something that began to occur to me today as i was toasting the bread for my breakfast is that my life is relatively 'normal.' i mean, sure, i have moments in which i feel out of place and different from the rest of the world (which, in some ways, seems fitting, given the fact that my identity lies in Christ first and foremost), but lately, i've felt more 'typical' in my everyday self than ever before. there are several reasons for this, i suppose, not the least of which is the fact that i'm not living in my day-to-day life holding on to someone else's secrets. that frees me in ways i can't explain. and unfortunately, i really can't explain.
and there's also the fact that i have a relative degree of openness with my coworkers - and not just immediate, but those in other departments. i feel fairly comfortable with the vast majority of the people in my company. that's....well....nice. i don't know how else to say it. it makes going to work pleasant enough, even if i'm not psyched to tackle a specific project on a given day (and come on, who among us can sustain constant interest in every project?).
then there are other things....things that have been happening that are purely beyond my control. things that are kind of scary but that excite me and gratify me all at once. things that challenge my ever-anxious heart to trust that all will be well...or better, that all IS well.
i'm a grown-up now. a full-fledged one. i've put a lot of my childish ways and thoughts behind me. some still cling to me like unfortunate wads of chewing gum, but i've made such headway that it staggers me from time to time. i find myself giving life and relationship advice to people 5 years younger than me and 20 years older. it's all the same, really. friendship is friendship these days. i love learning from other people's experiences, especially those who've already been through the trenches of marriage and (unfortunately) divorce. people who still yearn the way i did when i was 16 but whose faces show the passing of years that i have yet to see. there is richness of life around me.
the truth is that i've been pretty shut down for the last couple of years. when i went through a severe depression a few years back, i needed to pull away, reevaluate, give my wounded heart some time to heal and regroup. and it did. but then, when i came "back" from that, as it were, i didn't fully re-enter my life. by then, i was consumed with the thoughts and feelings of another person, and his goals, his dreams, his needs overshadowed mine (not to blame him; it's just the truth). it was only in periods of brief desperation that i would express my frustrations over feeling lost and not knowing who i was anymore.
well, it seems that time has passed. i am seven months out of a horribly difficult fall and each day, i notice something else that fills me with gratefulness for the ability to see who i really am after all this time. i love the delicious pleasure of listening to old and new music without worrying whether i'll have to turn it off if someone gets into my car. i love singing because i really, really want to and hearing my voice rising alone above the music. i love realizing that i can cook just for me, and not have to worry about whether my choices will affect someone else's. i love being able to really set time aside for myself and tend to the quiet pursuits i overlooked for so long. it might sound selfish, but boy, do i need these things. it is my way of recapturing myself.
and deep at the heart of me, i really do want to share my life with someone still. and i hope that someday i will be able to do that again - but in a way that's better, more reflective of the person i've become and not the scared young woman screaming on the inside that i was for so many years. and i hope next time it sticks for a lifetime...but only if it's right. and i hope that i learn from the lessons i've been taught. to be me more freely, because i'm worth knowing and loving.
gosh, i'm just grateful for where i am. that seems cheesy to say, but it's just true. every time i really sit and think about all the things that i've learned to become, by God's gentle leading, it makes me well up. every night i lie in bed and thoughts swirl in my head of all the things i could do and become and see and feel, and it excites me to know that i've already started to do, become, see, and feel some of those things.
it's quite okay with me that i have no idea what i'm going to be doing next year, or in 5 years, or for the rest of my life. i'm here now. and i'm living now. and until i take my last breath, whether i'm alone or not, i know that it's good. that all will be well.
that, indeed, all IS well.