"What you'll later choose to describe as a "through the looking glass" moment will actually be more of a "down a set of stairs, through a plate-glass window, and out into heavy traffic" sort of afternoon."
Some days, I truly dazzle myself with the sudden onset of common sense. Ha! Upon composing that sentence, I toyed with leaving it at that. Alas, I'm feeling gabby, so let's dance, shall we?
It occurred to me on the quiet ride in* that it's not spontaneity I'm so bloody afraid of... It's lack of control. There is a delightful pleasantness about flying by the seat of one's pants. It's when the future is being decided FOR us with or without our input that I begin to panic. Odd this didn't dawn on me sooner as those handy Choose Your Own Adventure books from my youth illustrate the point perfectly. True, the reader was presented with various choices leading them to the next adventure, but on the other hand, the outcome was already penned. It had been premeditated.
I'm not a fan of going into great detail when the circumstance doesn't directly involve me, so I'll opt for a bit of vagueness as it DOES directly AFFECT me. For argument's sake, let's say a friend of a friend committed an error in judgment that has unleashed an entire sequence of events. Events which promise straying far off course from the initial path pursued. There are now outside influences in the ultimate outcome. Some things within our control and far too many outside of that. Let's further assume the law is now involved. What's particularly irksome to me is, despite many things in this world having been defined in black & white, many more touch upon fuzzy grey area. Things up for interpretation, if you have the wherewithal to have them interpreted in your favor. If not, your fate could well depend on anything from case law decisions to the emotional state of the D.A.. These statements are bold ones, but ones borne of much personal experience. I have a tough time believing in "justice" when even that isn't all that clearly defined.
But this post isn't about politics or legalities. In broader terms, I had been trying to decipher why I used to be so spontaneous and why not now? In the decisions I personally make, I make them with the knowledge that I am prepared to accept the consequences. The reality is there are a minimum of a thousand external factors that could easily be thrown in the mix at any moment. You read about it all the time: "If I had boarded the bus that day, I wouldn't have walked by the convenience store where I purchased the winning lottery ticket", "If I wore the blue sweater, I wouldn't have been laughed at in that meeting thus causing me to vomit upon myself", "If I hadn't forgotten my keys thereby delaying my departure 5 minutes, that monkey may have thrown fruit at my car after which I would have been involved in that 30-car pileup". Not much of a way to live, right? All the "what ifs" and "if thens"! Every time I walk out of the house, I could easily be hit by wayward asteroid debris, yes? (By the by, I tend to play that card when faced with the possibility of running unsavory errands). There's so much fear in uncertainty and as a result so much anger in response to the fear. Cycles are a constant presence in life, swirling madly out of control. That control. Perhaps it, in itself, a comfort.
Anxiety runs thickly in my blood. Intermingling with the anxiety, inexplicable gypsy tendencies. Omnipresent chaos.... then again, it could be balance. The yin and the yang. At the end of the day, I still aim to harbor no regrets. In fact, I aim for minimal analyzing as what's done is done and what is accomplished should be toasted! In the end, it's all a matter of perspective.
* The aforementioned "quiet ride in" was a direct result of dropping my iPod between the seats when I grabbed the wee one's backpack. Had I been listening to music, this post may not have been written :)