You have been stuck with me for what is now over three weeks, and very few of the reminders I've come up with to take stock and give thanks have been...well...light-hearted. That's because I've felt weighed-down, confused and afraid, not to mention emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted.
But last night I had flight troubles. An hour-long, early and direct flight turned into a five-hour, late-night flight through Philadelphia. Not exactly peaceful by definition. But something happened as we flew circle over the city. I know it may sound crazy, but that was the first time that my entire last year of existence made sense. Of course being with Him Who Is In Personal Crisis made sense; it always has. He is uniquely suited for me, and he is amazing. But the daily exhaustion and psychological beating of my first non-profit job never did. I had waited for a job in my field for so long, but after five months of that experience I had to relocate my idealism. Losing my next job, after doing the best work I've ever done, never did make sense. Being pushed away at the height of mental, physical and spiritual exhaustion shortly afterward by someone equally exhausted but also the love of my life and safe haven? No, it never did.
Until this moment.
I am supposed to be a writer. Not the kind who writes novels or screenplays (at least presently) but someone who writes about things that matter. I can use my degrees, both of which I pursued out of interest in the first place, but I can also write about other things that interest me. I get that now. I sense it. I didn't write a private letter to Laura Munson; I blogged about how her writing affected me and then commented on that by tweet. I get it. It was my last, best hope, and I have in some small way succeeded.
But I also learned how to do a lot of what I have always wanted to do over the last year. I have the job I have at the moment because it is low-key and will open doors for me via connections. Finding a job that satisfies all of my requirements for what I want to do isn't going to happen. Because I care about matters of the heart. This job will allow me to write! To try to change my corner of the world, one person at a time. Trying to convince a military man to care about such things may seem like a futile endeavor, but I did it. It took three and a half years of working for him, but I did it. And it strengthened me. I learned who I am by being a part of that working relationship.
And here's another thing. This thing that I am doing with He Who Is In Personal Crisis could very well be the most important thing I'll ever do, period. I just know it. Loving him in spite of how he's behaving at the moment is critically important because that is central to who I am. And learning to love and accept myself, not feel insecurity about how He Who Is In Personal Crisis fits into the equation, and create my own happiness are pivotal parts of my existence.
I'm a writer. I'm a lover. I'm a work in progress. And those things are all inter-related. That was my epiphany. Loving, writing and growing = my purpose. A great weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
"You know why late flights are good? Because we cease to be earthbound and burdened with practicality. [We a]sk the impertinent question. Talk about the idea that nobody has thought about yet. Put it a different way." ~ President Josiah Bartlet (The West Wing)
That was 24 (but it's so big it feels like 24-50).