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Scattered ducks – learning to embrace the unknown

Posted in Life & Love, and Women's issues

flying-ducks-wall“Sometimes we are scared to take decisions because we don’t know what we like or what we are going to do after, how life is going to be. But I think it’s going to be a pretty good life.”

Not my words. In all honesty, up until three days before the U.S. Open Women’s Finals I hadn’t heard of either Flavia Pennetta or Roberta Vinci: the former won this year’s Open and the latter beat Serena Williams in the semi-finals. When I learnt the final would be between two Italian players, I paid attention enough to read a brief article about the match, at the end of which Flavia Pennetta announced she was going to retire from tennis, still quite unsure what the future has in store for her. She doesn’t have a plan B.

Some friends and family members, over the years, have called “courageous” some of the decisions I took in my life: moving to countries where I didn’t know a single soul; or where I didn’t have a job; launching myself in love affairs that were, at best, controversial. Somehow, things always turned out fine and I secretly felt like a fraud for being deemed courageous. I might have not always had a well thought out plan B, but there was always a safety net and I knew in my heart the fall wouldn’t be disastrous. And it never was, not even when things didn’t work out or when they worked out vastly differently than I had envisioned.

train tracksI am not the gambling type. Most of us aren’t, especially as we get older and the stakes get higher. Major decisions are reasoned out, tangibles and intangibles weighed on the scale and impulsivity left for minor league decisions. Only when life suddenly decides on our behalf, are we left to fend in the dark. And life, by and large, rewards us with taking care of itself.

Meticulous planner and list-maker than I am, I could benefit from turning left, when the navigator tells me to go right; to leave things to chance when I find myself imagining every possible outcome; from cutting the cord from people or situations even if I have no sense of what will unfold; from leaving the ducks free to run around instead of insisting they align in perfect rows.

They always find the way home. And when they don’t, and fly away, the unexpected begins. And it’s not always a bad thing.

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6 Comments

  1. Having recently made a huge deviation from my normal MO and embracing the unknown, this post especially resonated with me. Courageous, perhaps, fortuitous is more likely. There is no plan B right now and I’m happier than I’ve ever been, even if it all ends tomorrow-this has been the time of my life!

    September 23, 2015
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Loved to hear this! Embracing the fortuitous, rather than resisting it, is a great asset.

      September 23, 2015
      |Reply
  2. People have often called me “strong” since becoming a widow. I’ve never felt strong. I’ve been “resilient”. And like you, I’ve always figured I’d be able to deal with however things turned out — usually in a way I never expected. And having a Plan B? Never.

    September 20, 2015
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Resilient. I like that.

      September 20, 2015
      |Reply
  3. You may not think that you were courageous, but your adventurous spirit stood you in good stead when the unknown was faced. You embraced worlds that were uncertain (which always takes courage whether you realise it or not), and your words now inspire others who embark on similar adventures without a Plan B. Thank you for this.

    September 18, 2015
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      You are too kind. And you are no stranger to momentous changes. Hope your adjusting process is going according to plan….

      September 20, 2015
      |Reply

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