I had dinner with Sweetness and three of her girlfriends in Charleston this week. Smart, beautiful girls with their whole lives in front of them.
As we sat at the bar waiting on our table, one of the girls told me she’s graduating in November. The worst possible month to try to find a new job.
I assured her everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen.
That doesn’t mean we understand why things happen the way they do.
It doesn’t mean things happen the way we want them to, necessarily.
But they do happen the way they’re supposed to happen.
When I graduated from law school twenty years ago, I was pregnant with Sweetness. She is one of those babies who was planned for, tried for and given up on. Then she came along, in her own sweet time.
The plans her daddy and I made for our lives changed the instant the doctor said, “I know why you’ve been so sick. You’re pregnant.”
Plans to move from Camp Pendleton to Florida to take the bar exam and find a job. Plans for her daddy to get out of the Marine Corps and go to school full time. Plans to buy a Miata because if I couldn’t have a baby, I should at least get a convertible.
Morning-noon-and-night sickness made studying for a bar exam impossible.
A new baby on the way convinced her daddy to stay in the Marine Corps. I don’t remember having a vote in that decision, but twenty years later, I know it was the right one.
A two-year hiatus between graduation to my first job as an attorney. Two years of explaining to people, yes, I’m a lawyer. I graduated from law school. I just can’t practice law in this (or any other) state until I take the bar exam.
Looking back, the time I spent at home with Sweetness was the best time of my life.
I look around my life now, my big, wonderful, glorious life filled with love and laughter, and I know I wouldn’t have this life if Sweetness hadn’t come along exactly when she did.
That other life, the one we planned out so carefully, probably would have been a nice life, too. But I wouldn’t trade it for this life for a second.
Having the opportunity to tell this sweet girl not to worry, things happen the way they’re supposed to, is an opportunity to remind myself as well.
I was married for twenty-three years because that’s the way it was supposed to happen. I don’t know why, but I know that’s true.
I left my marriage after twenty-three years because that’s the way it was supposed to happen.
Coach came into and out of my life in less than six months. Lessons learned. Purpose fulfilled.
Life is a giant puzzle. Thousands of pieces fit together to make the whole. Any given piece may make no sense. It’s only when we fit the pieces together that we see how everything works together to give you the life you have.
Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward.” Looking back twenty years, I understand clearly how things worked out to give me the life I have today.
Question: Do you believe things happen the way they are meant to happen?