It's been a year since I posted anything on here. There have been a few moments when I had something typed but did not post because ... I didn't. But I have something to talk about right now and I don't think that I'm going to filter myself. I'm not as frustrated as I was earlier this evening (thank you people on the West Coast for answering and then just sitting quietly as I used my words) or a few Sundays ago or a few months ago but I have feelings and this is my blog so ... I'm done justifying myself in my own space. I may not understand my ramblings when Nephew and Niece are reading them back to me when early onset Alzheimer's sets in (thank you anxiety and Greys for that nagging thought that motivates me to hit PUBLISH on this and every Instagram post) but I hope those two and their cousins will catch a glimpse of the woman I am today and not ... well, read on.
I am me. And that is an ever evolving person that is trying her hardest on most days to make this life one I am proud to live. I am far from perfect but I am also far from the worst human to exist on this planet. I am a 33 year old woman who loves her dog, her Nephew and Niece, most of the rest of her family on most days, a Midwestern sky, Last Week Tonight, Chicago sport franchises, an human shield, an endless sentence (sorry about that Editor), quiet moments along any large body of water, tights, days when the windows can be rolled down, scruffy faces, winning, being someone's right hand, laughing until my sides ache, a wink from across the room, Coke, a one-word answer with a nine-thousand word undertone, rambling messages, understanding 'natural 20', all things #KrasinskiandKas, a walk after the rain, and someone else putting away my laundry.
I was raised in a home where a love of God, family, and country was the foundation. I am grateful, without exception, for the life that was mine as I grew up. I am still, again my imperfections may distract from this oft times but ... I am still someone who tries to make decisions and course correct with that foundation. But I do not fit the mold that my high school friends put me in all those years ago as 'the Mormon'.
I am am not married. I am not a mom. I am not crying on my pillow that my bed is my own each night. I am not conservative. I am not docile. I am not demure. I am not ready to follow the fold. I am not abiding by principles simple because I was told to. I am not an extremist. I am not a member of the PTA. I am not a gun owner. I have not been pregnant. I have not fought about something important with a spouse. I have not parented one child without hesitation while another one causes questions at every turn. I have not run for office. I have not signed petitions for GOP causes. I have not done so many of the things that the 17 year old me would have expected me to have done, I have not done so many of the things that many humans that know my name would expect me to be aching to do.
And I think that makes many humans in the church that I still call my own uncomfortable. I am the human without a husband, without a herd of children. But I am still a human! I am not defined by what I do not have nor what I have not done. Please do not look at me with eyes of pity or wonder as to how I managed to live for so long without doing the things that are most important, the things that you define as the most important things.
I am a woman who loves fiercely. I love my family, my God, my Savior, my country. I am a woman who has made mistakes, some large and near to unforgivable, but who has overcome obstacles and stands tall when the odds are against me. I am a woman who has her own thoughts and opinions and works very hard to understand the other side of the coin while holding tight to what I have fought to know. I am a woman who sees injustices and tries to right them. I am a woman who still gleans from the wisdom of her parents while paving a path that is her own. I am a woman who can see the difficulty and confusion that I cause for some and laugh about it while trying to explain myself. I am a woman who will make someone work to be a part of her life but once they have done that will remain loyal no matter the circumstance or differences that arise. I am a woman who stands when her nation's anthem is being sung but that respects the right others have not to. I am a woman who gets a tattoo while discussing her parent's mission in South Africa and the joy that such service brings with the artist putting that needle to my wrist (see picture below of me and Little Joe doing just that). I am a woman who relies on a man who loves men to be the lighthouse when I've lost my way. I am a woman who loves God and will continue to attend my worship service while being looked at by so many as the the 'woman who is not'. I am the woman who would love for that to change but will not allow others' opinions to derail my faith and hope. I am the woman who hopes to be a small influence for good and change in the world I live in.
Miles died two months ago now. I was by myself when Dies called to tell me that the world had lost that little boy who brought so much light and love to us. I ached and I cried and I screamed at the heavens and I wondered how this could happen. Surely if I had been married in that moment the feelings would have been the same. There are still so many moments when I stop in my own tracks and find myself on my knees in wonder and frustration about this loss that happened to two of my people who had already been through so much. I think of his Jaxon who goes to school without his Miles. I think of Chels who wakes to three boys instead of four and JR who has now enough arms to wrestle with his mobile boys and I wonder ... But I am a woman who can, when she slows down and asks, know without question that there is an outpouring of love upon her friends, a Father mindful of the endless ache, and a Savior near. My 'not being' someone that fits the common mold has no bearing on that knowledge. The heavens do not look at me for what I lack but rather for what I am trying to be.
I am not seeking attention here, that's not the purpose of this rant. If you were to be with Uncle Mike and Aunt Shelia, watching from a few rows up, you'd see me just beyond the light of center stage. My arms are probably full of books or tools to be ready for a question or when something breaks. My eyes are counting my people out there in the bright lights, absolutely literally but mostly figuratively. I have not been using my energy to find my own light. I have not been tearing down others in the light so that the light can shift and find me primped and primed for a surprise number. I am not the next Sherri Dew or Barbara Thompson, mercy. I am the woman who takes her glasses off if she stands at the pulpit, my faith does not require grand declarations. I am the woman who believes in God firmly and shares that belief often but in a quiet and personal voice. I am the woman who, sitting on her own during worship, can know that Father is mindful of her hopes to publish one day and invite people to know aspects of her as she allows.
My love for Vice President Biden and disdain for former Governor Pence does not disqualify me from being able to teach and love my 12 Sunday School students. I am a woman who can love them and teach them and be a part of their lives for 48 minutes (if the speaker isn't as long winded as I am in this post) each week.
If it were my birthday or I had an eyelash or it were 2:22 I would wish that the unnecessary and unwelcome judgments the humans make would cease completely. But it's not my birthday nor do I have an eyelash and the clock does not read all the same numbers. So I'm going to post this and hope that I will be looked at as a 'woman who is ...' rather than defined as a 'woman who is not ...'. And I would venture to say that I'm not alone in this wish. Live your life, find your happiness, and love when others are doing the same. Away We Go ...