It’s not very often that you experience the combination of feelings reminiscent of your junior high school dance. Suffering through the social vulnerability of the environment, thousands of swirling emotions cramped into an hour long adrenaline rush, stifled by the necessity to appear cool, and the onslaught of intense self-consciousness from a brief glance of a certain someone, was a rite of passage. Of course you didn’t know that at the time. You thought “A Night Under the Stars” was some type of medieval tradition marketed to the students as the not to be missed social event of the year by a faculty that was obviously unfazed, or distortedly entertained, by the idiosyncrasies of preteens. In hindsight that combustible, unpredictable energy you gulped down with your Hawaiian Punch represented something big happening in your life.
After years of memories, accomplishments, failures, good times and bad you’ve learned to foresee the future. You don’t get so worked up when something or someone potentially good for you crosses your path. You handle things with maturity and wisdom. You understand that there is a balance to life that can land you on your face if it is not treated with respect. Or do you?
Who am I kidding? We’re all like pimple faced preteens just doing the best we can! We try to prepare dinners that go over well with diverse and picky palates. We secretly take a skipped opportunity for a coworker to compliment a new hairstyle as, “Wow, your hair really looks like crap.” We cry over Folgers coffee commercials when the college cutie surprises the parents on Christmas morning because we hope our own parenting efforts will be rewarded with that type of loyalty. We are constantly ebbing and flowing on this roller coaster called life. But there are no crests at the top of giant, looming hills slapping us in the face with an imminent need to be fully aware of what comes next. Man, I wish there was!
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you got that rush in the produce aisle because the avocados were, for the first time in the history of all grocery stores, perfectly ripe for guacamole? Or if there actually was only a single time in your life that fireworks would explode from every nerve in your body when you met your soul mate? What if you were leaving for work but your feet froze and your gut sent you into a tizzy because you almost forgot your wallet, which was sitting right next you? How about a good old spell of vertigo when you considered buying an adorable companion puppy for your aging parents that would grow up to be a 100 pound, hip fracturing, blood pressure raising, critter from the deep beyond? What if your feet started dancing uncontrollably, your fist pumped the air with complete confidence, and you started yelling, “That is so AWSOME!” when you came across Leaping Sheep Wool Dryer Balls and their amazing ability to fluff your laundry without the added chemicals of dryer sheets? Life would be a cake walk.
Unfortunately (or fortunately if you’re the glass is half full type of person) life, the necessity of the emotional torment of a junior high school dance, and the health benefits of Hawaiian Punch, will always remain a mystery. We know that not every single thing that’s good for us is going to smack us in the face like The Three Stooges. And we’re perfectly aware that with the good comes the bad. We just do our best and hope we don’t miss out on any subtle clues along the journey.