"Try to love the questions themselves, as if they were rooms yet to enter or books written in a foreign language. Don't dig for answers that can't be given you yet: you cannot live them now. For everything must be lived. Live the questions now, perhaps then, someday, you will gradually without noticing, live into the answer." -Ranier Maria Rilke
I borrow the title of today’s blog post from a woman who was in her mid seventies when I met her at a yoga and meditation retreat. She paired her yoga attire with red lipstick and a ring fashioned from a large cluster of diamonds. While the rest of us sat a row back, she took her place, front and center in the meditation hall where she flirted shamelessly with our introverted, reserved teacher. One night we found ourselves at the same table in the dining hall. Instead of a meal of quiet whispers over kale salad, that evening she shared snippets of her life story with me, and whispers soon gave way to peels of uncontrollable laughter. The details of her loves and losses were so fantastically unique that by the end of the meal I was imploring her to write a book. She said she already had the title—Tomorrow Will Be Different—and that she just needed to put pen to paper.
As I’ve moved towards my 30th birthday, this phantom book title—Tomorrow Will Be Different—has become a kind of mantra in my life. Not because today is bad—far from it—but simply because this is the kind of truth that wisdom of years teaches you whether you want to receive the lesson or not. A year ago today, on my 29th birthday, I shared this website with friends and family for the first time. In my first blog post I wrote: “my life is very different from what I imagined it would look like.” That statement still rings true a year later. What has shifted over the last 366 days is my attitude towards the inevitable uncertainty of life.
Over the course of this year, I changed the title of this website from collectivewisdomcircle.com to human-becomings.com. Collective wisdom is still at the heart of this project. The patterns of thought from great thinkers from a variety of traditions were some of the initial rungs on the ladder that led me out of my hole of despair, and the personal stories friends and family shared with me made up the rest of the rungs. The name “Human Becomings” is, of course, a nod towards personal evolution—a process I imagine I’ll be engaging with until the end of my days, and a process that I hope will become a lifelong vocation as well.
In a few moments, in genuine celebration of my 30th birthday, I am putting on my running shoes and heading out my front door to run thirty miles. I'll hit my tenth marathon at the 26.2 mile marker, and the last few miles will be entirely new territory. Beloved friends, family, and dog will join me for sections of my self designed "Dirty Thirty Ultra." I imagine the experience will be terrible and wonderful, mundane and exciting, painful and joyful—in short a microcosm of life itself. And at the end of the run I’ll have good company, a delicious cupcake, and a cold cocktail waiting (a microcosm of heaven?). Then tomorrow, after the celebration, I'll wake up to a new decade and a path of unknown miles stretching out into my future, all of which feels very exciting indeed.