i haven’t been here in awhile.
maybe you’ve noticed.
maybe you haven’t.
either way, i’m okay with that.
i’m realizing, at age 30, that i’m more than okay with satisfying ME, with doing ME, with reporting to no one other than ME and MINE.
and even more than being okay with this…i’m realizing that all of this ME talk isn’t selfishness.
it’s called hunkering down, and i’ve been doing a lot of it.
like many, many, MANY of you, i awoke to a world that i didn’t recognize on November 9 – which, coincidentally, was also my 30th birthday. i went to bed the night before in turmoil, living in a wine-stained haze that wasn’t even remotely enough to conceal my anxious hand-wringing, my insistent anger, my utter refusal not to say his name.
i likened him to Rowling’s Voldemort – i would not utter his name in my house.
how will we tell Lionel? i asked Jord, searching his pained face for answers.
we tell him that sometimes, the bad guy wins, he replied.
and so we did. and it was one of the most difficult conversations i’ve ever had with Lionel in his life thus far.
i’ve made changes in my life since turning 30.
i got my nose pierced.
i now wash my make-up off before bed…most nights.
i now have big-girl make-up that isn’t from the drug store.
i drink more water.
i eat breakfast…and it’s healthy.
i’m entertaining the idea of joining a gym.
i’ve said goodbye to Facebook…again.
and i’m sharing my opinions, political or otherwise, more often.
perhaps not as much as i could, or as much as i should, but i’m trying to let go of the coulds and the shoulds in favor of silence, in favor of listening to what God keeps placing on my heart.
what’s God telling you?
here’s what he’s saying to me:
it’s just about love.
how best can we love one another?
sometimes, loving one another is about having the hard conversations, about challenging each other’s views, about asking questions that you don’t want to ask but you do it anyway.
why do you feel the way that you do?
sometimes, authentic, believe-it-to-my-core truth can be the opposite of other people’s truth, and i’m learning that this is okay. but i’m also learning to ask more questions.
are you open to other sides of the story?
where do you get your news?
are you informed?
sometimes, the answers i get to these questions are disturbing.
sometimes, i realize that in between all of the stereotypes and misinformation, there’s no room for agreement. i lie in my bed frustrated and angry that my words are not enough to change years and experiences and hearts to embrace what i feel is right.
and sometimes, i rise from my bed in the morning, and i force myself to recognize that God is sovereign – that God has this.
if i’ve learned anything since waking up 30 in Trump’s America, it’s that i’m just so damn privileged.
while i may not agree with all that the current leader of this country does or says or thinks, i’m sheltered from the hurt of it all, mostly.
my kids will still attend a high-quality public school in our neighborhood, regardless of whether or not Betsy DeVos ruins it all. my husband will still go to work in IT for a local hospital, regardless of whether or not ACA is repealed. i will still teach English to students who immigrated to this country from war-torn nations like Iraq and Eritrea and Somalia, regardless of whether or not these students’ families – or my students themselves – are forbidden to travel.
there are innumerable levels to my family’s potential losses in the current political climate. it would take many, many chips falling poorly – many, many cookies crumbling – for my family’s reality to shatter.
and from my position of privilege, i recognize that for many, a shattered life is one chip away. or – even more startling – the crumbs are already on the floor.
and so, here i am, striving to find out how to proceed.
it’s about love.
it’s about asking myself this:
how could i show up for others today?
how should i show up for others today?
i don’t have all of the answers, but here’s what i do know:
i need to do more.