I was writing a birthday card to a dear friend of mine last week. As I was telling her what it has meant to me that we are friends, that our bond has remained strong in spite of the geographic distance that separates us, that we don’t get to see each other very often, my musings took me down the path that pointed me toward — had neither of us transferred to the same college when we did, had we both not chosen to live in the same off-campus dorm, it is highly unlikely we would have met. Ever. We were majoring in very different fields. In addition, I was a second-year senior; she was a junior. While I cannot speak for her (although I hope she feels the same way 🙂 ), I know there would be a hole in my life if she was not a part of it.
This got me thinking about the much more compelling (true) story of meeting the very special fellow who would one day become my husband. (It involved the first time I transferred schools while in college. The second time dealt with the tale shared in the previous paragraph.) In my sophomore year of college, it was evident that I would have to transfer schools if I was going to stay the course to pursue the degree I was adamant about attaining (sadly, it really does matter where one goes to college where some fields are concerned). Although I loved the university I was attending, it was lacking (at the time) where my chosen field (journalism) was concerned. During my sophomore year, I applied to two universities — one in-state; one out-of-state — and was accepted to both. I had to make a choice. My brain kept telling me: “Choose the in-state university. That makes the most sense. It’s close enough to home so you can visit whenever you’d like, but far enough away so you could maintain your independence. Financially, it will make more sense to attend the in-state school, too.” If those weren’t enough incentives, I had a boyfriend (before Tom 😉 ) who lived very close to Choice # 1. This seemed like a slam dunk to me.
The thing was — my heart kept urging me to choose the out-of-state school. No matter how much sense it made to go to the in-state school, no matter the fact that my “head” told me I should go to the in-state school, there was a driving force emanating from my heart that compelled — yes, compelled — me to choose the out-of-state school. My parents didn’t make my choice any easier. Committed to making sure my siblings and I got good, solid educations (they put all of us through college — something I know was not easy for them, and something for which I will be eternally grateful 🙂 ), they both responded, “It’s your decision, Melinda.” Ugh! 😉 In the end, I chose the out-of-state university — but right up to the day I left, I kept saying: “I want to go to the in-state school! But, there is something that is urging me to go to the out-of-state school.”
Whenever I think of this long-ago situation (and a few others that have occurred over the course of my lifetime), I can’t help but think of 9-year-old Anakin — about to embark on the adventure of his life, yet torn between two choices: remain with his mother on Tatooine, probably forever (what would his fate have been? He may have been freed by Qui-Gon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he would not have become a slave once again) or go with Qui-Gon to become a Jedi Knight. “What does your heart tell you?” a very wise — and loving — Shmi tells her torn son. If you listen to your heart, she is telling her beloved son, it will lead you where you are meant to go. Anakin makes the choice his heart leads him to make even though there is a very good reason to stay behind.
Making one choice always means sacrifice.
Fast forward a number of years. The Rebels are engaged in a fight for their lives — for the galaxy’s! — above Yavin IV. The pitiful band’s numbers have been decimated until only a few pilots remain. Red Leader and his wingmen have just completed their trench run during which Red Leader — armed with the best targeting system available — takes the shot that is sure to set off the chain reaction that will destroy the Death Star. Red Leader puts a kibosh on the premature elation: “It’s a hit!” with his “Negative. It didn’t go in. It just impacted on the surface.” Moments later, Red Leader crashes into the Death Star. The Rebels have one last hope of dealing the Empire a crippling blow. Armed with the same high-tech targeting system as all the other pilots, Luke lines up his shot, prepares to pull the trigger … and turns off his targeting computer. “…Luke, you’ve switched off your targeting computer. What’s wrong?” a voice asks over Luke’s ship-to-base radio. “Nothing. I’m alright,” Luke responds.
Ben has urged, “Use the Force, Luke…Trust me.” Luke listens, heeds Ben’s command. In essence, Luke listened to his heart, took his best shot at the one and only moment he could to be successful, and saved the day. 🙂 Not bad for a farm boy from Tatooine, eh? 😉
I knew once I had — more or less 😉 — resigned myself to the fact that I would be venturing very far from home to attend college, I had to put certain criteria in motion if I indeed was going to continue my education. One of those criteria involved finding a place to live. In the end, I chose an independent, off-campus dorm because I thought it would give me the best chance to meet some new people (as opposed to living in an apartment). As chance 😉 would have it, I lived across the hall from two brothers — who happened to be the younger siblings of Tom’s best friend. It was destiny that we should meet. Sometimes I still marvel at the forces that brought us together — yet here we are, 35 years later, still together. 🙂
Ben told a skeptical Han there is no such thing as luck. Luck … destiny … chance … fate … a higher being … serendipity … the Force. I don’t know what you believe. I only can say that whenever I listen to my heart, it leads me where I was meant to be all along. Does that happen to you?
To be honest, I had been laboring over — even anguishing about — what to write for this post. Most of the time, the topic comes to me very easily. Silly as it sounds, my brain was getting in the way. It was! Then (to paraphrase his intent), one of Yoda’s instructions to Luke popped into my already too-cluttered brain: “You will know. When you are calm. At peace.” When you are calm, your heart can lead you in the right direction. As soon as I quieted my mind, even engaged in something totally unrelated, I was led here, to this topic. A befitting one, mayhap, since we already are embroiled in 2014’s hectic, whirling holiday season where, at times, it seems like we don’t know if we’re coming or going. It will behoove me to remember Yoda’s calming advice to Luke, Shmi’s wise words to her troubled son. Listen to your heart, and you’ll know where to go, what to do. 🙂
From the bottom of my heart, I would like to wish you and your families a most blessed holiday season. May your cares be light. May your smiles be bright. May your hearts abound with warmth, love and delight. 🙂
Before I bid you adieu, I’d like to share with you a heart-warming photo that was sent to me recently. Remember my CWK Anniversary Raffle held in October? The Grand Prize Winner is from Belgium, and she already has received her beautiful piece of Star Wars artwork. Her adorable daughter — who loves to draw (and who happens to be a huge Sabine fan!) — drew me a wonderful piece of artwork of my own, and had her mom email me a picture. Didn’t she do a great job? 😀 Thank you, Ine! I will treasure the picture always. 😀 (I have posted this photograph with permission.)
As always, I encourage you to leave a comment below. Or, if you’d rather, drop me an email at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you either way. 🙂
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