Friday, April 30, 2010

The Value of a 360 Degree Perspective

A few days ago I placed a photo of my fifteen year old self on my desk in my office downstairs. I think I was fifteen, maybe sixteen when it was taken. I took it out of a photo album packed away in one of my closets because I think I wanted to be reminded of what I knew back then. It isn't always that easy to recall. Sometimes I need help remembering.

I'm not a big believer in living life looking through a rear view mirror. Still, we do need to glance at it once in awhile, in order to gain that 360 degree perspective we need to properly maneuver ourselves. When I do look back, I recognize that part of who I am now is comprised of what I looked up to and learned from during that time. That's not to say that it's all of me. Time has a way of making us realize that we're not simply who we thought we would become or sought out to be. We're a lot more than that. So much more.

At fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years old, I sure in the hell didn't have the tenacity to stick up for myself like I do now. I have the experience of dancing with "The Devil" to thank for that, among a few other valuable treasures I've found. The difference, I think, is that the ability was there, but the decision to express it had to come from being able to recognize its importance.

Perspectives change as you evolve. It's one of the few things in life that's for certain. What you see through the front windshield while you're driving is completely different than what's seen through the side or rearview mirrors. Some things you might not see unless you turn your head a little to catch what those mirrors might not. Yet, all those mirrors and side glances are vital to the task of driving a car. You have to be able to see everything around you in order to navigate yourself on the road from point "A" to point "B."

Sometimes when I'm driving on Highway 66, making my way up to Lyons, I look at the same mountain range, the same lakes and rivers, the same fields full of horses, houses, cabins and "nick knack tourist" shops, but see something different each time. There are times I imagine what it was like when there weren't any roads and it was just Natives and Pioneers living their lives in the wilderness. Other times I see families, friends and groups setting up chairs and fishing poles in the middle of the afternoon sunshine, enjoying the dance of the sun's rays on top of the gray blue waves that eventually splash against the rocks. Sometimes I see the clouds reach down to touch the evergreen fir lined peaks of the foothills that everyone wants to catch a glimpse of. Even when I'm having a bad day and all I'm focused on is getting to my next stop and getting out of there, the scenery still provides inspiration to my spirit.

It's my real life version of the now cancelled television series "Everwood." And I get to step into its scenes three times a week. That's one thing the fifteen year old never would've tuned in for. But the thirty-three year old is sure glad and grateful that she has yet to change the channel. She's still recording the conversations, the people, the ambiance of a charming small town mountain life and its surrounding Nature. She knows that someday, long after the last scene has ended, she'll need to revisit those tapes or DVD's to remind herself of what she once knew and what she once learned.

Those lessons, those experiences, and most of all, that boxed-away, dust covered lens will be exactly what she needs in order to see whom she's meant to be.


  1. Whoa. I relate so strongly with this I may need to take a breath. :-D Wow. My Goddess but you're a good writer. Thanks for this. I need to come back and savor. Thank you, my upa guru--teacher along the way.


  2. Lol..thanks Chiron! Glad you enjoyed it. =)