Today I found myself in a bit of a conundrum. While walking out the door early this morning, I realized that I felt uneasy. I didn’t know what my day had in store; I couldn’t quite plan a detailed agenda from start to finish. Shockingly, in new jobs, they usually don’t let you do that. Feelings like this beg one question:
How badly do we crave control? While most of us might admit to feeling a little bit less on edge when our lives are structured and “in our power,” we would all probably confidently articulate that we can usually go with the flow. We can roll with the punches; we are okay with unexpected change. But are we, really?
It is no secret that our twenties could quite possibly remain among the most uncertain times of our lives. People who are younger than us have ages 1-18 covered. School, summer, school, summer, until there is no more summer, but always, seemingly, more school. The once life-altering challenges of our younger years suddenly seem trivial and unimportant. Our elders have graduated, chosen their careers, created their families and built their homes, looking back at our generation with pride, guilt, empathy or envy. Unbeknownst to us, this group has a different set of challenges, equipped with feelings and hardships we have yet to realize. And we 20-somethings… here we sit, when all we want to do is stand. Stand sure and confident that our next move will be the right one. That our path is the one we were supposed to lead. That our journey will end up the way we had always hoped or planned.
Whether it is a job, a man, an apartment or a life, we are forced to make choices. These choices are usually ones that bridge us from where we once were to where we will be. This is right around the time we like to cringe. We ask ourselves how we can ever really be sure of our decisions.
Someone stupid started a rumor claiming that when we have control, we are better, stronger human beings. Preparedness means happiness, and then luck strikes. But we must resolve to be smarter than that. While it is imperative to diligently try, everyday, to make good judgment and work hard toward an attractive outcome, might we be able to let go of the lie that this is the only way to ever succeed?
If we count the number of great things that have occurred in our lives, we realize that most of them have absolutely nothing to do with luck, nor are they the result of how prepared we felt. They did not occur because we could predict the future, and many times they were not even the product of how hard we worked. Sometimes things happened because they were supposed to. They occurred because at the time, they were what we needed to grow stronger. Our decisions have shaped us – good and bad. We are now unlearning our mistakes and preserving the lessons we have experienced. We must let go of our obsession with control, because control never was – and never will be – obsessed with us.
When we do this, we realize that they are the things of Heaven, the lessons that we learn through shakin’ it up. They are the snapshots we can always come back to. And all at once, like a Polaroid picture, it all becomes quite clear.