I should take Frodo’s advice

“My dear Sam,

You cannot always be torn in two. You will have to be one and whole for many years.”

This quote has been running through my head on an incessant loop for the past few hours. The rain outside falls in patterns that mimic the cadence of the quote in the film, and if I stare into my mug of coffee long enough, I can see the words floating there.

I caught up with a dear friend of mine today; it was great to hear from her. She is going to Italy for the summer to be an au pair. She’ll know more of my great-grandparents’ mother tongue than I do by the time I start fall semester. I think she’ll make a great nanny, and I think she’ll have a great time.

I also can see the green gleam of envy sparking in my mind, and I hate that.

Knowing my weaknesses is something that I have striven for ever since I learned how to be introspective. I know them; I have intimate knowledge of each of them, when they are present, and why they are. I have not learned how to combat them. Generally, I try logic, but logic has so little control of emotions, which in me, run rampant.

For the most part, I have learned to just let those emotions run their course. I allow myself to feel jealous, to wonder freely if I’ve made the right choices, maybe even wallow in something akin to self-pity. I don’t know how else to handle them. I think about them; I study them. Often times, I hate them.

I am trying to learn how to harness them.

Sure, it’s true that, in my life now, I cannot simply pick up and move to another country for a few months. I have a husband. Soon I’ll have a mortgage. I have a cat.

But I can do other things, and every day that goes by with me not doing them is not doing me any favors. If I’m completely honest with myself, then I know that, even were my circumstances different, I still wouldn’t go for a grand adventure because it requires work, and the thought of that work exhausts me.

Really, I am very lucky that Eric is patient. To spend every day with my contradictory nature, every moment switching from one extreme to the other, must be a chore that only a saint can handle. I tell him I want to travel, so he says we can delay buying a house, but then I tell him I don’t want to do that. He says okay, and then the next day, I’m looking at airfare to London.

Perhaps the most ridiculous part is that, really, I could have it both ways, but I am unable to reconcile that fact in my mind. I get so caught up in the details that I completely forget that nothing in this world is so black and white. It’s not even gray scale; the world is technicolor.

So Frodo’s advice is perfect for me, and not just because he uses my name. I’ve simply been interpreting it the wrong way. I always thought that, between the lines, he was implying that Sam would have to choose – adventures with Frodo or settling down with Rosy. But being torn in two does not lend itself to choosing one half; it is about finding a way to reconnect the disparate pieces, to become whole again.

I desperately want that. I wish it were easy. Sometimes I wish the path were visible ahead, marked clearly to avoid straying off course. It’s not. It never will be. The road goes ever on and on…