This morning, I weighed myself and discovered I am down two pounds from a week ago. So I went downstairs and ate two PopTarts. What?
Isn't that so typical? Well, it is of me. My whole existence seems to be an exercise in contradiction, but not on purpose. It's just how it all seems to turn out most of the time. I feel like I live much of my life sideways.
I wanted to be a writer from the time I was around 11 years old, writing "books" with my best friend (pretty funny stuff). So I earned a degree in journalism, and ended up in . . . advertising account management? Then freelancing for publishing companies, then being a stay-at-home parent. It's just been in the last few years that my writing has somewhat been able to hop into the front seat. Well, it's at least on the passenger side. And sleeping for much of the trip. But it's right there, ready to take the driver's seat when the rest of this stuff starts to get tired of driving my life.
I'm also very, very cranky when I'm surrounded by clutter. And my house is t.r.a.s.h.e.d. I have three boys. I have no time. When I do clean it all up, it's trashed again in a couple of hours. Again, I have three boys. And two dogs. So I live in what seems like endless, utterly overwhelming clutter while I'm screaming on the inside about it. Okay, and sometimes on the outside, too.
Hair skeeves me out. And I have long (all the way down my back) hair that I never think to get cut.
I have next to no patience, so I birth three boys. Three boys all with some type of neurological issue going on - ADD, autism, Asperger's, a mood disorder.
I love the beach - and I'm a woman with fair skin and freckles.
I love love love to cook, and two of my kids ate PopTarts for dinner last night after football practices were over. The oldest is smart and made a salad for himself. He is Marine-bound, you know. PopTarts aren't the best choice, Mom ...
Did I mention that I work at a dog daycare and boarding facility? Now this may sound like the biggest contradiction of all. However, it's actually one of the more natural paths I've taken. From the time I could walk and talk and communicate, apparently, I have been a dog lover. My mom loves to tell stories of when I was growing up, how I always had something dog-related going on. I would bring strays home weekly. The small town where I lived once asked my mom if they could use me to bring in a dog they couldn't capture because they knew I could get it. Yes, I had a reputation.
I have a degree in journalism - so I work with dogs. And it makes me incredibly happy.
I know that God has a purpose here in the path he's taking me down. Surely he does, because it's just too weird of a road to just be random. But random is what makes me happy. If I could do exactly what makes me happy when it's my time of the day, then I would be with the dogs, writing, and doing something creative with my hands (like the custom dog collars I just started making). And that's the truth.
I'm finally at the point after 39 years to say I'm okay with going down the path I think God is clearing for me - even if it seems random and not anything like where I thought I would be. I think it's interesting! I do not feel a bit bad about saying these are the things I do to people who ask about my life.
No, I'm not a senator. I'm not the president of an advertising agency. I'm not an author (yet). I'm not a journalist. I am me. I write when I can, get it published where and when I can. I dress in not-nice clothes to go to work because I'm going to get jumped on and slimed and licked and run into, and I'm going to scoop poop and clean up pee and puke - and love (mostly) every minute of it. I'm going to come home and deal with some sort of sensory issue causing a boy to come undone or scream at another one. I'm going to ask them at the last minute what they want to eat - or call home and have the oldest brother feed the younger two whatever he can find.
This is where we are right now as a family, and this is where I am right now as a person. And that's okay. I've lived a surprisingly lot of life in my short 39 years. Unexpected life issues will do that. It forces you to grow, to learn to live within a realm you weren't ready for, to branch out, to fail, to get back up, and to accept.
Yes accept. It forces you to accept the you that you are being handed at the moment. When you don't, this is where the misery creeps in. This is where the unhappiness, the backward glances, the questioning of your whole life can take you down; and it's much harder to get back up than to stay up in the first place. Believe me, I've had to make the climb and it gets harder each time. And then you're just mad when you realize how much time and effort you just wasted.
Accept where you are. Relish it even. Where you are right now is making you who you will be in 6 months, in a year, in 10 years. If you have a goal to be somewhere else, then use where you are as a great starting point and recognize its' very important role in helping you take that leap in the right direction. Where you are now may be a springboard for the next leg of your journey.
It all may appear to be a random pile of notes, but I assure you - there is a song in there. And if you stop to listen, you will hear it.
Pray for acceptance, for peace, for direction. You will probably find it where you least expect it.
photo by ilco