Many years ago, my grandmother escaped a shipwreck without so much as a damp toe.
Tired of the harsh life in a broken Europe, she had decided to start anew in Australia.
On the day of departure, her bags were packed, and her heart was set in stone. She was off to the Great Southern Land. But the fates didn’t want to play Grandma’s game that morning.
Her alarm clock didn’t go off. She misplaced her travel documents. Then the train was late. Every step of her journey was littered with obstructions.
Grandma arrived at the docks just in time to see the ship slip gently out to sea. She was distraught.
At this point, much to the Pope’s horror, Grandma always quotes the Dalai Lama:
“Sometimes, not getting what you want is a stroke of luck.”
Not a soul on board that ship touched Australian soil. It disappeared shortly after leaving Cape Town.
It was just as much her tardiness as it was divine providence (despite what she might tell you) that prevented her premature and watery grave. But if Grandma had got what she wanted that day, I wouldn’t be here at all.
Now, I’d call that lucky.
In a couple of hours a nice young doctor is going blind me.
She’ll be very polite about it but there will be a good few minutes — as she scrapes the skin off my eyeball — when my future is entirely in her hands.
Then she’ll zap my eyes with a laser and I’ll be blind for a bit.
Hopefully until Monday. Maybe forever.
That extreme uncertainty, the polarity of futures I’ll face in those short minutes has been straining my ‘third-eye.’ Like a vice locked over my temples, squishing the blood out of my prefrontal cortex.
There’s no way out but to surrender to the unknown and get ready to spend some serious ‘me’ time.
No screens. Nothing to read.
No way to write.
Just me, my thoughts, and a goodie bag of CBD-laced chocolate and Percocet.
I’ve queued up some of the blogs I’ve written over the last three months that I was too shy to publish earlier.
Thank you for reading my little infinity project.
And if my lucky string continues, I’ll see you on the other side.
We like to think we’re in control of things — especially when they’re going well.
But as ol’ Bill wrote, “We are but a feather for each wind that blows.“
When a chinook of change rips across the prairie of Life, plucking us from our steady path to dance with Fortuna and Discordia for a time, there isn’t much we can do about it.
By the time we settle back down to ground, Life has changed.
Often, we have changed too.
Many people busy themselves trying to stay rooted to the ground — to steel their future against fickle flaws of fate.
Have you ever watched a swallow bursting its little heart flapping against a gale?
It never lasts long.
When those winds wail through, there isn’t much else we can do but let go, spread our arms, and hope that where we come to rest the sun is shining.
It’s well-known that humans are terrible at remembering things.
We peer through the blurry lens of time, forgetting the boring or nasty or annoying memories and embellishing the tasty morsels.
It makes us awful at predicting the future too.
We ignore all of the massive, disruptive change we’ve lived through and decide that the future will be pretty much the same as it is now. Nothing will change. We are at the end of the line—the end of history.
But we’re not.
We’re not even close.
Imagine a 20-year-old suggesting that they’d done all the changing they’d ever do and life would be plain sailing for the next decade.
Yet, that’s what we do to ourselves every day.
I aim to change my life every 6 months and the last year has still seen far more change than I ever expected. And I’m betting Life will change again by the end of this year for all of us.
Don’t beat yourself up by imagining the future is the past.
Not finished yet?
More like just getting started.
Perfection is an illusion of the mind.
It’s natural, though, to look at all the ‘perfect’ pictures on social media and wonder if they have something we don’t.
But there is no one-size-fits-all magic solution to get what we want overnight.
We might get lucky, but even winning the lottery screws people up.
And trying to fit into someone else’s idea of perfect only ever ends badly.
If you’re still looking for the ‘perfect diet’ or the ‘perfect workout’ or ‘perfect partner,’ stop.
It’s not going to happen because it doesn’t exist.
What does exist are the fruits of people who took action towards their dreams, screwed it up, and carried on anyway.
Find what works for you, do it every day, and build from there.
Fuck everybody else’s perfect.