Recently I went shopping for all my dorm necessities. As I was strolling through endless toiletry isles and testing which pillow "fit my needs best," I started to panic. Questions like, "How am I going to make it on my own? What am I going to do without my parents? Where am I going in life?" racked my brain. I couldn't believe I was leaving for college across the country in a matter of days. I asked myself, "Why the hell would I put myself in this position?"
I got to the check out line, purchased all the items needed for my new life, and got ready to walk out the big sliding doors. As I approached the entryway, I saw a tiny sparrow on its back, flailing its wings back and forth, unable to get back on its feet. I paused for a moment and watched this little bird struggle relentlessly.
Before I knew it, I was in tears. I left my shopping cart and all of my items in the doorway as I searched for help for this poor bird. I approached a cashier who seemed to be on her break for the morning and begged her to help me help this bird. She politely declined me and said her manager would look into it when he got off of his break. I looked at her in shock and with my voice quivering I said, "But ma'am, this little bird needs help. I think it's injured." She blankly looked at me and once again reaffirmed her statement.
I pulled myself together, winced, walked out of the store, and picked the sparrow up. I sat it in the bushes near by, with high hopes that the momma bird would swoop it up and restore its health. As I got in my car I started bawling out of (what seemed liked) no where, until it finally hit me. Am I so upset because I'm the little sparrow that has hit a glass window? Am I worried that I'll spread my wings to leave the nest, only to fly straight into a window? I rubbed my eyes in shame and started the car.
While driving home I couldn't shake the image of this helpless little creature looking up at me in a pure, relentless, struggle. I couldn't help but wonder if I'm about to be in the same position. What if I hit a window in college and no one helps me? What if I'm left to flail my wings back and forth in utter futility? And then it hit me: everyone will hit their window at some point. Everyone will be left on their back to struggle, one way or another. It's a simple, unavoidable, fact of life. We can't let the fear of soaring into the window stop us from spreading our wings though. We have to trust that when we do hit that window, someone, or maybe even ourselves, will pick us up, dust us off, and set us on our path again. So I guess the moral of this short, but promising tale is: don't let the fear of the unknowable keep you from spreading your wings and flying.