So, here's the thing. I have a tendency to be really bothered and concerned about things, people and circumstances I cannot change. I have wasted so much time beating myself up for my own mistakes, holding on to the bitterness from others' mistakes and drowning in anxiety when I don't feel I'm in control. Yah, all of that.
Talking to a lot of you guys and spending time in God's word showed me two things: that my struggle with being "bothered" isn't uncommon AND that through faith, I absolutely have the power to change it.
Brace yourself for what may just be the lamest thing you read all day.
My favorite place to be, in this season of life, is my bed with a mug of black coffee, a book and blankets. That's it.
I like going to the movies and eating buttery popcorn. I really love a good mall with some spending money. I dig coffee shops, the beach and amusement parks. I'm always down for a good meal or a cute pumpkin patch in the fall.
But right now, I always seem to gravitate to my white sheets, the glittery lamp by my bed and a highlighter to pick out my favorite nuggets of whatever paperback I'm putting creases (and coffee stains) in.
So, here’s the thing. I’m no good at New Year’s resolutions. I’m just not. I think it’s got something to do with not liking to be told what to do (it’s a problem, y’all) or my preference to watch Housewives instead of sweating it out at hot yoga. I’m not a fan of making a list of things I “swear” to do better because “new year, new me” and “#goals” and blah. None of that.
So, for 2016, I thought it would be more effective to just choose a word. A word that would encompass what I wanted to carry with me for the 366 days of 2016 I was blessed with. A word to brand this year of my life. A word I could whisper and keep myself accountable for (surely I can handle one word…right?). A word that would hold true in each of the ups, downs and in-betweens that I knew were most definitely in store.
It starts with finding the light. Always finding the light. Preferably, an open window on a sunny day, but a well-lit room will work. If the vibe is right, the soft glow of the lamp in the corner or the faint beam of the twinkle lights hanging from your doorframe will do just fine. It always starts with finding the light.
Then comes the angle. You’ll try a few. One with the tilted head letting out a laugh…another with your lips pursed together in a sassy almost-pout. Chin up. No. Chin down. Half smile…eyes closed…fake laugh. Oh, that looks dumb…real laugh.
I don't think I've ever been shocked by a lost friendship. In fact, I am pretty sure that every single one of my friendships that has ever ended was followed by a moment of solitude during which my inner self whispered "Hey, I know you're sad. This is sad. Losing things can be hard, but losing people is harder. But, dude, you knew this was coming. You knew it was only a matter of time." I will take this a step further and say, I haven't lost a friend that I could not live without. I will end this paragraph by saying, that every friendship I've lost has been a blessing. A really big, colossal rich blessing (absolutely no shade).
So, here's the thing...I'm technically what you would call a "Christian". I have been my whole life. My parents had me christened in a church, I've been to numerous vacation bible schools and camps, I've been baptized and I have a Vera Bradley bible case that's soft and holds my own annotated copy of the Holy Bible. So, yah. I have been a Christian my whole life.
I started to truly get what that means in middle school, thanks to a good friend and a wonderful youth ministry. I sorta fell off in high school until my 17th birthday, which I spent in the Dominican Republic on a mission trip (let me tell you, it wrecked me to my core in the best way). Then college came, I found a church and sang the songs and prayed the prayers...and it was good. In fact, it was really good. But it wasn't until 18 (March of my freshman year), that my heart broke and I desperately tried to use my very human hands to put it back together. But the shards of it all kept cutting them up until they were rendered hopeless, and I didn't know what else to do but lift them up.
So, I’m about 578 percent positive that there’s a better, more eloquent way to say this. One that features flowy metaphors and allusions...but I’m gonna just skip all of that and start by saying that today sucked. Oh, did it suck.
Like, it sucked to the point that the fact that I wore a dang near perfect outfit couldn’t even save it. Yes, that bad. (Mostly because some of the suckage can be attributed to a random rip in said perfect dress, magically forming in a very unfortunate spot in said dress’ lower back region…ugh.)
I would go so far as to say it was my worst day of adulting and working so far. Aside from the various crying fits I’ve had over missing my dog and understanding that college is, indeed, completely over, adult life has been pretty sweet and awesome to me. Except for today. Today, again, sucked.
After the the boxes were unpacked, the dishes were carefully put in cabinets and the first carton of milk had been placed in the door of the fridge, he left. We dragged it out, man. We really did. Well, irony and life did. A missed flight led to another cancelled flight and then a defeated return up two flights of stairs to my brand new apartment. A defeated return that was actually the shell casing for a hidden sense of relief.
I wasn't alone quite yet. I had a little bit more time. A little bit more of "us", and I didn't have to rush right into that singular "me" situation that had been hanging over my head.
I don’t know if there is such thing as a perfect person, but I know my mother and that’s close enough for me.
Imagine the silliest person you know. Now, mesh that with the person who seems to solve all of life’s problems effortlessly, combined with a foodie/wine enthusiast/chef/corporate attorney. Then, add in the ability to shamelessly dance to both Motown classics and successfully execute the Milly Rock.
That is Barb.
I have always been one for dramatics. Honestly. I own that.
For instance, one of my mom’s favorite stories to tell is about the day I was born. The nurse placed the bundle that I was into her hands and said, “Here’s your daughter. She’s very expressive.”
Her face lights up when she quotes the nurse every single time. Then it crumples to express confusion, and she goes on to say, “I asked myself how could she know that? She’s not even a day old?”
The story always ends with her gesturing toward me, who’s usually trying to figure out if it’s the 76th or 77th time I’ve heard the story.