Life is Full of Surprises

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“Life is full of surprises.” It’s a statement we hear all the time, so often that it’s become a cliché. Just when we think we’ve got things figured out, life lunges from around a corner, throws us into an unmarked van and whisks us away.

I was never so naive in my adult years to believe I could foresee the future. I realized a long time ago that long-term goals are futile, that aside from a few common sense preparations, my time was best spent living in the present. Still, I found myself making plans. I’d decided I would live more frugally, that I would save a ton of money so that I could take a year off work to focus on my writing. I was strong in this conviction, and I was actually disciplined enough to make significant progress toward that goal.

Then I met my girlfriend Win, and a year and a half later I was moving to The Philippines to be close to her. Just like that, my short-term plans had evaporated, and once more I was starting from scratch, trying to figure things out, wondering if I would ever figure things out.

But you know what? I’m happy. Before I met Win, I thought I knew what would bring me joy. Then I fell in love, and I discovered what joy actually was. I had to give a lot up, and it’s been a daily challenge for me. But the struggle is rooted in love, and after being here for a few months, I couldn’t imagine living any other way.

So often, uncertainty makes us anxious. It’s not an entirely unreasonable reaction, because not every surprise is a good one. But I’ve learned that to be happy, I have to let go and allow life to steer me in the proper direction. The course isn’t always easy, but it’s always rife with unexpected opportunities for personal growth. Life is a mystery to be embraced. If we spend too much time worrying about what may or may not happen, we wither and die like malnourished flowers.

So I’m taking things one day at a time, and I’m trying to focus less on achieving some pre-determined outcome and more on discovering the outcome I was destined from birth to fulfill.

Author: Jeff Coleman

Jeff Coleman is a writer who finds himself drawn to the dark and the mysterious, and to all the extraordinary things that regularly hide in the shadow of ordinary life.

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