Life goes by so quickly. Some moments are etched in our brains and ears and hearts as they are filled with joy, grief, laughter and connection. Some chapters span for what seem like centuries, and yet we arrive to our temporary "destination" with the same sentimental feeling of a slowly-slamming-on-the-brakes arrival. We look forward to moments and when they arrive we wonder how many of the in-between ones we looked over too quickly or let slip away from us while we weren't even paying attention as our attention leaking sieve poured it all out somewhere else. What did we lose? What did we gain? Every moment and opportunity and choice always has an opportunity cost. So while some motions and emotions and actions are free, please always know that saying "yes" to one thing will always mean saying "no" to something else.
We look forward to BIG things. For me it's most often a concert. Or secondly most often it's my arrival at my next destination. While that is painful to admit, I am so achievement based that I am constantly looking for the next thing to do so I can accomplish my next goal. While those goals are things that make me feel worthy, validated and strong, those large check-points are just bullets on the road map of life, with a lot of long sections of dashed line between them. What is it that we do while we are moving from one destination to the next on this road?
The last several years of my life have been outlined with bullet points and most of the dashed line I have mentally erased because it hurt. I didn't want those dashed lines and I didn't want that journey because that journey was jagged and full of pin pricks of hurt and while I was actually, truly moving in a direction, I felt boxed in and stuck. So in that imperfect and messy space of travel and dashed lines and the mundane day-to-day where you feel like you aren't going anywhere, I was moving. But I was not in motion in that motion. I didn't move and I let the velocity of the storm of my life move me, for me. I did not feel because I finally figured out how to turn that off. Feeling nothing was better than feeling pain. At least for a little bit.
Fast forward to where I am now and the time is gone. Friends, those moments slipped between my fingers and I don't have much to show for it. I lost that time. I felt nothing because after feeling everything, I swear my pain receptors were full and there were no more collection bins available to accept anything else. It's like the years were empty because they were so full.
Please don't shut yourself off to life. Well, not for too long. What I see now, is that my gratitude for all of these little, tiny things just shoots through the roof of my being. Nothing falls through my fingers because they're clamped tightly next to each other with the pressure of potential loss and the glue of joy. I won't lose them anymore. I won't lose my daughter's belly laugh or her older sister's mid-week rendition of lady gaga or them both screaming at the top of their lungs "IF YOU KNOCK, KNOCK ME OVER, I WILL GET BACK UP AGAIN." I won't overlook that or innately choose to not latch onto that so that memory will never be forgotten. I won't casually turn my head as my mother hugs me goodbye, and I won't ignore my dad's latest youtube discovery. Or the stranger I just met that feels like that family. These are my people and the moments that make life worth living so that not only the bullets on the map but also the dashed lines of life are laced with God's love that He has given to me by way of those he has put here.
I will not overlook the words written by teenagers or the sign on my head that tells many guarded souls that my light can re-light theirs because it can. I am not like a lot of other people and for that I am so blessed. I am blessed that strangers can so quickly become my family and their light can be my light and that I can love them within hours of knowing them or seeing their faces. I will not ignore the stirring in my soul that tells me how and when to love people as much as I can. I will not ignore the notion that to love is so hard but it is the only way to do this life. That love is found in bulleted places on the map of life and it is found in the winding road when you missed your planned exit and the dead end sign when you knew you went the "right way" and you are still lost. I will treasure the wrong turns and the closed roads and the anger in my heart turned to joy and opportunities to love those who can take my love and run with it because it is my certain type of love they needed. I will not throw away the last sentences in an email full of praise for the work I have done, because though I fall down the rabbit hole of those who give more love than they actually know how to accept, I will accept it. I will add it to the engravings of my soul and the etchings of the person that I get to become.
Because maybe this is everything that is behind a person's face that you might know about when you look at them. This might be what is in their heart when you have no idea who they are.
And that's a lot of joy you might be creating when you give you a kind word. And that's the kind of risk I'd like to take.
love + crazy making