On being thrown to the wolves:

Have you ever felt like you were left to fend for yourself?


Deep thought
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I tend to feel like that a lot less than I used to, but life has a way of informing our confidence as we go, doesn’t it? I seem to have this talent for getting myself into situations without thinking ahead; that might be a good thing, because if I knew what kind of work would be involved, the question becomes “would I have done it if I had known beforehand?”

If you have this crystal ball that tells you how a situation will play out, you might have the opportunity to make all the right choices, and to ensure the optimal outcome. But what if everything you did with that insight, whether your motivation was to do the exact right thing or to take the easiest path to ultimate success, met with more unpredictably undesirable outcomes? It’s the butterfly effect meets the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: if you knew what was going to happen, the very fact that you know will change everything, and potentially for the worse. We can’t know everything, and we can’t plan for everything. That’s the wonderful spontaneity of life, and that’s why I now embrace it, although in the past it was more like I was blithely living it. This is why we don’t know, and why we make choices that sometimes leave us feeling overwhelmed.

And it just so happens that sometimes we feel ill-equipped to handle these situations.

(Photo credit: antoine_schmitt)

I went to college in Ohio for eight months in 1996. I was not ready for that at the time, but I wanted to go because I thought it was the thing I was supposed to do. I thought going to college was going to get me a job, make me money, make me successful, and oh yeah – I have to work for it? Crap. That’s about how that went, and then the daunt of it got me into a depressive spiral. I hated high school, so why the heck was I going to college? In retrospect, all of that happened and I took away some lessons from it. Things that improved me, but it was years before I could really recognize it.

I joined the Army in 1999. That lasted thirty days exactly, and as it turned out I wasn’t fit for it. That was a little different because I felt like I was on an adventure – until they said they were sending me home. It was like “hey, I’m joining the military!” And then I got there and I thought, “I thought it was going to be like this, but now I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea . . . ” again, I learned a lot in that month, but would I have done it, had I known? Probably not. Who wants to waste their time?

As we come through these situations we find ourselves boosted with confidence; I have learned that I can pretty much get through anything with a few basic rules:

  • Play nice
  • Keep a cool head
  • If you don’t know what to do, find someone who does; often someone makes their living guiding people through whatever process you aim to complete.
  • Work hard
  • Let your successes be your drug and your failures be washed away at the end of the day.

That’s about it. Those are my guiding principles in the uncertain waters of life.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

This post was prompted by the Daily Post prompt.


  1. Who’s this ‘us’ you write of? Festivus for the rest of us?
    Man….if if’s and and’s were pots and pan’s, there’d be no need for tinkers….
    Used to call this mental mastur…….(oops, this is the p.c. ‘teens’)
    Damn, it’s cold around here………..
    It’s all good, dude.

  2. I always enjoy coming and visiting & reading your interesting “Opinions”…..Sorry the service to your country didn’t work out. My father was career Air Force, with 2 tours in the Vietnam War. Things where very different back then. One thing PAY & Benefits were “Worth” the service, and the paid for college. Just follow your *HEART* and you’ll find your true Purpose. That’s how I started writing. I spent all my life, since 16 yrs old working full time. I’m unable to work outside the home now due to health issues, so I started to write & journal for 11 months, and before I knew it I had a book manuscript. The rest is Publishing DeVine Intervention! I know you’ll be “GREAT” no matter what you set your mind to!

    God Bless,
    Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon 🙂

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