Control, patience and my new haircut that I’m way too excited about

“Lie alone, it’s all you can do now and hear me drone about the things I can’t change.” — The Story So Far

Yes, I lumped in something as vain and completely unimportant in the grand scheme of things as a hair cut with two of the most challenging and complex concepts with which humans have to deal on a daily basis.

Also, the featured picture was taken to show the microscopic bruise I got from a demonic spring-loaded needle used to “prick” my finger before I donated blood earlier this week.

I’m accepting both sympathy cards and hospital bill donations.

I like my haircut. I’m hopeful that I will no longer get confused for a high school student.

Moving on.

I have banged my head against the wall that is control for years. I have spent hours in my room crying, agonizing and launching myself into near panic attacks while trying to hang onto a thread of control in my life.

I would cling to plans — whether it was a long-term decision like where to live or something meaningless like, “we said we were going to Chipotle, so NOW WE HAVE TO GO TO CHIPOTLE BECAUSE THAT WAS THE PLAN” — like a baby blanket.

This is probably because the unknown is a dark, terrifying and upside-down place, especially for people whose imaginations fill in the blank spaces with the worst possible situations you could imagine.

I became so obsessed with trying to carve out my best possible life, that I completely missed the small joys that were going on in front of me.

My constant anxiety about not having control made me feel like all of the things I cherished most were beautiful, pink grains of sand from one of those desktop beaches, but it was slowly leaking out of my hands and there was nothing I could do but scramble to hold on.

Through a series of revelations, I finally accepted that control is an illusion. None of us have it.

At first, I thought, “Oh wow, that has to be the most terrifying thing I’ve ever heard. Perhaps I should just remove myself from society and live off the land with the Amish.”

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how liberating it is to allow yourself to freefall into the beautiful ups and downs of life.

You have control over yourself, of course, but even then, a series of factors can blindside you and change everything.

I’ve found that once I’ve stopped resisting so hard against my lack of control, I was able to relax and open myself up to being in the moment.

It hurts to think about all the beautiful moments that have passed in my life in which I wasn’t 100 percent present because of my hang-ups, but all I can do is forgive myself and understand that I still loved all the people and experiences with all my heart.

This is where patience comes into play.

When I think patience I picture a Buddha figure meditating, surrounded by incense and the sounds of a babbling brook. In practice, patience is best captured as the period of time during standardized tests where you’ve finished all the questions with God knows how long to go and now you must just sit and stare into the abyss.

But in order to hold on, patience is necessary to practice when everything in our lives seem to be falling apart.

There might be areas of your life where you may immediately want answers or change, but sometimes, they’re just simply not there yet. It took me a long time to realize that that’s okay.

Someone has already driven home my next point better than I ever could so I’m gonna let Andrea Johnson take over.

“Ever noticed a chrysalis hidden within its cocoon? The final few moments before it emerges as a butterfly compose what science terms as metamorphosis, a transformation.

If you have been lucky enough to observe this process, which I highly recommend watching, you’d notice it has to struggle quite a bit before it gets all the attention for being the magnificent creature it is.

It’s long and painful. However, while watching it, you may be tempted to clip off the outer covering of the chrysalis with a pair of scissors. And you might do it, thinking you’re doing it a favor. But when it finally emerges, you’d be sorely disappointed.

The chrysalis’ covering holds within its shell vital fluids that are important to its wing formation. But your act of kindness, of clipping that outer shell deprives it of that, and as a result, the butterfly that emerges is crippled, deformed, and nothing like the butterfly it was supposed to be.

On the other hand, if you can muster up the patience to watch this metamorphosis take place, without any intervention from your side, you’ll see one of the most beautiful miracles of nature, and one of life’s best lessons.”

There are a few things in my life that really weigh on me because they’re so close to my heart, but I don’t know how long or what it will take for them to become more clear.

But through these periods of the unknown and growth, it’s wonderful to take in the little moments even though there are portions of my life that are kind of up in the air.

It’s scary, but there are certain things in my life where I have placed unfaltering faith. Hold on to whatever or whoever that is for you.



One thought on “Control, patience and my new haircut that I’m way too excited about

  1. Oh Sarah … my heart goes out to you in tenderness and affection. You are a very intense person, just like our son. Life can be very hard for people with this kind of intensity. They tend to worry a lot about so many things, and we mothers just wish that we could give kisses and hugs and reassurances and make things so much better for our children, grown or otherwise. It worked when our children were little … to some extent. But as our children became adults and took on all the responsibilities and complexities associated with adulthood, we, as mothers, could no longer kiss away tears and fears; we can only be there for support … large amounts of support and an infinite supply of love, which your dear mother certainly has for you, as well as your father. Yes, control, and the lack thereof, can be a hard thing to be confronted with … it can be a hard life lesson to deal with. But you know what? I think it gets a bit easier with time … I guess that’s where the patience comes in. I really do think it gets at least somewhat easier. We learn to be more flexible, a bit more fluid in our thinking, and for some of us, we learn this through the suffering that you describe above. Like the beautiful butterfly, I sense that you are now emerging into an even more glorious self.


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