have you ever bought a book with the intention to read it and then never did? it sits on your bookshelf proudly to this day because you like the title and what people might think of you if they see it on your shelf? do you think that the unread books in your collection say something about who you are or what you are interested in? are you also slightly terrified of that person who walks in, has read one of your unreads and says “oh, how’d you like it?”
i am sitting on my bed. facing my bookshelf, wondering when i will ever allow my titles to become something more to me than decoration. sarte, krishnamurti, robert a johnson, f. scott fitzgerald, eckhart, when will i make time for you? when will i ever choose you over law and order svu?
the person i see myself being, the things i see myself doing, i am not and don’t. well, certain aspects of being and doing, anyway.
gaps. they exist in my life everywhere. this feels like a little one and i suppose i am okay with it.
i am under the assumption that if i allow myself to expose the gaps when they occur to me, when that lightbulb flashes and the horns go ERRR ERRR ERRRRRRR in my head, like the sound of a genetics lab closing down for quarantine, then maybe identfying them will get easier over time.
what i mean to say, is that every time i find clarity and see that there is a gap between how i see a situation and how it really is, an opportunity is born. an opportunity to learn. Each time i peel back a layer to see the layer underneath, i get closer to the seed, and when i find the seed, i find what makes it grow and what doesn’t. when i find out what makes it grow, i can find the right light and give it that too. i can know myself bit by bit, if i choose to remember each piece, each layer, as i go. i may never understand the seed, but that is almost irrelevant.
i can find strength in my ability to identify my gaps and address them rather than shun myself because the gaps ever existed to begin with.
if diabetes were a food, it might be swiss cheese. gaps everywhere. i think i do so much, i think i do everything in my power. i think i work out enough, but thinking about working out isn’t enough. i think i eat well enough, but i can’t remember the last time i ate anything green. i think i check my blood sugar enough, but i lie on occasion to avoid feeling guilty about the fact that i haven’t checked all day and its dinner time.
just like my bookshelf, i choose titles that i haven’t read yet, i claim to be in better control than i am, to be trying harder than i am. like my titles that serve only as decoration, they say more about who i want to be than who i am. but that doesn’t mean i am not trying at all.
and here is the truth, it’s hard to admit to this gap because it is scary to face the possibility that your being doesn’t equate to you “being [ideal]”. i wanted to be those titles, i wanted to have read the books, and i wanted my a1c to reflect how well i told people i was managing. but i haven’t read them, they don’t describe me, and my a1c still sucks. and this is hard because under this model of thinking, i can almost never see myself as ideal.
but, guess what? BAM. i am ideal. BANG. i like who i am. i can find things about myself that i didn’t build into my image of perfection, but that i exude anyway. for example, the ability to articulate. my friend, mike, might beg to differ. but I KNOW i am very good and getting across how i feel. that’s a skill, and a skill i didn’t demand of myself from the beginning. its a surprise, an extra. and something i’m proud to say is a part of me.
and so i’ll end with this…. a quote from a book on my shelf that i haven’t read, that out of context speaks to moving forward in the face of adversity …
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
move onward, my friend, onward.