View this post on Instagram
Yesterday, the Universe spoke to me.
I have spent the better part of two years now asking the Universe what I am supposed to be learning from the series of events that have come to define my life. I have begged, pleaded, and tried to make deals that would give me back the life I had “before.”
I have cried countless tears. I have lost sleep. I have lost weight. I have gained weight. I have lost friends and I have made new friends.
I have created an inner narrative of hurt wrapped in shame and tied up with guilt for the mistakes I have made, the stories that were created by others, and the lies that were told.
Brené Brown says that when the Universe wants to get your attention, she will find a way to get your attention—and it isn’t always gentle. I can certainly attest to that. Usually, the Universe needs to knock me around a bit because I spend so darn much time analyzing the message, instead of just hearing it and learning from it.
Let me start by going back to the beginning.
I grew up feeling like I had a purpose—that I was meant to have an impact on the world and the people around me. It wasn’t that I wanted to be important, I actually spent most of my time dreaming about being “normal,” but I felt called to make a difference using the talents that I had been given.
For a number of years in my 20s, I lost that sense of purpose. I just knew that I didn’t fit, like I spoke a different language from the people whom I lived with and loved and they tolerated me in the way you tolerate a weird aunt.
At 30, I found myself in a different life—new mom, new relationship, new career path. I found urban education, and that feeling of purpose was the foundation upon which I built two decades of work in city schools. I was one with the work, and the work defined much of who I was.
Two decades later, I have tethered myself to a singular point in time and to the fear that I am no longer the person who makes a difference. This brings me to the unrelenting message of the Universe.
I am reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I keep picking it up and putting it down because I both love and hate her message. I love it because it is just so damn optimistic, and I hate it because it is so damn optimistic. Regardless, I sat reading it last night with tears streaming down my face as I read: “God has perfect timing.”
I may be struggling with that a bit. I continue reading:
“You look at your life and the eight things you thought you’d have accomplished by thirty-five [um, fifty] and feel depressed. But maybe it’s just that you don’t have enough life experience yet. You’re like the baby who’s balancing in the middle of the room on chubby baby thighs—maybe you have to get your bearings for a while longer. Or maybe that goal wasn’t ever meant to be yours.
Maybe you are destined for something so much cooler, which won’t come until five years down the road. Maybe you have to walk through this space you’re in to be ready for that. Nothing is wasted. Every single moment is preparing you for the next. But whether or not you choose to see this time as something wonderful—the time when God is stretching you and growing you or maybe forging you in fires hotter than you think you can withstand—all of it is growing you for the person you’re becoming, for a future you can’t even imagine.”
Damn, Rachel Hollis. You just slam-dunked my ass.
Part of me wants desperately to argue with Rachel Hollis, to “if you only knew about my story” her into admitting that there is a level of suckiness that even her optimism would struggle to rise above. But, the other part of me knows that she is right.
Admitting she’s right, well, admitting that God is right, means admitting that my marriage is over, my days as a principal are behind me, and my kids are teenagers who need me in very different ways than they once did.
And all of that means admitting that I am no longer the same person I was two decades ago.
I don’t know if I am meant to make a difference or if I am just stubborn, but I am willing to keep reading and figure it out.
Wanna join me? I could use a few good friends who to share a good book and a bottle of wine with.