Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Patterns


"Patterns in my life that I trace ev'ry day.
Patterns as I say the things I always say.
Patterns in the ceiling as I lie awake.
Why are patterns haunting ev'ry move I make?

Just look: Here I am on cue again.
Upset, feeling torn in two ... again.
Afraid, saying I'm OK,
Making little jokes.
Till I run away ... again.

And yet, today, I am not the same.
I feel my life slipping from its frame.
Strange feelings rise, feelings with no name,
And I can't face them.
So I shake them hard,
Fold them up and tuck them safely away ... again.

Patterns that begin as I walk through a door.
Patterns in the curtains and the kitchen floor.
Patterns in the day's routines I must arrange.
Patterns in the ways I try ... but never change.

Just look, as I'm thrown a curve ... again.
I leap, then I lose my nerve ... again.
In tears, running home I go,
Secretly relieved,
Safe with what I know ... again.

And yet I know I am not the same.
Inside my heart is something I can't tame.
I feel my mind bursting into flame
And I must change or else I'll break apart,
Or break away,
Or end up having to start ... again.

Patterns through the day I seem to use
To give my life a shape.
Patterns through the house that give me comfort
When I need escape.
Patterns that lead me ...
Nowhere at all."
Richard Maltby, Jr.

DAY 207:  One of my favorite songs ... from the musical Baby.  When I directed the show over ten years ago, the lyrics didn't have any personal significance for me, but these past ten years have made them MUCH clearer.  Now I COMPLETELY understand every word of this lyric.  I've grown more during that time than perhaps any other span of ten years in my adult life. 

The most painful, but also the most rewarding, part of that growth has been noticing the patterns and habits that are self-defeating and prevent me from finding and keeping what I truly "want" from life.  I have been known to do a REALLY good job of beating myself up ... those "patterns" are difficult to break.  Over the past decade, I've started to recognize those patterns and it's only recently that I've started to make some gratifying inroads on battling them and approaching life with a different view.  I'm grateful for the progress I've made ... but there's still a long way to go.  To quote one of my favorite authors, Richard Bach - "Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you are alive, it isn't."

Old habits die hard ... mine aren't going down with out a lot of kicking and screaming, but they ARE going down ... eventually.

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