It's been a pretty eventful year for me. This time last year I was living in a foreign country, and now that I'm back stateside, I've moved to a new city, started a new job, and completed my first semester of professional school.
I get frustrated sometimes, because I feel like so little has changed. My parents still pay for my food when we go out. My stuff is still in boxes in their basement. I still sleep some weekends in a room with my sisters and our three matching bedspreads. I am still roughly the same person in roughly the same place. I keep waiting for the atomic life event that will level my life to the ground floor, refinement through the fire. I went all the way to Kazakhstan for that, and it was a drop in the bucket.
I'm getting the feeling that, like Bono crooned, "Oh, a change of heart comes slow . . ."
When I look back at the events of the past year, I feel the need to emphasize that my life is not as great as it looks on Facebook. Actually, I am a mess. I really need people to know that. I have never felt more weak and dysfunctional in my life. It's like I have some tic or compulsion, that I have to attach an asterisk to everything. I think this is why I don't feel like I've grown, because every step forward is qualified. Those qualifications are me trying to be accurate and honest, me trying to explain that if I am growing at all, I am growing ever so slowly and clumsily and messily.
I smile and then sigh. First job after college, but not really. First apartment, but not really. First relationship, but not really. A slew of messy, unfamiliar things that have brought the mess in me closer to the surface. I thought I was supposed to become more sanctified, not more dysfunctional.
But I forget that life is qualified, and all of these asterisks I want to attach to all of these things do not negate the fact that these things happened, and that they were new and difficult and growth-motivating. I'm trying to give myself permission to celebrate these creeping little mile-markers. I want growth to happen all at once when I'm allowed to be contented with faithfulness. It's okay that the going is slow, like, maybe that's even how it's supposed to be.
The swift cycle of life changes does not mean an equally speedy change of heart. I have been feeling like that's a bum deal.
But maybe it isn't.