Friday, January 25, 2013
Inconsistency - a guest blog by my granddaughter, Rachel Abramson
My middle daughter, Nicole, loved our Air Force life style, moving all over the country and discovering new cultures, places and people. She married a man who received his commission in the Air Force shortly after their marriage so she could continue that life style. Her daughter, Rachel, in her second year at SUU (under full scholarship I might brag) writes about her own experiences with that: Inconsistency "Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead." ~ Aldous Huxley Those of you who know me well will understand what I mean when I say that I have not always had a lot of consistency in my life. Those of you who don't know me as well...I'm going to tell you what I mean. From the time I was born, I never lived in one house more than 3 years. I went to 10 schools between kindergarten and my sophomore year of high school. I've lived in 6 different states, and visited 42 or so. When I was a child, all I longed for, over anything else, was to have something consistent in my life. To keep my friends, to not change schools, to not miss out on opportunities because I had to leave. I hated moving, I hated starting over, and I was terrified of change. It took me nearly 18 years to realize that the most important things in my life were consistent. My family was always there with me. They always loved me, they always supported me, and they were my greatest friends through all the crazy times. I consistently attended school and had opportunities to learn and improve myself. My God, my religion, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always remained an essential consistency in my life. It has afforded me the chance to learn about myself and about the way things work, and I will always be grateful for that consistency in my life. But what I really want to talk about here is not the consistencies that have blessed my life, but the inconsistencies. For example, I may have attended many different schools, but that turned out to be an incredible blessing. Because I have learned so much more from all of my different teachers and their different points of view than I would have if I'd not had the chance to travel. They have influenced my decision to become an educator myself, and have given me invaluable direction and ideas on how to be my best self. Inconsistency has brought me so many friends throughout the course of my life, from all different situations, with all different stories. I have had the chance to watch so many of their lives change from bad to good, from good to better, and even been so blessed to be part of that change. They have all taught me different lessons that really are impossible to learn in school, lessons about honesty, about the courage it takes to be different, as well as the courage it takes to walk with the crowd. I've learned tolerance and acceptance, as well as learned to appreciate every walk of life. The experiences I've had with my friends have taught me what kind of person I want to be, and the traits and skills I should try to avoid. Inconsistency has helped me appreciate the beauty in the everyday. I lived in the very dry desert for 8 years of my life. Moving there from the gorgeous green plains of the Midwest felt like a huge downgrade. But as I learned to accept the new things in my life and the new adventures I would have, I found something new and beautiful every day. Joshua trees only grow in a few places in the whole world, and I lived near these strangely elegant trees. And sunsets in the desert are so beautiful. Then there's all the traveling my family has done over the years. I have collected rocks on a Rhode Island beach, and body surfed in the waters off the California coast. Each place I have been in this incredible country has its own unique and amazing beauty. Inconsistency has taught me to seize the day, to make the most of the time that I have, and to not waste time regretting things once they've been resolved. We're each only given one life to live, and I'm not going to waste a moment of it being afraid or worrying about getting hurt. I'm going to jump in with both feet and scrape my knees on the way. And if you'll let me, I'll grab you by the hand and bring you with me. What I really am trying to say is that change is terrifying, and really hard, and almost always leaves you a little hurt. But if you can learn to embrace the change, embrace the little inconsistencies, you'll end up with a life full of rich differences, more adventures than you can easily recount, and yes, admittedly, some scars that go along with them. But even scars stop hurting after a while, and each has a wonderful story. Don't be so afraid of the short-term pain that you'll give up the long-term happiness. Be brilliant! Be (in some ways) inconsistent. Be spontaneous. Make this life one worth remembering!