Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Full of Grace...

I'm weird.

This is a given.

I've always been awkward and a good bit shy and at the same time overly loud.

Before you get to know me, you think that I am the quietest person in the world, and once you know me, you think that I seem to never shut up.

I'm a walking mass of contradictions-I don't want attention, but I do want to be heard, for my opinion to count for something. What I really want if I'm being completely honest is for you to think that I am a lot more interesting than I seem at first glance.

Life right now is very jarring. When I have the girls, my life is so full to the brim with their lives, their energy, their passions, I can barely stop to breathe. And then they leave for the week and my life comes to almost a complete and total stop, life becomes about quiet and books and rearranging the furniture again.

I've never lived alone before.

I recently told one of my closest friends that I think that Nick and I always felt like we were pretending to be grownups. It felt like someone gave us our life-Nick's job, and these two girls, and our house-and we were expected to know what to do, and how to save money, and, in short, "be adults."

I hate saying that, because in truth I know that we did a lot of things correctly-I figured out how to be the mom that I wanted to be, and I think that Nick figured out how to be the dad that he wanted to be. We bought furniture and appliances and cooked dinner and lived what surely resembled a normal life. We did things that felt so important-I taught Sunday School and was the Girl Scout leader and Nick helped to coach softball-they were practically jobs outside of normal life.

But we messed up endlessly. We were neither good at budgeting, or the careful planning that big expenses needed. We were both dreamers-not so much doers. We knew what we wanted life to look like, we just lacked any kind of map to get us there.

Nick leaving was like being thrown into the deep end of the ocean-I had to figure out how to tread water and eventually to swim. I'm still treading water but I'm so in amazement of how well I have learned to swim. I budget. Wisely. I make big decisions for sound reasons and not just based on how I feel at the moment. I don't just dream about what life is going to be someday, I take concrete steps to get to where I need to be.

When I look back on this time in my life, I'm going to realize that this was the greatest gift Nick ever gave to me. As lonely and stressful and maddening as living through all of this grief has been, this new person, this adult Joy, carved out of broken promises and such a great deal of hurt, she is strong and capable and fierce(ish). And weird. As ever.

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