19 January 2022
One of the most emotionally dangerous aspects of Facebook is the “memories” page. I still check it every day because sometimes the memories are wonderful. The downfall is that sometimes they are not. Sometimes I would rather not be reminded, but by then it’s too late.
And then sometimes, the memories leave me dumbstruck. Today is January 10, 2022.
Seven years ago today, I attended orientation at Willamette University’s MBA for Professionals program. I wrote on Facebook that I had no idea how it would “work out, but I’m saying prayers and with luck and a lot of studying I’ll have my MBA next year!!”
I had no idea, none, how the next seven years would turn out. Looking back, I feel like the opening words of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness …”
It really was the best of times … I fell in love and had wonderful adventures on land and sea. I learned a little bit about sailing, I learned a little bit more about myself.
It was also the worst of times … In a freak accident, I injured my face so traumatically that IT, more than any other single moment, changed the trajectory of my life.
I learned and continue to learn that wisdom comes from two places. From the outside — Wisdom from others can only be learned by being quiet and being present. And from the inside — Wisdom from within can only be learned by listening to your soul. This happens to me in the wee hours of the morning, arriving unexpectedly, catching me off-guard. And no matter how hard I try, one of the things I have learned is that some of the things I have learned – have happened many times. I am gobsmacked at the number of times some lessons take to be learned.
I am two classes away from an MBA I will likely never receive but I’ve made my peace with that. If we are wise we realize the best we can do is make decisions based on the information we have at hand. The facts, the feelings, the desires we can best trust.
But what about the experiences we have that just happen? We did not choose them. No one expects them or could have predicted them. But what if someone did predict them, and you made decisions and took action and still they happened? Then what?
Well, then we deal with it. The best way we can. Straight on. With good posture and the determination and belief that we will not lose.
I say “we,” but really, I can only speak for myself. I can only do what I can do, and if what I do shines a light into the darkness we all feel, well, then that’s a bonus. Seven years ago, I would not have believed you if you had told me of the adventures I would go on, the triumphs I would accomplish, the dreams I would not let die. Nor could I have imagined the toll the events of my life would take on me. But I am who I am, what I am, where I am because of all of it.
And I’m alright.