[better than] good coffee.

21 Nov

“life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.” -helen keller.

i’ve heard it said that to write well, you must write what you know. so this will be an account of what i know.

when i graduated college a year and a half ago, i graduated with a fire under my butt. i was ready for anything, for everything. i had goals – some huge and some small, but goals all the same. i wanted to start a book club, cook for my neighbors, write music. i planned on growing as a person, on drinking good coffee, writing posts that would change lives, and learning to play the cello. most of all, i planned on landing a job that was more than a job. i was, at last, qualified. qualified, according to the worlds’ standards, and i could finally start to spend my time in a place with other people who loved to love others, who wanted to see the world changed. i planned on finding an adventure and jumping in head first. plans plans plans.

as we all know, plans change. we make lists on post-it notes and those post-it notes just gather dust as life moves on around us. many of the things i listed never came to fruition. what happened? what always happens: life.

i quickly moved in with a dear friend into a small house on lemon street where we had more adventures than i could have known to pray for. we both got pay-the-bills jobs and embraced our new flexible schedules without papers or study groups or staff meetings. we found boys who noticed us. we spent our days with them, and our nights bitching about how insensitive or selfish they were. we sent our resumes out on a far-too-regular basis, always hoping for that one interview that would change the rest of our lives. we ached for bigger. looking back, i couldn’t have become who i am without that year in the small house on lemon street. i moved in as one person, and moved out a changed one. and this dear friend of mine continually teaches me more about grace and patience and positivity. she embodies resilience and personifies spunk, and i am so grateful to know her and be known by her. but this is my hindsight speaking. i spent that year growing a little more impatient every day. i longed for a new adventure and i watched as all my other friends seemingly found the job they’d always wanted, or the man of their dreams, or the trip of a lifetime. i attended the weddings of several friends and i read the blogs about perfect-fit kind of jobs. i felt left behind, and i didn’t know how to deal with it. i watched tv shows online and read book after book.  i sat around and watched my phone, waiting for the call that would prove i wasn’t as alone and lost as i felt. i waited and waited and threw my hands up in the air, calling it quits.

when i moved home, it was out of surrender. i was waving my white flag, admitting that i needed a chapter-change, conceding that maybe this last year was a mistake, or at least a series of bad decisions. i didn’t say these things out loud, of course. and i kept thinking and waiting and watching tv shows online.

then i landed a job to work in residence life at a university in another state. the phone call came bright and early on a friday morning, after months of waiting and months of refusing to look defeat dead in the eyes. i was given the promise of a new adventure, and two weeks later i packed my car and moved 700 miles to a new city, a new group of people, a new life.

there was a pair of books that came out many years ago. both were written by a married couple, but one was written specifically for girls, the other for guys. i read the one for girls and while it did have some words of wisdom, overall i found it incredibly cheesy and over-romanticized. i also read the one for guys, because i love to read and because i do things like that. a majority of the book i clearly did not relate to. but there was one chapter in particular that resonated so deeply within me and has recently re-surfaced in my life. in this chapter, the author described God as a God who loves to be the hero. the God i serve, the God i love, the God i seek to know deeply, is a God who loves to pull through for us. He loves to be the answer, the final exhale of breath, the alleviating embrace. this is His joy; to pull through for us.

i spent a year waiting and praying and searching. a year ago, i wanted so desperately to have this job, this opportunity, this moment. i didn’t know that i needed that year of change to help me grow, i didn’t know that i needed that friendship to shape me, i didn’t know that i needed those experiences to teach me to be faithful in prayer, to be patient in affliction, and joyful in hope. to smile as i waited for something to happen. to enjoy every day as a gift, and to not be distracted by tomorrow. if that phone call had come earlier than that friday morning, i might not have been ready. but as i drove 700 miles to a scary new place, i was sure that i had been equipped over the last year by my God, my hero. this job is, by no means, the end-all answer. it is not my final destination and it is not the only thing i’m meant to do. but what i do know, is that it is an opportunity to serve and to love and to encourage and edify the people around me. it is, for now, my somewhere over the rainbow. i have been here less than a month and i already know that this is my place. this is where i am supposed to be. it is a perfect fit, for now. it is a challenge and an opportunity to exist outside of myself. my prayer is that i remain grateful, remain true to that self which i have recently re-discovered. now that i have learned how to appreciate every day, i hope i can fill them all with moments juicy enough to talk about when i am older.

so, bottoms up to my new adventure. cheers to a life of surprises. and here’s to chronicling the moments that change and shape me…and as i grow, i will attribute it to the grace-saturated life i lead. and as i dance around in freedom, may the people around me know that i have found hope.

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