Just the other day, a friend I hadn’t seen or heard from since the end of high school, found me on FB and friended me.
It was the weirdest experience. High school was forever ago, and I hadn’t thought about this friend for years. The rush of memories was profound. Things I’d forgotten. And things that had changed. He talked about other friends I hadn’t thought of for years and had lost track of. And also those people who weren’t friends, and of whom I was glad to have lost track.
I remember leaving high school and having plans. This was what I was going to do with my life. I was going to Uni and I was going to be an English and Drama teacher. It wasn’t a glitzy or glamorous, but this was my plan. Just connecting with my old friend had me looking back at this plan, and tracking how it never came to be. But how different things came to be instead.
Once we got talking, I released that his life hadn’t gone to plan either. At least not the plan he had at the end of high school. Both our lives had gone completely in different directions. Looking back like that was the weirdest experience.
It made me think of the Tammy Cochran song – Life Happens.
I don’t think I know anyone whose life turned out how they planned it. And that, for me, was a strange epiphany.
“I’ve learned that life isn’t really about failure and success. It’s about being present, in the moment when big things happen, when everything changes, including yourself. So I would tell us, no matter how bright we think our futures are, it doesn’t matter. Whether we go off to some fancy university or stay home and work. That doesn’t define us. Our purpose on this earth is not a single event, an accomplishment we can check off a list. There is no test. No passing or failing. There’s only us, each moment shaping who we are, into what we will become. So I say forget about the future. Pay attention to now. This moment right now. Let go of expectations. Just be. Then you are free to become something great.”
– Cynthia Hand (Hallowed)