When I was about 11 I came across the term non sequitur. This is a Latin phrase for "it does not follow". It refers to a conclusion which is not logical when compared with the beginning.
This blogpost may well end up being a bit non sequitur because I am writing it as streams of consciousness and not with a considered end. I'm okay with that though because I think that's akin to the way life goes.
As I'm writing I can hear the kids on our street running around and screaming at each other as they enjoy a rare weekend of sunshine in the UK. It seems such a long time ago that I was that young and that free.
We can't help ageing but unfortunately we don't stay free for very long do we? We get branded with terms intended to slot us into the accepted conformity in whichever community we find ourselves in.
Hollywood depictions of American high schools are a clear example of how easy it is to pigeon hole each other.
Growing up I often wondered which high school group I would find myself in. Was I the sporty one? (Only if netball was on the agenda), The brainy one? (Just, no), The cheerleader? (Sadly I suck at doing the splits), The jock's girlfriend? (I refuse to be in a relationship where my existence is referred to by someone else's status)..on and on I went down the list, finding myself "too something" to fit into that crowd. Now I'm a bit older I couldn't care less about not fitting in. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it's a truth universally acknowledged that the older one gets, the less eager one is to fit in with the crowd.
But what about you? Do you come from a family, area or social group which identifies you for a certain expected end? If you truly want and embrace it that's great! But if not, try and let yourself go against the grain. *(All my gluten-free and paelo readers say heeeeey!)*
Personally, having retained a stubborn nature from childhood I am rarely more pleased than when I have proved someone wrong and in my life I am happy to report that I have been able to do this on several occasions. However, not everyone has this characteristic largely attributed to a mule and, negotiating life burdened with someone else's expectations (or lack thereof) for your life can be exhausting and particularly lacking in edification.
My friends will testify to the fact that I am occasionally (and often irrationally) OCD
so I do understand the need for order and neatness but why should our entire lives
have to follow an organised route? What about the side steps and the panic inducing T junctions that are part of most of our life's journeys? When you look back over your experiences, what are you most proud of? Is it when you've been standing in line filling in tick boxes or when you've been joyfully carousing a long way off the beaten track?
Of course not everything that shakes us off our "course" is positive or intended and I know that can feel more than shitty. But every unexpected experience catapults us to a new place in our lives and it is always up to us to decide where we land.
Personally, I've learned not to worry about leading a life that doesn't follow suit. It's a bit too late for that for me anyway after going through divorce, estrangement and the death of a newborn baby. And you, you dear reader would surely have suffered your own pain.
What I really want to do is to challenge you - and me. I challenge us all to live a life so free that our ends laugh at our beginnings. Not because they are to be despised - after all it is our life experiences that have made us who we are. But may non sequitur be your motto and may you live a life where you constantly surprise yourself and others with what you do with it.