It is said there are many things in life that we are not meant to understand. The meaning of life itself, love and loss are just a few things that come to mind. We are told to “trust in the process” and come to accept that there are experiences in which we are meant to endure to bring us closer to becoming the person we are destined to be.
Although poetic, this is not how society shapes us. From a young age we are groomed to develop a plan for ourselves. We are taught that if you fail to plan, you fail to succeed and furthermore, exceed. We are taught to always maintain control. I was taught to always maintain control. For a type A person much like myself, creating a plan and sticking to it is not something that that proves to be a difficult feat, but the fear that comes with the derailment of such plan is. As I grow older, I have come to realize that you can check off every box, cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s and still not end up where you’d imagined. Although extremely cliche, what I have ultimately learned throughout the past two years of life, is that it can be exactly what you what it to be as long as you grasp the understanding that ultimately you do not have full control over what happens. Being simultaneously in control, yet completely out of control is a normal part of life that just so happens to be one of the many things that makes it so damn beautiful. There are many times in which we are reminded of such things and we are brought back down to earth.
One of these moments for me was when I stumbled upon a surprise note my late grandfather left my grandmother. It was April, 2016 and my grandfather had just passed away. His death still felt very surreal. Wanting to make my grandfather proud, I was volunteered myself for the emotional task of creating the memorial photo montage. In the rush of things, my grandmother quickly grabbed all her favorite photos of my grandfather from all over her house, still in their dust covered frames. There were all sorts of photos. Black & white photos, small photos, large photos- but one stuck out the most. It was my grandfathers Army photo. I could tell the photograph had not been removed from it’s frame for decades. As I opened the back of the frame and lifted the backing, portions of the image stuck to the glass. I gently continued to remove the rest of the picture from the frame and the moment I turned the photo over, my heart sank. My grandfather always cherished photos as a way to savor life’s precious memories, but I never fully understood that fondness until I discovered this quote on the back of an old photo he sent to my grandmother while he was away in the army.
“To my wonderful wife Evonne. Although miles have parted us this is one soldier who loves just one you. Generals have their armies, colonels have their divisions and captains their companions, but this is a recruit who has a whole world full of loving companionship in you. With all my love, your very devoted husband Ronnie”.
In the midst of all life’s madness, this moment grounded me and to this day is still my reminder that life is so enchanting. It reminds me that life’s beauty is found in the most hidden of places and that we must not forget to search for that beauty everyday. It will not always be displayed widely for you to immediately see or even understand, but that is what makes all the more valuable. Life has a funny way of reminding us to not take things at face value, and to accept that everything is so much more complex than it appears. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, but nonetheless the absolute core of the life’s beauty.