Monday, March 29, 2010

breathe in. breathe out.

it's monday all over again, and this rainy, foggy day has brought with it a true mixture of all things human.

first, a bit of sad news....it's taken me a few days to process this, but eva markvoort, the author of one of the blogs i've read faithfully for some time, passed away this past saturday after a long and inspiring journey with cystic fibrosis.

this girl was just a light to the world; there is no getting around it. she was one of those people God sends to earth to remind the rest of us how much of the good stuff we're missing on a daily basis. her joy was infectious, and i found myself feeling almost jealous of her family and friends for getting to hang out with her. couldn't we all use more than a little 'eva' in our daily lives??

for anyone who needs a reality check, i would encourage you to go back and peruse some of her writings...to think about all this girl went through and how she did it with so much grace and honesty. really, it's staggering.


she hoped for a legacy, and based on the number of people who have been touched by her life and the way she lived and loved and gave of herself, i'd say she more than accomplished that.

aside from the sorrow of eva's passing, i was also given a gift today of getting to spend the early evening with a dear friend and colleague. we share so many commonalities, and she is so nurturing and caring (and just a great, great person), it's a true blessing to get to work with her on a regular basis. over dinner, we had some really nourishing conversation—well beyond the meaningless chit-chat that plagues so many social interactions. i left feeling refreshed and thankful...and hopeful for the next time she's in town so we can visit again!

it seems that so many people i know are making great strides in their lives these days...shifting priorities and taking steps forward. it's inspiring, really, and it sets into sharper relief the unwillingness of others to make a decision to live out their truth—no matter what it is.

life is really such a fleeting thing....

now, i know that one could look at that statement from a 'glass-half-empty' type of perspective, but i choose to see it as a rare and precious opportunity to make different choices. to right the wrongs. to say 'i love you.' to try and fail and try again. to take bigger risks and stretch the boundaries of what makes you comfortable. to jump off that ledge, trusting that the net will be there to catch you.

there are a limited number of breaths left in this life. and some of us, like eva, aren't even given the ability to take those breaths without great effort and sacrifice. for me, there is no excuse not to breathe life in deeply...no excuse to live anything other than my best life...no time to live it without meaning and purpose. and the same holds true for us all.

so, eva, with thanks in my heart for all that you've taught me, this next deep breath is just for you:)....

Saturday, March 20, 2010

'all my bags are packed; i'm ready to go'...well, almost

the day is fast approaching when i will bid farewell to my humble abode and take up residence in a 'dee-luxe apartment in the skyyyyyy' (a.k.a. downtown high-rise). i've scheduled the mover, reserved the loading dock at the new place, signed my lease, and packed up about half my stuff so far, and next weekend, my mom will come to help me mostly finish the job. times, they are a-changin', and despite the risks and unknowns, i feel largely good about it.

i've never handled goodbyes very well, though, i admit. i'm a nostalgic soul, and my heart has always yearned to make and keep connections. even though i'm feeling very ready to move on from this place i've called home for the last 6 1/2 years, there is a part of me that will miss the quirky little things about this place, and i'm sure when i close the front door for the final time, i'll feel that all-too-familiar pull.

when i was a kid, we moved around more than i would have liked, and although my adult mind can understand now why, at times, that was a necessity, my kid brain comprehended it as a complete affront to all that i knew. i remember throwing a veritable temper tantrum when one of our old houses was being shown to a potential buyer (who, i think, wound up taking the place). i remember feeling VERY territorial and downright hostile to the family, because i could not bear the thought of someone else sleeping in. my. room!

and then, when we left another house, as soon as i got my driver's license, i would periodically take drives over there to see what they had done to the place and, again, felt a pang of hurt when i realized that they had taken my blue bedroom and turned it yellow. yellow! because although it wasn't my room anymore, a part of me had laid claim on that place and forevermore, it would somehow belong to me, no matter who owned it.

i realized some years later that that was me trying to establish something for myself...to take some control where i never felt i had any.

as an adult, i've made a lot of decisions—some of them good, some of them bad, ALL of them mine. and at the end of the day, whether my sense of what was right and true led me down a path, or whether fear dictated my steps, the choices were mine alone, and the fact that i made them, over and over, and faced their consequences, began to help me feel like i didn't NEED to control everything.

and this decision to move now is a kind of final step in that process. i am stepping back into the unknown because i need to have things NOT be in control for awhile...not be predictable....but the difference is that it's my choice to walk to the edge and step off, knowing that God has ordered my steps. in the end, i don't have to fear the unknown because He's already in it. what's more, i don't have to make any desperate grasps at holding onto something that doesn't belong to me just so i can feel safe. i choose to hold it all with an open hand and let it be what it will be.

so, in three weeks, i will close one door and walk through the open one in front of me. i don't know what the next year of my life will bring, or what adventures i'll have, but that's okay. and although this goodbye may be bittersweet, i won't resist its coming. in fact, i think i'm ready for it.

actually, i know i am....