Monday, July 14, 2008

Coming Back

It's been so long since I've blogged that I didn't even know how to post anymore. Seriously.
I just spent a little time re-reading a few of my old entries (which is sometimes not a good idea!) and find myself amazed at how far some things have come. How far some things are left to go. In so many ways I am different, and in others, exactly the same.

I've been in my job for nearly two years's the longest I've ever been in any job (which seems insane) so I'm a little proud to be reaching that two-year mark. I just got a new apartment in Lexington, and I'll move in August, so I guess I'll still be here for the next year, provided I don't get some random opportunity and I break out of the lease. But, at least it's something, some sort of commitment as to what I'll do for the time being at least.

I've gone back and forth a million times in the past months about whether or not to move a few miles down the road, move across the country, or stay where I'm at. I decided in the end, unless I KNOW for sure that I want to live in Somewhere, USA, I don't want to pick up my life and start over, yet again. I want to feel in my gut and my heart that it's the right decision before I make such a big step again - each move I've made, I've felt so certain that it was the right choice that I could simply not do otherwise.

I'm desperately seeking that same certainty in many aspects of my life.

To blog about something real, and not just give a bland update on my life, I want to talk for a minute about friendships. I recently read something in a book, in playing off that popular saying, that said "When God closes a door, He opens a box of girl scout cookies." I don't exactly love cookies or sweets (allergy to chocolate as a kid didn't allow me to develop much of a sweet tooth) but I do dig me some Thin Mints. So this was a good analogy, I thought, and I find myself thinking about that phrase in recent days.

I'm a major fight with my mother, and stepfather. The details are not such that I will delve into on this blog (although maybe at a later date), but the point is that this is a long and storied relationship, littered with hurts and anger, and often led to me feeling like roadkill as I desperately sought to pick up the pieces of my family, while trying to begin to form the pieces that would make up my own life.

However, this more. This was, as a friend put it, the tiny crack that broke the windshield and I'm feeling a fundamental shift in my overall thinking. They will not do this to me again. I will not be made to feel this way, be forced to forge my way through a marriage that isn't my own, or be the weapon that is used to throw at someone else at the expense of the other.

Never again.

I don't choose to let many people into this side of my life. It's frought with tension for me, and often, I don't want to color people's opinions of these family members of mine before they even meet, if they ever do. This time, because it's on a level more significant than ever before, it's on my mind more than ever. And thus, more people are beginning to be let into the fold.

Instead of dwelling on the bad things, I'm going to take a minute to appreciate the boxes of girl scout cookies that God has opened for me through all this. My father who loves me unconditionally and wants to tell me all the time. My stepmother, who in sensing my deep hurt, felt something change inside her toward me. My friends who told me they loved me for the first time, and another who never forgets to remind me every day. The ones who are outraged, the ones who protect me, the ones that hurt with me.

I thought about old friends the other day, while talking to my best and oldest one. And I was reminded as to why long-distance friendships, the ties that bind through it all - good times and bad - are the ones that can often emerge as the most true. In the simple fact that this person is NOT in your daily life, and does not witness your daily messes and hurts, joys and triumphs that shape you as a person, they can keep hold of who you are at your inner core - what makes you tick, what your soul looks like.

Think of a kid that you love that you haven't seen in a year - the kid looks drastically different to you, and you can see instantly the effect of time and space have done to that child. They have changed in appearance, skills and personality traits - but you love them instantly and intensely anyway, because you know them.

I am so lucky. I have girl scout cookies galore in my life, and God never ceases to amaze me sometimes when he hands me a new box. Doors are being shut for me. Maybe some for good...but I'm doing my best to hang on to those blessings that I do have, the instincts that I have and the faith that things will be alright in the end. And that's all I can ask for.

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