I thought that if I left an unhealthy relationship, I’d find perfect. People say that to leave a marriage you have to do the hard work for healing and working on yourself so that your next (possible) relationship can stand a chance. And so, I assumed that if I did enough hard work, I’d figure out and fix myself.
Counseling was helping (until Doc and I realized my insurance plan had changed due to the divorce and I now had a $1200 outstanding get-myself-ready-for-another-marriage bill.)
But I tried. HARD. There were hard conversations and hard moments of realizing my own depths of brokenness and areas in deep need of growth.
But it was actually after the divorce was finalized and I was well on my way to happy, healthy and whole that I had the realization that I was inherently flawed. That to be human, IS TO BE A TINY BIT BEAUTIFULLY BUSTED AND CHARMINGLY QUIRKY.
Perfect was impossible. I wasn’t going to arrive there…..EVER.
This realization almost sent me over the edge. Overcome with my own imperfections one night, I decided to read my Bible (I do this like three times a year). I never know where to start (IT’S SUCH A BIG FREAKING BOOK!) and so I typically go to Proverbs and then read the chapter that correlates to the date.
I usually like Proverbs. Simple, easy instructions on how to do a pretty okay job at life. In fact, I once heard it described as such that there are two kinds of wisdom:
PROVERBS is the father-uncle wisdom: it's better to give than receive, change your oil, don't skank yourself out. And this is good and right and true and I will try real hard to do these things and I will teach bell to give, to change her oil and to honor her body. But as my mom told me growing up, she and dad set the bar high knowing we'd fall short; no biggie. Just try n' do my best!
But then, ECCLESIASTES is the everything is meaningless wisdom: you can do all the right things and still lose, sometimes it doesn't all pay off in the end, and we all go back to dirt anyways.
So, I tried to read Proverbs and wanted to barf. It just wasn't working. So I quick-flipped to Ecclesiastes and read lots about the hard and confusing parts of being human. But over and over again it said: to eat, drink and be merry.
I realized I didn't know what this means for my life. I don't think it means I become a drunk, or gain 100 pounds, or be merry in a way that forgets those in need. So what?
"Kaylee, God wants you to be happy!" Grandma said over the phone this year.
I wasn't sure then what my happy was. I'm still not, but I think it has something to do with "eat, drink and be merry."
So I decided to give myself three months. To eat. To drink. To be merry.
To find my happy.
Deep down I know it'll probably mean I find magic in the things already right in front of me. But the practice of it might just turn into a habit of it.
And since I don’t have it in my budget to gain 100 pounds and buy a new wardrobe accordingly, and I don’t want to be a thirty two year old mom out at the bars until 2:00AM, and I don’t even know the definition of merry, I decided to write my own definitions for each:
The stress of the divorce sent me into a whirlwind. We each broke differently and my broken showed up in obsessive compulsive walking. At one point I told sis: YOU CAN’T LET ME BECOME FORREST GUMP!
Dinner time would roll around when I was with family and I used it as an excuse to bow out and let the pain in my heart pound itself through the soles of my shoes.
Instead of scheduling meals, I’d schedule walks.
Instead of seeking community, I sought the open air.
I was so broken and exhausted.
With no fight left, even my bones ached this past year, the only way I could manage it all was to run. (But since my knees are a bust, I walked.)
And so, now that my bones aren’t so achy and my breaths not so shallow, I think maybe it’s time for me to EAT. I’m going to intentionally sit down and stay down for meals. I’m not going to run. I’m not going to escape. I’m going to live community and experience the art of breaking bread together.
I don’t drink. Better said: I can’t drink.
I have a huge sensitivity to alcohol and even one FULL drink will have me rubbing my nose like a little rabbit; each time, with slaps to my cheeks, I'm completely baffled as to why I can’t feel my face.
I’ve learned to do half a drink and be able to sober up enough to drive if given a full six hours and thirty-seven minutes. Which means: I stick to my Diet Coke.
But maybe I can drink more coffees. Maybe I can schedule some happy hours where we drink tea or fancy infused water (because I always feel like I’ve gone up two social classes when I drink infused water!) But maaaaybe, more than anything, instead of talking ALL about me and my hard, I can get to know others a bit more – their hard, their good. I mean, just maybe I can listen a little bit better. Maybe drinking is listening this summer.
& BE MERRY
The glory of God is man fully alive, is one of my favorite quotes. And while I don’t yet know a lot about myself, I do know a few things: I love laughing. And dancing. And I love kids. I love swimsuits and sunshine. I love helping other people in whatever ways they may need. I love giggling and finding things to giggle at. And I really love when I can find a way to bring people together.
So what if I brought THAT to the table this summer. What if merry was about showing up to each moment - each conversation - and making the most of it. Lots of times it’ll just be with family and friends but then maybe merry might be found in giving my merry – all my bestest – to the community at large.
So here’s to Summer 2016. I’m pretty excited about it all.
But here’s the thing, what if we each found our eat, drink and be merry. What if we found a little bit more of life over the next 120 days. Yes? Let’s do this, no?
(Oh, and also, check out the link below. Because it’s the best I’ve seen on explaining the crazy ride.)