever been about what happens through us, and through our actions. I finally realized that the reins had been hanging loosely in my hands all along.

And it was up to me to pull them taut, and get moving.


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