Monday, September 3, 2018

A storied city -- in 2018

On telling the truth about myself

It's taken me time to become more fully myself.

I wrote a post when I first arrived to Phoenix in 2015, just days after landing on the airplane and beginning to get a sense that EVERYTHING felt different, the culture, landscape, people. Yet, I also felt like I was supposed to be here.

I feel like I left out part of the story. I don't know why. I was writing about my thoughts and what it was like stepping foot on arid, desert ground, how I would have to start from scratch again as a 31 year old. New job, new home, new friends.

I didn't talk about trying my hand in love. The fact that moving here was like jumping into a deep pool of water, when before I was only dipping my toes into a relationship that had started many months before from long-distance. Totally opposite parts of the country long distance, not just your friendly neighboring states long-distance.

I didn't talk about what it was like to be in love. To learn to love someone up close instead of on the phone.

My relationships aren't something I write about, but this was different. It was part of the whole story. I was talking about MOVING across the country and I never spoke of why. No real specifics. No real mention of love.

Maybe I didn't want to glorify it too much, maybe I didn't want to jinx it. Maybe I had to learn the hard way that a move and a life can entail a lot of things, but when a relationship is involved, you might as well call a spade a spade and talk about the love, even if just a little bit.

I feel like a different person now, looking back three years later, but I am realizing, I am the me I am supposed to be now. I'm still unfolding. Still growing.

So much happens when we look back. I don't know how to put it into words now.  I wish I could more clearly communicate when I feel something strongly, but it all sounds muffled. 

But, so what? I am not immune to needing a little extra time to process my feelings or to come up with the right words to speak, or rambling time for this external processor to seek clarity.


On running when we're scared

I thought that I was someone who did pretty well under high pressure situations, but tonight, the heat was turned up at a Circle K when I found myself needing to stop for gas after my car was worked on in a not-so-great-neighborhood.

At the gas pump, my car was smushed between a huge truck doing maintenence work, complete with orange cones all around him, and a van to my right side, with a guy shouting obsenities to a group of people lingering outside the Circle K. In front of me at the gas pump was a homeless man asking me for money and who placed a notebook in front of my face because he said he wanted me to read what was on it. Normally, I have a heart for homeless folks but under the circumstance, it seemed like a fight could break out while I was still in the middle of pumping gas. I knew I needed to BOOK IT out of there.

The homeless man continued to walk beside my car as I preceded to jump inside and turn my car on. At that time, the van next to me started moving, too, and I became flustered, so I tried to back out of the pump station, hardly realizing I was about to get myself into a bigger jam by nearly hitting van guy.

Thankfully, we didn't crash. Van guy was too distracted to notice me as he drove off, while the homeless man, clearly concerned about my safety, turned to me and said 'I know you're nervous but don't run in a situation like this before looking all around.' 

I scanned my car for some money to give him before thanking him and was on my way. That could have ended up a lot worse.  I don't know the homeless man's story, but I do know that it was beautiful the way he seemed to take a moment to pass on a life lesson. We can't discount what someone has learned throughout their life. 'I'm 60 years old!' the man shouted to me as I drove away. I smiled and nodded. 60 years of living has taught him to pay attention and look around before you run off, even when you're scared.


On loss and risk

It doesn't always feel good to have my life here be associated with a relationship because it feels a little bit like having people's brains hard wired to think that's now your only reason for continuing to live on desert soil, which in fact, it's not. Whether or not the relatonship lives on, you as a person and your actual full and complete life do. MIND BLOWING, right?

I (think) I can understand people's thought processes so I try not to be sarcastic, however, a healthy dose of humor could help all.

This is all part of risk and doing risky things. Life is boring otherwise.

Keep telling yourself this, keep telling yourself this, I think.

Even when I think back on all of my hardest fought battles and how risky they were at times, I know taking a chance and living life to the fullest is the ONLY way to live life.

Friend, I don't know where you are today, but all we can do is just one day at a time, one thing at a time. I hope this encourages you. I know we each are living our process. It's amazing how life can trip us up no matter who we are. One of the best things we can do for each other is to accept and let people have their process. To walk beside them as they walk their journey, too.

The other day I was journaling and some tears were running down my eyes, down my cheeks slowly, the the drip of a faucet, until my whole face felt wet.

I thought I was becoming stronger? The familiar ache that I had been feeling for a little while was going away, so what was this?

I know it's normal, that it will likely happen again.

The beautiful and un-flashy truth of me comes to the surface during hard times. Maybe the beautiful and un-flashy truth of you does the same? We can try to hide it, stuff it, or distract from it, but it's there nonetheless. Loss, pain, grief, it shouts loud enough at points that if we're lucky (yes, lucky) we will hear what it is trying to tell us.

I hope you, friend, who may be going through this, too, find a way to go where you are grieving or where your heart is breaking or where your love has been and let yourself go there.

Sure, it won't always be this way and life is lovely and if anyone can find reasons to laugh it is me, but this is all showing me that I CANNOT escape it, even though I wish I could. I must practice surrendering to the process and even to let others have their process, too, as much as it's going to be different. I really don't know if I'm any good at this sort of thing. I wish there was a gauge for it, like am I getting close to getting through it, whatever 'it' is? Grief?  A

All this feels like telling you a secret. I haven't had it together for awhile, and even though it feels like like it's coming back together, how I'm getting stronger, I don't want to tell you I have been really weak.

I pray to be strong all the time, and I don't know if that's the best prayer or not. If it's not God's strength, what's the point? I'm learning that if I fall on my face a thousand times but I am clinging to the one who is holding onto me, it's not for lack. Sure, I don't like the hurt, and seriously, can we do something about how hard the asphalt feels when you fall on your face??

I've got to keep my humor after all.

And, I'm learning maybe the best I can do is keep giving myself more grace, and others, too. Everything feels better when we give grace.


On writing for a different reason

I thought it would feel a lot better to write all this out, but it just feels the same. I guess I have been kind of neutral, which is okay right now. Sometimes I think with the work I do, I should be able to model processing a difficult experience and facing my feelings, but right now, I feel okay with where I am. There were so many feelings and so much to go through earlier on, that right now, I just am happy I'm doing pretty well overall.

It's amazing you can hold two truths at the same time. I am doing well and yet, there are still many things I miss.

I am being opened up in my writing, and unstuck, perhaps. I've been stuck for a long time. Stuck in my writing and even perhaps in my storytelling. It was hard to prepare work for a long time, because I didn't feel like I was offering my truest self. Maybe there were a lot of emotions going on that I couldn't graple with fully, and didn't want to push away, but wanted to get past them somehow.

It's amazing how God does work and brings a lot of healing in places where we think we need but maybe don't even know how to get to ourselves.  I am excited to see what new adventures will spring forth in my writing.
Peace on your journey, friends. Cheers to you, and love as you go.

No comments:

Post a Comment