On November 11, 2011 (11/11/11) I, along with my entire high school, sat in anticipation for the moment that the clock would hit 11:11 am so that we could all make a wish. Though it was an innocent and somewhat goofy phenomenon, I remember that secretly, I was taking this “magical” moment more seriously than others. I was desperate. Desperate for my dreams to come true. Desperate to get out of Texas and away from all of the troubles that seemed to be larger than life at 16. Desperate to be destined for something bigger than myself. At 11:10 am I closed my eyes, confirmed my wish, and prayed to whatever it was that I believed in to help make this wish come true.
When the clock struck 11:11 I made my wish. I wished that after graduation I would move to California and go to UCLA. I wished as hard as I could. And strangely enough, a part of me knew that I wasn’t just wishing, but creating. Almost 4 years later, my wish came true, the only difference was that UCLA got swapped out for UCSB, a change that I am eternally grateful for. UCLA was my dream school, and the initial disappointment that I felt at not getting accepted became overshadowed by immense gratitude and understanding upon attending UCSB. It was 1000% the better choice for me, even if it wasn’t “my” first choice.
I’ve always been a planner. Since childhood, having the ability to plan has provided me with two things:
1) A sense of structure and stability. Being that my home-life contained quite a bit of instability for many years, I had a tendency to latch on to any feelings of safety that I could find. So essentially, planning makes me feel safe.
2) Something to look forward to. Whether it’s a birthday celebration, a trip, a concert, or something as simple as going out for dinner, having some sort of event or activity to look forward to is one of the most important constants in my life. If I don’t have something to focus on or be excited about, feelings of purposelessness and lack tend to creep in quite quickly.
Though planning has always come quite naturally, I think that I have often confused my intuition with my plans. When I was a little girl the mother of my childhood best friend would often joke about she thought that I was psychic. I had seemingly predicted several occurrences such as their dog being pregnant as well as unexpected travel plans. I actually believe that everyone is psychic, or at the very least has the potential to be. It isn’t as “woo woo” as many people make it out to be. It is simply being in alignment with your personal reality, as well as the larger reality that we are all an equal part of. It is being in-tune and aware of the little synchronicities happening all around us. It is simply paying attention.
However, after a long 3 weeks of what felt like pulling teeth and shedding literal skin, I can see where I have been holding on too tightly to a future that I had planned for, rather than surrendering to the future that will be in alignment with my highest and best. From friendships that I never thought would end, to relationships that I literally begged for a second chance in, my inability to let go of a future, and a past that helped to form it, has prevented me from seeing all of the other potential realities that may exist in front of me. All of the various paths that I may be able to take; paths that may be even better than the ones I had hoped I would go down.
It’s the same as UCLA and UCSB. Though I thought that I knew exactly what I wanted, and the exact school that would make me the happiest, I wasn’t able to see the bigger picture. I wasn’t able to see where each potential reality would take me. I wasn’t able to see beyond my scope of what was “best”. Maybe that inability to see beyond what we think will finally bring us “fulfillment” or the “happy ending” is what keeps life exciting. Maybe the knowing that we feel when we look into our futures is nothing but a glimpse of a larger picture that is more beautiful and bright than anything we are capable of imagining. Maybe WE wrote a better story for ourselves than “we” are able to always remember.
With that being said, I don’t want to move toward a future that is soley based on a past, that is no longer my present. I no longer want to resist truly moving forward. The past will always be there. The memories will always be there. And I’m thankful to know that when I’m feeling nostalgic, or missing the people that are no longer a part of my present, I can always go back (just for a minute) to visit. But as much as I like to think I know where I will be taken, my future is a mystery.
And mysteries were meant to be solved.