Tweetlife flows in seasons, doesn’t it?
to think otherwise is setting ourselves up for frustration. life is never still. even if our memory conjures up a time that we remember as more steady, i’m quite certain that if we did go back to that time – or any time, really – we would find life was indeed moving, changing, dancing a foreign beat we didn’t recognize.
daily life, inch my inch gains or loses something. whether we acknowledge it is something else entirely, but the fact remains: steadiness is not our nature.
toddler’s limbs are always tugging longer. we metabolize new experiences that affect our perspective. people come and go. the axis our world leans upon ensures that we continue to evolve.
to think otherwise is foolish.
and yet, why do we grasp for certainty and predictability? why do we strive and strain to see the road ahead when all we can really handle is one step at at time?
* * * * *
In halting words and emotions threatening to spill out of my eyelids, I said the words I needed to say: I decided to focus my time on two things right now. Isaiah and writing. Balancing anything more tears everything and everyone else a part, including me.
I resigned from my position at the church.
After two years of building and teaching, leading and learning, I decided to step away.
* * * * *
some people say you can’t see beyond the bend of the road
that’s fortunate, i think
because if i could anticipate every bend in the road of life, i’m not sure i’d make it around each time
my father, his voice belling out with all the authority life gave him in 70 years, often says, “life is like that, liz. life is like that. you have to keep adapting. keep changing. keep going. life is like that.” when he tells me these things, i often picture him as a young man, crossing oceans to get to the united states from the philippines. images of him as a boy in black and white pictures hang on a string behind him when he tells me that life is like that. i wonder what life told my dad for my dad to advise me to change with the times. to keep going. to persevere. i wonder what how many bends in the road my father lived through. because when he says, “life is like that liz” he doesn’t really look at me. his eyes cloud over with memory. he is transported to a time, I think, before i even existed.
* * * * *
When it’s time to tell the staff, my heart is beating so loudly, I feel I have to talk extra loud so they hear me. But my voice won’t come out of my throat. My hands are shaking and I see their faces. The women and men who have supported me, uplifted my work, uplifted ME as a minister of justice and challenging traditions in every corner I thought worth fighting. I got some words out, my drafted speech escaped me and my tongue felt swollen.
I contemplated saying I had to use the bathroom and excuse myself so I could get control of my feelings.
I didn’t. I offered 3 plain sentences and when they came out, they were as steady as Isaiah’s first steps in our living room. Uncertain, wobbly, but a sign of growth.
“I decided to take time to focus on my writing and being with Isaiah once Nick starts his new job.”
It’s out. Writing. My agenda is out. Out in the world. It’s no longer hidden in my writing room, patched on my collages and french cork boards, hung in image and only in dream. it was out and open to be scrutinized.
My hands continued to shake. I wasn’t sure what caused the tremors: the impending transition from a job I truly loved or knowing people will want to know what I’m working on. the sanctity of writing graduated to an open commitment that I publicly expressed.
* * * * *
nick is convincing me I did the right thing.
“no matter what, you’ll always have an excuse not to write. there’s always something going on with work or isaiah, and it’s the perfect excuse not to write. you know?”
i am sitting on the couch and ridden with sadness. i don’t reply to nick’s effort to make me feel better.
i finally look up and ask, “why do you think this is the right thing?” i knew it was the right thing, but i couldn’t bring myself to say it. i wanted to hear him say it, the only person who knew what was haunting me from the inside.
he shrugged at the alternative that came up in his head, “if you don’t, i know you, you’ll regret it. you’ll regret it if you don’t prioritize writing.”
* * * * *
I sift through emails from people who hear that I resigned. All of them supportive but swathed in sadness. One in particular strikes me.
“I won’t grieve this because now I’ll have you on the page and, there, I’ll have you to cherish.”
* * * * *
I take a breath, close my eyes.