The Snowglobe Theory

Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in a snow globe. Not a year-round snow globe that sits as a permanent fixture on someone’s mantle (which side note: why, just why?), but the kind that you only bring out during Christmastime as an afterthought decoration. My closest companions are of course, artificial, plastic people who have no concept of life outside this bubble. We live in a village that gives out the allusion of serene perfection and everyone is just faking it. I feel inevitably trapped in a blanket of white nothingness that isn’t really snow, but merely the idea of snow.

Every now and then, someone, let’s say the god of snow globes, decides to shake things up. All of a sudden the dull, monotonous snow globe is turned upside down and panic ensues. But like everything in life, the fake snow eventually settles back into the crevices of our plastic village and life moves on; as much as life can in a snow globe world.

That’s when I find myself back to waiting, or as I like to call it the “in between” period where I’m wistfully hoping for a real life with real relationships and real conversations. Waiting to be important more than once every 12 months. Waiting for something, anything – even if it is just another uninvited shake-up.

I went to lunch earlier this week with a friend of mine named Leigh. I’ve known Leigh for a couple of years now, but in the past few months she has become more of dear confidant and mentor in my life. If you ever get the privilege of meeting Leigh, you won’t be disappointed. She is brilliant, successful, a great wife and an amazing mom. More importantly (and quite admirably), she is fearless.

During our lunch, Leigh encouraged me to take up writing a blog and actually stick with it. The first thought that entered my mind during this conversation was, “But I have nothing worthwhile to say.”

For the rest of the week I have allowed that line to fester and settle into my head. Which led me to the realization that our life, particularly mine, is a battle of excuses. Think about it. On an average day, we spout out more forms of “I can’ts” and “but what-ifs” then we do anything positive and worthwhile.

This brings me back to my snow globe theory. I think we actually like feeling like we’re stuck in a boring snow globe with minimal excitement because it gives us something to complain about. We don’t realize or intentionally love it, but at some point, complaining has become a security blanket that we can pull out whenever we’re afraid of the unknown. As mundane and fake-tastic this snow globe world is, it’s safe and predictable. Everything stays the same. I stay the same.

But we weren’t created to live in a snow globe, much less an artificial world within reality. (Hence the constant feeling of restlessness.) If we believe in the bigger picture outside of the snow globe then the point isn’t to wait for our life to begin later, but to make the most of what we have. Yes. That means right now. It’s like being handed a blank canvas with an abnormal selection of colors and choosing to paint a red barn surrounded with green grass underneath a blue sky and yellow sun. Just because we choose to draw simple pictures, doesn’t mean that was ever the life God intended for us.

So I’m planning my escape from the snow globe now. There’s a trap door under one of the villager’s houses – the one with creepy snowman in front of it. This leap is terrifying for me in so many ways, but I’m going to keep writing and hopefully you’ll keep reading. Together we’ll run from this artificial reality and maybe someday paint some brilliant pieces of art worth talking about. And then we’ll look back and remember how silly it was that we had even considered ever staying in the snow globe, how afraid we used to be and how ridiculous we looked. And we’ll marvel at the scene now, because everything is different.

Now, we’re fearless.

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2 thoughts on “The Snowglobe Theory

  1. Vanessa c. says:

    I’m amazed. The snow-globe theory. I’ve felt it so many times, countless times. But whats wierding me out right now, is that I call it the same thing. “The snow-globe theory”. Like I’ve always called it that, and today I wanted to google it to see what would come up. I searched “I feel like I’m in a snow-globe” and then a lot of weather reports popped up. Then your article. And I’ve never read anything that represents this feeling so well. It gave me a moment of such clairty. I have a hard time explaining this concept to people with out using half descriptive terms like “boxed in”. Now i can reference them to this piece instead. Thank you so much.

    • SarahLady says:

      Vanessa, thank you for your kind, sweet message and reminding me of this blog post. I ALMOST deleted this blog a few weeks ago, but decided to keep it live. Crazy how things like Google can help affirm that decision.

      Happy to report that six years later I’m STILL referring to *that feeling* as the “Snow Globe Theory.” And it’s nice to know there’s someone out there who gets that sentiment and is keeping the S.G.T. analogy alive.

      I hope you are able to find the trap door in your Snow Globe and make your escape, whatever that looks like for you. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. xx

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