When things don’t work out as planned

I have a confession to make. I’ve been scared to write. I’ve also been extremely busy, but I know fear has paralyzed my ability to say something. I was dead-set on arriving to San Francisco with my boyfriend (he’s now my husband), I wanted a particular life, I’d planned the last year or so to fall into my ideal fantasy. And then something – or a few things – happened and I’ve been in Denver the last four weeks. I have family here – more than one side in fact – but it never in my wildest dreams occurred to me as a place I’d inhabit. I was a person who needed the sea, who had to be around year-round CSAs and quite frankly needed a mild dosage of separation from my relatives. But something’s happening, I’m (we’re) getting used to the idea that this is the place we’ll temporarily (because nothing is ever permanent with me) will put down roots. Nature is an incredibly powerful thing, our encounter with a family of moose, a lake that gives way to views of the Rocky Mountains and endless trails that seem to await us on call to our curiosity and desire are enormous pulls. That family that I comfortably ::avoided:: for years is proving to be very important to our transition, and those fears are subsiding as I feel more confident that there is plenty to keep us occupied, focused, refreshed and on our path to greatness. So it’s not the Bay, it’s not what I planned – but maybe it’s what was planned for me (us).

I think back to some other things that weren’t planned.

I didn’t plan on staying in Spain four years, I thought at one point I wanted to be there forever, and then I thought at another period that I wanted to leave immediately.

In Mexico I went swimming with a barracuda that scared the living bejesus out of me. It wasn’t on purpose, it just happened, he just showed up, or I suppose, better said, I just happened to swim into his habitat. I came out unscathed, thankfully, but there was certainly an act of clarity and gratitude that came out of a seemingly accidental run-in. I believe life is like that, putting unexpected things in our path to test our resilience, instinct and generosity.

The week before that, I spotted a little girl running across the street – apparently unsupervised – and didn’t sprint to her assistance. In fact, I was quite troubled by my lack of response. Sickened really. How had I been so numb to feelings of urgency in that moment? Thankfully she was returned to her mother unharmed, but now as I look back I have to think that happened to prepare me to be better, to act without pretense.

What is the purpose of all of these unintentionally confrontations; are they occurrences or lessons? Why am I here and not there? Why was I pulled towards a particular job? When will I have the answers to all of these perplexities of my life? I suppose the answer is as amber and golden as the descending leaves surrounding me this Fall. Thankfully, I’m doing so from a place that feels pretty darn right.


  • Beautiful Lauren. I’m glad you finally sat down a while to write!
    Yes, transitions can be scary. Expectations are a weird beast.
    I’m happy Denver is treating you well and you’re finding unexpected surprises, such as enjoying being close to family and realizing how nice it is during this transition.

    Who knows where you’ll be in a year or two but for now, you’re right where you’re suppose to be! Happy it feels good for both of you. Life always seems to know, even when we think it’s suppose to be another way.

    And I hope you’ll keep writing… Looking forward to reading more, my dear!

    P.s Looks like you’re writing in the future- says it’s Nov 11 already. hehehe. Still have it set on Spanish time!

  • Thanks dear! I’m writing in the future? How Nostradamus of me. Lovely to have you stop by and thanks for your transitionally input – you’re also an expert in this!

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