As in, I am type.
I really, really like to be in control of the elements of my life. I like goals. I like to set nearly out-of-reach goals for myself, and then achieve them by assiduously applying myself to a strategic checklist I make. There is nothing that cannot be accomplished–no outcome that can’t be controlled–through hard enough work.
The thing you can’t control with any guarantee of success, no matter how hard you try, is other people around you: their proclivities, their foibles, their unpredictabilities. For example, you can put in 80 or 100 hours a week at a job you’re good at and love, but if your boss doesn’t like you for some metaphysical reason there is absolutely nothing you or your hard work can do to control that relationship. This reminds me of the adage “Look at all your failed relationships. The only thing they have in common is you.” You thought you were out of control, but in fact you were the control. Hm.
Yesterday, Karissa was trying to coach me on the only way to be happy–accepting that we are, basically, not in control of our lives. If you try to control your life, you will always fail. If you accept that almost everything is out of your control, at least you’ll enjoy the ride.
While her mouth was moving, my brain was creating a checklist for how I would demonstrate to her that I was in control of my life, at least. Or it was creating a checklist until I stopped it. See? I’m in control of my brain.
I’ve had a lot of changes this last year. Almost all of them have been unmitigatedly good changes. But the very notion of change is that of going from a known, controllable circumstance to a new, probably unknown, possibly uncontrollable circumstance. A recipe for excitement–and anxiety. For me, they are two sides of the same coin.
Easier said than done, but it’s time for a grand new Experiment: in letting go. It’s a world of variables. The only real control in your life is you. For the rest, collect the data diligently and arrive at the hypothesis later, inductively.