When I was a little girl (maybe around 5 or 6-years-old), I had a stroller for my baby dolls. I called it a baby buggy. It was an “inherited” item from some other little girl. The buggy was made of metal and was a cheerful pastel yellow or some other appealing color to a child and her dolls. I used to love pushing my dolls in the buggy just like my mom did when my little brother was a baby. I took a lot of pride in having my own “baby” to push down the street too. The buggy was foldable so once I was done playing with it, it could be collapsed and stored away until the next time. In my early efforts to assert my independence, I learned how to collapse the mechanism without Mom’s help. On the few occasions that I did, I would get hurt. As I was closing the buggy, my little fingers and hands would get pinched between the collapsible parts, breaking my skin, causing me to cry. My mom warned me that because I was getting hurt by the buggy (apparently there was a piece that was broken), it was going to need to be thrown away. She reassured me that she would get me something better. But I wanted that one. It was mine.
One morning, as my mom, little brother and I took a shortcut through the alley on route to my school, I saw a familiar sight. There were three kids who looked like they were a few years older than me, having way more fun than I was on the way to school. They were ahead of us so I could see them and what they were doing clearly. They were running and laughing pushing what looked like…
It really looked like they had my…
Was that my…?
Was that my BUGGY?!
I did not want to believe my eyes. The kids WERE IN FACT playing with MY BUGGY! How did they get into our house to take my baby buggy?
My mom clearly made good on her promise to throw it out. My cherished treasure was thrown away with the trash. How could she do this to me? Who does this to a little kid?
What I couldn’t understand and what made me instantly cry was clearly the buggy was not garbage. If it were garbage, then these other kids wouldn’t be able to play with it…to enjoy it as I had done. They couldn’t possibly love the buggy as much as I did. Look at how they were rough-housing with it and pushing it like a toy race car from one child to another. This was no race car or go-cart! This was the transportation vehicle for my dolls. It was MINE, and now they have it. And there was nothing that I could do about it. That buggy had been around as long as my young mind could remember. It was there before many of my baby dolls arrived.
For some odd reason to this day I slightly feel some kind of way about losing something that I loved and wanted to keep. It didn’t make sense then and maybe it doesn’t make sense now, why I had to lose something that I thought that I needed. I definitely wanted to keep it. At the time it seemed unreasonable and unfair that I was forbidden to play with a toy because it was broken and could hurt me. If it was indeed broken, why were those other kids running, playing and having fun with something that belonged to me? If the toy was so dangerous for me, why wasn’t it too dangerous for them to play with? My young mind could not reconcile the injustice of something being taken away from me involuntarily, only to be forced to watch another person have the very thing that I wanted.
I was clearly too young to comprehend that no matter how much you think you want something, if it is broken and it hurts you, you may have to let it go. In hindsight, that would be the first of many valuable lessons about giving up something (or the idea of something, that I thought that I needed and would die without), in exchange for the promise of something better ahead. And to give it up before a suitable replacement was identified.
This lesson would serve me well in numerous facets in my life. Whether it be in the past relationships that I thought I could never live without (not literally, but you probably get my point.) Or, the jobs I was certain I was qualified for only to receive a response informing me that, ‘we have decided to pursue another candidate whose experience is more in line with the position.’ Or, that it took me four attempts before I was able to buy a house. In each one of those scenarios, I was confident that I had found “the one” and there was no suitable alternative or option. This was it.
Until it wasn’t. Each time destiny proved me “wrong”, I revisited the feelings of the little girl whose childhood toy was taken away for someone else to enjoy.
What I have learned is that when something is right for you, the process or overall experience is effortless in comparison to the other situations. If it is a relationship, you no longer need to embark on a solo treasure hunt to locate the other person’s feelings or intentions. You are clear about where you stand; you know your place in the other person’s life and vice versa. There is a level of transparency and honesty that was basically non-existent and essentially off limits in the other relationships. When you find the right house, you’re not immediately thinking of all the ways you will need to settle in order to live there. You know that you have found the right job when your contributions are valued, supported, and recognized.
You rarely if ever have to question whether something is right. Because it will feel right. You will have evidence and facts to support those feelings.
Sometimes you have to let go of things so that you are available for your better. You have to avail yourself to realize your destiny. Destiny needs a receptive vessel to attach to. One that is free of distractions as well as the tradition of holding onto circumstances (or even people) that we have outgrown.
My mom kept her promise and eventually bought me something else that was better than the broken buggy that used to pinch my little fingers. She knew that I deserved better.
Life would eventually prove to me that she was right.