Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Curve Balls

It seems I am always looking for the perfect pitch--the job or situation that will check all the boxes. It will be steady and dependable. It will allow me both to spread my wings as a professional and to be there when needed as a parent. It will give me both sanity and euphoria. It will make me know exactly where to swing to make the biggest hit.

What I seem to end up with most of the time are curve balls. Instead of knowing just where the hit will be, I find myself guessing--swinging when I can, but never quite sure where each swing will leave me, when the balls seem to veer off at the last minute every time.

I am no baseball expert, but I would presume that curve balls must be among the hardest to hit. They mess with our expectations. They set us up, just to take us down. They leave us wondering what exactly just happened.

And so it is that a life filled with curve balls also becomes a tricky one. We expect one thing, and we get another. We prepare for a big swing, only to be left wondering what happened. We find ourselves wishing for just a straight pitch, so that we can really see what our swing is like. We find ourselves searching for the expected, the predictable, so that we have some idea of what the outcome will be.

Ultimately, however, it is the curve balls that keep the game, and the game of life, interesting. What will we batters do when the ball doesn't land quite where we expected? What kind of fancy footwork will it take to shift when the world shifts under us? It may seem that we are looking for the perfect pitch, but would we enjoy that every time? Or would we be bored and start looking for more of a challenge? The curve balls often allow--okay, force--us to stretch a little. They force us to think a little faster, to try a little harder, to believe in ourselves a little more. So maybe it's not the perfect pitch we're after after all. Perhaps it's just the set of skills to be able to hit all the pitches, and the vision to see (and not be blindsided by) what's coming at us.

Curve balls, fast pitches, change ups? Bring 'em on. I'll just have to make sure I come out swinging.

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