Wake up at 5:30 with Eric, cuddle my pillow on the couch while he eats breakfast and does centering prayer in his bathrobe. I am a cuddly puddle of legs. Cereal, then looking for jobs on the sub networks. And looking, and looking. I resign myself to waiting another day for my first job of the year. It’s still the first full week of school. Not many teachers taking off.
Eric leaves for school and the house is my sanctuary. My coffee shop, actually. That’s how I like to think of it in the morning – as if I’m the opening up my coffee shop, getting it ready for the day. Tidying up the little messes of yesterday is my morning duty, turning on the lamps and string lights and Pandora radio, humming along. I get ready. Do my hair, makeup, and then slice some ripe cantaloupe and store it in the fridge for later.
I am learning what it means to be in charge of a home and meals and taking care of one another. I try to pull some of my own weight and some of Eric’s too. We are carrying each other day after day. This thing called marriage, it’s working for us. We are okay. In turn, I am okay. I feel the most okay that I’ve ever felt. I have a job, a home, a companion. There is so much beauty just in those three simple things. I feel those three things have been all I’ve ever wanted. I can almost cry tears of joy for them finding me now, at such a young age. I hope I never lose that sense of gratitude.
I sit at my kitchen table with coffee cup, water cup, and a couple of books to keep me company while I write. I think mornings are my time. So I’m trying to make use of them, carving out a space to reflect and to just write. To write no matter how the words come out. I just let them come out to see what was there inside of me and make sense of it all. I do this in hopes of sparking a rhythm of creativity. I am in a new stage of life and just beginning to shiver these wings in my new cocoon. A rebirth, so to speak. Though I am still wholly myself, I look out at new horizons these days with opportunities abounding and in reach.
Questions I’ve asked before come back to linger, Who am I (deep down)? Why am I here (what am I to do)? I’m finding out the answers more and more, though they shift over time in the changing angles of light. No longer a student formally, but a pilgrim in the journey of life. I feel young and I feel adult too, ready to make decisions and accept a label or two. I’m ready to form the foundation of little callings here and there that build the pathway to a big dream. I’m still dreaming.
I don’t have a 10 year plan. Maybe a 5 year plan, but who knows after that. An undergrad degree that was a less than informed decision leaves me questioning whether or not I want to do what I’m doing now for the rest of my life.
So what will it be? Right, that is the big question growing more abrasive at my back pushing me on into who knows where. I want to help provide for our someday-family. But I want to have options and flexibility too. I want to use my gifts for good.
Some days I wish the answer would fall straight into my lap. Others I enjoy the wait and the search and the knowing everything will be just fine. Lord help me see your path.
In the meantime, I do what I can that fulfills me. I teach piano, which is a joy. And I substitute teach, which I like and pays the bills. In spare moments like these morning coffee shop hours, I find the space to write, to read, and to research what it might be that God could use me for. I try to improve. I go to bookstores and read about potential futures and try to see which ones I lose myself in reading about. (If I could be… Gwyneth Paltrow. Or a speech therapist. Or a writer.) A few dreams, real and unrealistic. I never thought I’d still be dreaming, these days. When you’re 18, you think life sets it’s course in stone by the time you get out of college. I suppose it’s a lucky thing my sails haven’t gotten stuck yet. I’m just navigating the seas on this long and lovely pilgrimage of life.
Life is not only waiting for me just around the corner but it is living in me right now. I must not forget to breathe and capture the moments of today, for they are a true gift. May I not get so caught up in the future that I disengage from the now, for to be the best I can be tomorrow I must be the best of me today.