Monday, October 17, 2011

Destination: Unknown

"You don't get to know the ending."

This phrase is one of Mom's most frequent.

But I want to know the ending.

I was the girl who would skip to the end of the book so that I knew what was coming. 

I was the girl who endlessly harassed professors about test material so that I knew exactly what to study.

I was the girl who refused to watch anything labeled "Drama" because that was code for "Potentially Unhappy or Unsatisfying Ending."

No guesswork. No unknowns. No questions.

Clear answers. Clear endings. Clear directions.

But my plans have a way of being foiled.

"You don't get to know the ending."

The more answers I demanded, the fewer I received.

When I planned more, I enjoyed less.

When I insisted more, I appreciated less.

It was exhausting. And frankly, not a lot of fun.

So I gave up. 

I don't want to be the one in the corner, afraid that the story won't end the way she hopes it will. I want to be the one who lives fearlessly.

I don't want to compile a list of all possible pitfalls, dangers, and losses. I want to live without assessing the risk.

I don't want to have safety and comfort and predictability as my highest priorities. I want to live and love and give bravely.

"You don't get to know the ending."

I remind myself of this when I need to commit, when I'm asked to sign up, when I'm called to join. 

I remind myself of this goal when I catch myself compiling a list of "what-ifs?" and "why-nots".

I remind myself to take the scary steps, to agree to the unknown, to avoid the safe corner.

And I don't get to know where this journey will end.


Anonymous said...

Emily. Wow. You've no idea how this post resonates with me and makes me glad. It is beautiful and true with the kind of truth that you feel in your soul as well as recognize with your head.

Emily said...


Thank you for your kind words! I can't tell you how encouraging that is to know. Thank you also for sharing the link!

Monica Jacobson said...

Thanks for this post, Emily, it's thought-provoking. Marty and I are both safe-people, in our different ways. Granted, I never skip to the end of the book, but I certainly never watch a drama movie. I think there's enough drama in my own life without adding pretend heart-break. ;-)

I have found that whenever I take a chance, I am rewarded, but the chances that reward me are learning things that I was too scared to learn.

However, my Dad's and my husband's philosophy on everything else is "wait and see." Gah, the hardest thing to do, ever. And it's usually a good thing. So...

Good thoughts, though. Thanks!