May was Praxis weekend month! This year they chose Nashville, TN, for the event site. Never having been to Tennessee before now, I decided to stay an extra week to explore the area with some friends.
Nashville has not disappointed when it comes to unexpected detours. From being stuck at the airport pick-up lot for over an hour while Kamala Harris flew into town to getting lost on Broadway Street (take careful note of where you park, y’all, that’s all imma say), it was an eventful trip.
Embracing the Unexpected
I’ve never been the type to go into situations unprepared. Some might say I take preparations too seriously, so much so that I forget to take a moment to be present during the plans made so carefully.
Until this past year or so, that is. I stopped planning every tiny detail. I stopped trying to ensure every little thing goes perfectly (which, spoiler, doesn’t work anyway). I stopped constantly worrying about everyone’s expectations and started looking closer at the things that make good memories—the unexpected. I stopped trying to be in control.
And you know what? Things started to go wrong. Everything didn’t go perfectly to plan. I let go of the reins, and everything didn’t stay the course of careful forethought. Funny how that works.
At the end of the day, detours and missteps are what I remember the most, partly because when you’re solving problems, you can’t help but be present. I’m not saying all planning is bad or wrong—definitely make sure you’re taking care of yourself and being considerate, and all that—but letting the days flow outside of a set structure can lead you to some of the best days you never could have planned.
I forgot my computer mouse at home before heading for the airport, and I had to get a new one for work. This fact would have been an astronomical source of stress a few years ago—figuring out a ride to the store, determining what kind of mouse to get, figuring out how to get back to the hotel, etc.—today, it was barely a thought. I also met two kind Lyft drivers I would never have known otherwise.
We couldn’t get a table anywhere one morning because all the reservations were full—stressful for me from a few years ago. Today, I (and my friends) just recalibrated and made a fun day of it anyway, poking around the city until we found a spot that could take us in. It was hot, and I was wearing the wrong shoes. It didn’t matter. We got to talk to an artist on the street, outside of one of the neatest galleries I’ve ever seen. He told us about his sister, who had passed away when he was 22. He was painting a portrait of himself as a child in a happy moment.
Those are only two simple examples of how some of the best memories come from the unexpected.
My job right now (assisting in the development of self-storage feasibility studies) is not where I pictured myself, but I’m so grateful to be where I’m at—free to take these trips, work from wherever I wish to, and make a difference in people’s pursuits. I also get to do my freelance and diversify my workflow. I’m so blessed to be able to do the work that I do.
All of my aspirations are still there and alive inside me, even if a little more distant than I hoped. I struggle to trust God’s timing in all things, but I remind myself to do so constantly. There’s a reason I’m where I’m at right now. There’s a reason I’m meant to be waiting here. No matter how unclear that reason is sometimes, that doesn’t mean it’s not there.
I’m not a very patient person. When I see a clear next step, I want to take it. This can be a good thing, but it can also rush delicate timelines. There are some things you just can’t speed up no matter how much you want to (especially if it’s something that you want to last). There has been a lot of waiting in this season of my life—I like to think it’s God’s way of giving me more patience, more opportunities to pause and be in the present, much like my shift from over-planning to letting events unfold as they would.
I have so much to be grateful for. The people in my life, the endless encouragement and support poured into me—it’s a privilege to even have some of the complaints I could make.
Anyway. Life moves forward. Chapters end, new ones begin, and the seasons keep changing. Expectations shift, and dreams evolve. Etc., etc.
Thank you to those who stick with me through the peaks and valleys. And, as always, for reading along the months with me.