“Stop torturing yourself, man…live in the now!” —Garth, from “Wayne’s World”
Losing control of a situation isn’t funny, but the way we tell ourselves we ever actually had control of it can be. I didn’t ask to know that. It’s not too often I consciously think, “I need to be put in my place today.” I’m just sayin’….
But here I am, at 3:48 a.m., quoting Wayne’s World of all things and scrounging for a safe, satisfying answer to, “What else could possibly happen today?” You’ve been there, right?
Through a Facebook friend of a Facebook friend, I was turned on to a blogger, Jennifer Lawler, and an essay she wrote called “For Jessica.”
You know how song after song on the radio melt into a continuous sound, yet you tap your feet, sing the lines that you think you understand, and then all of a sudden the monotony breaks and a tune comes along that blows you away? Every chord, every word, every half step grabs you and throws you to the ceiling?
Music hits that way. Stories like “For Jessica” do too. And even though I can’t even begin to personally relate to the subject of her essay, which is about parenting a disabled child in spite of the obvious and not-so-obvious setbacks and idiocy of select people around her, the point of her thoughts still hit a spot.
The chain of events that took me to Jennifer Lawler’s blog site, if I try to trace the lineage of that online encounter, started with a pity-interview with an author and ghost writer named Jenna Glatzer from Long Island, N.Y. She was kind enough to humor me through a rookie interview which resulted in a measly four column-inch article in a newsletter that by my estimates, all of 10 people read.
But it’s all good. It was worth it. Because five years later, thanks to my encounter with Glatzer, I find myself directed to a story about a little girl named Jessica and her amazing mom, full of wisdom that she never asked to learn.
Wisdom that also took her years and layers of people and, how do I say this nicely, “stuff” to work up to. But I don’t need to know about that. That’s her deal. All I need to know about her is that she learned enough to say this:
“Your joy is bigger than the universe and contains all the sorrow of a lifetime, and has nothing whatsoever to do with feeling sufficiently rewarded for your work.”
And by work, she doesn’t mean labor. At least not the workforce kind.
I’ll never be sorry for working toward the things that haven’t gone my way. Maybe the rewards aren’t what I expected them to be, but they must be in there somewhere.
Note: “For Jessica” can be found online at: jenniferlawler.com/wordpress/?p=747″http://jenniferlawler.com/wordpress/?p=747.
Jenna Glatzer is at www.jennaglatzer.com.