We are all a WIP – a work in progress. My own journey in this recently led me to moving from Seattle to San Diego, where my sister lives. There I was sitting in the sun in my sister’s backyard with her three year old daughter, Sylvia. Palm trees were wafting in the gentle wind against a clear blue sky. It was a perfect beautiful day in San Diego. I was far from the gray clouds of Seattle and my former dark and depressed self. We were talking about life – my struggles with alcohol addiction and recent triumphs in keeping sober, my weird artsy ways, and my life journey so far. At some point she says to me “Man, you’re a piece of work!” At which point Sylvia’s three year old face lights up and exclaims with great cheer “I’m a piece of work too!” We laugh and chuckle hysterically.
The truth is, we are all a piece of work. A work in progress – or WIP. We are all a magnificent piece of art work in continual creation – a unique being whose life story and journey is theirs alone to travel and be told.
But, what does this really mean? Sure, we’re all unique and have our individual ways. So what? Tell me something I don’t know. The key is to embrace this fact. WIP means you’re in continual creation. It means you’re not perfect. It means what was good for you yesterday or served a purpose in your life, may not today. It gives you the right to re-route, regroup, reconsider, re-do, return to your true self, or whatever re- you are currently in need of doing. Or to add, layer onto, build on top of, what was there before. Since you are a work in progress – you are on a journey of progress from a former self or version of you to a newer, more enlightened self of you. You are like a snake who sheds its skin that is too tight, broken down, or worn out for new clean skin so it can grow beyond what it once was. Then when that skin becomes too constricting, shed it again.
It’s this shedding of skin over and over and letting new skin shine that allows the snake to literally grow – in size, length, strength, and capability as a hunter and survivor. She is one who enjoys sitting in the sun on a big rock and regenerating her energy supply, while being big enough to ward off predators. It’s this kind of existence that is most important in life. One that accepts where you are, understands that this too will change and move forward. That you are a work in progress – a magnificent continual act of creation and being. That shedding the old skin is a vital part of that process. And, most importantly, to enjoy basking in the sun and the moment of where you are right now.