What's the catch?

There are times in my life when things are going along really well and a little voice inside my head says, "Wait. What's the catch? What am I missing? What am I not seeing?" And I wonder, why does that voice invade? Why can't that voice leave well enough alone?

I think that voice comes from prior disappointment. I think that voice comes from being hurt before. I think that voice comes from when I was a young child and my parents divorced, when I was a teenager and my mom passed away, when I was an adult and went through a divorce of my own. That voice wants me to be aware, to be cautious, to be wary, because bad things can happen and have in the past.

So how do you silence that voice? Is it by yelling? Is it by burying your head in the ground? Is it by looking the other way? No. The way to silence the voice is to see the whole picture, the bad and the good. The miracles and the disappointments. The sadness and the hope that inevitably followed.

Because when we look at the bad things that have happened in our lives, surely there was some good to accompany it. My mom was sick but we had friends who ran to our side, who supported us and guided us, who held us up when we were broken. When my parents were divorced, my brothers and I banded together, from this house to that, and that bond brought us into adulthood where we are close despite living far apart. When I went through a divorce myself I realized both who I am and who I don't want to be. I don't want to be fake and I don't want to mold myself to someone else, I want someone to embrace me for me, all of me, and I was finally free to seek that out.

It's not that you should wear rose colored glasses and be unrealistically optimistic, it's that you have to remind yourself that where you were, lead you to where you are. It can't all have been bad. It can't all have been wrong. It can't all have been for no reason at all. Your life has lead you to exactly this space, to look at with eyes wide open, to let all voices be heard, to experience it all meshed up and mushed up and squashed all together. Gloriously messy with a side of hope.

So maybe, in the end, there is no catch. Maybe it is just what you think it is and want it to be. And maybe it will turn out just as you hope, but maybe it will not. Either way, it was worth it in the end to take a chance, and say to that little voice, "Hang on, my friend, it's sure to be quite a ride..."

After all, this is the life.


  1. Allison, why aren't you publisihing these words of wisdom as columns? They are so insightful. It is difficult to trust when we have experienced such dissapointment, but at some point we have to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. My best to you.


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