There is one great truth-- one universal idea that if understood makes life oh so much sweeter. It is the great equalizer, the universal IT, the cornerstone of our pursuit of happiness. And here it is...
Sshhh. Don't tell anyone I told you...
In the college world, I've known a lot of students who believe that if they put their nose to the grindstone, get good grades and receive that fancy sheet of paper on graduation day they should be given a career and be set for life. The vast majority of them are greatly disappointed, and a few are rather bitter. A degree doesn't guarantee you anything other than a piece of paper you can frame and hang on your wall. It doesn't even guarantee you an education (you'd be shocked at the number of students who come to college determined not to learn anything).
Off campus, life works the same way really. There is no guarantee that everyone around you is going understand you or that everything will go your way-- even if you work really hard, are super nice, are smart, are generous and spend every Saturday or Sunday in the religious edifice of your choice.
Life moves at life's pace and you really can't control it. And you absolutely can't control any other person on the planet. Significant others aren't always going to do what you want them to, kids aren't going to believe or like the things you do, co-workers aren't always going to appreciate you.
Really, all you can control is yourself-- and even that is a tentative control at best. We are limited by our own imaginations, you see. Our own perspectives, our own subjective views. You know. Like we talked about last Monday.
There is no "adult day," when you wake up and suddenly have control of your life. There is no smooth sailing on through the end of your days. There will always be ups and downs.
In fact, those ups and downs/highs and lows are what makes life worth living.
There are those changes that punch you in the gut to be sure. To quote Hamlet, "The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks," that life is prone to. I've had my share of moments when the sun stopped shining and everything froze and the world dissolved in pain. But thankfully those moments are few & rare & some go their whole lives without experiencing them.
By far the majority of changes aren't so dramatic. And its been my experience that the very best things in my life are the experiences I didn't anticipate & didn't expect-- the plans that went beautifully awry. Those are the moments we will treasure-- not the carefully manipulated events that go like clockwork. The spontaneous is far more beautiful than the scripted.
Even in carefully choreographed plays and entertainments, it is the moments of improvisation that most often bring down the house-- you know?
All of those experiences compiled and collated in our minds-- how we react, how we embrace change makes us who we are. No one is set in stone-- we are exactly what we want to be. In the end, the best we can say is that we are where we are.