Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Today I was caught unprepared. Very unprepared.

I went to meet Jay at his school for lunch. We had a quick bite to eat and then decided to go for a little walk before he went back. When we started our walk, we commented on how it was going to rain this afternoon because the sky on the horizon was that dark gray color. 

Within just a few minutes we decided we better head back. This storm was moving. By the time we got back to his school (I swear no more than 4 or 5 minutes) the entire sky was a DARK greenish gray....so dark that all the cars had their headlights on. We parted ways, and I picked up speed. It usually takes about 8 or 9 minutes to walk from his school to our apartment, and I was hoping I could make it.

I didn't make it.

Without warning (well, minus the whipping wind and the scary-movie dark sky) it started pouring. {Pouring really isn't even the correct word. What is pouring times 100 with hail thrown in? That's what it was doing.} Not a sprinkle. Not a gradual increase in rain...one second it wasn't raining and the next it was a deluge. Luckily I was near an overpass, so along with a few other unprepared souls, I jogged to find shelter under the bridge.

Here's how I was unprepared today:
          1. No umbrella...such a rookie mistake here in the Netherlands considering it has 
              rained 90% of the days I've been here.
          2. I was wearing flip flops. Have you ever tried to walk in flip flops when it's
              raining? (No wonder you don't see many Dutch wearing flip flops.) It's impossible!
          3. No jacket and wearing a whitish shirt. NO need for explanation really.

So, there I stood under the bridge pondering what to do next. 

I could:
           1. Wait it out. The only problem with this scenario is that it can rain for days and  
               days here. OR
           2. Take off my flip flops and run like crazy the rest of the way to the apartment. I 
               mean, how wet can you get in 4 or 5 minutes? (I'll answer that question with 
               another question, Have you ever taken a shower?)

So I did nothing. Just waited. And waited. For 25 minutes I stood under the bridge. I debated in my head when would be the best time to go. I tried to figure out the crosswalk light timing so if I decided to make a run for it, I wouldn't have to wait too long at the intersection.

Then, finally, I went for it. The rain had let up a little, but it was still raining. Really hard. I took off my flip flops, ducked my head, and just went. I was drenched by the time I got home. But you know what? It's still raining an hour later! I could still be standing under that bridge.

This has got me thinking about life. (Pretty deep for 25 minutes under a bridge, hu?) Sometimes there's no perfect solution to the situation you're in. Sometimes you find yourself in a situation that you're totally unprepared for. Perhaps you could have been better prepared, but you aren't. Sometimes you may really question the timing of what's going on...why couldn't it be a year later? a month earlier? 

Here's what I learned today. You can't stay under the bridge forever. Sometimes you just have to jump in and go for it. 

It may be messy (Um, I'm sure you can imagine how nasty and gross my feet were when I got back). It might not be pretty (As my mascara streaked face and curled up wet hair can attest to!). It might not even be what you had planned on doing. But, if you really think about it...at least you're not standing under a bridge frozen with fear and indecision. 

Sometimes, you just have to duck your head and go for it.

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