Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wild Horses

I realized today as I was signing a form that it's actually August already. To be perfectly honest with y'all, I'm not quite sure how that happened. Yes, I seem to remember learning something about the earth and the sun and all that mumbo jumbo sometime around elementary school, but I most certainly don't remember the teacher ever telling me that it would all go by this fast. And not to sound like a grumpy old lady or anything, but could someone slow the ride down for a minute please? I think I'd like to take a little breather.

The funny thing is that sometimes the fastest seasons also seem to be the most hectic. This summer has been crazy for me personally, in ways both wonderful and, well, um, let's just say less-than-wonderful and leave it at that, shall we? It's hard for me to reconcile the highs of the last few months (things like figuring out that I can actually RUN with these new lungs of mine) with some of the confusion, anger, sadness, and frustration of the lows. And even though I like to claim to be a big fan of positive thinking, faith, and just trusting in the moment to get me through most challenges, I have to admit that I've felt on shaky ground more than once lately. In my more secure moments I call this feeling being "in transition" or "dealing with it." In my less-so times, I might call it "going nutso bananas." Either way, it's been a wild ride.

The thing that I'm starting to realize, slowly but surely, is that I can't always control everything that happens to me. This isn't a cop out, I promise -- actually, I think it's just the opposite. My personal attitude for most of my life was that if I couldn't control it, I didn't want to mess with it. I can't help it, guys. I'm a lawyer. I like things to be orderly, I like cause and effect, and I particularly like things to make sense and seem FAIR. If it doesn't meet those pretty rigid standards, I either want it fixed, or I want it eliminated. Period. This is why I once laughed out loud when a reader of this blog sent me a note thanking me for being so "zen" about CF. My life, my health, my relationships, and my perspectives are all wonderful in their own way. Rest assured, however: that way is not "zen."

So how does my Type A, hyperactive, highly rational, not-even-close-to-zen self try to make sense of things like this past summer, or the fact that there's a rapidly approaching (though hopefully less exciting) autumn following right on its heels?

Well, to be perfectly honest: I don't know.

I don't exactly know where I'm going to go next, or how I'm planning to get there from here. I'm not 100% certain how much of the "normal" that I knew before this summer is still available to be recaptured, or even how much of it I truly want back. I'm not sure yet what of the past few months is a valuable lesson to carry with me for the rest of my (very long, very healthy, very happy) life, and how much of it I need to process, put away, and move on from as soon as possible. I don't know what equilibrium I'm striving for yet -- but I plan to have faith every single step that I can get there, even if it doesn't come naturally.

Back when I rode horses competitively I was always taught that the best horse and rider teams are partnerships. The rider retains control over the horse through a series of tools and signals, but at the end of the day if you don't recognize the strength of the animal beneath you -- moving you, carrying you, responsive to you -- then you're probably gonna fall off. At the very least, you're not gonna get as far as you'd like if you don't learn to loosen up on the reins every so often. Working together, even in a so-called "individual sport" like riding, is a crucial part of the process. Recognizing the power of what you're dealing with is a crucial part of the process. Realizing your own wisdom in guiding yourself where you want to go is a crucial part of the process. And understanding that it IS, in fact, a process is an absolutely crucial part of the process.

And so, for that matter, is learning to enjoy the ride.


  1. Exactly what I needed to hear today, Piper. CF has been hard for this type A to manage lately and I'm at a crossroads. This post reminded me that I don't always need to know what's next.

    Thanks, as always, for sharing your brilliant wisdom!

  2. Nailed it. You always do.
    I hope your summer has been beautiful, Piper, even if it has been hard. Now could you teach the rest of us how to hide it as well as you do please? you always seem so bubbly!

  3. I call this feeling being "in transition" or "dealing with it." In my less-so times, I might call it "going nutso bananas." Either way, it's been a wild ride.