Sunday, March 6, 2016

On the Embrace

I am chronically wishing away my time. I dream about owning a house with a large backyard and an even bigger front porch where I can drink coffee in the mornings and whisper to Jesus; I think, almost hourly, about what my new job will be like, how I will decorate my desk, the stories I might get to write; I'm currently wishing away March like a junkie in search of her next high; and I can, quite often, be found imagining what my life will look like in the event I get to become a Mrs. someday.

I am perpetually pondering what tomorrow will bring, just what it might hold that today is lacking, but I think it's time I stop.

I have this really cute duplex that I rent for next to nothing and it's the most beautiful shade of green; I got to decorate each room exactly how I wanted. And what that means is that each room is this carefully assorted eclectic display of syntax, weird art, and items that give me the most ferocious case of belly butterflies. I didn't have to consult anyone on my choices and it kind of gets my adrenaline pumping that not everything matches. Because that's who I am - messy and unmatched and just this side of wacky. It has been my desire for each wall and surface to breathe of me. So, can't the big front porch wait a little while longer?

I have worked at my current job for four years. It was the job I took after graduating from college. It's taught me how to put children before myself. It has shown me, both delicately and intensely, how to love small humans who hurt and laugh and scream because they want to be seen. My current job brought me to Dayton and the church I now attend and into the community that is now more family than friends. And these kids, man, these kids have broken me and helped shape me and they've wrecked me in life shattering ways. So, while I am over the moon about the job that is waiting for me in June, would it really cause pain to hug the sweet little girls and tease the boys who think they're men for a little longer?

At the end of this month I will be flying to Mexico to see two of the most influential people in my life. They are my best friends and world shakers and they've held my hand and picked up the pieces and they make me aware of what true, deep, raw friendship is. I haven't seen them or squeezed them or drank coffee with them since September. Friends, my insides hurt over how much I miss them. And in 19 short days I get to be in the same home as them. I'm smiling as I type this out. But between now and then, my students will perform in a musical I've been helping with and it's hit me, just today, that it'll be the last production I assist with. It'll be the last March I work alongside a dear friend. So, I can get through the next 19 days with grace and joy, right?

Last night I ate ice cream in my bed and watched old episodes of Grey's Anatomy. And sure, it'd be cool to have a live-in snuggle buddy that I got to call my husband, but eating in my bed is pretty much the best thing.

I listen to music. Loudly. And I do odd, seizure-like dance moves in the middle of my teal-tiled floor and it makes me rather happy. I don't have to wonder if someone else will like the music I am listening to (although I will go on the record and say that my taste in tunes is epically legit, so get on the train, people) because the time I have right now allows for ice cream in bed or cereal for dinner at 8:00 PM and funky dancing that makes me giggle uncontrollably.

Is this what I thought my life would look like at 28? If you've been following this blog, or reading any of my writing in the last five years, you know the answer to that is no. But how much of your life looks the way you had mapped it out?

Because here's the deal. I could've fought for the pen, not listened to my heart, and written out the narrative myself. I could've married that boy I fell in love with 10 years ago and made a life with him. But, ya'll, how often do we take the time to consider what we wouldn't have if the writing were up to us? How often do we sit down and truly try to draw the lines, connect the dots, of what we thought we wanted and what we actually needed and then measured how often they were in sync?

If I would've taken the last name of that curly haired boy from 10 years ago there are significant moments that would've remained in the dark. He wouldn't have a little girl that greatly resembles him. I would've never left home. His education track may have looked drastically different. I wouldn't have stepped onto a plane and fallen in love in India. We would not have grown up the ways we needed to. Guys, we would still be those kids thinking they had the whole thing figured out.

I am so glad I am not that girl.

I am so okay with the two of us being strangers. Because it means we got to grow. Because it means we broke the threads of adolescence and became who we needed to become.

I have the propensity to think life will truly begin when the corner points of my self-designed constellation are finally connected. And it is a guarantee that, in the midst of my desire to shake up my life like an Etch-a-Sketch, I'm missing out on sweet delicacies of why right now is monumental in its own right.

The pieces and tangles and pixels of today are shaping me; they are necessary and littered with impact and they make the tapestry of a life stronger and more secure.

Let's try to be intentional about living thankful in our current season. Let's try to recognize that it probably does sting that our lives aren't following the coordinates we had mapped out for them years ago, but that it's okay.

 Mourn it.

Raise a glass to the life that is lost because it's not developed the way you had hoped. Then hit your knees in gratitude. Because oftentimes that little life, that is born in the wake of the one you had counted on, ends up breaking the mold of what your human hands thought they had the capability of crafting.