Thursday, August 28, 2008

What I've Learned

I was thinking today about 2008 and how much it has sucked. Yes, sucked is probably the best word I can use to describe it. Up until this year, though, life has been pretty good. Sure I've had my share of problems, but no real major life events like I've experienced this year. It's almost as though all of the unfortunate things have waited and piled up and spilled out onto my life all at once. Do things happen just because they happen, or is there some sort of plan behind it all? I think both options scare me a bit. The thought of everything being completely out of anyone's control is terrifying, but, yet, so is the thought that someone (God, perhaps) has planned it out that terrible things do happen to people.
Completely feeding into my anxiety disorder, this year has taught me more than anything to never assume that everything is going to be okay, which, in my mind at least, means always be prepared for the worst possible outcome. I planned my whole life that I would grow up and go to university so that I could go to teacher's college, so what happens when I don't get in? I got on the bus assuming that I would arrive in the Everglades and get to see alligators, so what happens when the bus crashes along the way? I always assumed that Mom and Dad would be healthy and be able to take care of things, so what happens if they aren't and therefore can't? I thought that my car would be okay overnight, so what if it's not?
I really like plans, I have discovered. I don't so much like winging it, figuring stuff out as it comes along - that makes me anxious. I feel most calm and confident when I know what I am doing and know what to do in every possible scenario. But it seems like lately life hasn't been following any least not my plans.
So then what? What do you do when life doesn't follow your plans - the ones you assume will work out exactly the way you expect them?
Albert Einstein once said: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” And Dorey in "Finding Nemo" at one point sang a song saying "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming." And I think that's what you have to do. Or at least what I have to learn to do. Things might not go the way I had planned and expected them to go, but that doesn't mean life can stop. In fact, stopping is probably the worst possible option. The best bet is to keep moving forward. As the Dave Matthews Band sings, "And if nothing can be done, we'll make the best of what's around."
At this point, I think that's all I can do. That, and hope that everything will be alright.

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