Last weekend I was on a mini road trip with some friends and we almost died. We were on our way home and this big HUGE, crazy, enormous storm blew in- we literally could not see a foot three inches in front of us. Cars were pulling off the road left and right; I was thanking God I wasn’t epileptic with all the hazards flashing everywhere. We finally decided we weren’t really making any progress and my friend who was copilot (God love him) was about to have a panic attack- so I decided to pull off at the first exit we saw. I’m not kidding you when I say I felt like I was on the set of the movie “Twister”- like literally. After the panic of almost being crushed by a light post that fell in the street and started sparking everywhere- our rational thinking set in we decided the only place we’d truly be safe was Target. We somehow managed not to be swallowed up by giant puddles small lakes in the road and got to Target whole. When we walked in there was a warning over the store intercom telling everyone to move away from doors and windows and to not leave the store as there was a Tornado warning in effect (I don’t think Targets even have windows? It’s like casinos- no windows, clocks, and oxygen pumped in). So after strolling around Target for about 45 minutes and buying $30 worth of unnecessary items candy (like any trip to Target) we were on our merry terrified way again. Only to encounter 60+ mile an hour winds and random debris in the road like extension ladders and tires all the way home. Just recounting that story and I’m ready for a glass of wine (pay no attention to the fact that it’s 9 am).
Anyways- I recount all of that to tie in a conversation we were having in the car. I think having our lives flash before our eyes 3 times within the space of a few hours really made us serious. Enough of Screw, Marry, Kill- it’s time to talk about the real stuff! (PS-
Ryan Gosling my husband always wins that game).
So anyways- we starting talking about our aspirations in life and how we all work jobs now that we like- but probably aren’t our long-term jobs. And some days we want to go back to school, and other days we curse school (like the days we are paying our student loans). But overall, we really have no clue.
I was telling them how I wake up some days and want to ‘save the world’ so to speak- I can work a job and go back to school and maintain a social life and a marriage, no problem. I feel like I have so much potential, and so many options- but usually just not enough time. Especially not enough time to figure it out. I feel like I need all the answers right now and if I don’t have them I’m doing something wrong. As if the journey is less important than the destination (ugh, such a corny metaphor, I know- but on point none the less). It was really comforting to me to find out I was not the only one.
I have this problem where I stand in this moment, trying to live in the next one. Always planning, thinking ahead, and trying to plot my next move. I forget that sometimes, not knowing is the best part.
Then some days I have no problem just riding the wave and letting the chips fall as they may. However, this is not often. I feel like I have a responsibility to myself, and those around me to have answers- to know what the hell I’m doing. And let me tell you- more often than not, I don’t. I’m just really good at improvising.
In college I would stand up for presentations having skimmed (at best) the chapter/subject/paper I was supposed to be presenting on. Professors would ask questions and quick on my feet, I would find an answer- or make one up.
This is not same. I cannot make up the next moment’s moves- there are always unaccounted for variables, and whilst I love to be in the know, I just can’t control what I don’t see coming.
Just sitting still makes me feel inefficient, or like I’m settling. Don’t get me wrong, you put me in front of the TV during a marathon of ”Snapped” and I will not move- for hours. However, in the grand scheme of things- I look at “coasting” like a waste of time, instead of looking at it as how time works sometimes. I just get nervous that I will rest and “enjoy the journey” for so long that I will become complacent and let things happen to me instead of happening to things. But in all reality sometimes you’re busy and determined and know where you’re going- and other times you just coast. Like my friend Kendall said to me; “Maybe you don’t know where you’re going because you’re not supposed to go anywhere yet.”
Overall, this leads me to wonder how much of our lives we waste worrying about answers we don’t have, or forgetting that we don’t always have to have a plan, sometimes we just need to go with it-and more often than not- we just need to chill out. I am more Type A than I’d like to admit, and I think that makes me miss things-all the time. Good moments I should be taking a minute to enjoy instead of stressing. Stopping to be proud of the things I’ve achieved along the way, instead of looking at the next task, or worrying about what to achieve next.
Needless to say, our 3.5 hour drive home turned into a 6.5 hour, white knuckled, wind fighting, adventure- which I will not soon forget. I think that’s a lot like life- you set out with one plan in mind (you know, like getting home alive, in 3.5 hours) and instead all sorts of stuff gets thrown at you (light posts, ladders, tires, etc.). That whole ride we may have not known what was going on or what would happen next, we definitely weren’t in control, and we were a little freaked out. But ultimately we laughed a lot, shared great conversation, and in the end made it to where we wanted to be with a really interesting story.
Which brings me to this wonderful set of quotes
(because other people say stuff better than I do- and it looks pretty)