So what am I wrangling?
When I was 16rs old I remember being sure – I knew what I wanted from life and what I wanted to be. I might not have known where I wanted to be but there was no uncertainty over where I knew I did not want to be. Now I am 48yrs old – surely a wise woman? Someone who has seen a bit of the world – `been round the block’ so to speak. Sorry to all those waiting worldly wisdom, but hand on heart, as I grow longer in years I grow further from my inner truth. I question – I constantly wrangle with myself.
I wrangle – I wrangle over whether I am doing the right thing. I wrangle over whether I am bringing up my children properly; whether I should have paid into a pension; whether I should have got a mortgage; travelled more; tried to make it as an artist; moved to the country; raised chickens; started a café; that I’m now middle class as I went to college and got a degree, rather than working class; that I sold out; that I abandoned my roots … I feel my age – but having read William’s words I realised there is a wrangling going on across the ages, in many locations and it has nothing to do with who we are, where we are or what we have or haven’t experienced. It’s our internal dialogue – that wrangling some of us have – our never ending questioning – looking for our own meaningfulness.
Coming to terms with your inner voice is not so much a battle as a wrangle. Finding your place is an ongoing project. Finding the words to describe it all is a wrangle too. The next trending idea for an alternative lifestyle comes along and I often leap on it with relieved enthusiasm to find out it’s not quite `that’ which I mean. Living a `mindful’ life has caught my mind (so to speak). Sounds like what I am wrangling with – a way to come to terms with things, acceptance, thoughtfulness, slowing down and noticing small things, being at one with nature, being more in control of my life. Is this perhaps a practical solution? Then on closer inspection the wrangling starts. If it’s about noticing things for yourself, an experiential activity, then why so many website with “how to become mindful?” The ABC of how to do it; The Dummies Guide; a conference you can attend; a video you can watch; a flow chart – not sure that fits with the ethos. Do I really need to eat more slowly, watch less TV, and meditate daily? The wrangling continues.
My only saving grace seems to be that of my community – other wranglers out there. I am beginning to feel we may be able to help each other more. Community is all around us. We need each other to survive; we are drawn to each other. My community is made up of travelling wranglers – some have come over long distances (like me good friend Fathima from Sri Lanka); some have come through major health scares (as did Annette from Aberdeen); some have been through torrid relationships (like Christine from Barnsley); some are new in this land (like Zhenya from Bulgaria); some live next door (like Kat or Menyee from Manchester). But we have found strength in our community – the one we have created by a smile, by a chance meeting, by being brave and saying yes to that initial invitation to be more involved with one another. A bottle of red wine shared over the kitchen table by fellow wranglers could be my salvation. If you are ever this way, remember I find it hard to say “no” (I’ve wrangled with that one for years!) and I have come to terms with saying “yes” which can lead to a much fuller life and sense of community, more dust in the house, but more red wine drinking, so maybe bring two bottles with you.
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