I have lived a pretty careful life. As long as I can remember, I have tried to do the right thing. I have never been interested in exploring life outside the boundaries. I don’t see anything wrong with coloring in the lines.
While my peers were drinking and dancing (both sins in the church of my youth), I was practicing sonatas on the piano. While other girls were sneaking out of their bedrooms to meet bad boys, I was babysitting. While some teenagers rebelled by sticking needles into their arms, my dad caught me wearing mascara once when I performed in a trio at the county fair.
I was a good girl. I wanted to be good girl. I wanted to get all the answers right, no matter what test I was taking. I listened to all the directions. I read the manuals.
This strategy has worked well for me. I have no skeletons in my closet, no scars or broken bones, no incriminating photographs. I haven’t thrown up in anyone’s car, nor have I forgotten my underpants in anyone’s living room.
As it turns out, you can’t stop the tide. While you are tending to the moats and shaping the sandcastles of your life, waves slip in and then crash over and sometimes, wash away everything you’ve built.
If I were keeping score, I would find this incredibly unfair. I have made good choices and yet, bad things have happened. I have acted appropriately and all hell has broken loose. I have done the right thing and been rewarded with the wrong results. Tidal waves have washed out the entire shoreline of my life.
Is there a lesson to learn? (I am the kind of girl who wants to learn the lessons.)
Not really. Life isn’t as simple as taking a multiple choice test. Sometimes I don’t even know the questions, let alone the answers.
Crazy things happen, even if you alphabetize your spices.
All you can do is swim parallel to the shore so the riptide doesn’t sweep you out to sea. And wear a really big life jacket. Sooner or later the sea will spit you back onto the shore.