A year ago, I woke up to one of those early-morning phone calls that you know is going to bring bad news. It was a friend calling to let me know that the father of some mutual friends of ours had passed away.
It wasn’t a surprise. He had been admitted to the hospital a day or two earlier after collapsing, and from the moment I heard that news, I knew in my heart that he wasn’t going to make it, although I didn’t tell anyone, and sincerely wished I might be wrong. He was fairly young, and left behind two daughters and three sons, as well as two grandchildren.
Several hours later, I was sitting at the Minneapolis airport, on my way to Richmond for sales training for my new position at work. It was, oddly enough, my first time flying alone (although I had traveled numerous times before with siblings, friend, and coworkers). A lot was up in the air. A lot felt unknown and uncertain.
A year later, I’m preparing for another trip, this time headed west instead of east, still for work, and still uncertain about what lies ahead. I’ve never done the assessments that I am going to be doing. I’ve never worked with the group of people that will be participating. It doesn’t fit my job description at all. These aren’t necessarily bad things–but they are the unknown.
In many ways, my life looks much the same as a year ago–same house, same boyfriend, same job. Some things have become a little more concrete. I’ve gained experience. I’ve done a few things I wouldn’t have expected. I’ve made a few new friends. On the flip side, I haven’t talked to the friend who woke me up with that phone call at all in the past year. This used to pain me; I’ve now reached the point of neutrality. Learning to grow up and let people out of your life as effortlessly as they entered.
It’s reassuring to look back in some ways. To see that even the “bad” changes haven’t been that bad. To feel reassured about all the ways in which life does go on, and all of the beautiful and good things that occur every day. One step at a time, into the unknown. Letting life unfold.