Sometime you’re the windshield
Sometime you’re the bug
Sometime it all comes together baby
Sometime you’re a fool in love
Sometime you’re the louisville slugger
Sometime you’re the ball
Sometime it all come together baby
Sometime you’re gonna lose it all.
– Mark Knopfler, “The Bug”
I’d be willing to bet that when Mark Knopfler wrote this song, it was in the midst of a “bug” kind of day. (I mean, really – who, when having a great day thinks, “Gosh – life is great right now!! I feel like. . . I feel like a WINDSHIELD! Bugs in my teeth, cracked by a flyaway pebble on the highway. Life is good!!”) Only in those times when I feel like the bug in this idiom does the idea of being a windshield sound attractive.
These lyrics have been going through my head quite a bit over the last few months. Which is to say that the recent past has been particularly “buggy” for me. Without going into a whole lot of unnecessary details, I’ve had several moments where I’ve wondered if any notions I’ve had about life or my sense of call, have been misguided. My partner and friends have heard me say, numerous times, that perhaps I should have gone into another line of work – that any ideas I’d had about feeling called to the church, or toward doing a PhD, had been illusory – figments of my overactive imagination. I have this idea about how my life should look, and even though I can be pretty patient with how things unfold, there are times when I just get tired. I want some momentum, to see some progress – to get a “yes” in a world that only seems to say “no.”
My friends are, on the whole, pretty patient with me, but there have been a couple of times lately when I’ve been struck by their replies to my flashes of self-pity. One just gave me a stare. Another told me that her unconditional care for me only comes into question when I seem determined to refuse it, or to give myself any slack in the process of it (and then gracefully continued to offer care even as I wrestled with pervasive questions of self-doubt). All told me, in very kind words, that I need to get used to checking my expectations at the door. To them I say now, “touché, my friends. And thank you. Your kindness and the grace you’ve continued to show have helped in more ways than I can say.”
The thing is, there are just some days when life is . . . well, hard – when people seem cruel, or rejections seem to come one after another, when loneliness is the only rhythm my feet can find. Rationality has no place in such times as these – I can see and know that my feelings are irrational, but it doesn’t make them any less potent.
I’m posting this video, by “Kid President” in large part as a reminder to myself in the future – a sort of pep talk that I can go back to when it’s made its way off of my Facebook timeline, and I am feeling glum and overwhelmed by the world. I hope it does the same for you.