“I guess much of life is about anticipation …”
I thought it would be a fleeting moment of understanding and connection. I come across at least a couple blogs a day that affect me in some way, whether they make me tear up or nod in agreement or smile at their beauty. I thought this was one of those moments. A second of clarity, like “We do spend a lot of time anticipating, don’t we? Anyway…”
But I have found myself thinking a lot over the past couple of weeks about the way and the frequency with which I anticipate. Anticipation isn’t inherently a bad thing. It helps you visualize a goal. It can give you hope and fill you with excitement. But I have felt, especially lately, like I’m in a constant tug-of-war between the anticipation of what’s ahead and the need to enjoy right now.
I’ve never been someone who could sit still, at status quo, for very long. I’m constantly planning the next weekend road trip, looking for the next perfect job or side project, wondering what I’m supposed to be doing that I’m not. Anticipating things I haven’t even figured out I’m supposed to anticipate yet.*
I believe in fate, in the idea that certain things happen for a reason. I believe Mike and I both landed across the country from our homes and everyone we knew in jobs that didn’t really suit us because we were supposed to meet. But I also think we have to be active participants in our own lives. We can’t wait for fate to happen to us – we’ve got to reach out and grab it. A life in Arizona didn’t fall into our laps. We were both recent college graduates who needed internships and/or jobs and we applied and networked and landed them. Fate is busy… she can’t do it all.**
And so I find myself wondering a lot about what else I’m supposed to be doing that I’m not and when – if ever – inspiration will strike me, when the answers will become clearer. Will we have more children, and if so, how will they come to us? How can I make a lasting impact on kids who struggle in ways I hope my own children never have to struggle? What is my book about?
I’m pushing myself to do more, and that’s good. But I can’t spend my whole life trying to figure out what I need to do next. I’ve got to slow down and enjoy the exact place in life that I am at right now – cuz it’s a pretty good one. And I have to remind myself that it doesn’t mean I’m complacent, it doesn’t mean I’m devoid of ambition. It means I’m content.
*I know, I sound like a dream to live with. But I make really good cookies, so it’s a trade-off.
**I assume fate is a woman. Based on the fact that I ended up in a house that is in such close proximity to a Kohl’s, a Target and a Banana Republic outlet.