Beauty in the unexpected

I used to fear the unexpected. 

As a high-achiever, I naturally loved to be in control. And the unexpected cannot be controlled. 

Maybe I had been conditioned to fear the unknown. Certainty has a warm and comforting feeling to it. 

But recently I’ve found that the unexpected has another side. And it’s wrapped in sun-bathed sparkling joy (the type of joy that starts deep in your belly and extends outward, radiating through every nook and cranny until it lifts your spirits higher than any drug ever could). 

Life often throws us unexpected events that are gifts of possibility as much as it does challenges. 

I’ve found that even during our difficult times, life can still surprise us with one of these unexpected bombs of joy. 

Perhaps it’s reconnecting with an old coworker over a meal. And you unexpectedly realize that nothing nurtures the soul more than conversation and connecting with good people. 

Or mayhaps it’s going for a family walk and didn’t consider it could be a gorgeous shaded bike path under fall-colored foliage. 

Or it’s unexpectedly finding your tribe after taking a chance and willingly opting into something that you knew would stretch you but also felt scary.  

Or it’s your 5 year old daughter who decides she wants to put on a dance show to entertain you and your spouse because you’ve been unable to leave the house because you all got COVID.

But the thing about these events is that they are difficult to spot if you only focus on the bad. 

I’m working on letting go the need to be in control. To let the world unfurl however it may and enjoy the journey. I’m learning to control what I can control (spoiler alert: it’s not much) and live mindfully. 

Doing so has allowed me to become aware of the beautiful unexpected gifts that I once failed to see. 

I now see the journey ahead as one that is guaranteed to be filled with big challenges and an equal amount of unexpected joyous events worth savoring. 

I like living in this world of endless possibilities over the one where all I saw was fear not worth leaning into.

2 thoughts on “Beauty in the unexpected”

    1. Completely agree. I find that the older I get the present moves more in focus than the future. Perhaps it’s the pandemic, or perhaps is the fact that I’m getting older and the future, while I (hopefully) still have a long runway, it’s not as long for my parents and the older people in my life. So trying to soak up as much as I can in the present.

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