Those who know me well know that I am the sort of person who likes to plan and prepare, even if I tend to be fairly quiet and low-key about the sort of plans I make (for generally good reasons). By nature I am not exactly the most spontaneous of people, but rather someone who likes to be able to steel myself for what I do through preparation and analysis. At any rate, I have found in life that despite my natural preference for often long-term preparation, I at least have the ability to cope with drastic and surprising events if it is absolutely necessary to do so, even if it is not my preference at all.
Due to drastic and serious events that still haunt my nightmares and influence my behavior towards nervousness and shyness even greater than my “normal” amount, I ended up without any sort of plan in Portland, Oregon last year just before the Feast of Tabernacles. The absence of a plan meant that I did what I do by nature–I sang because there was (and is almost always) a shortage of tenors, and I met up with people I knew and got to know new people and did my best to enjoy myself, and managed to do a pretty good job of it . Given that I tend to behave by habit (which is mostly, if not entirely, a good thing), I ended up showing a great deal of my internal nature as a result of being rather shocked to my core upon arriving in Oregon.
As it happens, I wished to be a bit more planned this year than I was last year, although I must admit rather candidly that this has not happened necessarily to my plans because of circumstances beyond my control. To the extent that my plans have depended on other people, I have found that planning things out long in advance can lead to a lot of complications that I have scarcely even imagined beforehand. In contrast, there have been times where I have made no definite plans but simply sought to put myself in the sort of environment where pleasant times could happen, and have found that simply putting one’s self in the right place at the right time around the right people is generally a good way to enjoy life without having to spend the time and anxiety of planning it too far in advance.
As a person I tend to be rather cautious and pokey by nurture. I am not sure if I am that way naturally, but the way my life has gone from its beginning has tended to discourage a great deal of boldness and recklessness, leaving the sort of courage that I have as a person to be a quiet sort of dignity under pressure rather than the type of boldness that tends to be easily noticed or often appreciated. Still, I suppose that moral courage, and the earnest and sincere desire to do what is right for myself and others despite complications, is much better suited to the sort of life that I have had to live. We are given the tools to master our situations, if we will but take the time and effort to hone them, I suppose.
While I tend to be a bit backwards and often a bit slower in acting than most of my peers, I suppose it’s good to know that one can arrive at the same sorts of destinations even if the path I am on tends to be rather indirect and hesitant and often delayed. As life is a journey, I have appreciated the sort of unexpected pleasures that have happened while I have either quietly (or loudly) pursued my own plans or while I have simply reacted as best as possible to the circumstances around me. It is my hope that such pleasure as I have found in it is shared by those who have happened to make their own parts (sometimes very large parts) of my own life’s journey and experiences. After all, shared enjoyment tends to make it more likely for such enjoyment to last long into the future, with all of the richness and complexity that is woven through time by our experiences and actions.