A week ago the Oklahoma City area was getting hit, again, but severe weather and tornadoes. Most anything that hits Oklahoma goes through here as well. And as I left Bolivar to head to work in Stockton, Cedar County became warned. Around here ‘warned’ only means one thing, tornado warning. Severe Storm warnings don’t hold near the weight as the big T does. I didn’t really have any choices; I had to go to Stockton. And it’s not like that storm wouldn’t be in Bolivar soon enough anyway. As I was driving I watched the sky, not for fear of a tornado dropping on my head out of now where ala ‘Twister’, but because it was so interesting. On either side of storm the sky was dark and murky like you expect a storm to look like. However, in the middle the sky was a robin’s egg blue. Oddly enough, that is where the storm was, right over Stockton. I hit the wind before I hit the wall. Once I reached the storm edge it was as if I was driving into a wall of wind and rain, cutting my speed literally in half. Did I have a choice about going that night? I guess that depends on who you ask. Working that night was my responsibility. I know that the individual I was replacing at work believed it was my responsibility too, and was grateful to get to go home. But, of course, that got me thinking.
How often do we drive ourselves into the storm when we don’t have to? And I don’t mean a weather storm. How often do we put ourselves into situations that blow up around us or spin out of control? How often do we choose to be in those situations as opposed to not having a choice? I don’t mean the drama queens of the world who are the ones that seem to always be the center of the storm. Not every choice puts us into the storm, and not every storm is by choice. They vary for simple rain storms to severe weather to the big T. As I look back over the multitude of storms I’ve driven into throughout my life I see storms that I knew were brewing and I chose to go into them anyway. Convincing myself it was just some rain, nothing major. While in reality, they were major enough to change life gears for a while. I remember storms that seemed to come out of now where, unexpected, unforecast. They too changed the course of my life. Some storms clear the skies and create a positive after impact, but most don’t. I know for a fact I would not be sitting here right now, in the life I have today had it not been for the storms I drove into. And while so many times I wish I could change things I have or have not done I don’t know that I would. And sometimes I wonder if it would have made a difference at all.
We end up where we are in life for a reason. Our lives are based on our choices, the choices of others, and to some degree the storms we weather. I firmly believe that while not everything is set, some things are meant to happen. And if we avoid it once it will eventually catch up to us. Once I drove into the storm last week the sky changed, my perception of my environment changed, and of course my mind was working overtime. Everything was dark, murky gray. There were no dark storm clouds or robin’s egg blue sky. There was gray, rain slashed gray. And slowly but surely I made it to my destination once the warning was over and the rain had slacked off. I drove into the storm but the heart of the storm missed me. We don’t always get so lucky. And sometimes, when the timing falls perfectly, we miss the storm all together.