Almost Joyful

13 Jan

I’ve decided to claim joy as mine this week. Somehow, I turned a corner. All of the massive family drama, financial unrest, anxiety, too many things to get done and not enough time, friends going through rough seasons, outpouring, not being able to say no to people, wanting so much but receiving so little, betrayal I felt in friendship, and frustrating grief I’m still feeling almost did me in. I’ll be honest, I was feeling really low last week. Maybe it was because I declared joy as my word and so what else should I honestly expect? When you make a bold step like that, it’s normal to experience setbacks.

I think it was when a few girls from the small group I lead gathered around me that I started to realize yet again how love is manifested. It comes through people. It comes in small moments when you feel seen. It’s a break in the clouds, more gas than you thought in your gas tank, a beach on an overcast day.

I laughed and it wasn’t in my head anymore. It was out loud. It was real. It was a reminder that it’s  okay to be me. The strange thing about grief is that you can’t bottle it all up inside or else you’ll burst. You can spend so long thinking you’re okay and pretending you’re just fine but you aren’t. You have to admit that to someone once in awhile. They have to know that you aren’t as strong as you want to be yet. Yes, you’ll get there but not quite yet. You don’t want to test the ice because it hasn’t frozen all the way through yet and if you walk on it too soon, it will crack and you’ll fall through, never being able to find your way to the surface.

I don’t have it all figured out. I may never. I journey through this life trying to realize that I’m only a passerby. I’m not here permanently. I wait in the dark night and the stars comfort me.  Sometimes you just need a security blanket. Or a friend to ask you a question. Sometimes I need to remember that I’m not invincible and I don’t need to be. Sometimes my strength comes in my vulnerability. I’m sad sometimes. But life is out there waiting. It’s waiting for me to find the joy in it. It’s not easy. I have a lot on my plate. Sometimes it all seems like way too much. And I trick myself into thinking I have all of this time. I don’t. We don’t. We’re here and gone.

I think about Tucson. How did that happen? At a Safeway. I go to a grocery store almost every day of my life for one reason or another. I think about that little girl and all of the hopes she had. She just wanted to see her congresswoman.  I think, I have to feel joy in life if only for her. She wont’ get to experience it here on earth. Don’t I owe it to her? I didn’t know her, but I should enjoy my life. To not would be a sad state of affairs. I heard a TED talk on 1000 Awesome Things. I want to know awesome things. I want to live awesomeness.

Not quite there. But starting to emerge. Not quite. Almost. Getting closer every day. Like an athlete who can’t play quite yet but is resting so that when she gets back in the game, she amazes everyone. Even herself.

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