Other people’s words about … what’s important (or not)
I found a studio where I could practise a particular kind of semi-cultish yoga; I sweated on my purple mat for ninety minutes to pounding trance beats, drank smoothies in the vegan cafe, relished the feeling of freezing sweat on my cheeks when I threw my coat on over my leggings and walked in the snow to the Q train.
Maybe this will be the year I’ll learn to stand on my head, I thought, maybe a headstand is the thing I will accomplish in 2014. I thought about it a lot, like a headstand was a thing that was important.
From ‘This Really isn’t About You’
by Jean Hannah Edelstein
If only I’d known. That’s the feeling Jean Hannah Edelstein is describing in the passage above. In her case, these words applied to a period in her life when she didn’t yet know that she had Lynch syndrome, a hereditary condition that predisposes her to developing cancer later in her life.
If only. If only. Who hasn’t said that to themselves, at some point in their lives? If only I’d known, I’d have focused on other things. If only I’d known, I’d have made different plans. I’d have done more; I’d have said more; I’d have tried more. I’d have been more.
Don’t tell me you haven’t ever thought that.
It’s been a quiet couple of weeks over here in my nook of the world, as I continue to try to find my way in the freelance world. I don’t know whether I’ll manage to make a living from freelance editing, in the end. But on tough days, uncertain days, I remind myself that at least I’ll always know that I tried.
Which makes for one less if only in my life.
And meanwhile, in my spare time, I’ve gone wandering beneath grey skies, and blue skies, and cloudy skies, and clear skies. Because there’s no hint of an if only whenever I’m out wandering.
Lately I’ve been reading about …
- … how some famous writers established particular routines to ensure that they kept writing.
- … how photographer and activist Kwame Brathwaite used his photographs of life in Harlem and the Bronx to capture the rhythms of jazz.
- … why not all adolescents who spend a lot of time on their own are suffering from loneliness or isolation.
3 thoughts on “If only I’d known”
A good reminder. We tend to get caught up in past and future, forgetting to enjoy what’s happening right now. In fear or loathing, when instead we could be living fully in the moment.
Hope your ‘today’ is wonderful!
Thank you, Eliza. You, too 🙂 xo