‘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.

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The sobriety of death

So much death.  I hope you’ll take the time to watch this video–honestly, what would you be doing with those 18 minutes otherwise?  Scrolling news feed?  Don’t do that.  Watch this.  It’s sobering.  It’s thought-provoking.  And I can’t pin-point exactly all the thoughts it’s stirring up in me yet, but I know one.

Death is reality.  These people really died.  Reality is the sphere in which we live–I am only separated from this horrific condensing of death–so many deaths which should not have happened for 60, 70 years–by time and space, and not terribly much of it.

So what?  What sentiments should that thought inspire?  Sobriety [I love this word, by the way.  That’s a post for another day, but I love the picture of thinking in reality and not being ‘drunk’ on alcohol, drugs, fame, delusions…].  It was real, and it was ugly.  Thankfulness.  It could have been me, but it wasn’t.  Sympathy.   There are so many who do undergo the pain, the heartache that I’ve been sheltered from–what’s happening in Congo, the Middle-East, and Syria are the same ugliness, just smaller in scale.  For that matter, what’s happening down the street may be the same ugliness, just smaller yet.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings.  Watch the video.