When I had just graduated from university, I remember looking out at the vast unknown future that lay before me and feeling a deep and intense sense of possibility. There were so many opportunities ahead of me and I didn’t know how my life was going to play out. I was both thrilled and scared, but ready and eager to find out where my place was. Things did not really play out as expected though, and life did not show me where my place was straight away.
It threw some welcome surprises at me – like my husband who has changed my life and been my strongest supporter. It just didn’t provide me with those work opportunities that I thought were right in front of me. It felt as though I was propelled forward towards a future that wasn’t ready for me, and then everything stood still while the universe caught up.
So, what happens when you’ve been told that you can do anything that you put your mind to throughout your childhood, only to find that life doesn’t always work like that? What happens when your ‘potential’ becomes lost amongst the huge ocean of everyone else’s? What happens when the opportunities you expected to find don’t arise when you are ready for them to?
While I wouldn’t have admitted this at the time, with hindsight I can see that the answer to these questions is: something so much better than we expected. You see, if things had turned out exactly as I predicted they would back then, I could be in a very different place right now. But I don’t want to be in a different place because I love the life I’m living. This makes it easy to accept the way things turned out for me in the past and is slowly starting to help me accept the vast unknown that still lays before me in the future.
No matter what season of life we’re in, we all continue to reach moments where we look to the future with questions and expectations. Sometimes though, the more specific we set our expectations the more challenging it can be to embrace what comes. As difficult as it is, I’m beginning to accept the fact that sometimes things are out of our control. However, I’m also beginning to realise that one of the most beautiful things about life is its unpredictability. And perhaps by holding more loosely to our expectations as we learn to embrace what comes our way, we’ll be pleasantly surprised at what that vast unknown holds for us.
If you’d like to read more of my musings, then take a look at this post where I reflect on the power of children’s drawings.
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