I have been learning many things lately.
I’ve learned how much context and history is important to me. I am always ruminating over memories and what the past could mean. This often can be negative as I focus on perceived failures, mistakes, and moments of embarrassment that can get me down. Living in the past means becoming stuck.
Recognizing this, I can figure out ways to take my proclivities and put them to productive tasks. It can be uncomfortable, painful even, to look at my weaknesses and past mistakes. But running away does not help. I finally got a copy of The Anxious Christian from the library, which I have been wanting to read since June. And I’ve read Daring Greatly, The Defining Decade, A Million Miles in A Thousand Years, One Thousand Gifts, and Bittersweet. These authors wrote down life stories and lessons learned to share and encourage. They help me realize how courageous it is to face struggles. It means being vulnerable and possibly seeing the greater story in that precarious feeling. The moment of anxiety is an opportunity for growth. It’s characterized by pains, and boy have these eight months since graduation have been full of growing pains.
Eight months. It has been a long time since I have counted out the time. I remember keeping record of the hours, days, then weeks since I graduated. And now they are months and I stand at a different perspective. To incorporate all the change that has happened, I must build monuments. That is how my archival mind works. I can’t put something to rest until it has been honored in some way. That means facing and building. It’s not an easy task to construct something worthy of a memory. It means trying to capture the detail. The full detail. The light and the shadows. The joys and the sorrows. Sometimes my journal pages seem so utterly inadequate and words not enough. My brushstrokes in art class were never as good as they could be in capturing reality. And yet they were often better than I anticipated.
When I try to move through life unfazed, not partaking in contemplation and celebration, not acknowledging what has happened and allowing time to grow, I become lost. I lose sight of who I am and where I’ve been. Without any marking features or roadsigns, the map is meaningless and I cannot say “this where I am” or “this is where I am going.”
Months ago I found a scripture about Abraham. God calls him and Abraham sets out without knowing where he was going. That felt like me when I closed the chapter to my way of life, one filled with homework assignments and deadlines and peers conveniently nearby. I was moving somewhere but not knowing to where. And yet there was faith in the going. How marvelous that the departure was recorded as significant, that the not knowing did not get left out of the story. It marks the start of a journey. It marks, even if everything surrounding it is unsure.
I cannot know what is exactly in my future, but I know I am setting out for somewhere. It’s not totally aimless wandering. I am inspired to take note of such stories where monuments are built and times remembered. Significance is made and eventually accomplishment recognized in comparison to the where from we came, how far we’ve traveled, how much we’ve grown. I cannot let focus on negatives or a an ease at not being too excited overshadow what is happening.
I have often been described as mellow. It is easy for me to let excitement slip easily by, to seem as if nothing significant has occurred. But to keep moving, I must be moved. And so I will honor accomplishment and excitement in some way. For me right now it may be very low key. Perhaps this post is all, the use of words to build monumental prayers and set record of this moment and what has been done. Maybe that is all my mellow mood can muster now. But still waters run deep. More and more and as the title and tagline of this blog implies, I feel there is a current deep within. There is excitement bubbling and a readiness to embrace the whimsy of what these small but significant triumphs can mean as they litter my life map with where I’ve been, what I have done.
So I remember and acknowledge in my way. Quiet for now, something more at other times, I set my trail of lessons learned and triumphs accomplished along my wandering path.
“Not all those who wander are lost,” said Tolkien.
I am not lost. I am remembering and celebrating along the way.