So, I heard on the news that a Sheriff in Florida had to go on TV and tell people NOT to shoot at Hurricane Irma and I thought, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!?! Did people really thing that shooting at the Hurricane would have any affect on it? Like Irma was going to say “stop, don’t shoot, I’ll just turn around now…” Turns out someone had posted the bright idea of shooting at the weather as a way to relieve stress, not in actual earnest to make it go away, but still the mental image of ridiculous futility stayed with with me.
As my husband and I are in the process of launching this new business, The Devilish Egg, it’s a little bit like watching your child struggle to take their first steps. It looks really hopeful, we have great expectations, but things just aren’t moving as fast as we want, (not to mention our expectations were probably a little unrealistic to begin with.) Just like you know your child won’t go off to college without learning to walk, I’m confident that this business will get off the ground, just maybe not at lightspeed. But, I’m a do-er, and when things aren’t going exactly right, I DO until I get them on track. You know, when you set your mind to it, you can do anything sort of work ethic. So, I poured myself into social media-ing like there was no tomorrow spending every waking hour trying to cover all those bases, because that was going to bring people flooding in – immediately. I literally stayed up all night tweaking my website because that was certainly going to make the difference. I just had to get that one thing just right and it would all fall into place, right? But, big surprise, nothing changed over night. And then in my tired delirium I realized that I was shooting at a hurricane.
This is one of those things in life that I can’t change by sheer force of will. I will do all that I can to move things in the direction I want, but regardless of the amount of force I apply to it, this hurricane is going to go where it’s going to go. So I need to stop shooting at it. Prepare, be vigilant, but stop shooting. The prospect of this is a little terrifying and freeing at the same time. Terrifying in that we’ve staked our family’s entire financial future on this experiment and we’re not exactly sure where we’re headed. But, it’s also freeing in that it reminds me having open-ended expectations can lead to things one wouldn’t dare to imagine in the first place. In fact, I think the best and most meaningful experiences of my life have been ones with open-ended expectations – college, travel, marriage, children. You don’t know what you don’t know until you get there and that leaves the door open for a lot of pleasant surprises.
We want things to be predictable and stable; we want to feel we are in control. And when things are out of control, we want to believe that we can fix them if we just try hard enough. I’ve been around this block with my son, who has some developmental difficulties. I want to FIX him and I’ve tried really hard to fix him. It took me several years of therapy to realize I can’t fix him – only he can do that. I can’t do the work for him, I’ve got to sit with the discomfort of watching things unfold as he does the work. And I’m not really sure what that’s even going to look like as things play out, I just know it’s not going to look the way I expected the day he came into this world. And that’s ok because whoever he turns into, it will be his best version of himself, not my pre-conceived box. And so it is I’ve learned this lesson over and over in life, we really can’t do anything that we set our minds to alone and we need to strive for “good” rather than “right”. The hard part is not affecting change so much as having the faith to invite other people to share our dream hanging on for the ride believing it will take us all somewhere good.
It’s like shaking a Polaroid to get it to develop faster, we all know it didn’t help, but we did it anyway. (For those of you who don’t know what a Polaroid is, it is an ancient form of photography first used by cave-men before digital cameras) We can set things into motion and then as a group wait with baited breath for them to develop before our eyes, no shaking needed.
Here’s to uncertainty, at least it keeps things interesting.