We walked down the sidewalk, through one of the many corridors of the Vatican, clamoring to get close to our dark-haired Italian tour guide as she spoke about the various statues and structures around us. Her enthusiasm and love for this place was obvious, even through her thick accent and broken English she oozed love for this city. I’m certain she’d given this tour at least a few dozen times, but her fervor hadn’t dissipated one bit. She’d say, “Do you see that statue. Do you notice the positioning of the woman’s body? Ah, what does it mean? What does it mean?” She said “what does it mean?” so much that we imitated her for months after we returned home. “What does it mean?!” we’d say to each other, mimicking her accent, eyes looking upward and palms raised emphatically toward the sky.
I only think of this now because I’ve been internally asking myself that same question – “what does this mean?” – about almost everything. I need an answer; a reason. If I snap at someone for a seemingly innocent statement, why? Is it PMS? Am I stressed? Why did they say that? If I spill coffee, was it Karma getting me back for something? Was I just in a hurry? Am I a clumsy person? If it’s sunny outside, does that mean it’s going to be a good day? Does it mean yesterday was a good day to deserve some sunshine? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!
My inner monologue exasperates me. Which is quite unfortunate since I’m the one that has to put up with it the most.
Ever since our plans to move to North Carolina didn’t work out, I’ve had to do a lot of re-evaluation. It’s not that I’m sad that they didn’t work out. In fact, I’m glad. And that fact is the reason I’ve been doing so much re-evaluation. What do I really want? I thought it was this but now it’s that. I’ve always been so good at making plans, setting goals, visualizing them, dreaming about them, and then taking action to achieve them. But these last few months, I haven’t done much of anything. I feel lazy and unaccomplished. I don’t know what I want. And just when I think I do, I change my mind. I see no point in them. No meaning. I’ve lost all sense of direction. I have no compass. So I immerse myself in the joy of the little things instead – a good movie, a kickass song, a funny Internet video, a good glass of wine, a warm cup of coffee…And maybe that’s all I really need. Maybe I’m overthinking things and life isn’t so difficult. Maybe everything I already have should be enough.
But it isn’t.