This Goofy Life …the search for sense in silliness
A few weeks ago, Handsome and I were hanging out with a friend of his. The friend was telling a funny story about his life.
You see, when he was young, he was a good student, but didn’t really know what he wanted to do in his life, except that he liked riding horses, and wanted to try playing polo. So when he applied to go to a university, he picked a school that had a polo team. He went there, played polo, had fun, did well, got married and developed a great career (and never played polo again). All terrific, right?
Then, over time, he developed a hobby, which became a gigantic passion for him – painting. By the time Handsome met him, this guy would spend every free moment he had creating one picture after another, and getting really great at it. And as he developed as a painter, he naturally found what sort of style he liked best, and what established painters he most wanted to be like.
And then he learned something shocking: The painter he most wanted to imitate, to learn from, had been teaching at his college when he was there. He hadn’t even heard of the guy then! Here, he had had the opportunity of his dreams right at hand, and hadn’t even known it. And now that opportunity was long-gone.
Life is like that. Have you ever found out that your now-favorite singer was performing in your town right before you got interested in them? Or that someone you now have a huge crush on was walking around your school all alone, trying to make friends, just before you got attracted to them? Or that your owner was pulling a roasted chicken out of the oven and dropped it onto the floor while you were out of the room, and was able to pick up all but a bit of the grease before you wandered in?! (That one’s happened to me a few times!!)
And did finding these things out drive you up the WALL?!!
I find that there are two ways to look at incidents like this. Both make sense.
The first is to really feel bad for yourself! “Man, when am I gonna get a break?!” “I would’ve appreciated that painting teacher way more than those other clods did, and I’d be a famous artist today!” “That would have been my favorite concert ever!” “I would’ve treated that gorgeous person so much better than anyone else at my school, the unappreciative jerks!” “That chicken would’ve been SOOOOOO YUMMY!”
And it’s really hard to not feel that way. Because it’s one thing to simply be unable to get what you want, but way more painful to find out that you almost had it, and just missed out by a tiny bit of bad timing!
But then there’s another way of seeing it: As that it’s just proof that you are sooo close to getting your dream!
Handsome’s friend could take that crazy coincidence as proof that his next perfect painting mentor can be right nearby now. You could think that tomorrow you might get to see your new favorite band, in a small intimate place where no one else knows about them. You could learn from this that the chance of meeting that special person is a great possibility at every second of every day. And I could learn that someone might accidentally might drop the best thing I’ve ever eaten… right NOW!
As I said before, both ‘lessons’ are correct. But one version leaves you feeling really rotten about your life. And the other gives you excitement, confidence, and a reason to greet each day with joy and curiosity.
So it’s your choice. Life is goofy, there’s no question about it. And it works in strange ways that have absolutely nothing to do with what we want or wish for or plan. But how one lives with that fact is up to every individual. Including you.
And also including a friendly pooch who no longer takes a chance on being outside the kitchen when a chicken is being roasted!