If there is one thing I've finally learned from this weekend it's that you can't plan for anything. I never thought of all people Lia would be the one to teach me this. When I met her I couldn't stand her. I despised her frivolous attitude towards anything and everything. She seemed so disconnected and void of feelings. Little did I know that when I met her she was struggling with her own battles. We all deal differently. Back then I was too naive to realize this.
She sat across from me last night rehashing her story that I'd heard time and time again. Working as Zeta vice president, getting a 4.0, studying her ass off and devoting every minute of her time to this ultimate goal: teach for america. Everything she did in college was intended to lead her to that one place and in the end, when she finally arrived her district was the only one of thirty to do a surprise drug test when the week before she had gone to bonnaroo and made the mistake of giving in and smoking. Denied from the program she's now found herself back in Baltimore working with autistic kids. At the end of the story she turned to me "Sam the point is that I wasn't supposed to do teach for america. I wasn't supposed to marry Chris. I thought I had it all right. I thought I knew and I kept planning and working towards this one place. But life had different plans."
I guess what I've realized is that maybe my life style isn't terrible. Living in the moment can seem immature of me - but in the end I've always done what makes me happy. The things I do may not be leading to some ultimate purpose. There is no cohesion between the things I do: volunteering as a kids camp counselor in the Bahamas, coaching high school cross country and track, caring for animals at Petco for 9.50/hr, working with Invisible Children. These things may not be leading to a common goal, but they make me happy. They're the things I've chosen to do because I want to. And I think sometimes that counts just as much.
I thought I knew my path once too. I thought that my light at the end of the tunnel was transferring to Towson University because it meant finally being with Dan and preparing myself for this life where we'd probably marry and have children. I know - it's crazy. I was young, but I wasn't naive. I don't think I was ever out of line in my thinking - I truly believed that my final destination was somewhere with Dan. But life had other plans. Somewhere things went wrong and they stayed wrong for a long time. I fell apart but I rebuilt my life. I think sometimes I find myself frustrated that the pieces I rebuilt don't add up to a perfect picture. I still don't know where I'm going with all these random activities and situations I find myself in. But at the end of it all I know I'm okay because even if I follow what makes me happy in the moment, these decisions have been the best ones for me.
I always imagine there to be some end point. Some final destination where all the small things I do pay off. But Lia said it last night, life is one continuous evolution and at age 50 I am still going to find myself plunging into new things - that's how life is. At least I've managed to make my happiness a priority. It's one thing I can say I've got going for me and in the end probably the most important.
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