The Ebb and Flow

Some days, weeks, or even months, are simply uneventful.  They pass quickly, in a steady rhythm of industry, sprinkled with modest pleasures and small stresses.  They remain devoid of any major developments, with no excitement to speak of.  But do not lose heart, for this is when the groundwork is laid.  As long as you are working toward something – whether it be a professional goal, personal growth, or a social ideal – these little steps will add up over time.

And then one day, something will happen:  the universe will present you with a choice, a chance.  Maybe you are ready; perhaps you are not.  You can take the risk and throw a stone into the still waters of your life, and see how far the ripples will take you.  If you end up flailing in tempestuous seas, then you grow stronger, wiser, and more grateful for the blessings you had taken for granted.  You learn which people you can depend on to lend you a hand or an ear or a heart.

Time will once more smooth out the sea into a sheet of blue silk, and you can continue plodding on, laying more groundwork, though these uneventful moments now seem peaceful.  Then one day, something else will happen:  again you will face a choice, a chance.  Though you are now wary and feel the sting of old wounds, you look it full in the face.  Perhaps this time it feels different. You may be afraid, but you feel in the very marrow of your bones that you must act.  You understand that if this risk pays off, the reward will be that which you have longed for your whole life, and for this you are willing to flounder through more dangerous waters.  And this time, you know that you could survive the painful, terrifying flailing and floundering, for you have done it before.

So you act.

And suddenly your steady, monotonous life is lurching into uncharted territory.  You gaze at the exotic silvery oceans that reflect the cosmos like a magic mirror, and you realize you have arrived.  You feel joy beyond your wildest dreams as you revel in the alien terrain, the exciting new life.  So much is happening at once that you can barely process it all!  There is so much to experience!

And yet.  And yet this, too, will pass.  There comes a time when the delicious rush of change slows to a trickle, until finally, this new domain is no longer new.  You fall again into a steady rhythm of industry, sprinkled with modest pleasures and small stresses.  The old amazing has become the new normal.

So what now?

Now you continue plodding on toward a new something, maybe a bigger and bolder version of your original something, or perhaps a completely different something altogether.  The journey continues.  The ebb and flow persist.  Storms come and pass.  If you reach your next destination, stay a while and enjoy the view, relish the adventure.  And if you grow weary of even this place, carry on with your journey, and bring along those who brighten the voyage, those who help you weather the storms, those who enrich the delights of new discoveries.

For you should not allow life to forever remain a stagnant pond, too fearful to take action, too cautious to embrace change.  But neither should you let life surge and crash and propel you into new territory so often that you have no chance to catch your breath, be at peace, reflect, and grow.

The cycle continues.  Life goes on.

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