The Blessing of Perspective
I will be honest about what this is: A thank you to a special person.
As a parent, you never feel like you understand life less than when your child is seriously ill or facing challenges that land them in the tiniest percentile of bad luck.
It’s unfair. It’s horrifying. It’s anxiety inducing. It’s also not optional. It’s definitely happening and your job is to try to keep your shit together because you are the adult. That is a difficult assignment while being in your own particularly stressful level of hell.
When I watched this special person ring the bell that signaled the end of his chemo, I cried tears of the purest joy. It was one of the happiest moments of my own life. As strange as that sounds, it is true. What a relief. What a reprieve, for a brief moment, to exhale and stop being afraid of something beyond one’s control.
Life is fragile. It is tenuous. Worst case scenarios are possible, even if not probable. No matter our goals or ambitions or hopes or dreams, sometimes we get a reminder of the variables in the equation that we do not control. That can either be terrifying (it is) or liberating (it is) because it challenges the paradigm of a planned approach to existence. It removes the blinders that have us trapped in the wormhole of convention.
For me, it reinforced that our paths should be guided more by a compass than a GPS. Sure, make your best effort to have a strategy and ideas of what you will be doing in five years; however, if your notion of how the human experience reveals itself is through carefully constructed strategies that you can always regulate, you’re not accounting for the volatile dynamics for which we have no oversight.
This special person gave me an important message about courage, resilience, and what is worth pursuing when we celebrate the expansiveness of reality instead of feeling trapped inside helplessness.
Thanks, buddy. I needed a reminder.