It’s January 3, 2018. I cannot help but ponder that number- 2018! How did we get here? Time is a curious thing. We can look back with many emotions. We can look forward with many hopes and dreams. Ultimately, we are sitting right here in the moment of now, and that moment is curled up with a cup of warm tea, watching the sand fall through the eternal hourglass of time.
I am an optimistic, upbeat, and motivated person. I love life, I love serving, I love my family, and I love my God above all. I am also a very honest person. This often puts certain wedges in relationships, but I refuse to change this feature of my personality. I spent my childhood lying to myself, pretending I was safe and secure, in a world where I was anything but. There were happy times; however, just under the tender surface of a child was the fluid reality. Depending on what we were doing that day, I had no choice but to float between one and the other. Family time- wear a smile and keep quiet. Alone at home with him-find a place to hide, close your eyes, and come out when someone else was there.
The fiction that made up those young years so long ago is not something I embraced as I grew up. However, many girls in my situation have. It is a mechanism of survival for the unhealed heart. It is also a very misunderstood skill that allows many to walk ahead another day. I get it. I may have found a different path, but I get it. For a short time in my twenties, I even began to play along. God above had different plans.
I was near the mental breakdown that, by some standards, I probably deserved. When I looked into my own eyes, I saw defeat, destruction, and deep sadness. The first 20 years of life had not been kind. I had experienced more than a child and teenager should, and fatigue had settled deep into my being. As I always have and still do, I kept going. Slowly, day by day, the energy for the journey was fading. The inner thing that somehow kept me from taking my life on numerous occasions was dissipating. That ‘thing’ was a life raft for me through the many years of turmoil.
I can pinpoint the exact moment the inner thing I never could put a name on, took on a title for the first time-
Hope is that last thread by which we dangle over the pit of uncertainty. Hope sees you through to tomorrow. Hope lifts the falling spirit of a broken soul. Hope rescued me.
It is right now, in this moment, during this time, that I find myself leaning in to hope for the future. Not the long-term future, just the future in general-the tomorrows that follow my today. It is only the third day of this New Year, but here I sit, different.
I said good-bye two weeks ago to a large part of being a mom- education. Gone are the days and nights of wondering, stressing, and helping. My son took an extra semester to graduate, and I am thrilled to the moon that he is done. With completing his high school career, I have completed my mom school career.
We have entered that period of growth in his life where I no longer fit in. It is that place of ‘I am here but I am not’. I have done this two other times, so it’s not exactly unfamiliar territory. What is unfamiliar is there is no other children behind him. I could always look back and see the next one coming.
Those days are done.
I sit here now, watching that hourglass, having to be honest with someone I have never been very honest with- myself. Life goes on, and we evolve with it. I sit quietly, and I close my eyes and envision myself living fully as myself. ‘The me’ I never grasped that I would one day be.
Time itself moves us in ways we never see.