Crazy thing called life

by Caitlin Johnson

I’m finally beginning to understand that the only definite thing in life is death. Morbid, but true. You can plan things all you want, but there’s never a solid guarantee they’re going to happen the way you think they will.

Two years ago I thought I was going to be engaged following graduation. My then-significant other and I had planned to wait until I finished college, then the plan was to get hitched and finally begin our “real” lives. It’s amazing how much can change in two years. We broke up, ending the longest relationship I’d ever had in my short life. I’m a completely different person than I was two years ago. Now I’m not even sure if I ever want to get married; that desire for a family life I wanted so badly not long ago now feels like a strange dream I woke up from.

But I don’t consider the six years spent with my ex a waste. We faced many good and bad times together and learned a lot from each other. We shared a lot of firsts and I’ll forever remember what he meant to me at the time. Back then I was so sure that what I needed then was what I was going to need the rest of my life, but I didn’t understand the ever-changing dynamic of life and the fact that we’re constantly growing, constantly changing and reacting to the world around us.

It’s interesting to think about how little control we actually have in life. We’re just passengers along for the ride, and although we can try to take the wheel once in a while, for the most part things are going to happen as they will. So much time is wasted on what ifs and regrets, and instead of looking at how we can change the future we dwell on a past that cannot be altered.

I’ve struggled with this most of my life; I was always so terrified of the unknown. Could I handle what life threw at me? What if I failed? I saw failure as a weakness. I didn’t want to be seen as weak by those I cared about. My worst fear was letting people down that mattered to me the most. I still have those fears. But I’m beginning to understand that even when life throws its worst at you there’s always a reason to carry on.

For the most part I’ve tried to stop struggling to take control and instead just sit back and enjoy the ride. The idea of lack of control still terrifies me, but the constant worry weighing me down wasn’t helping me grow at all as a person. By granting myself even the smallest bit of freedom to let go, I’ve made amazing progress in such a short amount of time.

If you’re battling with perfection or worrying about what the future holds, take a moment to breathe. Relax, and let yourself understand that life just is, and trying to control every aspect is only going to create unnecessary stress. I still miss my ex sometimes, but now I’m able to look back fondly on what we did have and realize it was exactly what I needed at that time.

Sometimes all you can do is let go and let life take you where it will.