We get better at life by living life. Along the way we fall, we crumble, we stand a little taller, we conquer. But we typically have to fail to get better. The ol’ ‘practice makes perfect’ idiom.

And that’s great for certain things in life. For me, I struggled with spelling, track and field, chemistry (the Niels Bohr type; see even there I’m mostly wrong. He was a physicist.), and chemistry (the dating type). But eventually I got good at all of those things (except apparently Niels Bohr chemistry).

Sure, dating is hard right now, but I don’t have a doubt in my mind I’ll be a good partner. I’ve been crushed, done the crushing, and went through the subsequent soul-searching and understanding. And because of that, I know I have what it takes to be a great partner.

But what about the things that life doesn’t grant a second chance? Like a first impression. Or grasping the reality of the slow loss of a loved one. Or the scariest of things, bringing a life into the world  and seeing it through until you’re gone.

I’ve never gotten a chance at procreation, but I honestly can’t wrap my head around the enormity of it. I have no idea how to prepare for it, even though it’s something I absolutely want. I have no idea how my parents did it and did it so well, but I’m glad they did.

I found myself sitting around a lake yesterday. It’s a spot where I took my parents almost two years a go. We spent the afternoon there, looking at wildlife and just being together. I went back there the day after I took them and just broke down crying because it meant so much to me to have that time with them. I will cry in an instant if I think about losing them. If that’s what it feels like to be someone’s child, I can’t imagine the feelings that must be ever present if you’re a parent.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say with this post other than just saying I’m still working hard to figure this whole life thing out. It’s tough work and we don’t always get it right, but we often get a lot of chances to get it right.

Penguins mate for life. Why do we complicate life so much?

 

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