Such a funny phrase — Life gets in the way. Like Life is a cat that winds around your feet as you’re walking down the stairs, determined to kill you. Or it’s that one person at the supermarket with their cart on one side of the aisle while they read the nutritional labels on the other side. Then I wonder, what are you doing when Life gets in the way? Is there some other part of Life? Does Life have an evil twin? Is it a chimera!? Granted, Life can be annoying and hard to deal with, like the junk mail I get that says “Past Due” and “Final Notice.” Usually, Life is that person you want at a party. Yes, there are mysterious wet spots on the floor and Chinese food in the ficus and “Who left their panties in the dishwasher?!” but damn it was a good time! There’s a reason why the saying is Life of the party.
See, Life isn’t just a noun; some entity that gets in the way of whatever else you’re doing. It’s the doing. It’s the cause and effect, action and reaction, catalyst and catharsis. Life is the result of the action words in the diagrammed sentence of your existence. The biological processes that include eating, breathing, mobility, and eliminating waste is being alive. All of the actions — planned or unplanned, good or bad — constitutes Life.
You should want Life to get in the way. Maybe it’s trying to tell you something. Maybe it’s been trying to inspire you, warn you, or spur you to action. To hear what Life is saying, you’re gonna have to take risks. Whoa! Risk. Such a scary word. Even the phonetics scream danger: the rumble of the “R”, the hiss of the “I” and “S”, the cutting finality of the “K”. Everything about the word says “Danger! Run for your life to where it’s safe and sane and normal and only carefully planned out things happen!” But, every once in a while, risks must be taken to shake things up, make you feel uncomfortable, and go against the norm. You have to step out of the bubble sometimes to test yourself and your strength. It’s okay to bend the rules; even break them if no one will get hurt and you have bail money.
I’m not saying everything should be willy nilly, either. We need planners and analyzers and weird math people. We Type B freethinkers can say let’s play it by ear only so many times before we end up in a cave in Slovenia, cold and naked, thinking to ourselves “Yeah, I shoulda planned this better.” I remember doing a drag show in D.C. I used to do it every year with my troupe. One year, I’m going by myself and my better half is asking me all of these annoying questions like “How are you getting there?” and “Where are you going to stay?” I mean, seriously! Of course I had it all planned out. My plan was I’m going to Washington, D.C. Flawless. I mean, that plan woke up like that, ya know what I’m sayin’? Never-mind that I spent most of my time in a hotel lobby, crying. Never-mind that the place I found to stay had a water main break and we had to bury our shit in kitty litter. It was like having sex when camping…
And you don’t have to become an anarchist or join Nihilists ‘R Us, either. Oscar Wilde’s quote “Everything in moderation…” is often said without the ending: “…including moderation.” I’m making an assumption he wasn’t talking about indulging in Twizzlers. I’m sure it’s probably something deeper, but the point is sometimes “a little more” than “just a little” doesn’t hurt. A little more excitement, a little more risk taking. Let Life get in the way because it’s trying to get your attention. At least listen, because you’ll never know what new lessons or adventures await.