Saturday, February 2, 2013

Life in Wonderland

I've had a few conversations recently - and in the past - with various people, all dealing with different things that have had a dramatic impact on their lives, altering their path beyond anything they had imagined.  One day you think your life is heading in one direction and then - BAM! - something happens - an illness, a death, a fight, an accident; something completely and totally unexpected - and life as you know it is forever gone.

People often ask me 'life' questions - what are you going to do with your PhD? Where do you think you'd like to live?  Do you see yourself getting married?  Having children?  Where do you think you'll be in 10 years from now (that's usually in a stupid magazine article rather than a conversation topic)?

I HATE those questions, because I simply don't know.  And I'm actually ok with that.  I haven't really figured out how to explain it properly to other people, because almost everybody PLANS.  I just feel like, for the last eight years, any (big) plans I've made haven't gone as expected so what's the point?  And that sounds a bit negative and pessimistic, but I don't mean it that way at all, it's more of this acceptance of life as an adventure... and I am painfully aware of the fact that we just don't know what's going to happen... and that can be an exciting thing (well, I'm hoping it has to be at some point...!)

I like to think that we have all just fallen down the rabbit hole and are making our way through Wonderland - our world - , dealing with the twists and turns that life throws at us.  I've always loved Alice in Wonderland and apparently Lewis Carroll sat and wrote under an old tree in our old garden in England, in the house we lived in when I was a baby (before there was a house there) and although I've read he wrote Alice in Wonderland while in London, I still think that's really cool.

I came across this excerpt with the original illustration on Pintrest a few weeks ago and it just fits so perfectly with my life philosophy right now.  I printed it out, framed it and put it on my wall.

It also makes me think of this excerpt from Robert Frost's poem (The Road Not Taken).  Perhaps we don't always get to choose what we do or where we go, but whatever path we take, life is always an adventure - and looking at it that way is always better than wishing it could have been different.

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
   ~ Robert Frost

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