I’m currently reading First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. This is the first book of hers that I’ve read, despite the fact that I own two others. I felt compelled to start with this one because I received it as part of a “book club” through Facebook (works very similarly to a chain letter, which I HATE, but this was actually worth it – I got two free books out of it!). I’ve enjoyed it so far; the characters are well-written, each with their own separate story lines that pick up and leave off, and I’m left wanting to know what happens next.
Each of those characters has some special quality, almost like magic. Bay, the 15-year-old daughter, can look at things and know where they belong. I found this to be an especially interesting quality, and one that could be very useful around the house! But more importantly than knowing where the dishes belong, or where the Christmas decorations should be put away, is the fact that Bay knows who she belongs with. This is a major part of the plot (and not a spoiler), and I didn’t give it a whole ton of thought besides “That would be nice!” until I came across this sentence:
She simply had the benefit of knowing, knowing, where she needed to end up.
What an amazing thing to know: where you are going to go in your life, without any doubt. One word in that sentence stands out the most to me – benefit. Is it a benefit to know where you are going? To know who you are supposed to end up with? To know what career you are meant for? What city you belong in? What house you belong in?
Think about work. Would knowing what career you’re meant for be a benefit? It could mean a lot less guess-work and trial and error. A lot less interviewing (I hate interviews!), relocating, training, and all those necessities from a new job. It could mean a lot more opportunity to become the best at what you are meant to do. All that time you would have wasted looking for that career, spent enjoying it. But what if it’s not the career you love?
This idea fascinates me most when it comes to love. Many times in my life I have wished I could just know who I’m supposed to end up with. Wouldn’t it be so much easier? Wouldn’t I be so much more patient? Wouldn’t I have avoided so much wasted time and heartbreak? But that is not for me to know ahead of time. I’m supposed to meet different people, to get to know them, and get to know myself – what I want and what I don’t want. Then, when I do find the one that I belong with, I’ll know that he’s the right one.