You’re going along with your life and it’s good.  To anyone who asks, your marriage is good; your finances, health, children, job prospects (although you still haven’t landed your dream job…yet), home and neighborhood, spiritual life: all good.  Occasionally, your doctor sends you for extra testing or one of your children misses the mark and the thought crosses your mind (more than once) that you’ve failed as a parent.  Overall, however, you have no complaints.

Then, one day fate permits you a coveted glimpse of the grass on the other side of the fence.  Despite what you’ve heard to the contrary, you discover it truly is greener, the world painted in splashes of deeper, more vibrant hues.  A safe place to dwell transparently, your guard down and emotions heightened, stretched taut and worn on your sleeve in all their complicated imperfections.  Unfurling from a long, dormant slumber, you hear yourself think outside the box for possibly the very first time ever.

And soon you realize your finances don’t matter.  Your home is just a house, your offspring forever their mother’s or father’s child, your health and marriage can always be improved upon, dream jobs are synonymous with castles in the sky, your neighborhood is no different from the one down the street or across town and your spiritual life is.  Not.  The.  Church.

Obscured until now, the real you was hidden behind the clichéd windows to your soul and you realize it’s always been this way, your whole life maybe.  Because what you thought was good really spelled out mediocre.  Ordinary.  Average.  You recognize with a heavy feeling in your gut that you’ve settled.  What’s more, it’s all been a lie.

Because now that you’ve fully lived, you must ask yourself if you can remain in a mainstream existence without drowning in a sea of bone-crushing discontent, the memories of abundance — of more than — powerful enough to make you think that life can be yours.  The one that’s greener; the exception to the rule.  You remember its heady, verdant scent.  You recall its texture, its ripe hills and valleys rippling under your fingertips.  And its taste, oh the taste!  A craving so potent it threatens to burn a hole in your chest.

But you can’t have it.  Your life is on this side of the fence and it’s good, remember?

You may never forget that fleeting season where the void defined as less than became transformed into overflowing , spilling out across the top and bathing you with thirst-quenching contentment.  But you might just have to embrace the truth of your reality because you have no other choice.  Or quite possibly, if you clutch tightly enough to the slide show you replay  in the privacy of your own thoughts, the yawning void will be filled and the elusive longings of your heart made whole.  Because without this hope — this promise — the likelihood of suffocating will threaten all you’ve ever known until you are unable to recognize the face you see in the mirror, the blank stare returning your gaze.  So keep telling yourself it’s a good life.  You may begin to believe it.  Someday. ~ cs

Always the write time to: aspire.  Nothing more, nothing less.