Several weeks ago, my dad presented me with a birthday card. Attached to the back of the card was an additional piece of paper posing three questions — questions that he and I are both still working on answering together, in what he likes to refer to as our “marathon” years of life. He at 62, me at 26.
Here they are.
When to lead and when to follow?
I tend to think of this question more in regard to, when do you throw yourself out into the line of fire and risk everything, and when do you sit quietly and watch things unfold as they may? I can’t say I have an answer as far as where to draw the line here, but what I can say is that if standing up and igniting or fanning a flame equates with freedom, I’ve stayed seated far too many times.
When to hold on and when to let go?
By nature, I am a tight holder. I was born with a stubborn mind and an even more stubborn heart and it’s something I wrestle with. That said, I think the act of letting go is a vital part of putting to rest agonizing over things that are outside of your control and finding some serenity. If that means letting go of the people in your life who want to be let go, even if only for a time, so be it. If it means letting go of comfort to enter into the unknown, so be it. Things have a way of coming back around again, which may be the reason this question becomes perhaps the most impossible of them all to even begin to answer.
What is meant to be and what is our free will?
I personally believe everything happens for a reason, despite all the moments I’ve lost sight of this. Sure doors close, but I also firmly believe that sometimes life beckons that you kick doors down to get where you want to be—a test of your might, if you will. I don’t think we are predestined; however, I do think we are predisposed based on environment, fears and insecurities to make certain choices for ourselves. Still, these choices remain our own, and can be driven by our beliefs, our passions, our might and ultimately our will, if we let them. Might I suggest what is meant to be and our free will go hand and hand.
All in all, these questions and explorations are ones that I consider to be some of the most monumental that we will continue to seek answers to, as long as we live. Perhaps the beauty is in the fact that this is part of the lifelong process called living and learning, together.
Following the series of lingering life questions on the paper, came this note from my dad (and the Beatles), speaking words of wisdom.
“If we wait long enough the answers will reveal themselves. Let it be.”
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