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The yin & the yang of it

Jamieson Van Loan

A couple nights ago, I saw a musical called Waitress. When the movie first came out, I remember renting it from the Darien library and the second it ended, I restarted it. I was drawn to it. The story is about a woman, a waitress, whose life has not gone the way she expected and even with all the wrong turns she finds the strength to stand strong and change her path.

Besides the obvious beauty of the story line, I have always felt a connection to this idea that life may not always be cracked up to what it’s supposed to be but we are all a-ok. If we all took stock of our lives, how often are we in awe of how perfect it’s turning out?

I will speak for myself and say, rarely is my life turning out as I thought it would. And the shocking part of this is that I would not change one damn part of it. I’ve had glimpses of the perfection. I’ve lived many chapters of complete happiness and as much as I loved those moments and am grateful for them, there was no room for growth.

Lessons in life are learned or better yet, forced upon us, in the shadows of life. We expand in the darkness. We cannot know the beauty of happy without going through the struggle. 

I was once told that I’m too complicated of a person. Sadly, I believed them. That the chaos of my shadows and light were overwhelming. It took a long time to dig myself out of that gaslit generalization. I had to live through an unexpected dark period of my life to grasp that the depths of my persona are beautiful layers of experience and emotion. The idea of trading that chaotic beauty for a simple shallow existence is now laughable to me.
Now.
But I had to trudge through the raw dark space to truly appreciate the light and goodness inside of me. The dichotomy of those two worlds exist within me. I appreciate the light and layers because the dark lives there also. One cannot exist without the other.

Our lives are transient. Remember that when we are in perfect moments of our lives, there will be an equal moment of sadness and struggle. And that is ok. It is necessary. But we move through both states and come out stronger and more powerful because of it. Your chaos is a beautiful thing.

There is a song in Waitress called "She Used To Be Mine" that I’ve always loved and one line in it is “she is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie”. That is all of us. We are all a jumble of experiences walking around just trying to make real connections. 

Needless to say, if Waitress is on your to-do list, get on it. The premise is moving and real. It is a reminder that the doldrums of life are met, equally, with joy.