Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How I Learned to Trust

It was bedtime, one of my favorite times of the day, time to settle into a soft, warm bed under soft warm blankets, with my head on a soft, warm pillow. It was time to relax, to unwind, to review the ups and downs of my day and think about all of the possibilities that tomorrow might offer. I thought about the day that had just passed, the people I had talked with, the things I had done and not done, the exciting and the more mundane. As the pictures flashed through my memory, it felt almost like I was watching a rerun of a 1970’s sitcom with me in the starring role, a sitcom in which everything turned out happy in the end, with laughter and hugs, and, too often, earnest conversations about lessons learned by a one-dimensional character who somehow got herself into, and miraculously, out of a series of hysterically precarious predicaments.

My life is usually not like a sitcom. I usually don’t figure everything out in a single episode. There is usually not a laugh track or a producer to make sure that everything turns out happily. But that was okay with me. I have learned to trust that life will have its ups and downs, its unexpected twists in the road, those things that, as popular wisdom confirms, will make us stronger if they don’t kill us. And I have learned to trust that everything will, eventually, be okay.

I am sure that we have all experienced those things, those curve balls that disrupt the normal and predictable patterns of our lives. They are situations that have no clear cut answers, conflicts in which, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, someone will be hurt. They are the times when I wish that Mike Brady would have that earnest conversation with me to help me figure out which fork in the road to follow. But real life does not come neatly wrapped up in a twenty-two minute package with a guaranteed happy ending. That would be nice, sometimes, and occasionally, problems do seem to fix themselves, just like on TV.

But I actually prefer the unpredictability of a real life lived by a real person with real problems and real feelings and real relationships. I prefer a life where people are not perfect, a life where many of us spend a good portion of our days just living life and coping with both the predictable and the unexpected.

Sometimes and hopefully more often than not, life is fantastically exciting. We make a new friend, learn something new, or discover an awesome new blog about trust. At other times, things are lousy. But most of the time, life is just plain good. Not great, not terrible, just good. And to me, that is not a bad way to live my life. What do you think?

That is what I think about as I settle into bed each night. Most often, I feel satisfied and sleepy. I think about the day that I have just lived and am filed with anticipation for tomorrow. I hope that tomorrow will be a day of curiosity and smiles. I hope that there will be sleeping cats, an email from a friend, and sushi. I fall asleep, not knowing what tomorrow will bring, but secure in myself and my commitment to find the best in every person and every situation I encounter, secure in the love and support of my family and friends, secure even in uncertainty and occasional fear, that life is good.

That is how I learned to trust.

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