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.