There are moments in our lives where we really nail it on our predictions. For me, this usually occurs in the realm of NCAA March Madness brackets and that one time I played fantasy football. I’ve also been known to arrive at the airport with just enough time to make it to my flight before the gate closes.
Those moments - aye, I cherish them and yea, they pleaseth the Lord.
Then there are those other times where, due to circumstance or a bad batch of shrimp in my Papalote burrito or whatever else, my predictions and reflections can be a bit off sometimes. Unfortunately, this also tends to occur with things far more impactful than a sportsball bracket.
And it takes me to some rough places. I even wrote about this only a few months ago:
The signals of a job loss may come earlier than you imagine; you have the choice whether to leave. “I didn’t know” has become an all-too often mantra for me after a handful of life setbacks or stuck-in-the-mud moments, but it’s not a satisfactory excuse for experiencing them when so much is available to prevent the situation from occurring.
I was reflecting on a particularly dark moment - it was real, and it was authentic. But I suppose one of the things I failed to do in that moment was take it in context.
And context, as they say, is everything. Like an omitted Oxford comma, ignoring context can turn a meaningful and helpful step toward progress into a pit of despair.
Take the statement above. The top layer of the onion suggests that all is bad, and there is a universal diligence that we must all undertake to prepare for setbacks. Be diligent at all times, perhaps.
God, I make a shitty prophet.
Gandhi, a sage just slightly wiser than me, had something to say about despair and fear:
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”
As the sun starts to set on 2017, I’ve been fortunate to emerge a bit from that cracked, clay-fired pot I wrote about this summer to put things into greater context:
I’ve run more this year than any year prior, and as I approach my 37th year, the fact that my leg hasn’t fallen off yet is something to celebrate.
The year started with a breakup, followed immediately by what amounted to one of the more amazing and rejuvenating journeys I’ve taken in perhaps my entire life. Note: this ragtag group took two journeys this year.
I participated in three events that most humans would be overjoyed to even observe just one. I got to do each one with a cadre of amazing humans alongside me, and sometimes even in front of me. (Paddy, you’re fast.)
I have healthcare. See the first bullet above as to why that came in handy.
I have the means and resources to keep on this torrid pace of exploring the world and make good on my promise to continue doing some good in society, and I’m inching ever closer to understanding what that looks like.
I’m loved. And others let me love them back.
I now have someone in my life who embodies that on a daily basis. She’s taught me a glorious amount about myself with a dash of Bostonian charm, grit, and honesty.
There’s so, so much more to be scribbled down. Yet I save those for another time, in a moment where I’m finding the world seems to be at an impasse.
And perhaps that prediction this summer was accurate after all. In the last line, I wrote:
It’s not always going to be okay. And that’s okay.