Reaching certain milestones will most certainly make us think and look at our lives, checking in as to whether or not it has turned out as we expected it to. This isn’t always a conscious process, it will often occur on an unconscious level.
Having recently had a ‘big birthday’, I have (very consciously) been reassessing my path and the last decade. To be completely honest, my life is really not what I thought it would be 10 years ago and what I thought I would achieve is completely different to what I have actually achieved.
I think the one thing that most of us will probably agree on is that life rarely turns out as we had anticipated or expected. Very few people end up following a straight path and living the life they thought they would. But the most beautiful paths can’t be found without getting lost… And sometimes, we feel in total limbo, like we are going nowhere. We seem to be unable to control the outcome and we feel tested.
Interestingly, this is exactly what happened to me this weekend and over the last few days, so please allow me to share the story, as I find the analogy quite fascinating.
On Sunday, I was due to attend a meal on the northern coast of France to celebrate said big birthday with my family. This was booked and organised quite some time ago. So I drove to the tunnel, loaded my car onto the carriage and settled for the 35 minutes crossing. Only we didn’t move… At all. For hours. In fact, we were stranded on the train for a very long time because of a power cut.
It was actually very interesting to see the whole range of emotions that I went through. It started with from anger and progressed to sadness with a bit of bargaining thrown in and at times, deluded hope. The truth was that there was absolutely nothing I could do and no possible way to impact the outcome.
The power was eventually re-established but that certainly did not mean that the train was going to move any time soon, as safety checks had to be carried out. Then out of the blue, without any announcement or warning, we noticed that we were moving.
Needless to say I missed the meal… Which obviously wasn’t the outcome I wanted. And quite literally, that’s exactly like life. We jump on the train and we expect it to move but sometimes it just doesn’t; we don’t always get what we want. And then, when we no longer believe it’s going to happen and out of the blue, it starts to move… Towards a different ending.
So what can we do about it? The truth is that the only thing we can control is how we react. Once we have gone through all the normal human reactions and feelings, we can choose to make the best of a bad situation or to fall down a negative spiral which won’t achieve anything. We don’t know how long the journey is going to take but we can decide if we want it to be a good one or a bad one. It might not end up as we thought, and there may be delays, but isn’t life magical too sometimes?