Monday, June 27, 2016

On Watching (And interesting imagery about armpits)

My hair has been getting caught in my armpits lately. If all 600 pounds of my locks are loose and untethered, I will go to turn my head or look to see if it's safe to switch lanes on the interstate and it will pull because it's caught in the crease of my armpit.

I've been trying to grow my hair out for some time now. I was always that girl in school who would SWEAR she wasn't going to cut her hair and then would watch some reality show like Dancing with the Stars and Julianne Hough would cha-cha across the stage with her perfect coif and I'd be furiously googling photos to send to my best friend, who also manages my mane.

"I thought we were growing it out, Stephi," she'd say.

I know. I know. I changed my mind.

But recently, I've stuck to my guns. I've only gotten it trimmed and when people see me who haven't seen me in a while - or anytime I FaceTime with my favorite married couple in Cancun - they remark on how long it is.

A few months back, right before I left my previous position and transitioned to my new job, I got lice. The school I worked at is filled with sweet babies who love loving on you, but they sometimes come with friends... I'm not going to not hug a child and so I was found with lice. After several treatments of olive oil and shower caps and frying my skull from washing with Dawn dish soap, a coworker suggested I cut my hair.

"NO!" I semi-shouted. I'd worked too hard to get my hair this length. There was no going back.

And so, with my mermaid hair, I got rid of the lice and now am prone to getting it caught in my armpit.


I am reaching my one month anniversary at Back2Back. And it is a job filled to the brim of everything I've ever hoped for. I am learning new rhythms, gaining new sleeping patterns, and attempting to figure out what it looks like to output creatively approximately 8 hours a day. It's glorious and exhausting and I've never felt more full, professionally.

But I come home to an empty house at night. Sometimes Saturdays come and I stay at home and read into the night. And most of the time, I love it. Like I love my long, and still growing, hair.

But sometimes, I feel like I'm stuck in the armpit.


That's the thing about chasing after what you want and having the privilege of holding it in your hand; it's not going to make every other pain disappear. There will still be moments in your days filled with the aching for something that didn't come along with the bigger dream.

You still might struggle with depression. Or painstakingly complete homework assignments from your therapist. You will more than likely have to admit that it is not all sunshine and pure joy all the time.

I would like to be naive about how to treat hair with lice. But I am not.

I would like to know what it's like to have someone else to consider when planning, or not planning, a meal. But I do not.

And it's okay. Most every day, it's okay. Because my hair is growing. Because I have my dream job before I'm 30. Because there's a little boy in India I get to return to in a little over a month from now.

And ya'll? It is good. It's so sweet.

But, I have to remind myself there is space for me to still desire and pray and hope and watch for. I have to whisper to myself there will always be something more. Because if it were all to be mine, then what is there to look forward to? How could I trust in a King who delights in being all I need. Because He is. I don't like admitting it sometimes. There are moments I cover up in my stubbornness and think, "You won't be enough. I won't have it."

And He laughs. I'm sure of it. I'd like to think it's His pleasure to watch us being every inch of stubborn and controlling as possible, all the while thinking, go on, girl. We'll come to agree on this eventually.


What do you want - this very moment? Is it a new job? Or a new car? Maybe it's to be someone's Mrs. or to hear a developing voice whisper Mommy into your ear.

Maybe you want a dog, or to write a novel. Maybe you want to travel the world, learn to speak Spanish, fill up your passport.

Or perhaps, you just want to be able to rest.

Keep hoping for those things. Pray hard and diligently over every molecule of your desire. And watch for it. Watch for it as if you're expecting it.

Because isn't one of the best pieces of living for Him knowing that you can thank the Maker before He's gifted you this part of the story?


You're not alone in the wanting. I can promise you that. There will always be more. Always one more mile to go. And it's good that way, I think. Even when I pull out strands of my hair or end up falling asleep at 8.45 because I don't have someone to talk to.

I'm learning to be okay with what I have before me and within me. He's created me for just this very moment. You, too.

But let's keep watching.


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