Wednesday, September 17, 2014

easily amused


A favorite faculty member calls and in the middle of asking a string of work-related questions, pauses to ask, "Can I ask you a personal question?" I thought it was going to be about restaurant suggestions, which was our topic of the moment. He continues, "Those pictures I see...is that your boooooooyfriend??" I reply with schoolgirl giggles (Yes, I know I'm in my thirties), "Yeeeess." He followed up saying he's going to tease me incessantly. I say bring it. I'm easily amused.

After this, he was a little more serious and said he was glad to be out of the dating world and had found his wife but wished me the best and said I seem quite happy. He also figured out they are technically working in the same department so he tacked on that he's glad I'm dating a smart guy. His tone throughout the conversation suggested what he had wanted for me, what he thinks I need, and in some small way, that he thinks Brian would be glad too.

You know, I think Brian would have been glad at how my year is shaping up. Work, school, dating, a new turn toward wellness--life isn't perfect, but it is good. It amuses me to think of this too since about four years ago we were having a serious work conversation, and he interjected, "YOU AREN'T GOING TO HAVE A BABY, ARE YOU?!" My reply, "Cart. Before. Horse!" He was just worried I was going to run off and have a baby and leave him. We talked about that a lot...me leaving, not him worrying about me having a baby. He never wanted to pry, but he was always interested in my life and wanted the very best for me. Work dad. He also just wanted me to be there when we wrote a grant. I have thought about him a lot this year, particularly with work and school. I often picture his head nod and boisterous laugh and his many enthusiastic questions. Yep, I think he would be pretty pleased and amused at my life. Me too, sir. Me too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Light provides a better source of illumination.


This is for you, and it is for me.

The image is from a London subway wall June 2012. Someone carried a simple piece of chalk and scrawled a statement in a dingy exit over wet cement and a bit of trash. I saw it just as I started walking up the stairs to exit and did a double take. What a weighty metaphor. Months prior were a dark time for me, and as I headed to Ireland and the UK, I was determined to claw my way out of the dark, if need be. Everywhere I turned on that trip I heard and read light, and when I read this line in the subway, I was literally walking up steps into the light of day.

I believe some of the darkness shrouding my days was brought on after blogging a chunk of my story. I had felt healed. I had felt forgiveness. But I believe I dredged up indirect feelings during the writing process, and I began remembering who I was for so long rather than who I was at the moment. When our memories are cloudy and our view of ourselves skewed, we need an intervention. We need light to show us who we really are.

Dear one, you, too, have been someone in the past you are not currently. You have felt feelings you no longer feel. You have acted in ways that are so contrary to current-you. You have believed things about yourself that are no longer true. No. Longer. True.

And it's time for you to start letting go of your memory of you and embrace present day you. It is time for you to believe you are worthy and precious and all of the good things. It is time to shake off that coat of shame and live free and unburdened. It is time to let go of grieving the loss of who you were and open your arms to who you are. It is time for you to stop living as if you were that old person and start living your better now-story. 

Rest in your present-day self. Lean with me into our potential. As we continue changing and growing, let's shrug off the old and dance in the new. Light will prevail. It will overcome the dark and the dim, the muck and the mire. It will illuminate. And you will see how radiant you really are.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Oh, the sweetness.

Did you notice on that last post how I quietly just slipped something in? Maybe that I'm dating someone? I know, I know. Me, the extravert, sneaking that in on you. And it's been going on for a big chunk of this year. I haven't said a word here. Shame on me. But, I haven't wanted to either.

In the past, I have shared opinions on relationships, dating, gender, and marriage, though not as much over the last couple of years. I have shared about some interesting and crazy dates, though typically weeks or months after-the-fact. I held off sharing about this relationship for several reasons. Initially, you have no idea where dating will take you so it's much too early to share information or hope. There was no dramatic and crazy story to tell, unlike the craziest date I've ever been on (said in a quick, hushed whisper, "thankyouJesusamen"). It just sort of unfolded and kept unfolding, and one date turned into another turned into another, and bam, I have a boyfriend. I know. Yay! And Woo! And High Fives All Around! Which is a fun reaction, except I've sort of wanted to keep it for myself, well, besides telling a few others offline about the developments. There has been something just so sweet about it all that I've not wanted to throw it under the bus. I mean, write about it on the blog. Same difference.

It's just a sweetness I did not know my palate had become suited for. Development of discriminating tastes? Oh, definitely. Craved? Sure. You could say I had developed an appetite, which probably has increased my appreciation tenfold. Oh, the sweetness of it all.

This man is kind of impossible to be around. I don't need to carry on about how funny and smart he is, because that's not quite the point of this post. He's impossible to be around because he's incredibly kind and considerate. He affirms and encourages in a most genuine, nonchalant, matter-of-fact way. The words roll off the tongue with such ease that I'm sure he isn't trying to dupe me or even flatter really. It's just him saying how he sees the world, how he sees me. And it's almost impossible to sit and listen to words and phrases you have never used to describe yourself or your actions, and you've never heard from others before. Those words are carried on the shoulders of a thoughtful tone, bolstered by authenticity. I have had a number of moments where I think, "Is he for real??...like for real, for real?" It may have even come out a couple of times in a, "How are you so nice??"

And that's the sweetness of it all--learning about someone else, letting our guard down, being completely ourselves and nothing more or less...learning how someone else sees you. When that someone sees you as better than you see you, acknowledges your work and life and tasks as more important or meaningful or stressful than you do, and names characteristics in you that you thought fly under the radar or that you try to stuff way down deep--that's the kind of impossible sweetness I refer to. It's the redeeming kind. The best kind.