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Monday, September 19, 2016

Surprise



For as long as I can remember, I have not liked surprises... even good ones... ever...  OK, once, but being so honest is really blowing my hyperbolic blogging...

It's not that surprises can't be really great.  It's not that they can't be turning point moments or important markers in our lives.  They certainly can, but I'm a planner.  It's not that the best laid plans don't ever end up as a pile of garbage at the end of the day.  Heaven knows this has happened to me over... and over... and over again.  But I guess I'm more like Effie than Han (don't worry, friends, more YA fiction references are coming your way all week long).  Go ahead and give me the odds.  That doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to make the choice with the smallest risk.  In fact it'll probably go the other way, because that's just who I am.  But at least I'll know what I'm up against... 

If you need a good example regarding my lack of love for the spontaneous, let me share a middle school story.  I was thirteen years old...  eighth grade... totally boy crazy... and I finally had a "boyfriend," which seems a little silly to me now, because in that era the verbiage was that we were "going out," but where do thirteen year olds really go? 

School hallways.  With lockers.  After dances in the cafeteria.  OK, fair enough.

After much contemplation about whether or not I was ready for my first kiss, I planned it.  Who does that?  It's rhetorical.  That poor boy.  I mean, we had to talk about it for a full week... on the phone... every day... before it could happen.  I am withholding his name, because the truth is we're Facebook friends, decades later, so this post will show up in his newsfeed, and it's bad enough that I'm subjecting my own family to this story.  I'm sure he neither wants nor needs this kind of Internet fame...

On a warm night in May, dressed in a pink and black flowered bodysuit (I'm trying to decide if it's more appropriate here to tell you that I kept that thing for almost forever or to ask why my mother let me wear what were essentially onesies for middle-schoolers), smelling like Teen Spirit (how I wish this was a clever nod to the song, but it's actually a reference to my deodorant of choice at that time), I experienced my first kiss backed up against my locker, just praying no adults would walk around the corner, because I was terrified I'd get in trouble!  It was exactly like I'd planned it, and today I can't decide if I remember every detail because first kisses are memorable or because I ran through the plan so many times, before the actual kiss, that I had it down to a science (much better science than that time my eighth grade science teacher brought in mercury for all of us to touch or that other time when we blew up the science lab ceiling).

When I started writing this, there was a point...

I like to have a good plan.  I like to know how things are going to turn out.  I like it so much that I will even sacrifice a pleasant, surprising, spontaneous moment for the sake of being prepared.  Every... single... time...

But there's a flipside, because even though some surprises could be nice, many of them just aren't.

The other day I posted a vaguebook status that read, "A year ago, if you had asked me what I thought I would be doing or how I would be feeling right now, this would not have even been on my radar..."  I posted this at 4:50am.  I did not expect it to be widely read.  And yet, there were comments.  The first one took me by surprise, but it shouldn't have.  The first comment was clearly made by someone who assumed that I was excited about this moment in life.  I mean, what else could I have possibly meant at this hour of the morning?  Everyone loves a good pre-5:00am departure time, right?  The comment was about how amazing God is, and please don't misunderstand, I completely agree.  God is amazing.  God is really, really amazing.  But it the midst of feeling super horrible about the surprising way my year ended up, I was not in any way willing to credit this awfulness to God.  Not to my God, anyway.  Not to the God who loves me and has been with me through every single moment that has sucked.  Not before the sun rose and I pulled out of the driveway to do the things I never dreamed I'd be doing, because they were not the things I wanted to be doing.  Not on that day.

Later in the day, I read a quote that said, "Adulthood is like looking both ways before you cross the street and then being hit by an airplane" (Purple Cover).  Well, that resonated deeply.  Too deeply.  Imagine, I couldn't stop laughing because it resonated so deeply...

But the best part was something my friend, Pat, said: "There are times that it isn't good to know. We would be overwhelmed!"  Oh.  Yes.  This.

The truth is, if I had every detail planned out, and if I knew... with certainty... that everything would always go as planned, I would probably never be able to do anything.  I would constantly be trying to find a way to make things better... more perfect...  just perfect.  If I always knew what I would be doing or how I would be feeling in the wake of every choice; it would be difficult to choose.  I would never be able to choose between good choices, that's for sure.

And I think that might be the crux of it for me.  What I'm doing right now is really, really good.  I can't run around feeling guilty, anymore, about the fact that I can only pour my life into a couple of places at a time.  I am the queen of stretching myself thin... or something...  I love deeply.  I love so deeply that it literally, physically hurts when I can't be where the people I love are, especially when they're hurting... especially when they have needs, and I can see how I could help, but I'm not there.  Especially because I'm not there, because I wasn't good enough to get there.    

But here's the thing...  If I was there, I would be crying and bleeding over the people who are here.  So whatever.  I guess it's gonna have to hurt (there's the song reference).  But that doesn't mean there isn't something incredibly good yet to be squeezed out of this.  I wonder if there's a plan...

L. 

1 comment:

  1. Well said! I'm totally the opposite I'm a go with the flow kinda person. Hard to believe we get along so well lol! It was great catching up with you our I guess unloading on you! You got this! He has the plan and I believe we are following His plan no matter how thin we spread ourselves or how tired we are! Chin up butter cup!

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