I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as life being a long quiet river!
It might be for some… but for me it seems that there are a few currents that often come disturb the peaceful going, sometimes creating rapids to be dealt with so as not to drown, sometimes being blocked by a big dam wondering how the heck to carry on or sometimes meandering to a beautiful lake for a little respite.
All in all, it feels more like a roller coaster than a quiet river.
Take love relationships for example. At age 18, without a care in the world, I wanted to travel and see the world and had set my mind on never marrying. The plan was to create stable ongoing relationships… but finite, with a beginning and an end.
Married life for a lifetime: Not for me!
Yet… I ended up having only 3 love relationships in my life, and they were all very long term.
The last one being so long term that it ended in marriage for the ever after.
Children. Can you guess? I was pretty much set on the same pathway in the beginning. No kids for me. I didn’t want any children.
And yet… after a few years of being married (and without any pressure from my loving husband who did desperately want children – bless him), a little thought started to instill itself in my mind… Why not? We could give it a try…
So, decision taken, we are going to start a family and have a kid. And in my little mind, who still believed in life being a river, I thought: Now I want a child, so I will have a child.
But, life doesn’t work that way does it. The child just decided it wouldn’t be coming. So it took us five more years, and a little bit of fertility treatment, from the time of the decision to finally getting pregnant and having our son.
Having him was a wonderful adventure in itself. So I thought to myself: ‘This is fun, this is easy, I like it. Let’s create a big family, I want 5!’ (I’m not kidding I went from wanting none, to wanting 5!) And I thought, surely now that I’ve had one, a second one will be easy.
But no, the second one wasn’t easy. We tried for a while and then decided to feel blessed by the amazing kid we have and let the idea of the big family trickle away.
I could find so many examples in my life where I’ve had to shift course and adapt to small and big pebbles in the way.
Let’s take work for instance.
Back at 18, you know when I wanted to travel and not get married; I wanted to be a career woman. I wasn’t quite sure how… but the idea was that I would have a great career: along with the high heels, the straight skirts, the 9 to 5 job and the teams that I would manage… all that kind of stuff.
And it all started pretty smoothly. My first real job was for a recruitment agency. Things were going well, I was learning a lot and paving the way to where I wanted to be (or at least the idea of where I wanted to be).
But then, after a few years, I started to get incredibly bored! And I realized that this was not at all what I wanted for my life.
So I decided to quit and start my own pathway working with children with learning difficulties. It wasn’t easy, but I did it and I loved it.
Up to the day before giving birth to my son, I started my days at 7am and worked straight to 7pm, barely stopping and loving it. And in my ‘river’ thinking mind, I thought that I would have my child, take my 3 months maternity and then start again right where I left. Even the little corner smiles of my friends (who already had children) didn’t deter me from that belief.
And then I had my child!
And then realized that working from 7am to 7pm would basically mean that I would barely get to see him awake.
Back to the drawing board… let’s change that plan again!
So, yes… for me the long quiet river thing transformed itself more often than not in a giant waterfall!
But you know what. Now that I have been through this roller coaster, I wouldn’t want it any other way. A little bit of head’s up might have been nice… but all in all I think it made me who I am today. And to be frank, I quite like who I am today!
And who wants a long quiet river anyway when a roller coaster is so exciting!
And yes, it is scary at times, and sometimes you just don’t know how you are going to keep moving forward, and sometimes you just think that finally things have fallen into place, but you kind of know now that it’s just for a little while until the next crazy dip takes place.
And if I have learned something from that whole process, it is just to take it as it comes, make the most of it when you can, learn from it if needed and always, always be grateful for what is.
So tell me: What is your life like? Is yours more like a long quiet river? Or does it look like a roller coaster too?