That’s the one certainty of life.
Even in its most predictable moments, life has a way of surprising us. Twists. Turns. Curve balls. You name it. From an early age we are taught to expect the unexpected. This is generally true because some things tend to fly off the handle when we expect them to be smooth sailing and vice versa.
You find when you are not looking.
You fall in love when you least expect.
You impress when you are not trying too hard.
Of course there are exceptions but it does seem like there is a sense of mysteriousness to life and the way it travels along.
For each of us, life is really like walking an uncharted course because none of us have been this way before. Yes, many people have gone before us but none of those people were exactly like us so in many ways, what you and I are doing, right now, has never been done before. There is no one size fits all with life.
The general things will definitely be a part of every person’s life; birth, death, love, heart break, achievement, disappointment, joy, pain, sorrow, excitement, highs, lows, passions, dreams, hopes…but for each of us these things will have a quality and timbre that will be unique to us. I will not experience life in the exact same way you will nor will you experience it in the exact same way I do.
I don’t know about you but I’ve never fully been at ease with the unpredictable aspect of life. The truth is, it has always driven a wedge of fear right through my heart. How could I possibly deal with the unexpected? Why can’t life just follow some clearly defined path instead of meandering along sometimes like a drunken river?
My need for structure and lack of spontaneity no doubt has played a major role in my uncomfortability with this.
In the last few weeks, I have been on relentless roller coaster rides that left me spinning. But as crazy life would have it, with that tumultuous spinning came some form of clarity. The pieces came together for me when I finally got my state of being and existence in this world; I am fabulous and flawed.
Before, I never saw how the two could have anything to do with each other, let alone co-exist. So I was on this quest for an idealised fabulous-ness while consciously or unconsciously forgetting to factor in my flaws. In a way, that was quite natural for me to do, being a perfectionist.
When all you see is perfection in a world that is perfect and soiled, there can be no mature understanding of life’s unexpected; because on the path to man’s fantasised perfection and an easy life, unexpected events and life’s surprises are an anomaly.
But we are not on the path to easy.
Like I said, we are treading unexplored terrains – a combination of hills, plains, mountains and valleys.
There is an exquisite beauty in this…especially if we get it and then align that understanding with our attitude.
The whole metaphor of life as a journey invokes a picture of movement, excitement and adventure. And all these have elements of uncertainty, surprise and unexpected turns.
So, I’ve figured it’s time to revisit my life map and plot a new path. A path that is more grounded in the earthiness of real life and experience. A path that accounts for both my weaknesses and strengths.
Instead of being afraid of the unexpected, I want to learn to embrace it and train myself to see possibilities in uncertainty. To see the wind beneath the sails and the light behind the shadows.
Embracing the unexpected is not about going around dismally expecting things to go wrong. It’s about being comfortable in our fabulous and flawed selves; it’s trusting and giving our life-journey the benefit of the doubt; knowing that we are being led somewhere – that in the end, all will be well.
Some risks will have to be taken along the way. Some hearts will be broken. Sometimes we will stand at the crossroads wondering which way to go and even when we make that decision, sometimes we will not know whether it was the right one until the fruits show. That’s all part of the journey and perhaps each of us has to fall in love with our path in order to appreciate this difficult aspect of life.
When all is said and done, you want to look back on your life and know that you had given it your all. And giving it your all means exactly that…it’s not holding back until you get all your stuff organised into a neat, little row. Life never waits for us to get our stuff together so we must learn to fix things as we travel; to go at it with every perfect and flawed part of our being, making the time to evaluate how our journey is going; checking our compass and plotting new paths if need be.
Life is truly the ultimate of adventures.
As a fellow writer splendidly put it;
“Adventure will flourish wherever you give it permission”
I am now come to the place in my life where I have the courage to say, “Bring it on!”