Note: I know this is not exactly adhering to the "simple significance" theme, but it is about me learning big things. Enjoy the tangent.
My mom and I talk on the phone a fair amount, mostly about life and love and friends and our family. But recently our conversations have been more on the weight of death and divorce and unemployment and rejection and loneliness and crushed dreams and broken trust being experienced within our life and love and friends and family. "Is anyone in your life not going through a hard time right now?" she interrupted. "Well, uh. Uhhh... no. I think everyone is going through a hard time. Maybe all the time is a hard time." "Amy, life IS hard."
The only way I can think to escape the pain, to stay safe, avoid the conflict, and/or control your future is to never be in relationships, never love, never challenge yourself, and never expose yourself to things uncomfortable or unknown. But how are we human if we operate in this self-protected comfort/fear-bubble? We were created to be in relationship and to feel love and to need grace and to learn from diversity. It's against my nature to give that up. But I want to, because then I don't have to...
Life is hard.
No matter what, the older I get, the more complicated and chaotic and unexpected and straight-up painful life gets for me and everyone around me. That's just how it is, and how it's going to be. I know that now.
But, I also know that the deeper I dig into people and my dreams, the fuller I embrace life, the greater potential for joy. The better story I live. Vulnerability and "the unknown" are risks. But the choice to risk is worth it, because I don't want to be haunted by my decision of not trying at all or avoiding the pain or giving up my passions. To "play safe" is to be left with a boring or uneventful story.
I love what Jeff Bezos said in his 2010 baccalaureate address at Princeton: "...when it's tough, will you give up or will you be relentless? When you are 80 years old, narrating your life story, the telling that will be the most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end we are our choices. Build yourself a great story."
Life is hard. I choose to risk. A good story is worth it.
Sometimes it's when I'm on a run, or sitting at my desk, or wandering in the park, or even when I'm in the middle of talking to a friend. It's a sudden moment of epiphany. A stark realization. A humbling lesson. A simple truth. This little thing- that no one would think twice about it "meaning something"- maneuvers its way, somehow, into revealing a life lesson. A little thing that teaches me something big. Quite simple significance, I like to say.
This unique interpretation of every-day-life-stuff being like big-important-significant-stuff happens in my mind quite often. So... I decided to start writing the simple significance down. Read it if you want. I hope you enjoy and learn and grow as I have while walking through this journey called life.