Oftentimes, I think we all have our own definitions of “logic.”
Because we sure do some things that don’t appear to make any sense—at all.
There are certain mysteries that are realities in life I don’t care to understand (e.g., why the Pythagorean theorem works), while others are things I really want to know the reasons behind (e.g., why the Rangers were ONE PITCH away from the World Series title—twice—and still lost). It’s rather frustrating not knowing why things happen the way they do.
I thought about this recently when I was at the bridal shower of one of my former students (yes, this is really happening). It made me really grateful that I taught for the seven years I did. No, it didn’t end up being my life-long career, but I think what needed to happen happened in those seven years. For starters, I met some of the most incredible people I’ve ever known.
I’ve mentioned before that I still keep in touch with a handful of young women I taught, and I can say without a doubt that knowing them and still being a part of their lives makes every single moment of my time teaching worth it. I’ve gotten to see them become some truly remarkable individuals, and it’s fun to be there for them at their events or when they need advice, to vent or to listen to my ridiculous stories. More than once during my first year of teaching, I questioned if I made the right decision by going into that profession. These kids (I know they aren’t kids anymore) kept me there without any doubts or regrets.
There are definitely times when I wonder why I do some of the things I do, even though they seem to make so much sense at the time. When I was in high school, my friends and I went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Some dish was brought out, and there were two extremely hot peppers in the center. I think the waiter might have told us not to eat them because they were so spicy, which only meant one thing: A dare was on the way. Again, I cannot explain my thinking skills in certain situations, and this happens to be one of them.
To be clear on something, I hate spicy food. And I do mean hate. So, why did I agree to eat the FIRE pepper? I’m not sure. But the ensuing eight or so minutes (probably more) of my life were full of pain, regret and a bunch of other emotions that a high school girl feels when she’s done something really stupid. At the time, I wondered, “Why? For the love, WHY?” But you know what? I think it helped me learn a little lesson in peer pressure. Now whenever people try to convince me to do something I don’t want to, I think back to that heinous pepper, and I have the strength to say “no.”
And then there are times I don’t make silly decisions, and bad things happen without much evidence as to why. Things like that leave us wondering. I remember thinking this when I had kidney stones. I remember thinking this when I had a gun pulled on me. I remember thinking this when I got my heart broken for the first time. I remember thinking this when I had to get my head stapled after a volleyball pole fell on it. I remember thinking this when I had to leave work early last week to go to the hospital. I remember thinking this when I got a stress fracture in my hip and couldn’t run the marathon I had spent months training for. I remember thinking this so many times when I see earrings that I can never wear (it’s a long story, but I can’t have pierced ears, thanks to some scar tissue issues).
There are simply some things in life that happen for whatever reasons, and we can only trust that the reasons are right. I know there is a plan and a purpose for everything, even though sometimes it’s much more difficult to see than I would prefer. I want to know things when I want to know them, but that’s not always how life works. (I guess Google can’t solve all of our wonderings.)
And maybe we don’t need reasons for everything. I don’t need a definitive reason why I am at the company I am—I like it there, I’ve made some great friends, and I know I’m there for some purpose or another. I don’t need a reason why I’m coaching a men’s softball team—it’s fun. I don’t need a reason why I can’t convince everyone to wear pink on Wednesdays—it’s not for everyone. I don’t need a reason why I didn’t just stay at Texas A&M all four years of college—somehow that unwanted journey got me where I am today. I’m sure this list could go on.
I know it’s trite to say that everything happens for a reason—and I really don’t like trite expressions—but it’s a very true one. The seemingly crazy decisions we make and the bizarre or sometimes painful things that happen to us all happen because they’re supposed to happen.
And it makes perfect sense and no sense at all at the exact same time.