"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." -E.M. Forster
This morning, on my way to my personal growth group, I found myself driving behind a large animal veterinarian. It felt like an out-of-body experience of sorts where the present me was peeking in on the once-possible me. I imagined where the vet was heading and what kind of patient he was going to see. Was it a routine visit or an emergency call? Since I was driving through the horse country of Granby, CT, I eventually settled on the idea that the vet was going to check in on a foal who was born in the last few weeks. An inexplicable twinge of jealously came over me as I imagined the foal kicking up her heels and playing chase with another late Spring foal.
I can't remember ever wanting to be anything other than a veterinarian when I was a kid. I read every James Herriot book I could get my hands on and watched the BBC's "All Creatures Great and Small" whenever I could find it on PBS. I started researching vet schools and planned out my undergraduate studies before I even started high school. Every class I took from 8th grade on was a purposeful part of a bigger picture. I started working with the horses and ponies at the zoo every summer at the age of 12. I shadowed a vet on weekends during my senior year. I knew exactly what I wanted and how I was going to get it.
I won't get into how, when or why my plan eroded (at least not now), but I can say with certainty that I not only accept the course that my life followed, but that I am grateful for its twists and turns. I am so passionate about the work that I do with and for victims that I couldn't imagine doing anything else. The friends that I've made through my own healing process and my work as a survivor are some of the dearest people in my life. They've impacted me in ways they will probably never know, and I feel a comfort and an intimacy with them that's organic. I am more confident in my abilities and my talents than I have ever been, and I look forward to the challenges of proving them to new people in yet another state.
I was almost at the Massachusetts state line when I saw the flashing yellow lights of the intersection where I would turn off. I slowed, a little sad that the truck in front of me was continuing on straight ahead and that I would never know where the vet was going or who he was going to see. But, as quickly as the sadness had come, it left and was replaced with a deep contentment. I knew that I was where I belonged, doing what I was meant to do. I knew that I was following the right path. I knew that it didn't matter where the vet was going without me. I had adventures and challenges of my own to meet. I took a right turn and went forward in my day. My life was waiting for me.