How to Embrace Chaos

Image Credit:  Tina Leggio


What Is Chaos?

Chaos…  Uncontrollable.  Uninformed.  Absolute.  Uncertainty.  Did I make you nervous yet?  Think of the last time something chaotic happened in your life.  What did you do to get through it?  How did it make you feel?  Vulnerable?  Sick to your stomach?  Excited?  Congratulations, you’re human.  Periods of chaos is a part of the human experience on this wonderful planet we call home.  The weather, the news, national events, a crisis, local emergencies, family emergencies, unplanned experiences, and so on…These are all factors that contribute to what we experience in our lives as “chaos”.  The dictionary describes chaos simply as this:  “Complete disorder or confusion.”

Heres the thing…Chaos, in all of it’s surprising and exciting glory, is truly what makes us grow as humans.  Chaos teaches us lessons.  Chaos gives us stories to tell.  Chaos give us memories (good or bad).  But most importantly, chaos is something that drives us and excites us in our day to day lives.  If you didn't experience chaos in your life, your existence might seem rather boring.  See, if there’s no chaos, there’s no excitement.  If there’s no chaos, there are no stories to be told, nothing learned, no growth.  From my experiences below, I’ve learned to begin embracing chaos, and hopefully this might inspire you to begin doing the same.

The Story

I was a Senior in college.  I’d just graduated with a teaching degree in music.  Since my program was 4.5 years long, that meant I graduated in December.  Great.  Now I have a whole 6 months plus an entire Summer to dwell on the fact that I most likely won’t find a job teaching until that following September.  So graduation happened, I walked across the stage with smile hiding my uncertainty and nervousness for those months ahead.  Like most college graduates that begin their first job search, this of course meant I had to move back home with my parents for the time being.  I wasn’t too excited about this needless to say.  Going away to school for 4 years, living with your best friends and never having to worry about curfews, waking people up, or throwing the occasional get-together at 2am on a Saturday night was completely taken for granted.  As soon as I was home, I soon realized my college days were over.  It’s game time baby, time to crack down and begin this job search.

Months went by.  Day after day I was applying to 15-20 school districts with hopes of moving into my own apartment by the time Summer came.  How nice it would be to have a job lined up, an entire Summer to move, get settled in a new community, meet some new friends, and be ready to rock by the time the school year started!  Well this was surely not the case.  All in all I probably applied to 500 different schools by the time August came.  With a few short weeks left before most schools across the country began, I was getting nervous.  Then it happened.  After applying to a school in a county, city, and state I had never visited before, I received an invitation to a Skype interview.  This happened on a Wednesday.  The following day, I was offered a position as a Director of Bands.  That Thursday, one I remember like yesterday, will forever be remembered as one of the fastest, most chaotic days of my life.  After confirming the position, my next phone call was to my parents (who were at work that day) to explain the good news.  Immediately after that, I was on google, searching for apartments.  Once I had found an area I was comfortable with living in for a year, my next phone call was to Uhaul, trying to rent a trailer for that FRIDAY!  So the next morning came, and I was up at the crack of dawn loading my entire life into the back of a trailer to relocate to a different world, a different life that afternoon.  The next day, Saturday, I was given a tour of my new school, where I would be teaching, and where I would be living.  My head was spinning faster than a tiltawhirl at Disneyland!  Sunday, globally known as a day of rest, was a day of sweating, creating lesson plans that would get me through my first week, and lots and lots of coffee, for sure enough, school started that following Monday.

There you have it.  One whole week of chaos, nervousness, excitement, and learning.  Aside from starting a new job in an area I’m completely unfamiliar with, there were many tasks at hand that I didn’t think I needed to complete right away until I was moved into my new life…Like where my new bank would be, where the grocery stores were, where I could find shopping or entertainment…etc.  Most importantly, what I learned was this:  The bottom line to embracing chaos is simply realizing that our lives would be so.  Incredibly.  Boring.  Without it!  Once you learn to treat chaos as simply another bump in the road, you begin to look forward to moments of chaos.  I’m happy with how my time here has been going, as there is surely never a dull moment!