Friday, November 6, 2009

Coulda Woulda Shoulda

Sometime in my childhood, I learned that these are words that should simply be absent from your vocabulary. However, during the last few years, I seem to have lost the ability to have faith and simply jump without a net. Stability and normalcy became my new security blankets, and I swept my desire for the unknown underneath a rug. I wouldn't describe myself as unhappy, but muted. As my color spectrum dulled, a part of me became complacent about the apparent trajectory of my life. Sometime in the last year, this all changed. I have no exact explanation, and it is probably a combination of factors: no school, new work, and changing relationships. Yet at some point during this year, I became completely free to chase after the life I have always wanted to live. Suddenly I am addicted to the taste of pure, unadulterated newness that life offers.

In the weeks before my departure for Zambia, I was blessed with an amazing sense of calm (mixed with bursts of anxiety and paralyzing panic, mind you). Despite the moments of fear, I sensed that God was placing me exactly where I belonged. Consciously I knew that if God was with me, what or who was there to fear? Subconsciously, my painfully human heart could and did find plenty to worry about. One way I have found to deal with my unbearably high level of anxiety is to keep reassuring quotes around me. One day while wandering around in I miss you...I found a little magnet with a powerful message:

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed
in the things you did not do than the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Needless to say, this little magnet received a coveted spot in my suitcase and is now proudly placed on my fridge. Whether I am in Michigan or Zambia, sometimes I just need a little reminder to take full advantage of every moment. Life is too short to think, "Coulda Woulda Shoulda."


  1. Shel Silverstein (I think) wrote a poem called Coulda Woulda Shoulda. The last line says,
    "And all the Coulda Shoulda Wouldas
    Ran away from
    One little Did."

  2. Amen, Kyla! Speaking as someone with 30+ years more life experience, I encourage you to keep your eyes open for the door God places before you, and holding tightly to His hand, walk through... Blessings~ Aunt Pam