I went to visit a friend’s new dorm room yesterday. I turned the wrong way on the highway and got incredibly lost. No big deal, right? Except that I don’t have a smartphone, and I thought I knew where I was going, so I didn’t bring the family GPS. I finally got turned the right away around, and I realized that this impromptu road trip is a metaphor for my life. I get started doing something the wrong way, and then I realize what I’m doing and I completely overcompensate. Or, more dangerously, I get started doing something the right way, and then I decide that it’s boring or it’s too hard and I go wild in the other direction.
The aquarobics class that usually meets at the pool where I swim met in the outside pool today. When I arrived, I was the only one there. I’m used to at least ten people already being in there, kicking and splashing. And the water was just calm and flat. I noticed for the first time how much the water reacts to even just me. I could see the ripples caused by my movement on the other side of the pool. And I realized that life is like a pool. Everything I say or do has a ripple effect that reaches other people around me. Here, online, the ripple reaches even farther.
I hate being in the middle of a big room. It’s like being in open water where you can’t see anything coming at you. I went to a restaurant and my people were all indecisive so I picked the table. And of course it was a table where I could have my back to a wall, where I could see out the massive front windows. I don’t know what I’m expecting to sneak up on me. It’s not like I was in a shady place, not like I’m ever in a shady place. I thought it was just that I needed to have my back to something safe and solid, something that couldn’t change while I was looking. I’m realizing that I’m also okay with having my back to someone safe.