All The World’s a Stage~
As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII
“All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts…..”
This is among my favorite Shakespeare quotes because most of us do play many parts during our lives. While the Bard of Avon limits his stages to seven, I know I’ve surpassed that number, as have numerous souls of the modern world. Our experiences are more varied at the very least by the technology that has developed.
1. In early childhood I knew I was beloved and treasured; my parents took care of my every need.
2. Pre-school I dreamed of the day I would be able to attend school; I gazed out the window at the school buses and hoped one day to be among those who spread their wings to learn. My first yearning.
3. Secondary school I aspired to fit in, aimed to achieve top grades, excelled at all of my extracurricular activities and believed that if I played by the rules, I could be successful. I also thought that that the world would end if I didn’t achieve my dream of the week; what extreme drama!
4. As a university student seeking knowledge and adventure lived a very social life, attended lots of parties, nearly wasn’t initiated into my sorority because of too much rum, and I roamed Europe, experienced new things, broke rules, and loved irresponsibly; I made stupid mistakes and am fortunate to have survived to adulthood.
5. In young adulthood I accepted a job without a clue as to what I was undertaking; ventured down the road of independence; made a lot more mistakes; insisted I was always right – often to my detriment, aspired to turn the world upside down and race to the top of corporate America. I thought money and recognition at work would bring me happiness. What was I thinking!
6. Next I desperately sought love; tried to fit the wrong man into the puzzle; married him and we were both miserable; I tried to change him and succeeded. I didn’t like my creation. But I thought marriage was for life and decided to make it work. (That always being right thing)
7. Tried to convince myself I was happy; followed my spouse to Asia in an attempt to enable my spouse to find contentment thinking that would solve my angst; tried to escape from myself. Became a self-centered, elitist social animal; bought jewelry as a substitute for love and affection; sought status to fill the void; lived a shallow and frivolous but lonely existence; relied on my cat for affection. But, I ended up with 3 fur coats and a suitcase full of jewelry.
8. Plunged into another dysfunctional relationship because that was familiar; knew it was unhealthy; succumbed to the insanity if doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Yes, I was a glutton for punishment.
9. Discovered Al-Anon a 2nd time; worked on recovery; rebuilt self-esteem; changed jobs; divested myself of alcoholic boyfriend; bought new car. Decided to embrace life.
10. Found mental and emotional health; made the decision to avoid negative relationships; called upon the Universe to bring me together with a dynamic life partner who would share my hopes and dreams; declined to settle for less.
11. Met the man I’d visualized online; married him in a romantic civil ceremony on the terrace of an Italian villa on the Tyrrhenian Sea; relocated my home to rural Virginia and my job to Washington, D.C.; learned to cultivate love, happiness, plants, and positivity; embraced dust bunnies, clutter, alternative photographic processes, Civil War reenacting, yoga, knitting, baking bread, landscaping, cultivating roses, target shooting, and meditation.
Since I plan to make it to our 50th Wedding Anniversary, it is likely that I will have at least 12 more stages – One of the greatest joys of the human condition is the ability to reinvent ourselves and to constantly change. During the first 40 years of my life I resisted change; but I learned that change is inevitable and to embrace it. Change is healthy.
I do wonder what the next stage will bring?
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