Thursday, June 7, 2012
I Know Why I'm Here
Now that I'm back, let's get caught up. Fix yourself a cup of tea and let me tell you why I'm here. No, not the BIG PICTURE version. Not yet. Why I'm here in this little barn and not on the farm that I thought was my destination.
It took me a year and a half, but I figured out an answer for myself. We all have the power and freedom to believe whatever we want, and I believe that I was put here in this place on purpose. The point became to determine the purpose. I've found two, actually.
One reason that a parental God might put me here would be to help cure me of my perfectionism. Almost every wall of this charming home is salvaged barn siding, grooved and faded, with strap hinge shadows and nail tear stains in places. As for the floors, the wide pine boards downstairs are a bit pre-distressed and too soft to prevent further damage; the stair's historic treads were reassembled with their raw sides up; and, as I long ago mentioned, the floor in our bedroom is composed of highly improper top nailed lumber that still wears grade stamps here and there. The kitchen and bath cabinets were hand built; they are neither standard nor elegant. I could go on.
Basically, the woman whose huge desire has always been to have a beautiful, gracious home was practically shoved by divine guidance into what used to be an outbuilding, for Pete's sake! Now, though, it's a showplace of imperfection--quirky, charming, lovely imperfection. It's just what I needed. When there's no possibility that a wall could ever be smooth, I don't have to try or fault myself for not doing so. It has so much rough character that it's a vacation for my perfectionism tick and a lesson in letting go--with beautiful, low effort results. I can surrender the standards I wasn't meeting anyway, enjoy my home more, and still have people say that they love my house. Thanks, God!
The other reason to stick me here in this barn in a small town with little job opportunities is to make me lie fallow. There was an essential question that I needed to answer, and I needed to be quiet enough to hear it. I needed to have the busyness by which we usually define our lives stripped away in order to heal from overwork and come to understand--nay, decide to believe--that I'm worthy, whether I'm doing great things or not. I'm good enough just because I am, with nothing to prove, no race to win, and no grade report. I could finally quit trying so hard and just be. About the time I settled that question, I got the job that I'm loving, even though I could never have seen it coming.
Also, this spot on the map happens to be the town between where my sweet husband works and the town where I now work. It all comes together if we just go when we're stage-nudged and let the plan show itself later. You know, after all the wailing and impatience are over. Double thanks, God!
Some people would say that things just turned out like this by chance. They could be right, but it didn't feel that way. The desire, tingling excitement, and coincidences that have led us this far had such an imperative about them. I don't mean the shallow yearnings that I've felt for a new pair of shoes, although the soul might need those occasionally, too. I mean the huge, quivering, gut-level YESes that you can't deny. Or the nagging longings that persist and insist until you have to shut them up or live in constant torture. Which is why I'm back here again, on the cyber page. I believe in an inner life, and I'm trying to live it, rather than just watching it.
Not that it's easy to be truly oneself. Like I said, it would be so much easier to be ungraced by creative urges--way less messy and challenging. But aren't the best things in life messy and challenging? Love, family, education, and more cause us to thump our heads and stretch and grow. And it's all worth it.
The uncertainty and confusion have all indeed been worth it to be here now, in my conveniently located, bargain Country Living home enjoying self-worth for the first continuous time in my life. Who knows where we go next. I still believe that there's a farm out there somewhere for us. I check the real estate listings every Saturday. Until the next attack of the tingly leadings, I'm grateful for this cozy detour with meaning.