CoachT Bankston was caught UnPrepared for the Perfect Storm

LeopardPrint Eagle and Tanya Bankston didn’t prepare either, it wasn't just me!

Those who know me know that I like to be prepared for the uncertain. For example, I keep an umbrella,  and my car has at least three.  My car also has a shovel, at least three first aid kits, a blanket, safety flares, jumper cables, etc.  My desk at work has an emergency backpack with first aid, food rations, a thermal blanket, a solar radio, etc.  Ok, I was one of those people who bought food rations, water (water cleaning tablets), candles (waterproof matches), and hand can openers for Y2K.  Remember the world was going to end when the calendar changed to 2000, oh wait, the digital time system wasn’t gonna work, ok wait, what was gonna happen!?  At least I was prepared!

Yes, I purchase warranties on products and have extra insurance, too.  Normally, I purchase in three, one to use, one to store, and one to bless (my version of the trinity in daily practice). This is my normal…I don’t like to get caught unprepared. I am that person who thinks, “What if” and I prepare for the worse while expecting the best.  As my granny would say, “Give it the benefit and the doubt.”  I look at escape plans and I live in preparation mode most of the time. 

I am not paranoid, but I don’t appreciate being caught unprepared! Most of my friends know this and either tease me or adds to my preparation just in case there is an actual emergency.  When there is an emergency, I am not panicked because I have prepared. I have been in many emergency situations and I didn’t panic (until everything was calm, and then I freaked out).

Recently, I had several situations to occur that I was unprepared for and each situation took me off my square.  The first earthquake occurred when I   was fired from my job in 2018.   The 8.9 seismograph Richter scale event shook me to my core, and left years of affirming, confidence building, and investing in myself toppled in a matter of minutes amid the remaining rubble of shame, guilt, and embarrassment.  The aftershocks have occurred often since the initial earthquake as it relates to applying for new jobs, shifting my references, and accounting for a seven-year block of resume time without lying to future employers.  Oh, how can I forget, I am over 50 now that is an added element in my forced job search that I didn’t prepare for either, but that is another blog!

As bad as this was, it was no comparison to the tsunami that occurred on March 13, 2019, when my mother died suddenly.  Oh my God, it is still so fresh…decades and decades of rubble have been left as I search the debris for memories, conversations, and life legacies to cherish her and hold onto her presence.   Almost every stage of the grieving process brings with it high winds, torrential downpour rain, gigantic hail, mudslides,  and tornadoes, all at the same time and with no predictive indications (where is the chief meteorologist when you need him).  I call this the perfect storm because my preparation requires me to become familiar with the unfamiliar…these events have taught me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  I have learned to pray, prepare, and plan, but more importantly to trust God!

I have to admit, I have been angry with God recently! Maybe some people may think this is sacrilegious but I trust that God is big enough to handle my human frailty.  I thought I could prepare for every emergency, and I sought solace in my preparation.  Even in my best preparation, I was unprepared for the perfect storm.

Now, I am better prepared by understanding that my preparation is seeking shelter in the secret place of the Most High as the storm rages on.  Storms come and storms pass I just prepare differently.

Until next time…prepare for the storm. It’s coming!

Tanya R Bankston, Change Doula