Everyone’s life is full of uncertainty. No matter how well-organised (or not) someone is, there is no telling what’s around the corner. Yet uncertainty itself isn’t always a negative thing. Arguably, it’s what keeps us on our toes. Knowing that life isn’t always a level playing field, and that the only constant is inconsistency, is the surest way of not lapsing into a state of complacency about anything.
The question is how we deal with a situation that is unexpected. Do we start flailing our arms and become flustered or do we take it in our stride? I would be the first to admit that I’ve done both those things in my life and everything in-between – depending on what the situation was. Recently, I have found, though, that many circumstances that have presented themselves have left me less perturbed than if I had faced them a few years ago. I know why that is. Simply, it’s because my divorce was by far the biggest and rudest awakening in my life. The emotional trauma it thrust upon me was unprecedented. To date, I have not experienced anything quite so unsettling. I lost my father last year, but he had not been a part of my life since I was a child and so, his loss, though hugely upsetting, did not leave a yawning gap as much as one might expect.
Thus, in recent years, I have always been on the edge of my seat . I have learnt the valuable lesson of being mentally prepared for change – that the diversions in life’s journey may be sudden and drastic. Sometimes change comes from within; sometimes it comes from without. We are all evolving be it at different rates from one another. Change isn’t a bad thing although it often mistakenly has too many negative connotations. I have seen change within me which my recent life has provided the fertile ground for. Whilst some of it has been forced upon me as I adapt to the responsibilities of family life on my own, the rest is what I have voluntarily pursued. I feel I am finally embracing it. I like it too.
Since coming back to ground level from Mount Snowdon (only three weeks ago), I feel a light has been ignited within me. Ask me what my plan is moving ahead, I am not entirely sure but I do know I am feeling restless. I may no longer be in the prime of my life but I feel an effervescent energy pushing me to do things before my time is up. Things which I just put on hold because everyone else always came first. It’s time to come to the front of the queue.
I have often read inspiring stories of other people who have bravely taken on new challenges in their twilight years. As happy as I am for them, I am tired of reading about others. I want to be part of that list too. Whether I take my writing ambitions more seriously, or I put my health as a priority, or I go visit a part of the world which I’ve always wanted to see, I feel I am fired up to try any – or all – of them.
Above everything else, I am extremely grateful that Allah has opened my eyes to His wisdom. He has brought me to a place of internal and external peace, Alhamdulillah, which I naively believed was only ever accomplishable within marriage. I now know that there are many paths to the same destination. I can’t believe that I am even saying this! I want anyone who is reading this to know that life isn’t over, no matter what their struggle. Happiness and peace and gratitude are goals for which there are many different formulae. With trial and error, the answer can – and will – be found, inshaAllah.