Trust the universe

March 3, 2012

It’s interesting {and little puzzling, to be honest} to look at my life– now with more years behind me than I have ahead–and ponder how I ended up where I am today.

And “ended up” is the right term. In the past it would’ve been “becoming” but now, I’ve already “become” and have “ended up.” If you know what I mean.

I’m a big believer in trusting the Universe and my life –which in the past might have been viewed as something of a cautionary tale –turns out to be one big example of how that works. There is no other explanation for the various twists and turns.

If you know me IRL (in real life) you know that I have one big regret in life and that is that I didn’t have a child.

Now, super-Christian anti-abortion activists might say that it’s God’s punishment and that I deserve to be tormented on this subject every day of my life. And they would be wrong.

Pro-choice activists who think that terminating a pregnancy is as easy a decision as having your teeth cleaned would also be wrong.

But back to wishing I’d had kids. And grandkids. Yes, I do wish that. But my life didn’t work out that way. Instead, all sorts of opportunities to have that kind of youthful energy in my life have presented themselves and continue to present themselves. Thank God I’m awake enough to accept those gifts when they come my way.

There’s my fabulous nephew, soon to graduate from college. Sure, I could’ve been the standard-issue long-distance aunt, sending a check on his birthday and having phone conversations on holidays. Instead, I decided to be an active presence in his life and started vacationing with him when he was two years old. Today, we have an amazing relationship. I know I’ve helped him along the way; I’m not sure he gets how much he’s helped me.

And my Tampa nephew, a dear friend’s son, with whom I’ve spent lots of time and who has been and is still a tremendous blessing and inspiration in my life. His mom has lots of friends who know him, but I chose to KNOW him and he KNOWS me. It’s a good feeling.

How about the young women who entered my life through jobs I’ve held or because I once dated their fathers, even 30 years ago, and are still there in one way or another? Blessings, every one of them, and it’s especially delightful and even gratifying to watch them grow up into excellent mothers, have great careers and/or do adventuresome things like completely change their lives on a dime.

I’ll be teaching college again this fall, engaging with brainy young people interested in digital animation and entrepreneurship. The other day I felt a little frisson of excitement as a few of them described their projects to me. They’re doing exciting, creative things and I’m thrilled to be a part of that.

Some of my UT students are still in touch with me, and watching them grow and mature is also a great pleasure.

And the other day, a college student I know asked me to help him with something really big and significant he is doing this year. Wow–it came out of nowhere and how wonderful it was to be asked!

Maybe I don’t have children of my own. But the many young people in my life over the years help fill that gap in a very big way. It’s no accident–the Universe placed them right in front of me. And I was aware enough to pick up on that and run with it.

So here’s what I think. The Universe is out there just waiting to bestow gifts on us. All we have to do is pay attention. When opportunities arise, we can ignore them, or seize the moment.

Yes, of course, it’s easier to do nothing. To sit back passively. Do nothing. That’s choice we all have. Or we can catch one of the brass rings as it goes by.

You say brass rings don’t pass by that often in your life? I’ll bet you’re wrong. I’ll bet you’re just not recognizing them because they’re clothed in something else. Or you haven’t chosen to do anything with them.

You may not always recognize the message, but the Universe always has your back.

Like my favorite Curly Girl saying goes:

Any given moment can change your life.
You just have to be there.

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