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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Experiences that Make up a Life

Last night I had debate with an Austrian friend of mine. He felt that because I had many different experiences in my life I would never be easily satisfied.

We ended up energetically discussing this possibility for a good portion of the evening. His argument was that the more people were exposed to in the world, the less happy a person would be with an average life. My argument was that people simply want what they want.

I don’t have the magic recipe for a perfect, nor would I ever assume that what is right for me is right for another, but I do know the importance of living an authentic life.

My father once told me that parenting was the only “job” in the world that you could judge your success by how little you were needed. I had a terrible time letting go of my son as he grew up. I still do. Even an ocean away I struggle with the act of letting go – on many levels. Sometimes I wonder who has learned more – my son from me, or I from him.

Through parenting I discovered that each person has his or her own unique spirit – or if you prefer individuality. As much as I tried to mold my son, I learned early on that I could not. Or perhaps I should instead say that I would not. It was easy to see the light in my son’s eyes as he discovered a new passion or enjoyed a moment. As a parent it became clear to me that my job was to expose my son to experiences, set boundaries and and let him discover what made him happy.

You can tell when a person is happy. The eyes have a particular light to them, their energy is easy – and well you can just tell. They are living the way they want to live.

My life may defy convention, and it has been at time extraordinarily tough, but it is authentic. What may seem to some is that I am not easily satisfied, but in essence it is far from that. I am easily contented. I do not look back on my life to moments that I remember as happier. I do not long to relive the good ‘ol days. I live for today and I am happy in it.

It is easy to judge what we do not understand. I know many people who are “restless” and not satisfied with the life they are leading. You can watch their special light fade little by little. I sure don’t want that to be me – nor do I want that for my son.

My son’s Facebook status this week was “Life is too short not to be stoked everyday.” I thought that was perfect. Maybe I am wrong, but surely it is not the experiences that make for a life that is dissatisfied, it’s the experiences that make up a life…

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