Do you remember Nightmare on Elm Street 2? In the movie young naive teens boarded the bus after school and didn’t think twice about their commute home from school that day. Everything seemed normal until their bat shit crazy psychopath driver (Freddy Kruger) made a beeline for the valley. By the time the kids on the bus realized something was off the bus was going insanely fast in the middle of the desert (driving by cacti and shit) it was too late. The sunny day turned into a shitty one – it started lightning, it became dark and dismal, then the ground collapsed from beneath the bus. As if that wasn’t bad enough the bus didn’t collapse, it remained in the air, only supported by three pillars (from hell) made of rock. That was it, their fate was sealed – Freddy had them now and there was no way out. None of the passengers planned to board the bus ride to “hell”; they boarded the bus that afternoon because it seemed like the right thing to do.
Why did I bring this movie up? Keep reading – my mind works randomly. I somehow tied that school bus scene to my life as I walked up Stuyvesant Avenue to my apartment (while blasting Yuna’s Live Your Life through my Bose headphones) last week. Something about the lyrics hit close to home (pun intended)…. “All my life, I’ve been looking for something amazing/ It’s almost like I’ve been stargazing/ The sky is right above me/ We were meant for something bigger than this/ Don’t ever try to dismiss yourself cause you don’t have to/ Find your light/ Don’t hide from what you are/ And rise before you fall/ And hope for something more/ Live if really want to/ Live if you really want to/ Live if you really want to…”
The lyrics were the catalyst for an unexpected (and intense) moment of self-reflection – I’m talmbout one of those really DEEP and reflective moments where you look at your life from every angle. I sat with my thoughts (on my couch when I walked in the door) for several minutes as I stared at the black television screen. I felt indifferent as I thought about where I was in my life at that very moment. “I think I got on the wrong bus….. in life”, I said aloud.
What made me choose my major in college? Why did I give the last guy that I dated the time of day? Why are my closest friends mothers (or with child) and I’m childless? Why are most of my friends engaged or married and I’m over her single? Has my life been relegated to a life of working a meaningless 9 – 5 until I retire?
During this (wo)man-in-the-mirror moment I brainstormed. “What is it that I really want to do? What makes me happy? What makes me “itch”? What kind of a mate do I want – as my husband as the father of my child? I jotted down all the things that came to mind and thought it would be best to start with self before worrying about when I would find a husband. A particular inspirational quote came to mind, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear”. So simple, yet so profound. I know what makes me happy (we usually do, but we’re too afraid to give it a try because we fear failure).
Not only do I fear the unknown (more often than I should), I am also guilty of trying to plan every single aspect of my life – and in the process I talk myself out of good and bad opportunities. Who know’s where I could be a this moment had I said “yes” a little bit more and “no” a little bit less? They (whoever “they” are) say “when we plan God laughs” (if there’s any truth to that He’s having a field day with my ass right now). Maybe everything in our lives is already written. Maybe where we are in this very moment is exactly where we need to be.
Do you find yourself often wondering about where you are in life? Perhaps wondering if you should have made different life-changing decisions along the way? You’re not alone, as much as we like to think that everyone has it together, we don’t. I’m learning that we’re all trying to figure it out as we all search for happiness.
Until I figure things out, I’m gathering my belongings and I’m ringing the bell – this is my stop. It’s time to get off this bus.
~ Pennie Penz