Friday, July 2, 2010

My Good Life

For a variety of reasons* I have been spending a good amount of time thinking about life and how to live a good life over the past few months. I'm not talking here about The Good Life - you can watch MTV Cribs for some of that. I'm talking about a good life, and more specifically my good life.

In reflection on my good life I've covered a lot of ground over the past few months, including: what's worked for me and what hasn't; people I miss from my life and people who I treasure each time I think about them being in my life; chances that were grabbed and chances that were missed; and all of the "me" I've been over the course of my almost 3 decades.

Note to audience: This marks the first time in history a woman claimed 30 in writing before it happened. Savor the moment.

Back to the point of this blog entry: With all of these thoughts in mind it has been quite fitting that over the past few weeks PostSecret has had postcards that spoke, no, screamed to me: "Here, I'm for you! This right here, this is your way to your good life."

Together these two postcards, created by two individual people who most likely have no idea of each other, have become two sides of my good life coin these days.

Side A

Side B

Lets start with side A first: mistakes. Man, have I got a list of mistakes I've made throughout my (here it is again) almost 30 years. Tons and tons, some significant, some not. Yes, what I don't have is many regrets. In fact, my regrets list is short , with a few "I wish I would have..." and "I really should have..." but I have only one "I should not have..."  on that list. I'd be pretty happy to add as few additional regrets to the list as humanly possible.

And move to side B: the how-to book. The majority of my life - when I was controlling it! - was scheduled, controlled, and planned. I was ambitious and knew I wanted a different life. So I made it possible through hard work and a whole lot of winging it. And I'm rather proud to say, its worked out rather well.

And now, both, in a real-life example: moving to Germany was one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. I usually call it the "worst decision of my life" and I stand by that. Yes, yes, I know, it worked out extremely well - I met the Mr. which would never have happened in Pittsburgh. Yet the decision itself was a really bad one for me.

However, with all of that said, written, and stood by, on my short list of regrets "move to Germany" is no where to be seen. I didn't and don't regret that decision; I'm more wildly happy that a crappy decision has been going so well. I'm glad I made it, followed it through based on pure lack-of-a-handbook winging it, and never completely gave up (because you guys know me and if I wrote 'never gave up', you'd laugh me out of my own blog).

If I had had a handbook for my life - or at least the life I had back then in 2002 - it would have read "Don't Move to Germany" or, maybe, "Stay in Pittsburgh". And, it being the handbook of life, I would have most likely not moved to Germany and stayed in Pittsburgh. And I would have missed what I thought was a short side adventure with a tall, sweet German blond that turned out being the real Love of My Life adventure.

In fact I would have missed a whole lot more, including a blond flouncing into a photography course that become one of the most treasured people in my life; a trip to Norway that made little sense but tons of fun; a career path that was against everything I planned but has given me riches I couldn't have imagined; a maths course that taught me mathematicians are awesome people too; and so much more. Sure, if I had been given this handbook of life, my list of regrets would be shorter. Maybe I would have cried less. I certainly would have studied less in college and dated fewer not-the-right-guys. My life might have been easier but it would have also been a whole lot less colorful and significantly less fun.

And it certainly wouldn't have brought me here. And here is my good life, here is where I want to be.

*one of those reasons is the competition that Little One and I have going on to see who exercises more per week - that's giving me plenty of time to think. Another reason is the upcoming 1 year anniversary of my papa's death. Life, even a good life, is too short.

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