What if?? What if?? Those two small words have come up often in my mind since Eleanor’s accident. What if she dies? was first. What if I can’t save her? came next. Then, with time, What if it had happened to someone else? What if it had happened to you? I’ve thought it out a hundred times, writing and rewriting so many versions. But I wasn’t sure what the question was supposed to be. What is it I am supposed to say? Is there a specific challenge I am supposed to present to the world to make them think something new? I don’t know. I give up. Maybe it’s not just one question. Maybe it’s a million questions, all starting at the same center and going outward, like a sunburst. Moving in all directions at once, meaning something different, even opposite, from one person to the next.
For tonight, for me, it is: What if I just write? Maybe I’ve been afraid to write, to put my heart out there. Maybe I think people have only listened because my story is so heartbreaking. If I told them what I really think about every day stuff well…. I might not be so great at this. I’ve often wondered what I could ever write about. After all, will people really want to read about ‘The World According to Susan?’ Ha, well I don’t know how gripping I can make the every day, but I guess it can’t hurt to try. So….. hmm. What topic can I pick that will inspire others?? Well, how about, “What if?”
Do you have a ‘what if’? floating around you like an obnoxious fly? You know, the thing you wave at and it goes away just long enough for you to tune it out, then it pops up again at just the wrong moment? How do we (or I), how do I get to the place where I finally pay attention to the ‘what if’s’ of life? I often find them nagging me here or there. Undone, unformed plans I have for a new adventure, or maybe just a new recipe. Often it’s something very practical like housework that needs to be done or organizing my amazing collection of papers. But, in the hectic day to day of life, the what ifs seem to get pushed further and further aside. All sorts of glaring mundane tasks seem to crowd out those thoughts. And when those thoughts and ideas are something I sense that I ‘ought’ to do, but I’m not so excited about them, well I tend to bring out the fly swatter on those ones and put those babies out of business for good!
Eventually though, the what ifs creep back into the edge of my conscious thoughts and suddenly, ‘they’re baaaa aaaack’ flashes through my mind. But, what if all those ‘what if’s’ are seeds, ideas just looking to be planted and tended and they are pushing to grow and develop and someday take us on untold adventures? Jack had just three small beans when he came home from selling the cow. His poor hungry mother was furious at his waste and silliness. But by the same time the next day, they not only had all that they needed in provisions for that day and a lifetime to come, but Jack had found adventure! He went higher than he’d ever gone before. He saw things and did things that were beyond his imagination. He pushed himself and took a risk, well several actually. He grew and became more than he’d been before. All because of a small ‘what if’ that he took a chance on.
So, maybe I need to trust more and worry less. Go out on a limb and follow some of those what if’s buzzing around my head. How about you? Do you have unrealized dreams just waiting to get out? They don’t all have to turn into giant beanstalks. Heck, some won’t even sprout. But if we grab one or two and run with them, and then if one fails, we grab another… sooner or later we’re going to find some amazing adventures down paths we didn’t even know were possible. And along the way, we will grow, just like those ideas, just like those beans, just like Jack. To push ourselves further and higher than we’ve ever gone before… what an amazing life we have the chance to live. And don’t get me started on how it pales in comparison to the life to come. (That’s another post entirely on it’s own). I’ve always been impressed by people who go out and make things happen. But, I suppose we all can, if we keep trying. I hope you decide to grow something today. I know I am.