Last night, I decided to sit up a bit later than usual and watch one of my favorite films: Before Sunrise. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for good romance movies and this one nears—arguably, achieves—perfection; the writing, pacing, and overall tone of the movie is great. Even better is the underlying theme about how the best things in life come unexpectedly. Out of thin air, something happens and it changes us forever.
This got me thinking about the forcefulness and planning of life. Of painting a picture in our heads of what we expect life to be, or even just a single experience. We plan a vacation to some place, build up this story in our heads of how it will be the holiday, but it never is. Instead, the moments we remember most, the ones we cherish, are those that happened unexpectedly. We bump into someone and the next thing you know we’re spending years of our lives together.
The funny thing about this sort of experience is that, because it’s unpredictable, you can’t really will it into existence. We may want exotic, mind-blowing experiences, but they’re more or less impossible to construct. We have to simply let go and enjoy the mundaneness of life. Not hoping for anything more. It’s only when we’ve gotten comfortable with the same meals or a blaise work routine that the universe drops one of those moments in our lap.
If you’re sad, shopping for groceries: that’s where you’re at. If you’re happy because you’re packing for a big trip, just enjoy packing. The point being that by simply embracing the moment and remaining oblivious to everything else, we carve out these caverns where surprises can sweep us off our feet.