12 March 2010

Lesson #28: I will be learning for the rest of my life.

We've made it through twenty-seven lessons, which means now... here's one to grow on.

This isn't the lesson I thought I would end this project with, when I started.  I really thought I was going to end with forgiveness, or one of the lessons that's been a part of my more recent struggles.  But something changed as I was writing all of these entries -- which I guess was the purpose of this blog, a sort of therapy.  Blogapy.  Whatever.

I realized, as I was writing, that I wasn't summarizing everything I've learned over the last twenty-seven years.  I was writing about things I needed to write about.  I was reminding myself of things I needed to remember.

And I realized that, at one time, I used to know a lot of this.   Or I thought I did.

I've read that life is a series of lessons.  Each problem is really a lesson, an opportunity to learn something.  If we get it, we can move on.  And if we don't, the lesson will reappear.  Sometimes it will get harder.  This concept has really hit home for me in the last few days, as I'm going back and reading books I'd read ten or twelve years ago, or thinking over concepts I'd considered in the past.  When I was younger... fifteen, sixteen, eighteenish... I thought I'd had life figured out.  There was a way you acted, and that was it.  There was a standard of behavior.  Life was this way, and that was all.  I truly didn't understand what was so hard.

Well, I do now.

Because I thought I had a good handle on things, I thought I knew a lot.  And, to follow some old wisdom, a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.  It made me feel pretty confident, cocky, assured that I wouldn't make the same mistakes as the average person.  I felt like I'd just pick the right path, and things would happen.  But I hadn't really learned anything, because when challenges arose later, sometimes I failed.  The lessons hadn't stuck, but I thought they had, so I kept going until I got stuck in a place I didn't want to be.  There was the illusion of knowledge.

I know I've made a lot of references in this blog to mistakes or bad decisions, and I've made my part.  But now, I know that because I made them, now I have a better idea of what was lacking before, of why I made them.  I've learned the lessons I've needed to learn, I'm still learning them.  I'm glad, in a way, to have had that experience, because I truly wasn't aware of the problems before.  And I feel lucky that I have so much in my life to be thankful for, and to appreciate.

And I think the learning will continue.  I'll be tested again, on the same problems, and new ones.  I may forget every one of the lessons I've written out here, and more, but I can remember them again when I need them.  I hope the learning continues, because that's how I know I'm alive.  I'm not just breathing in and out, sitting on a rock as it rotates around a star.  I'm actively living, changing, growing every day -- hopefully into a better person, or into the person I want to become; hopefully creating some happiness in the world; and hopefully leaving things a little better than they were before I got there.

Cheers to learning.  Even after I finally get out of grad school.

No comments:

Post a Comment