I wanna take you on a roller coaster...

Ever feel like life is spinning right out of control? It's weird. I should be massively panicked right now. 'Should be' being the key phrase. Normally when things are this out of control, I'm a complete mess. Normally, I panic. I mean, I have never been good at handling things I can't control.

Control. I need it. I crave it. I must be able to know that I can handle any given situation. I can mold it to my liking, I can take it where I want it. And normally, I can. Normally I am on top of any given situation. I'm the one who says when it will happen, how it will take place, what the outcome will be.

But not this time.

And it's not just one thing that's beyond my reach of influence, it's several. There's something very humbling about having a loved one with problems and not being able to help them. Then there's having problems yourself that you can't work your way out of. I've always been able to maneuver my way through just about anything. This is definitely a learning time.

I remember New Year's Eve. It felt powerful this year. Like something new was going to happen, something different. I guess I was right. And I still feel like these are all going to be good changes.

It's just the transition period that is so difficult to deal with.

It's funny that I have to be jolted into the realization that I can't control everything, isn't it? I mean, how can I honestly believe that I can take care of it all, handle everything alone? I even seem to believe I can cure all my friends problems, heal every wound, make any issue just fall away. But I do. I really do.

My Aunt Billie always tells me to remember my 'circle of influence, circle of control'. I keep telling her I just happen to have a large circle of influence. I want to put a bandaid on the world, and make it all better.

The first time I was slapped in the face with the cold reality of how impossible this is, was when my Papa died. He was literally eaten up with cancer, and I flew down to Florida to be with him, in those final moments. Sitting in that cold hospital room and watching him lie there, half in a daze, was particularly disturbing to me. His eyes were still the bright blue that I remembered, but tired and unfocused. He spoke in long rambling statements, things that were sometimes too mangled to understand, and others just made no sense at all. I sat there for what seemed like long moments, holding his hand, wondering why he couldn't just get better, pull out of it, and come home. My grandmother was oddly calm, keeping herself busy with one thing or another, frantically treading to keep her head above water.

And then he died. There was nothing I or anyone else could do to stop it. There was no controlling that situation. All I could do was sit by and watch as someone I loved slowly and painfully passed away. I tried to offer comfort and support to my father, his mother and sister. But it didn't seem to be enough. Nothing was able to comfort me, and I was unable to do anything about it.

That was lesson number one. I handled it poorly. I sank into a depression, feeling insecure and little in a world that was much too big.

I guess this is lesson number two. Everything around me is changing. And I'm just riding the waves until it's over. I'm handling it much better. I know I can't truly be in control all the time. But I can hang on for dear life until it's over.

And I know there are blue skies on the horizon.

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