The Next Best Thing

Photo by Michael De La Madrid

Photo by Michael De La Madrid

I suppose I could say that I see life in timelines. I suppose we all do. When we recount a story to our friends, we contextualize it: “Before I saw you in front of the shop,” or “Remember when I told you about that night I lost my keys? Yeah, just after that.” I like strange things like this, how we use such moments as this as pinpoints and important details to further define other moments (and subsequently our lives), and yet we can talk about them in such vague ways. This and that, that and this.

We ourselves work in strange ways.

Looking back on the grand scheme of my life thus far, I have never really been too lost, too unaware of my next direction. That is, of course, speaking from the beautiful position of clear hindsight. I remember when everything that went wrong felt like the end of the world when I was a much more naïve, much more tunnel-visioned teenager. And again, if I look back, it makes sense, because those things were some of the worst things that happened in my life up until that point. From a pessimistic stance, the absolute worst thing in my life up until my most recent point could still happen… but I like to think instead that in fact, my best thing, my truly, most absolute best thing, is still out there waiting to happen. And when that happens, the next one is waiting, too. That doesn’t mean to say that my best isn’t happening right now, but that’s the best right now. There are more bests to come.

Maybe that’s why our defining moments in our effort to contextualize another turn out vague: because what we once thought were the best and the worst turn out to be only the second- or third, maybe even fourth- (it could go on forever) best and worst.

I’m trying to keep that in mind, that the next best is coming—not that I am unsatisfied or unhappy with my current attitude, but this reality (and I fully believe it is a reality) should leave no excuses, should spur me on, should push me, sometimes shove me, into new chances and experiences and jumps. There is always the possibility of the worst happening, but then the next second later, the possibility of the next best thing happening is alive and well. And it always will be, as time goes on, as I go on, as you go on. There is an infinite number of good, better, and best things to have happen, and that is beautiful.

If you’re at a certain point in your life where uncertainty is making its dance around you, think of this: the unknown, true, is unknown, but if you think of it this way, you do, actually, know what’s out there. There’s the bad, the worse, and the worst, but more importantly, there’s the good, the better, and the best. While there may be bad things, there are always good things waiting to happen. Every single second of every single minute of every state and phase of your life, the next best thing is waiting to happen.

Just believe that it’s veiled and unknown to you because it’s going to become a defining moment for you, and we are good at remembering those moments in sly, secretive, vague ways, because when you know something, there’s no need to be specific, to spotlight it with exposure.

You know the best time of your life? Yeah, it’s still coming. And even after that.