I have never come close to a perfect life, neither have you. I have always been living one destined for shaping up, getting braver, becoming softer.
I stand in my bedroom, my suitcase sprawled all over the floor. I catch my own calm glance in the tall mirror propped against my wall. My hair shoved carelessly into a braid, big t-shirt spilling over the side of my shoulder. I am certain about the woman looking back at me. I am awake. My God, it has not always been this way. Right now, I am twenty-two. Right now, I am messy, I am soft, I am afraid of all the right things. Right now, I am fragile, I am porcelain boned, I am in like with so many things. Right now, I am so glad to be coming home- Not to the actual place, but to myself.
For the entirety of my life, I have never really felt smart enough, or bold enough. Never felt extraordinarily pretty or outgoing. Can’t find an ounce of competitive spirit anywhere in my body. But I have always felt quirky. And if the characteristic quirky took on the form of a human, they would be telling jokes and handing people poems. Wearing denim overalls at sporting events and running from things as fast as they could (*cough cough* me).
I have not had the perfect home. No one has. Mine hurts to write down sometimes. Other times, it brings me happy tears. There has been hurt that I haven’t figured out how to feel yet. Wounds I’ve given up putting bandaids on.
So instead, I have spent many years making homes out of seasons of life, cozying up to where I’m at. This is a really comfortable way of living, until the season ends. And it takes the couch your sitting on with it. The rug too. And all the lamps in the room. Before you know it, you’re sitting in the dark and you’re yelling at God for taking everything away.
It has been a marathon of a life running from season to season, flailing my arms, looking for something to cling to. But then, God gave me shin splints. Spiritual ones.
This time last fall, I was standing still in a season filled with so much pain, my heart cringes even making a sentence out of it. No matter how well the rom coms sugarcoat it, your first broken heart ain’t romantic. It looks a lot more like really ugly crying mid conversation. 3 am staring at your ceiling, numb, a graveyard of feelings. Picking up your phone and putting it back down and picking it up and putting it down, 8 million times until you finally fall asleep. And a lot of reaching. For something, anything. You feel pathetic. Like a little baby goat trying to learn how to walk. So I would sit there yelling at God;
“I HAVE NOTHING LEFT.”
“WHY ARE YOU BEING SO SO SO CRUEL TO ME?”
And finally, in a quiet whisper (God’s more preferred method of communication) I heard Him say, “If you have nothing left, why are you suddenly talking to me so much?”
Okay. My pride was kicked in the ass. He was always my something. Those things were all taken away from me, but they weren’t my things. And these seasons that are happening to me, they aren’t mine to control. In the end, the only thing that is important is that God catapults us out of our comfort in sometimes ugly ways and forces us to start rewriting.
Most of all, He shows us forcefully that the best home we’ll have on this earth is the home we make in ourselves.
Now, I am glad to be coming home to myself. Eager to snuggle up to my passions. Stay up late and have life chats with my insecurities, tell them we’ll be better in the morning. Reacquaint myself with my fears- give them an honest hug and say “How are we doing?”
A year later, I sit and watch this new fall hair flip and walk away from summer. Cross legged, messy braid, I watch the leaves run away from the weakening branches. I smile at them. I am not running anymore.