Saturday, April 2, 2011
The Road of Life
...is not set in stone. It is a malleable material, and we are the sculptors. While we may not know exactly what our journey will look like, I’ve seen enough to know (or at least think I know) that it is usually a reflection of what we were expecting anyways. Of course, there are always the random surprises, both good and bad, but I think these are the exception to the rule -- the “black swans” of life so to speak (a la Nassim Taleb, not the movie, which was great BTW!). In general though, we wind up right where we thought we always knew we would, bumps and all.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately not so much because of my own experiences (though they have tended to reinforce this idea), but because of my Handsome. His road was a pretty bumpy one at first. James has always had a mind of his own, which when you're a teenager, can get you into a lot of trouble. Most people that knew him growing up probably didn't expect too much from him. But as it turns out, other peoples’ expectations don’t matter all that much. When I met James, he fancied himself a bit of a rocker. He had jet-black hair, wore a chain around his neck, and was, to be honest, rather smelly. Oh and did I mention he had a black tooth (don't worry, it's been fixed)?!?
But I knew instantly that he was different somehow, because his expectations didn’t match his reality. He was brilliant and knew that one day he would do something great. He just wasn’t ready yet. Nobody seemed to see that but me. Which is why it was so fun to watch when one day, he just decided to be a lawyer. Off to UCLA law school he (and I) went. That BTW, was not so fun (all-nighters virtually EVERY weekend for 3 years, I kid you not). But, 5 years after moving down to L.A. and 3 of being in practice, his expectations, known only to him (and me), have unquestionably manifested into reality. I never thought I'd be so proud of my husband and his uncanny (and sometimes frustrating) ability to win an argument, because that ability just won Warren Beatty the rights to Dick Tracy! After more than a decade of litigation, James came onto the case, with one argument, and that one argument sealed his case for good. The win made headlines everywhere.
Watching my Handsome forge his path and reach his goals has made me think about my own expectations. I feel like I’m headed down a road that I never thought I would be on, yet always knew I would. I honestly don’t know what my next step is, yet somehow I feel so sure of what lies around the next corner. Does that even make sense?! I think it’s up to us to make sure that we consciously create our expectations and never let anyone else do it for us. Are these words of wisdom or just the ramblings of a crazed lunatic? You be the judge!