I write a lot about savoring as much of life as possible before time runs out. I’ve heard from several people, as a matter of fact, that it gets annoying to hear the same thing over and over again. “It’s excruciating, listening to what falls out of your head,” one person actually told me. Oh, I haven’t heard this from any of my readers but rather from close loved ones. Haha! I’m not sure what to say about that. The most loving reason they could be saying this is because they feel like I’ve gotten stuck in a rut and need to move on.

Maybe that’s the reason and maybe they’re right. I don’t know. Personally, I myself think I’m starting to sound like a broken record because the same truths keep appearing in my mind as pieces to a puzzle I’m meant to put together. And I keep trying to put those pieces into some order but the result is not like anything I’ve seen in anybody else’s life. Of course, this leaves me feeling like a freak for feeling differently than the masses. I’m not presuming that I will be able to shake something loose in the world and make major changes for all of mankind. Mostly, I just want to figure things out for myself.

And, for some reason, that’s more frightening than any other task I could set for myself. Putting those puzzle pieces together. Does it seem overwhelming to anyone else? I look around at my friends and family and everyone seems to be buttoned up tight, not confessing to any fears or sense of inadequacy, not owning up to any problems or deeper questions they might have as human beings. I’ve actually been told by a couple of people that I think too much and I just need to ignore the questions posing themselves in my head. Just suck it up and move on, they say. Just ignore the bad stuff and focus on the good stuff. Oh right. Just like that. It’s easy!

Oh, and, in case you’re wondering, I’ve also read so many of the great books by great authors who say that we can only find bliss through living in the moment. Embrace the NOW, says Eckhart Tolle, to find happiness. I got it. I know. I can see that. I’m always happier when I’m not looking too far ahead or dwelling in the past. But what about those times you can’t help yourself from sinking into negative thinking, as we all do? (And anyone who says they don’t is a lying bastard.) At those low times of your own humanity, what do you fall back on? You fall back on the answers to the questions that I’m asking–and that everyone else seems to have figured out.

Is anybody working toward finishing themselves? Long ago, in my 20s, I had that thought, that I was nowhere near “finished” and that my greatest wish was that, by the time I died, I would have gotten as close as I could to being finished. What I meant by that then, I see now, is “enlightenment.” Knowing what’s truly important in this life and embracing it with everything I have. Being patient, being wise, being authentic, and, most importantly, being pure, absolute LOVE. Only when I can find the Kingdom of Heaven within myself will I be ready to move on from this world.

But. And there’s always a but. I have a lot of questions about how to get there. About how to find the peace and awareness of the present moment that I need to get there, wherever there is. And about how to deal with people and my relationships with them all along the way. I seem to get a lot of conflicting wisdom from my people, from my reading, from my religion, and from my own heart. There are those who say to ignore all the thoughts and those that say to let them out. Some say to think for myself; others say to read the Bible (or some other sacred text used by the major world religions). Some tell me to believe in myself while others say that happiness only comes from believing in the great Truths that I still need to learn. But where are these truths? Are they posted in one of those quote boxes on Facebook or something?

Last time I posted, I said that I was finally owning up to the fact that I don’t know anything. I wasn’t lying. I might have a hunch about some of the questions but I don’t have many answers. I have a strong feeling that answers lie within and that everything I need is right here, in my own heart and soul, flowing from my mind through my fingers onto this blank document as I type. I have that feeling but, at this moment, I don’t have the proof. And I don’t seem to have that peaceful mind that is needed to figure it out. My world is full of incessant chatter, some necessary living coming from living with children and some unnecessary crap that stems from living in this overdone culture. The chatter and clutter of daily living builds like plaque in my mind and makes everything less than clear. I don’t know which way to go next because I can’t see properly.

The frightening thing is no one else seems to be feeling this way. So, of course, I’m left wondering, am I really searching for enlightenment? Or is something going haywire in my brain? Do I ask questions because I’m a seeker of truth or because I have a diseased mind? What does Exit Normal really mean? Exiting the normal way normal people seem to think of things? Or exiting sanity? Mid-life crisis, or something more?

Maybe none of it really matters and I need to chin up, Buttercup, stop feeling so alone, and wash the dishes and keep the car cleaned out and read the news and say a prayer and raise my kids and retire to Florida, if it’s still there when I’m done doing the rest, and if I still have enough money to do it. Maybe it’s just a racket, this drivel that drips from my brain. I just can’t shake the idea that there’s something more than normal, something bigger and more beautiful and something that might just end up being the first step to heaven.