Life is weird

[Disclaimer: this is essentially an online journal post.  I hope you find yourself in some of the things I say, but this is really the sort of thing I should confine to an old notebook somewhere and not post on the eternal web.  If you get to the end and say, “Ruth.  That was super boring and I don’t care about your weird feelings,” know that you’ve been warned.]

Life is weird.  You may have already known that.  People are weird, relationships are weird, jobs are weird, college is weird, fun times are weird.  But the weirdest thing of all the weird things is that nothing is weird–I only perceive it as weird.  This is life.  There’s only one of them.  So everything is normal.  Life is normal.  Somehow, even though this is my first, and only, time through life, it still seems weird to me.  Which is weird in itself, because this being my first time through, I shouldn’t really have preconceptions to judge life by–but I do, and when life doesn’t match my preconceptions, I call it weird.  But it’s not.  It’s actually normal.

I said jobs and college and other things are weird.  And I truly think they are.  Pretty much nothing I have encountered in my life so far is like I had played out that it would be in my head.  But the weirdest thing in life to me is me.  I’m kind of complicated.  Maybe you are too.  I’m not really what I expected me to be.  I thought that life should be pretty standard, pretty normal–that I should be standard and normal.  But I’m not, and it’s weird.

It’s weird to me that I often find washing dishes more fun than hanging out with people.  People can talk, crack jokes, do fun things, provide interaction.  Dishes only talk in Beauty and the Beast, and if they crack, it’s not usually a good thing, but for some reason I find their company soothing.  I need people, but I want to do dishes.  I wish that wanted people and needed to do dishes.

It’s weird to me that rather than familiarity breeding contempt, it actually breeds love.  Over and over, with people, tasks, food, colors…  I love to vacuum the entire library where I work.  There isn’t anything much more relaxing and mind-clearing for me than to spend an hour vacuuming.  A year ago, I tolerated it.  Now it’s my down time.  This has happened more times than I can tell. Why can I change what I like and don’t like?  I’m a fluid stream, but I thought I was a rock.  I was wrong.

It’s weird to me that I’m never really ready for anything in life.  Sometimes I think I am, then I jump into something to realize I have no clue what’s going on.  And when I realize I’m not ready is actually when I’m most ready, because somehow acknowledging my unreadiness makes me more ready.  Tenacity, not confidence, is my foundation for the future.  Some foundation.

It’s weird to me that my mind and my heart still can’t get along.  You’d think that after 20 years of living together, they would put up with each other.  Bickering children at least pretend in front of their mom to like each other.  My conflicting parts don’t even make a show of it.  Knowledge and feelings rarely align.

In other words, it’s weird to me that I’m an introvert.  But only sometimes.

It’s weird to me that trite sayings don’t govern my personality.

It’s weird to me that I can’t prepare for things that there are no way to prepare for.

It’s weird to me that I’m a complex emotional, physical, spiritual creature.

Pretty much, I’m weird.  It really has nothing to do with life at all.  Life is a complex creation of God; I am a complex creation of God.  Maybe instead of trying so hard to understand, I should step back and allow my breath to be taken away by what he’s making and take comfort in knowing that he understands me when I don’t.

 

 

‘Here’

I’m… 20?  I guess so.

It’s weird how it happened.  One day I was a little girl, and the next, people were telling me that I had grown up.  Very odd.

I think the strangest thing about it is that I knew it was coming.

But I thought I’d be different.

I can remember being 12, 13, and having a distinct image of what I would be when I was older.  Acne: gone.  Responsibility: attained.  Life: planned.  Relationship status: not single.  I would be graceful, grown up, dependable, and on my way to somewhere.  I would have figured out how to manage my unruly locks; how to mow in straight rows; how to be happy and independent and disciplined.

But now, I’m here.  I’m not sure where ‘here’ is, and I’m not sure how I ended up ‘here,’ but I did.  And by ‘here,’ I discover that I’m not ‘there.’  My facial pores haven’t gotten the memo that I’m no longer 13, nor has my frizz acknowledged the authority of any of the numerous styling products I’ve subjected it to.  I’m not half as funny, smart, dependable, or disciplined as I thought I’d be.  My mowing leaves rows so crooked that even an orthodontist would be at a loss–at least last time I mowed, which, admittedly, was a looooong time ago.  On top of all that, I have survived two years of Bible college and am still very single (trust me, there’s a difference between ‘single’ and ‘very single.’  I’m ‘very single’).

Point being, I’m not who I thought I would be.  I’m not ‘there.’

But how did I get ‘here’?  What’s my secret?  I just lived, 1 day at a time, until I reached 365 days.  Then, I repeated that 19 more times.  That’s how I came to 20.   Foolproof plan, right?  And I know that seems pretty obvious, but it took till now for me to realize that.  That there’s not some magical transformation that happens when you switch decades.  It’s just a matter of counting days, living days.  I lived yesterday.  It was like the drop in the measuring cup that finally pushed the water over the 3/4 cup line, but that one day meant nothing apart from all the days preceding it.

So, then, who I am is the culmination of all the days I’ve lived thus far.  Those days are broken up into hours, moments, seconds.  Those hours, moments, and seconds contain circumstances and people that I stumble across (rather, that are granted by God) and my reactions to those circumstances and people.

I, then, am a combination of God’s careful planning and my choices and actions.  That’s what ‘here’ is.  And maybe ‘here’ is not quite what I thought it would be–maybe part of me still longs to be ‘there.’  But ‘here’ is a good place to be.  ‘Here’ is where God brought me; where my choices landed me.  And if there’s still growth that needs to take place, which there is; if I still want to get to ‘there,’ which I do; the only thing that stands between ‘here’ and ‘there’ is time–and me.

Next year, what will I be?  Maybe I will be closer to the elusive ‘there,’ but I will still be ‘here,’ because ‘here’ is where I am.  And, try as I might, I will never escape ‘here,’ who I am–the only solution is to embrace ‘here’ and make it, by daily choices, into what I wanted ‘there’ to be.  To fill that measuring cup full of beautiful drops of choices and days.  That’s the beauty of ‘here.’  Some stranger will not take my place; I get to be me, and to improve me.  So, till next year,

I’ll just be here.

Pressing sensations: to the summer bums

Smooth rayon/poly blend.

Weighty denim.

Light linen.

Thick, stubborn duck.

Crisp cotton.

Stretch cotton. Ugh.

There’s something about just feeling the smoothness of the fabric under your fingers, seeing the wrinkles magically disappear, sensing the steam rush towards your face and smelling the warm fabric.

 Ironing: it’s such a simple household task, but one filled with a hundred small sensations.

Just one question for you, summer bum [and we know who we are–you have a favorite youtube channel, binge watched/read something after finishing and have probably spent more than 2 consecutive hours in front of a screen, both of which I am guilty, by the way]: did you feel anything today?  There are a dozen better reasons I could give for getting off the couch [please God, serve others, accomplish something, don’t waste your life…], but today this was the one that struck me.

I walked both paths today–laziness and industry.  The hour I sat and watched youtube had nothing on cooking supper, ironing, weeding, cleaning up.  The pressure of my knife on crisp carrots, the slightly raw feeling on my hands after wrenching grass out of the garden, the slippery warmth of dish water.  That… or sitting in front of my laptop.  It was fun.  But not satisfying.

Tomorrow, do something.  Please.  For your own sake, if nothing else.  You’re missing out.

Feel something.