A 97-year-old woman once said to me, in one of her last lucid moments, that breaking out of existing structures entails that things are not always going to go according to plan.
It’s a funny thing, because it’s such a simple, easily digestible truth. All seem to nod in agreement upon hearing it. Makes sense, does it not? Modern life centers around rigid existing systems that were build to make our existence as easy and mundane as possible. It’s only natural that when you begin to wander off the beaten path, you are going to encounter quite a few surprises.
This 97-year-old woman, who had witnessed two world wars, the decay of the old world order and the establishment of the very systems we cling to today, managed to see things for what they were. There was no judgement in her voice. She did not condemn those who wanted more from life, those who were willing to take risks, because she was one of them, she had always been one of them. She rejected order before it was considered fashionable.
Hearing it from her brings this truth closer to heart, spoken by a woman who embodied the combined life experience of a century. I often think of her, even though this conversation took place many years ago, and she has since passed. She reminds me of this comforting idea that even when things don’t feel like they are quite right, even when plans turn into chaos and adversity comes knocking, everything is as it should be.