Jumping into a Meandering River

You can try to plan your life with calculated precision of surgical instruments; life, however, has its own plan – own compass, as it navigates, making own tracks – with uneven, sometimes noisy music.

As Americans, we try to control destiny – more than any other culture that I know. In our quest to extend life, I have heard that we piss away more vitamins than most nations can afford to consume. I know some who have colorful, little plastic containers that indicate which day, what vitamins have to be consumed. If there was an over-the-counter “happiness vitamin”, I am certain, some would gleefully consume it.

But happiness doesn’t come in the form of a pill. Happiness, rarely, is an outcome of a strategic plan.

Reality, most of the time, is difficult. There are bills to pay, insurance to buy, obstacles to overcome; life, for most of us, is a lot more complicated than making the decision of which color shoes to wear.  Making these decisions can be often stressful and burdensome. Often, small decisions change the direction of our lives.

Recently, I faced a decision that feels as if my kidneys have been churned in a meat grinder and put back in my body. I realize, these decisions impact me and all my loved ones – and others who love them – maybe forever.

I stand at a cross-road; darkness engulfs me. There is no wrong path – neither is there a right path. I have no visibility towards the path ahead of me. I try to guess, do calculations in my mind: is it better to turn left, or right? Or should I look back? Should I just stand still and not make a decision; let life take its meandering course? My South-Asian upbringing, which is influenced heavily with a deep sense of pre-determination, kicks in: whatever happens, will happen for a reason.

I come to the conclusion that, life’s too short to live through uncertainty and darkness; and to give up to the curse of pre-destination.

Some twenty six years ago, I faced such a decision, when I left my mother and sister alone, in a far away wretched land, to seek my own destiny. I believed, at that time, that if I didn’t achieve something higher, I would be unhappy; as a result,  if I couldn’t be happy, I couldn’t possibly be the source of the happiness of others.

Today, as I again face that moment, I feel like I have to make a decision without knowing where I am headed. I have to live vulnerably.

All I know, there has to be a brighter place than where I am; I have the gift of two beautiful, innocent human beings, who need for me to make a decision. I have to stop analyzing – and move forward. I have to again, go looking for happiness.

Let the meandering river take its course; let the storms destroy everything in it’s path. I cannot let the storm paralyze my thinking; I know I may have to swim upstream for a while, in this tumultuous river – holding on to my angels – to get somewhere, where the sun will shine again and there will again be sparkles in their eyes.

I pray for the courage to make the decision to jump into my meandering river of life.


9 thoughts on “Jumping into a Meandering River

  1. Zain,

    We as humans are faced with choices everyday, some hard and some so simple we do not know we have even made a choice. Choices impact our lives in ways we cannot comprehend when we make them and that is part of the beauty in being human. You seem to be at a crossroads that is so big that it can be paralyzing. Whether you choose to go right or left on your journey from here, based on knowing you as a man and a leader, I know you will make a wise choice.

    Happiness is a choice and not something that just happens. As you stand at your fork in the river, know that there is happiness in either direction. You just have to choose to go find it.

    Peace be with you as you make your choices and know that your friends will be with you no matter if you choose to go left or right.


  2. Shoikoth.

    What is it, that’s bothering you so much? You sound,not your usual self and fairly low…want to share with me…I’m sure it will lessen your burden.
    We need to learn to be still in midst of activity to be vibrantly alive in repose,son.

    God Bless

    22L Mama

  3. “Happiness doesn’t come in the form of a pill. Happiness, rarely, is the outcome of a strategic plan.” Well said, Zain!

    One cannot plan everything in life, certainly one can not expect happiness to result from enough planning. One needs to play the cards one is dealt, roll with the punches, respond to what life throws at us. This is one of the things I enjoyed so much about my own adventure of a lifetime. Adventure tests us by throwing unexpected things our way and we need to react and respond to make it to our destination. I believe life is the same way. Happiness will come from within, from knowing that you did the right thing, above all that you did something and gave it your best shot, rather than doing nothing and just meandering downstream without any sense of direction or purpose.

    May your choices be the right ones and may you find brighter days ahead soon!

    Your friend,


  4. Forgiveness and appreciation is the road to happiness….Money can bring luxury, but not happiness….often we take extra time to appreciate people who are friends, co-workers or consequential strangers… at the cost of time away from immediate family members….we forget our own family once was our greatest strength or had once been more than a friend!
    Good writings!

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