Who else can I still be?
Last week I talked about how I escaped the life of small-town wifedom, of hymn numbers on a wooden board, of a faith that demanded I check my brain at the door. I worried a little that I sounded disrespectful, or just plain ugly about the choices some people make. I hope it didn't come across that way - it's just that the relief is so great, that somedays I feel like I am walking a path blazing with stars, even in my most ordinary, exhausting days. I am so thankful for my life in its present state.
So who else can I be?
My first hope, besides someone who finally conquers the piles of laundry, is a mother. A fun mom, a mom who is all about nonsense and yet a no-nonsense disciplinarian. I want to enjoy my children, and so that means that I help them learn that they can't act like, as my Mama always said, 'heathern children." A mom that laughs and snuggles, a mom that lies down on the floor to fingerpaint with the kids, a mom that sings silly songs. A mom who realizes she is more than the graham cracker crumbs crunching underfeet. A mom who loves herself and hangs on to the thread of what gives me joy - whether that's a song that makes me sing and dance, a mom who reads, even if I have to lock myself in the bathroom to do so (AND I WILL). My own mother was the most excellent of mothers; I am surrounded by strong, loving women, a tender Husband who has the best hair I could ever hope to pass on to our kids. Together, we'll raise the children that I pray I'll realize are not entirely mine, but gifts from an ever-creating Creator. Children who love others, who realize that they are precious and beloved, longed for so desperately yet set free so joyfully, with a ticker tape parade and a red convertible.
I long to continue in this loopy journey to "be a writer". This weekend I attended a small, local writer's conference. It was terrifying, to be in a room full of people nakedly expressing this longing, to have people ask, "So, what do you write?" I didn't know quite what to say. Despite a facillator who used to teach elementary school kids and thought she was back in the classroom, it was a good experience. Especially as there were some chocolate tarts that were so fine that you thought you bit the edge off an angel wing. There will be a local writer's guild starting up, and I plan to show up. (I am telling you this so you will email me if I never mention it again and give me a kindly push out of my chair.) With what? I don't know yet. Whatever it is, I want to write things that make people feel less alone. That make people say "YES" deep within their souls, the sort of book that reassures and shimmers, the familiar sense of coming home. A door to a world that people want to come back to, and possibly bring me chocolate tarts along the way.
Who else could I still be? I want to be more of who I am in my best moments. When my heart is breaking over someone else's heartache, when I hold my husband and my godchild closely and realize the fleeting beauty of this moment and feel so thankful. The me who bakes brownies to make someone's birthday special, the me who hears God in a hungry little girl, the me who takes action, who speaks truth, howling like a prophetess on the steps of an ancient temple. The me who steps outside herself, who gazes at stars and claps my hands with the mountains in joy. The me is who is not so much me, but an expression of the love of an ever-loving God, like ribbons dancing in little girls' hair, the perfect cadences scattered throughout my days, like B flat resolving to C, over and over again.