When I was a little girl we would spend a couple weeks each year visiting my grandmother in Elgin, Illinois. One of my favorite places to play in her house was her basement. This basement, while functional, was not “finished” in the way that we would think of today, but there was a small portion that was a carpeted, living-area. This space contained a bar, a piano, a couch and two chairs, and a huge antique radio.
I loved to play with that radio! It was a monster of a machine! I would turn on the radio, spin the mammoth dials, and listen.
Some voices came in incredibly clear, yet the person was speaking in a foreign tongue. I was curious about the voice. I wondered, what was being said, and from where was it being broadcast? These stations took me to the wonder of other worlds.
Other spins of the dials brought me to beautiful music that filled me with all kinds of emotions and, at times, possessed me to twill around and dance.
Many "stations" were barely distinguishable, as the voices and music were unsuccessfully competing with the static. And, it felt like a teacher had just scraped their nails across the chalk board.
It surprised me how few stations were both clear and in a language that I understood. It was a challenge to find those stations and when I did, I felt a sense of place and belonging.
These past couple of years, as I have been trying to figure out what I want to do next with my life, I have often thought of my grandmother's radio. It seems to me that hearing the voice of my "internal knowing" (you know, that voice inside of you that is very clear about who you are and what you are meant be doing) is a lot like the stations on that radio.
At times, I understand my "internal knowing" completely. I know what the next step is and which direction I should be going. But more often than not, it is not so clear.
If I am lucky, I hear "music" and am taken over by emotions and gut-feeling. Both are incredibly helpful guides in making these life decisions.
Other times there is static, and competing noises and I feel pulled in two (or more) different ways.
And occasionally, I feel as if there is a definite direction and plan for my next steps, but, all the signs, maps, and voices are in a foreign language and I am left confused, frustrated, and unsure.
I am always wishing that my "internal knowing" is on the one and only station - that is of course, a crystal-clear, easy-to-find, English-speaking station.
But, when I think back to playing with my grandma's radio, I realize that if that machine only had one station, I would have been incredibly bored. Chances are, I would have listened very little, and rarely tuned in.
And, that wonderful, fascinating radio would not have been interesting - it would have been no fun - No Fun At All!
...So, I suppose that is true with life.
Sometimes, it's the emotion, curiosity, options, unknown, and frustration that makes life interesting,
and yes, even FUN!