So as I’ve definitely mentioned before, but in moderation, is my faith. I’m a Christian. I got baptized last year, and before you roll over your cursor to X out of this post, give me a chance to show you I can articulate my thoughts without shoving my opinions down your throat.
I haven’t always been great at showing up for God. And by showing up, I mean doing things that I know I should do, in favor of things I feel like I want to do.
Although my prayers have been answered in a lot of big ways that I like – finding a way to write about travel, being inspired creatively, and finding a place in Durham to live…. other smaller, more insignificant universal encouragements have fallen on deaf ears.
There’s a metaphor that my friend Rachel and I use when we’re not paying attention to what God wants. Going around the mountain. Basically, it’s the idea that when you ignore or put off the inevitable – you just have to go through the same experience again and again.
A few months ago, I came to terms with one or two of these things. I realized I was caught in a snare; by being too benevolent, I was doing myself a great disservice. I wasn’t taking enough ownership over my choices.
So I started to pray.
I wrote page after page of the most genuine, and vulnerable prayers, confessions and requests. I jotted down notes when I thought of them – on my phone, on a post-it, wherever. I taped them around my room, on my door frame, on my desk.
I tried to be diplomatic – I considered what was really best for me, versus what I wanted. I followed up on my instinct to declutter and organize my things. I spent an entire Sunday sorting through clothes, boxes, and books — downsizing to just the essentials. I donated the rest.
I finally opted to give into my urge to be healthier – I started going to the gym as often as possible. I started swimming long, leisurely laps in the Y’s pool. I went back to my high school tradition of using the rowing machine – not worrying about how many calories I burned, but instead, losing myself for half hour chunks while listening to Billy Joel.
I stopped eating junk. I got back on Tinder and started going on dates, cutting out all other romantic entanglements that weren’t working out. I signed up for a snowboarding trip with a group of people I’ve never met.
I made an appointment to get my next tattoo, and finally committed to a Robin Wright haircut. I cleaned out my car, spent more time with my roommates, and wrote out Valentine’s Day cards for my friends. I bought a fish and named her Walter.
Basically, I realized that I wasn’t going to be happy unless I cut out things that weren’t working for me. In favor of focusing the things that were, or at least, had the potential to. I wanted to give my life a chance as it was, and not what I wished it would be.
I wanted to look at all of the biggest parts of my life – my job, my friends, my family and my abilities – and make the absolute best out of them. That before I could fully reach my potential, I needed to prove that I could show up to my own life. That if my present circumstances were all I’d ever have, that I was meant to have, I would need to prove that I could make the most out of them.
We all owe that to ourselves – and the people who care about us. Right?
Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe I’m getting soft. But I will say, that after a frustrating year of trying to make things fit where they just didn’t, it’s refreshing to let things just be as they are.