To me, who I never expected

Notice the words, “I think,” making an appearance over & over, & know that this is purely nothing more than that- what I think. My thought life roamed into a funny little space the other day. It began when I was talking to myself about another version of me, a younger version of me.

I had spent the day thinking about her, thinking about a younger Molly. I had spent some time reading through her old journals, old love letters from friends, hurried notes written to me in hopes that I wouldn’t forget her. I’m not quite sure what prompted this pursuit of life already lived; however, in doing so, I found that I don’t think then’s Molly knew who today’s Molly would be. In fact, I know that she did not expect the life that the today version of myself has been given.

I wonder what she would say, what she would’ve written if given the chance to have a cup of coffee and conversation with today’s me, then.

Sometimes, I think of the world as if it were the world that another version of me chose- as if my expectations came to fruition. The world in question would be significantly more idealistic, significantly more black & white, significantly less true to the intimate workings of the world.

The life she wrote about, the goals she hoped to be in pursuit of, the people she wanted to know, and the person she wanted to be aren’t here. Rather, they’re not here in the ways she expected. Molly thought that she would make art. She would pursue an education, a career in places where she could produce physical works that represented her passions. She thought she would make art and travel and that would be her life- simple, unique, at least, for her. Molly never allowed her heart to venture into the idea of a romantic sort of love; sometimes, she questioned any sort of love at all. She wanted to know people, a lot of people. She wanted to help them see themselves for their good pieces and nothing else. She wanted to be a person that people want to be around purely because she, through some experience unclear to me, understood the way the world worked.

Well, I do make art but it mainly lives in frames on my parent’s walls or in envelopes sealed with wax seals sent to my closest of friends. Thankfully, I did make it to college, & oddly enough, I’ve found ways to understand how I might fit in the University System. Though, I’m not sure Molly expected any version of herself to be sitting in International Law going over Macroeconomic terms in her head for a quiz later (In other words, pre-law was not her art form of choice.). I really love love. In fact, I don’t believe that I am given more days for any other reason other than I might find a way to use my breath to love. & because of that, I do know people- so many extraordinary people. I do not, in any realm or light, know them because they seek to understand the world from me. I know them because I love them, and they love me- a system that works brilliantly and much better because (Surprise!) I don’t understand the world any more than the small sum of my limited experiences.

I don’t think Molly expected to suffer the way I did. I don’t think Molly expected to find such a gritty process to be necessary & beautiful. I don’t think Molly expected to experience love in the capacity I am blessed in doing so today. I know Molly didn’t know the trinity the way I do.

& the funny thing is, five years from now, that Molly will have very similar things to say about me.

I don’t think enough credit is given to the process of growing into new versions of ourselves. I also think that at some point, we expect that will end. But I must say, in my (what I believe to be a very active) thought life, I see no way that this process could ever end. At least, I hope it can’t. I hope there are always versions of me who look back and know exactly what they’d tell me if only those two versions of Molly had one minute to speak with each other.

I think that we get a little caught up in expecting to find the end, the point to it all. But what if the point is to keep growing? What if we could always be more, know more, love more? What if we expected incorrectly? What if it is in the expectation that we limit ourselves?

I think there certainly is truth to that. I can vouch for the experiences that made me that I never expected or that I tainted because of my preconceived expectation of how it should have gone (“Should…” what a bad, bad word).

Expectations do have the ability to become more hazard than value in the everday experiences that build to develop us. Expectations come from us, from a life limited by the experience of one. Perhaps, it would be better to go about life as if it will in some way, short or long term leave you better, leave you refreshed or humbled or grateful. Perhaps it would be best to live giving life the reigns, grow in whatever adventure is to come, and be versions of ourselves that are so much better than anything we could have wasted our time expecting.

Notice the words, “I think,” made an appearance over & over. I won’t be able to do that less but I do request that in reading my words you hear that they’re all just things that I think. My thinking includes one perspective but I know there are 7.5 billion other lives thinking their way through life as they become new versions of themselves.

Maybe go have a cup of coffee & conversation with an earlier you so that the later you might look back and find joy in the fact that you found way to be far greater than that which the earlier two expected.

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