The Rollercoaster

Just 2 days ago, I was driving to work, watching the red hues of the sunset from my rearview mirror settle into the trees of the hospital, thinking about how grateful I was to be where I am. I had just gotten back from Seattle, where I had a lengthy discussion about the satisfactions of life with my college buddy on a 12-mile hike.

The dilemma: halfway up Rattlesnake ledge (know that we took the wrong road twice when you google the location and see that the hike is actually a maximum 10 mile hike) my friend stops quite suddenly in her tracks (dramatic, right?) and asks me, “Are you happy?”

Seriously, think about the question, and seriously, try to give me an honest answer. You hear it all the time on TV, but when a real life person asks you the question, it’s totally different. You can’t point to some character and smack your forehead saying, “Of course you’re not happy dummy.”

First world problem, I know, but my friend made a good point bringing up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Existential crisis, a privilege, but a need to be satisfied nonetheless.

My answer in the moment was kind of a cop-out. Very plainly, “I’m happy in this moment, but I’m not content with my current life status, and that is alright, because I’m still living.”

But the question stuck with me like fuzz on a sweater, until I returned to Houston, where it’s chronically 90+ degrees, and had to shrug the sweater off. I spent that drive to work thinking, man, you are one lucky gal. The universe sure is taking care of you, because even though you didn’t expect to land where you are, you are getting everything you could possibly want in this moment, in a manner that no 5-year plan could’ve predicted. To give away too much of this story (maybe I’ll share more in a different post), would be paralleled to giving my social blogging style, but the main idea is all the same:

Believe whatever you want. You can attribute your life to your choices or fate, whatever helps you sleep at night. As a sit on the fence kind of girl, it’s no surprise I find life to be a coincidence of both, but either way, you only know your current state in life. You don’t know any other, unless you happen to be one of the aliens from Slaughterhouse Five. You don’t really know if you’d be standing someplace different had you made different choices. You’d only be assuming. In such case, is it so bad to believe that you’re allowed to pick your roads but that the universe is really the force behind the wheel?

After all, there is a time and a place for everything, and we, as humans, are in control of neither, and that should be alright. In fact, in such, we ought to find peace.