I only wanted one gift.
In the days leading up to my 30th year of life I was taught a very important lesson, repeatedly: Plans are for fools. Every single plan I thought was fool-proof has all but exploded in a “word-of-the-year” SURPRISE type of way. So much so that I’m genuinely hesitant to plan another thing. I get it…trust. Only it’s really really hard to do that. Can’t I have some stability somewhere?!
The life I thought I was signing up for has sailed out to sea never to be heard from again. And I’m left here on the shore with everything I need (I’m sure) and no idea what to do with any of it. Even down to my birthday. I had no sense of how I wanted to spend the day, no idea of an outfit or a feeling. I only knew it was supposed to be a big deal. It felt like a big deal, turning thirty. Like somehow my life and in particular my adult life was validated. However when I woke up Sunday morning sick to my stomach and with cold-sweats that would last me the next 48 hours (resulting in the cancellation of my birthday party, a quarantine from the general public, and wasted party dresses) I let go of my last red balloon.
I literally said, okay God. You’ve taken away everything I planned. Everything I thought I knew and had figured out. Everyone who I thought was my foundation or strength. Every option I felt was safe. Clearly your plans for me lie elsewhere, “Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say? To whom?” It’s a Marianne Williamson prayer I’ve said many times before but never the same. Never like this. Never so hungry for answers. And still, never so sure of the answers either.
I am meant for something much bigger than my own plans. We all are. I fully plan to rise to the occasion that is My Life with intention, Grace and gratitude. For I also had to make peace with all the things I lost and let go. Thankful for the time we spent and joyous for the things I’ve made space for in my life by releasing them. I thought today, “He didn’t even send a text. In fact none of them did.” And immediately after, “thank you for allowing me to let go of the past to make room for someone who would know how important The Occasions are, and how to celebrate them accordingly.” It’s my birthday. I shouldn’t have to hold my breath wondering IF or WHEN. And I promise myself I never will again.
Being open to surprises means being open to loss, and gain…joy and grief…the known and the unknown…dreams and the unthinkable. It means anything can happen and you are willing possibility into your life. Asking to be surprised, I’ve found, is like asking for the things that (prior to your beckon) only had a 0.09% chance of occurring. And asking for that much uncertainty is certainly the wish of someone who hadn’t thought it through. What a gift my naivety turned out to be .
My wish for the remaining 364 days in this trip around the sun, should I be so blessed to live that long, is to embrace the process. I want to welcome uncertainty like an old friend with lemonade and a rocking chair. I want to lean NOT into my own understanding. I really want to be led by what calls me, following that voice to places unknown unseen and unexplored. There’s something for me somewhere I haven’t thought of yet, and I want to go to there. The only way out is through.