Saturday, September 10, 2005

What I Know for Sure?

I've been on a massive cleaning/reorganizing kick the past few days, (so I'm a little late on the whole Spring cleaning thing.) While cleaning, I had a shocking discovery: a little book that I got for free called "The Best of Oprah's What I Know for Sure." It wasn't the book that shocked me, it was the fact that what Oprah knows for sure fills up 95 pages! This is not 95 pages of pretty design and huge print, this is headings and chapters and 10 point Times New Roman. And this is a "Best of" book, meaning there are other things she knows for sure that aren't even in the book!

I flipped through it briefly, just trying to glimpse a small bit of the picture of what she is so certain of. (I don't think I'm quite ready for the full picture yet.) Some of it I think is a little obvious, such as "Our beliefs can move us forward in life--or they can hold us back." Really, she could only have been more all-encompassing if she said they can move us forward, hold us back, let us fly, or bury us. So, okay, I know that one, too. One thing I know for's a start.

Another glimpse: "A line Emily Dickinson wrote--'I dwell in Possibility'--has always meant so much to me." Well, there are definitely things I've read that have meant a lot to me. So, now there are at least two things I know for sure...we're doing well here.

Jokes aside, when it comes down to it, I still feel like there is still so little that I really know for sure. Two years ago, my great grandmother on my mom's side decided to die. She had outlived most of her friends, and was tired of living with emphysema. So she went off the oxygen. She said good bye to everyone, and after she died the whole family came together and celebrated her life. It was strangely wonderful. And I remember thinking at the time that I have so much trouble making decisions, and she was able to make such a huge decision about such a difficult matter. I still cannot grasp that kind of clarity in life.

I recognize that Oprah and my great grandmother had life experiences far beyond any I have been capable of in 23 short years. A part of me longs to know what I will be like when I'm 50 or 80 and have gotten to know myself and my world better. Till then, Oprah's book is being recycled. I'd rather discover for myself what I know for sure. And every now and then, I'll take a peek at the two funny e-mails my great grandmother sent me while I was in college, complaining about how difficult e-mailing was. It will remind me that even she had things she did not know for sure, and the wherewithal to laugh about it.

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