Today I lost it.
You know, that magical “it”…the one when you’ve been holding everything together and the straw falls and it breaks the camel’s back…oh yeah, and it came crashing down. In public.
It was a single question.
Honestly, it was a single response, too.
“Look two years into the future, tell me where you would see yourself in an ideal world?”
It wasn’t a crazy question. It especially wasn’t crazy since for the previous thirty minutes I had been rambling about being unhappy in my 9-5, wanting to do something different, having too many ideas, cold emailing people I find inspirational, loving photography, hating photography, loving events, hating events, wanting to inspire. You get the general picture. So after rambles and a lot of false starts and even more lines of “I have so many ideas and so many things I want to do and i don’t know what’s holding me back,” the question wasn’t insane. My response however, was a bit off kilter for me.
I took a deep breath. I stared everywhere but at her. And I did a lot of “I don’t know.” I was being cagey and I knew it.
This, however, isn’t a girl I can flub off. And she waited for my answer and compassion was there. And it broke down a wall, and my broken soul began to weep even before my eyes flooded with tears.
“This is going to sound ridiculous…I know it’s not, but for me…this is absurd”
That’s how I finally started. And then, in the midst of unshed tears and a flood of emotions, came the line:
“I wanted to be done having babies by 30, and by the rate of I’m going, that isn’t happening.”
She put her hand on my knee, had a look that said “I know” and my eyes caught up with my soul. I don’t think it was a shocking statement. I think we both knew where my mind had gone, but intentional or not on her part, I think we had to know that I could say it outloud. I burst. And into my mind came flooding everything that doesn’t seem to be for my future.
Because when I see my ideal future, it involves living near the water, my family…husband, babies, it is me being more of a mama bear then I already am at times, it’s photography, it’s travel, it’s fighting for people’s creative souls, it is inspiring people that life is more then work and home. It is, in the words of Brene Brown, living Wholehearted…it is Daring Greatly. Living a big life, helping people into the light, and sitting beside them when they don’t have strength to leave the darkness.
And yes, I know I can do this with or without a spouse and kids, but the “ideal” in my head, is in fact not my reality. The realization comes that this could be a solo journey through life.
Thoughts fly through my head, that I’m ashamed to even admit to. Moments of loathing who I am, times where I want to tell people how much it really can be hard to be a biracial child in progressive America. To say that being different may be cool and awesome, but with this awesome permanent tan comes a lot of baggage. We live in a world where vaguely racist humor is funny, but how many times can you hear the line, “oh i’m friends with Whitney, it’s fine,” before it’s no longer fine. Feeling slightly on the outs, never fully connecting, being the diverse one in the group. And all this comes before you even get me started on studies that show that people are more likely to date and/or marry someone who that share similar physical commonality. I mean if that’s what I’ve got going for me then I’m screwed, says Whitney as she rolls her eyes and laughs.
Feelings of connectedness.
That has clearly been the theme of my year. Wondering if where I am is where I’m supposed to be. Struggling to believe that there is more. Knowing that God is good and wants good things for the glory of His kingdom, but feeling unable to be apart of that plan. The feelings of disconnectedness and and wondering when it became the norm to “go at it alone.” Praying for clarity. Lacking a unified vision. Casting aside a fear of man. Having hyperawareness come rushing back, but embracing it unlike in the past.
But that doesn’t change the moment. And it doesn’t change the hurt.
It doesn’t stop that moment as i’m falling asleep at night and I wonder what it would be like if there was a spouse. Would I be the cover-stealer, the sleeper in the middle of the bed? What would it be like? It doesn’t change the fact that forty-five seconds later I tell myself to not think or dream about such things. I wander into the thought that ten years from now, I could very well be in the same space, wondering the same things and what would I have accomplished with my life.
I try to ignore the thoughts that come from the work that comes from amazing husband/wife photographers, husband/wife writers, women who have beautiful creative and life giving jobs who are encouraged by their husbands daily, the women who still have to work but are constantly being affirmed by their spouse in regards to their dreams and creative thoughts.
These are the thoughts that I work through. As life goes on, I listen for the whisper that tells me to trust. That reminds me that this life is about grace and not perfection. To know that my plan, isn’t His plan. To know that I am created to be more, more then I ever imagined.
Because I can affect change.
Because I will do great work for the glory of God.
Because my ideal future, may not be.
Because when the darkness overcomes, I shall not be moved.
Because vulnerability is authenticity.
Because just me, includes a big God.
And because that is enough.