On Anticipation

Anticipation can be such a dirty word amidst all our zen proverbs and meditation. It somehow connotes a nervous energy, a refusal to stay in the present moment, a restlessness borne out of anxiety or repression that cannot be cured. While I'll admit I do have trouble staying in the present, I still owe most of my life's positive changes to anticipation. To that feeling in your bones that tells you to start planning, dreaming, thinking and doing. 

Sometimes I've been deaf to anticipation. There have been plenty of times I've felt in my gut something wasn't right but my ego wouldn't listen. I would feel too frightened or embarrassed to face new challenges and chart a different course. But with each passing year it becomes harder to ignore those calls for change. Those intuitive pings that clue us in and psyche us up for our next big adventure.

One of my favorite lines about anticipation and change comes from an Ani DiFranco song (because I'm secretly still an angsty 8th grade alt-rocker.) "For every hand extended, another lies in wait. Keep your eye on that hand, girl--anticipate." While I'm pretty sure Ani's talking about a relationship in the song, I've always heard those words as an extended metaphor for life. It's scary to start thinking that as we get older there are less hands in wait, fewer chances to change who we want to be. So why believe it?

As mere mortals, there are plenty of things in life we can't control, but we can't let ourselves be numb to those that we can. For all the surrender we're forced to embrace, we still have to be aware of our potential to change. To delve a little deeper into the belly of our intuition and make conscious decisions about our future. To never underestimate the amount of opportunities around the corner.

Some changes are slow, while others have to be made immediately. One of the steepest learning curves in life may be knowing the difference. Understanding when to be patient and when to be bold. Knowing when to make your move and when to wait your turn. But if we can tune in to the frequency of that small voice that discerns between them, that tries so desperately to tell us to keep going, keep changing, keep growing, keep moving, we might just find some hand lying in wait, right around the corner, extending itself, beckoning us to accept our next great adventure.