Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Middle Chapters

Several months ago, I started listening to The Tobolowsky Files podcast. If you are at all interested in, well, anything related to the human condition, be it funny, poignant, insightful, shocking, whatever - you should check this out. Stephan Tobolowsky is a character actor that has an extensive resume to say the least. You will know him when you see him. Ned Ryerson on Groundhog Day. Sandy Ryerson on Glee. Dude that turned stuff into gold on Heroes. Look up the rest on IMDB.

So last fall he started this weekly podcast about things, really unbelievable things, that had happened to him in his life. It is HI-larious. It is poignant and meaningful. It has made me think about a lot of things in life.

One of the stories he tells is about a young man with AIDS who promised his mother that he would write his autobiography. Except he had a dilemma. He knew how it began, and he knew how it would end, but he didn't know what would come in the middle.

This got me thinking about the middle chapters of my own life. I have felt so trapped in my situation at times in this past year, wondering how in the world I got here. It was so hard, impossible at times, and I felt as if there was no end in sight, no hope. But this thinking about The Middle actually gave me some peace.

I am so torn about what we will do next, where we will live, what job I will have. It is a near-constant irritating thought. But all the while, weeks and months and years are passing. I have to find a balance between the datebook and my life. I don't want to lose all my life in the chaos, simply because I was too busy planning it.

As hard as some times are, as magnificent as other times are, they are still only the Middle Chapters of this life. Their length we have very little control over, but their quality and substance we do.

So from here on out, it's carpe diem for me. At least for today.