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Hermosa Beach – contributed by Lori Ann Harbridge

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.”

As you “grow up”, that’s when you find out how grown up you’re not – sad but true.  As you strive for more independence, there’s no shame in realizing that you are still reliant on others while discovering that you don’t yet have the experience and resources to readily overcome the expanding dimensions of your existence.

With the unknown and unexpected questions about yourself and others introduced to you more frequently with age, don’t be overwhelmed with the initial uncertainty and panic you’ll experience.  Most importantly don’t react to those feelings without thinking what you need (not want) to do.  You haven’t learned enough to act impetuously but you are intelligent enough to sort most things out if you walk through them slowly.  I doubt it’s any comfort but this learning curve, although smaller, continues even at this stage of my life.

So here’s some simple advice for you that took me a little longer to learn, primarily due to nature of my impervious stubbornness.  First paraphrasing a quote by a sportswriter in the LA Times, “when you come to a fork in the road, don’t continue to go straight ahead!”  Second before you choose your direction, use all your senses, common sense, logic, and instincts that you have available to reach the best decision.  Finally if still troubled by uncertainty, look to those who have traveled similar journeys who have only your best interests at heart because really, youthful exuberance and unbridled optimism can only take you so far.  It’s just irresponsible to disregard the wisdom and information that is so close to you.

When it comes to whether I can be of any assistance to you, remember and (maybe grudgingly) accept that I’ve:  done (a lot) more, seen (a lot) more, screwed up (a lot) more, learned (a lot) more, lived (a lot) longer, and as a result, know a hell of a lot more than you do!  Most importantly, I care more than you could ever imagine about you and so many others close to me and I’d rather have you ask me for help first, rather than have to help you pick up the pieces later.

So take your time because you have a lot to figure out but with “real work”, you’ll see that each test is not so much an obstacle but a source to uncover what will turn out to be how you define the days that add up to your overall existence.  Don’t be satisfied with convenient choices when more is required because momentary peace is just meant for temporary relief but offers no long term answers.  With time and hopefully acceptance of the influence of proper guidance, you’ll increasingly grow to rely more on yourself to find more about who you are, what you want, and where everything and everyone fits.  Until things become more clear, you just won’t know unless you step back, reevaluate where you’ve been along with the best way to get to where you want, and then make the best choices with the information available to get there.

Mom sent this to me and so I’ll end with this quote.  “Don’t dwell on what went wrong.  Instead, focus on what to do next.  Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.”  And when that answer is revealed, keep moving on because what you learn gives you more to take you farther than you’ve yet to imagine.