“…so what is going to happen next?”


I get that question often…about S, post-new Zealand, post MPH. everyone wants to know “what next?”. Like if I tell them I’m going into outer space that will actually make it true.

I ask too.


Friends get a serious boyfriend and I want to know, “is this the one?”, “are you buying a house?”…when they are pregnant, “is it a girl?”, “when are you due?”, “do you have a name?”.

For the life of me I don’t know why I have this need to know.


Part of it is about showing an interest in someone else’s life. Caring enough to want to know the “what next” in their world. But I’m convinced that part of it is about getting some kind of seemingly tangible handle on life. Like knowing someone’s plans, or making my own, will somehow set it in quick drying cement and make it happen.


I’m a bit of a cynic these days. Hurricane Katrina reminded me that I’m just a drop of water in the ocean. When the water is calm I can pretend that I crash onto the shore at my own deciding. But when the water gets choppy I know I am at the mercy of powers that extend beyond my will…my plan…my quick drying cement.


The truth is…I have no idea about my future beyond December 18, when I depart for the US. I am aware that my last semester of classes begins sometime in January, but I also know I still don’t have housing. I know there is a fellowship I want to apply for, but I don’t know if they are offering it this year or if I will win it. I know I want to leave the country again, but I have no inkling if I will or where I’ll go if I do.


Despite all the planning and calendars my world is still pretty much up in the air.


And even as my mother’s influence in my life drives me to be responsible, to plan, and to take a proactive stance in my life…even as I mix the cement and pour…I always know that even if the cement dries and dries quickly…cement isn’t permanent and change is as inevitable as storms at sea.


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