Do you ever feel like you are going around in circles? Have you seen hamsters in pet stores running on those metal wheels? They keep running faster and faster and never get anywhere. There is a quote; I am not sure who said it, maybe Einstein? I am paraphrasing here, “Stupidity is when you do the same thing over and over in the same way and expecting a different outcome.” Taking a look at my life I can see this, as my life so far. Am I that stupid hamster, running like crazy on that darn wheel as fast as my legs will carry me, spinning that squeaky wheel around and around and not getting anywhere? Sometimes I do get tired and I get off of that damn wheel and I look around and there I am, right where I started still in that same old hamster cage with the leaky water bottle and sawdust in a pile on the floor.
There have been times in my life where I have made really bold changes or bold moves to create change in my life. Lost weight, worked out, changed my hairstyle and color, bought new clothes moved to a new city, new apartment tossed out everything old and stared with everything new. Somehow I end up in the same place, with the same problems and the same life and mostly with the same people. Are we stuck? Is our future set up just how it is supposed to be when we are born? Can we change anything or are we walking on a road and that road takes us to the same place no matter which fork in the road we take? I’m starting to think that this might be the case.
Theologians have been pondering this question probably since the beginnings of human reason. Can we change our future or is it all just mapped out for us and no matter what changes we make or how far away we may roam perhaps we end up in the same place doing what we were programmed to do since birth. This is an uncomfortable thought but as far as my life is concerned it seems like I might be fighting and changing and pushing but no matter what I do or how I change or try to fix my life I end up exactly where the mysterious God or gods and goddesses have decided to place me.
Do we have free will? I don’t really know? When I was in high school I had no idea if I would be going to college or not. I only decided to apply for college in my senior year a few months before graduation, because my high school counselor sat me down across from her in her small, dusty, dingy, dark, office and told me that I shouldn’t even try to get into college. She said I would never be accepted into any college due to my lackluster grades. I guess I had a different perspective on her view. The same day she told me to forget going to college I decided to go to the school library (this was before computers, for my readers who are under 45 years old) and search for colleges that I might be mutually beneficial to the college and to me as well. I applied to about eight colleges and universities. I applied to a few of the best universities in the country. I was accepted to all of the schools with two exceptions. Northwestern University and SMU would accept me if I attended summer school in advance of the fall semester. One University in the Midwest offered me a full scholarship. That is the school I decided to attend. I attended this college for two years and then I transferred to an International College in Paris, France. Was this all because of my actions or was this preordained?
As a very small child, I was fascinated by ocean travel. I cut out pictures of ships. I ordered pamphlets on ocean travel as soon as I could print. When I was accepted to my International College in Paris they offered a very, very, reasonable price to travel across the ocean on the SS France. I crossed the ocean on the ship of my dreams. Was it meant to be?
Now here is the interesting part of this scenario. The summer before I had any idea of going to school in Europe my good friend asked me to accompany her to a metaphysical convention. During this convention, a man walked up to me and said, “You will be going to a school in France in the next year and the name of the school will start with the letter S.” This happened. I decided to escape to a college in France due to a broken heart and the name of the school began with the letter S. Was it meant to be?
When I was about nineteen. My sister and some friends of ours played with the Ouija broad. I guess we asked it if we would get married or not and to whom that might be. It said I would marry a man who was living in a foreign land and it said that his initials were TB. When I was growing up TB stood for Tuberculosis. I think that is why I remembered the initials TB. My “Was-band” is French and those are his initials. When I met my husband we talked for a while and he left me abruptly, not long after we spoke. I remembered being surprised because I had a strange feeling that I was going to know him for a long time. Well, he returned after about 30 minutes and a year later we were engaged. So far we have known each other for 39 years. Was it inevitable? Who knows???
I always thought that I was going to have two boys. I bought a painting in my 20’s of two boys playing in the rain. As a child in art school, I did two clay sculptures of two boys with the age difference of my own children. I always wished to have several children but I miscarried several times. When I was a few months pregnant with each of my sons, the obstetrician asked me if I wanted to know the gender of my child, both times I told him. I said, “It’s a boy.” Both times the doctor asked me how I knew and he asked me who had told me? I said, “I just know! I’ve always known that I was going to have two boys.” Was this meant to be?
Last January I had a strange premonition. I was extra careful as I drove my car with the worry that someone would hit me. I don’t know why I felt so worried? I loved my car and kept it in perfect condition. One day I actually gave it a pat because my car had seen me through so many years and I said out loud, “Thank you, you have been a good car.” The very next day I was driving straight through a wide, busy, boulevard and the light was green. The light turned to yellow, as I was halfway through the street. A large black Ford Truck turning left hit my Jeep at full speed running the light. The truck totaled my Jeep. I broke my foot and smashed my knee and was bruised everywhere but the Jeep saved my life. I remembered thinking directly after I was hit, that I was relieved that the crash that I had predicted, was over. It had happened and thank heavens I was still alive. Was this preordained? Who knows?
Now, a little more than two years ago I was supposed to move to the big city in my new apartment all by myself. I was going to continue with my easy job as the owner of a small seasonal business and enjoy my life, really enjoying, (so to speak) the “Life of Riley”. My ex said that he would pay my rent, plus some, my kids were grown and the pets preferred living with my “was-band”. I was free. In a few months, everything changed. My ex through no fault of his own couldn’t pay me anymore and my oldest son and my ex and the three pets all moved in with me. I had to pay for everyone. So now as a senior citizen, I am paying for three people and three pets. I have a business and am getting a full-time job and writing this blog. Was this meant to be? My guess is that my easy, “Life of Riley” wasn’t in my future. Could I have changed anything? Frankly, I doubt it.
The only thing I am sure about these days is how I handle what might be in front of me. Maybe our lives happen to us. Maybe we can’t change the future. It might be set and fixed for us. The only thing I know is that I will keep going and that I will keep trying and I will keep smiling no matter what life has in store for me. I’m pretty sure of that! Was I born with this personality or was it acquired? Who knows???
Until Next Week…