Tonight I babysat, well more so hung out with a 6 year old. An awesome 6 year old by the way. She brought me an apple pie from McD's (hadn't had one in forever) as well as the game of Life. Of course we played the game after our pie and with Jukebox Oldie's playing in the background. Ahh the good old days, well beyond my time...
It's been a while since I played Life (no pun or deep meaning intended, but on second thought...). So it was a game that took longer than it could since I was actually reading the instructions as we went along. Hey, if you're gonna play, you play it fair... unless it's not that kinda game... but most games have rules right?
So we played the game, put our pink ppl in the driving seat in their cars, hers on the left, mine on the right (my game self lived in England...), and off we went. Naturally we both advocated for the advantage of college, or more so she demanded it be the route we take, and I couldn't refuse education. And there we were playing life.
It's kind of scary how we are socialized to think certain things, like what a normal life is. We, or I can see how I sometimes get hung up on rules or systems; like go to school, finish school, get a job in some sort of successful career field, make the moneys (yes, moneys), get married, buy a house (no living with parents when married! that is one of my goals), babies!, move, career change? (mid-life crisis?), pay for children as they start life, get ready for retirement, then retire. Well that's what I learn from the game. And I'm not gonna lie, I like systems when I see thier use. I have this system with our plates and bowls in the cupboards, it annoys me to see it messed with. But sometimes we do need to throw the instruction manual out the window, especially if they're written by other people who don't see or know all the different paths of life there actually are.
But I can get hung up on rules and expectations. I didn't have babies in the game. I didn't land on any "it's a boy" or "it's a girl". And I noticed it right away. Cheekers told me it was okay, there were lots of spaces and chances to get a baby, they were just spread out. But later on I realized that I was near retiring. I have to say, I worked up myself more than I should of about not having children. But Cheekers didn't have any too. "Ah well," she said. "It's not real life."
No it is not. But that got me thinking. We do have these ideals of how our lives will turn out, how we want or expect them to. Whether they're learned from society or family I think to some degree we all have them. But life's a mystery, a surprise. You never know what can become of it till... well, it actually happens.
I think of one of my aunties who's single. I love my Auntie, she's awesome. She used to live with us and taught me how to make some awesome banana bread (which I've forgotten, lame point) and she's one of the best cooks/bakers I know. I remember her making a home made pizza once from scratch, crust and all, and it was kick butt. She has the most genuine laugh ever and does not hold back when she finds something funny. I love her for that.
These past few years I've been able to have more grown up talks with her which I love and make me appreciate her more. She lives life as full as she can and yes, she's single. She doesn't let that hold her back in any way. She still fills her life with people she loves and who love her back. She's a fighter, oh boy, listening to her stories of when she used to work in McDonald's after she immigrated here just make me laugh. I love that about her. Yes, I love my Auntie. This is where I would insert a smiley face.
And so, realizing how I do have these expectations of life, I do realize that I can't contain my life in these boxes till the next one comes around. My childhood friend (wow, we can actually call eachother that) gave me this quote to put on my wall that says "color outside the lines". And its true, I need that reminder sometimes. That's one thing I strive for. To be who I am, not different for the sake of being different, but to genuinely be me, not conforming to other's ideals. Oh Life, how you bring such mystery and learning. I like it, most of the time, eventually...
Alexandra of course...