Back when I was traveling and working 60-70 hours a week, I stumbled upon Gretchen Rubin’s site and eventually her book, both titled The Happiness Project. I always considered myself to be a ‘happy’ person, but when I exited the confines of my college life bubble, I found myself in the abyss of confusion and a lost sense of direction. “Who am I, really?”,”What do I like to do?” were questions that frequently crossed my mind.
Since finding Gretchen’s blog, I have made several steps in my life to both find myself and happiness again. I quit my job to take one that requires less travel. I started crossfitting. I set up this blog as a place for my thoughts. I bought a condo.
Gretchen is one of those writers who has a knack for saying things at just the right time. So, of course, it was there in one of her recent posts where I found my current state of being. As I sat in the middle of boxes of my things, treasured throughout the years, I learned about the concept of wabi-sabi.
Wabi-sabi sounds as crazy as it is beautiful. It is, most simply, the idea that beauty exists in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.
When I moved into my condo, one of the first things that I “put into its place” was this picture. When the artist created it, he intentionally left the painting of the boat incomplete. I set it up in my condo because, to me, it represented how I felt. There are many things (painting, decorating, building walls, etc.) that I want to do to my space to “complete” it.
My coworker asked me about the painting when he was helping me to move in. He didn’t understand why the artist would have left it incomplete. “Is this supposed to be a flag on the boat?”, he asked about the top white space. “It’s supposed to be whatever you want it to be,” I responded.
And, perhaps, this is where the beauty of wabi-sabi lies. The incomplete is whatever you want it to be. Your life is whatever you want it to be. So is your legacy. Embrace the wabi-sabi.
*My parents came to help me paint this weekend. I will post pictures this week of some of the results!
**I’ve been eating sliced deli-meat ham out of its container all week. I think I’m officially in a bachelorette pad.