Life has taught me that expectations are guaranteed assurance for disappointment. I have spent countless hours of my life predicting and preparing for situations, many of which never arrive. I look for exits in unfamiliar locales and questionable strangers have my eyes darting in all directions. I’ve prepared dozens of scenarios for every late night phone call from every possible area code.
And why? The situations are rarely a threat. The weird person passes right by me without notice; the late night phone call turns out to be the wrong number.
I try to make sound decisions but in retrospect, there are probably only a handful of decisions that I think were truly brilliant or life altering. As I’ve gotten older I have learned to slowly let go of what I cannot control, but not entirely. Like driving a car in cruise control, but I still keep my foot near the gas and the brake. For better or worse, control is something I can never truly relinquish—and not for lack of trying. Sometimes, I’ve realized, that the path life lays out for you is not the one you have envisioned. Like a club you never considered joining and then you’re not just a card-holding member, but also the executive director.
I love the number eight. All my emails have eight’s, my passwords have eight’s, I was born in the eighth month, and live in apartment # 8. 2008 was going to be my year—but I had no idea how.
The year started with a partial thyroidectomy. Half my thyroid, half my metabolism and half my over anxiety were cut out. On the road to recovery through Guitar Hero therapy, I was on the mend like a champion. Life, however, had a plan all its own.
Three weeks after my surgery, crossing Lexington Avenue after work, a heavy woman tripped and fell on me. Most of the rush hour crowd stepped around her; one person helped her up. I stood frozen in the background, a tree you don’t worry about after crashing into it. My knee was throbbing. Afraid to take a step, I suddenly realized that this may have been the knock I really needed to put me into another path. My knee was fractured and I was ordered to be on no-weight-baring crutches for six weeks (in a walk up apartment.)