We are never actually “there” because once we get “there,” then “there” is “here” and by then, we are looking forward already to the next “there.”
Confusing? Yea, I know.
In my favorite movie of all time, Almost Famous, the main character, 15-year-old William, is hired by Rolling Stone magazine to cover a “hot” up-and-coming band. With his neurotic and overprotective mother’s voice in his head at every turn, and as the few days the assignment should have taken become weeks, he returns to the same refrain over and over in every conversation he has with the many characters in the band and its entourage.
“I have to go home.”
In a key scene, all of the members of the group are emotional and worn out following a very long night. As the music plays on the tour bus, William turns to Penny Lane, the band’s most beautiful groupie, and says, yet again and with the utmost seriousness, “I have to go home.”
Penny, played by Kate Hudson, stops singing, turns to William, plants her gaze firmly on his and with her hand breezily brushing his face says very seriously, confidently and with some mystery tells him:
“You’re already home.“
William is so busy worrying about when he going to get home, why he isn’t yet home, how he is going to get home and how much he has to do (interviewing the band’s key member, for example) before he will be ready to go home that he hasn’t allowed himself to drink in the deliciousness of the moment.
And for him, the moment is plenty delicious: He is up close and personal with one of the most popular bands around. He is on assignment, covering the band as a paid journalist for Rolling Stone, arguably the top music publication of all time. Oh, and yea, he is 15 years old (though they don’t quite know that).
He hasn’t (yet) let it truly sink in that the great dream of his young life is not only coming true but it is coming true in the most amazing, unexpected ways and he is right smack-dab in the middle of it.
“Are we there yet?”
William is already home, yet he can’t stop asking when he’ll get there.
(Ironically, when William does make it back to his physical home where his Mom is waiting, he does so without having interviewed Russell, the band’s front man, who ends up making a special trip to conduct the interview right in the middle of William’s bedroom. God, I love this movie.)
“You’re already home…“
Sometimes, not unlike a 2-year-old, I want what I want now. I need to know how this is going to turn out or play out right now. I want to know now where I will be in two weeks or six months or one year.
I like results and answers. I don’t know if that makes me left-brained or right-brained or true to my INFJ self or none of the above.
All I know is that uncertainty irks me to the core. Clearly, the wanting to have the answers right now — and the learning why this can’t be so — is a major part of my journey.
There is a whole lot I have cut out, said goodbye to and 86’ed in my life. Now I’m kind of waiting to see what takes up those newly-empty spaces.
And I know keeping some of the empty empty is important. I’m experiencing that with 2/3 of the main part of my house being totally devoid of furniture, but man, that is hard stuff.
One of my favorite sections in Eat, Pray, Love (I’m bringing in all the big guns today) has Richard from Texas telling our heroine Liz all about letting go and taking back the space and energy that we’ve been using to wonder and agonize and stress:
“If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.”
Truth be told, letting go is both hard as hell and easy as pie. We may know we are already home, but we still keep saying “I need to go home” and wondering “Are we there yet?”
As I am getting ready to end this blog post because, frankly, I don’t have anything brilliant left to say, I’m thinking that it wasn’t my best. Already, I’m judging it (and myself, and your reaction to me).
I’m wondering what else to add or bring to the table: Always thinking that there is more, should be more, needs to be more. That I need to keep going, doing, saying, writing, thinking, asking.
But at some point – and really at every point – enough should be enough. We are always there, already. But, like William in Almost Famous, like Liz in Eat, Pray, Love, like me with my non-stop attempt to orchestrate and direct and influence, we keep going even when we shouldn’t or can’t or don’t need to.
So right now I will just STOP. I’ll stop asking and ruminating.
Maybe that’s the lesson for me…and perhaps for you, too: It is what it is for right now. I don’t need to take 10 more steps or drive another mile or write another 200 words to get home.
Yes, we are there yet. We are there now. You’re already home.