Both my sons (as well as their parents) will have that experience this fall. One is going to high school, and the other is starting middle school. Just like everything else in life, there are benefits and drawbacks to knowing, or not knowing what's coming.
My high schooler has no idea what his new adventure will bring, because he has no friends already traveling the path to guide him. The campus is huge, and scary, just like the seniors. Luckily, he will play trumpet in Marching Band, so he is being exposed to the campus and some of it's inhabitants before school starts in preparation for the upcoming Football season. He is still very nervous.
My middle schooler has an even better idea what awaits. You see, his big brother had already been to his middle school, and we have toured the campus throughout three years of Orientations, Back to School Nights, Open Houses and Band Concerts. The Music Director already has a spot for him in the Trombone section, and his Principal was the Vice Principal in his Elementary School until 3 years ago. He is still scared.
Inherent personality probably plays the largest part in how we anticipate a new adventure or a fork in the road in our current one. My oldest is a "glass half full" kind of guy, so he is a little more optimistic about what awaits him, and being tall for his age, he feels a little more secure in the way he will carry himself at the start of this new journey. My youngest is a "glass half empty" kind of guy, so even though he knows most of what awaits him, he is concentrating on what he doesn't know, and since this pessimism creates some difficulties when making new friends, those fears are maximized.
Sometimes it's better not knowing what awaits, because we have an opportunity to bring a more positive outlook to new situations, however, the blind polly-anna may be blind-sided. Sometimes it's worse knowing what's around a corner, because we spend time anxiously anticipating the negatives, but the pessimist can also be pleasantly surprised when it's not so bad after all.
Even a detour in the road on the way to the grocery store can bring about these optimistic or pessimistic attitudes, so you don't need offspring to relate.
The picture above shows us watching the sunset last night, the three of us and the pups (poor dad is home working) with the entire beach to ourselves. At that moment, I knew we would all handle whatever happens...just like the waves.
Which do you prefer, knowing what awaits, or taking it as it comes?
Mary Kathryn Johnson
Author ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mom
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