I have been busy thinking about life recently. You see, as you get older, you slowly realize that life is not simply unfair, or a bitch and then you marry one as you used to flippantly drop in a conversation, but actually pretty scary and depressing. The longer you live, the more people around you die, lose their families, have some horrendous things happen to them. And when you are young, those people are only some random strangers you see on TV. As you get older, those people are your people. Your family, your friends. And then it becomes more difficult to stay flippant.
A friend of mine lost a child to cancer. Another friend found out her husband was dying (and another one that her husband was a complete asshole, you decide which one you would rather have). A few Phillipino workers on our compound lost members of families and homes in Typhoon. A bunch of people get killed on Doha roads every day- through no fault of their own, like the young woman with a child in her car, falling victim to two idiots racing each other. And the Villagio victims…still hurts, even now, to think about. Real people, real pain.
And of course, you get affected, whether you want to or not. You feel that pain, you measure it up against yourself; you imagine what it must be like. But. And here is my new theory on life, which seems to be completely true and works every single time. It has some good and some hmm…not so good bits in it, but hey, such is life, right?
The good part is that, I can assure you that whatever you are worried about will most probably not happen. Because, and here is the bad part- something else will happen to you. Something you have no idea is coming.
You will say I am being pessimistic or negative- I have heard that before, trust me. But, I say this is a realistic and quite a positive outlook on life.
I am not crazy, but I am a mother. And, talking to other mothers, we all occasionally have flashes of scary images in our hectic brains. Like when I was carrying my baby on a very tall escalator in a shopping mall in Watford, I suddenly realized that, should I trip, she might just slip off my shoulder. Or when I am driving in Doha, there are plenty of thoughts that I am trying to block out. But now that I have my new theory, I can reassure myself that the horror I am afraid of at that particular moment will most probably not actually happen. Comforting, right? Yes, but.
Whatever you believe in, whatever you call it...God, spirits or some cosmic power, or nothing at all…You just need to realize that this life has its ways of, just like Alanis Morissette correctly pointed out, sneaking up on you. If you spend all your life checking every single mole and obsessively worrying about dying of cancer, you probably will die of a stroke. If you think you are safe because you are rich and healthy, then some nasty surprise will get you just around the corner. Something stupid, like an idiot in a fast car. If you think you know what might happen, trust me, you most probably don’t. There are some diseases I am hearing about these days that I never even had the slightest clue existed, for goodness sake.
A university friend of mine had her own theory, which was totally opposite of this one of mine. She said to me that she felt that every person was going to die of a thing they most worried about. For her it was cancer. For me at the time, it appeared to be sharks. I was only 18 at the time, and felt pretty safe, living in Baku and knowing for a fact there were no sharks around at least for a while. However, when the university dancing troop I was in started getting ready to visit California, I got somewhat concerned.
Whether my friend’s theory was right, or mine, I am telling you: Relax and enjoy what you have left, because... life, or God, or whatever you want to call it, has something stored up for you that you can’t possibly imagine. You might as well stop trying to predict. Like an impatient child asking for hints before her birthday, you keep trying to second-guess what (nasty?) surprises life has for you, but you are just going to have to learn to be patient. Wait and you will see, as I tell my daughter. And just hope that most of your usual nightmares are not going to come true.