If our friends are a reflection of ourselves, I must be a damn supermodel.
Tonight my friends Mark and Amy Lynn came to visit me at work for drinks and a long overdue catch-up. I liken being with these two to a hit of pure oxygen. They stimulate, they energize, they awaken. Their engagement is genuine and their encouragement is infectious. We had a little time to chat and try to summarize more than a year’s worth of change and growth into a single dinner conversation, and I’m happy to say we failed and another gathering will be in order soon. Amy Lynn is a fierce entrepreneur and Mark is a gifted thinker and visionary. I never fail to be flabbergasted at their insistence that I have something to say to the world and need to keep on finding my words. This evening, Mark rocked my world (as always) by reminding me why. He commended me for being brave and adventurous these last two years, to which I replied, “Well, it feels more like scary and chaotic on this side.”
“But that’s just it”, he said. “Most people would never go at all. They’d keep on, be miserable and complacent. You’re the one they need to do it and talk about it.”
That’s exactly how I feel about the writers I love – Anne Lamott, Elizabeth Gilbert, Donald Miller, Shauna Niequist. Their lives seem so much bigger and bolder than mine. But you know, it rarely occurs to us that WE might be the do-ers, the go-ers, the say-ers in the story. ME? Seriously? How is that my bumbling path is contributing to the movement away from denial and numbness? I don’t know what the hell I’m doing and my life is so tiny – how can I possibly be someone to look to?
Mark challenged me to pointedly think about what I’m doing here, why I write and who for. **Side note, who are you? My stats tell me it’s not just my friends anymore.** What’s my goal? Where am I going with this? Well I’ll tell you. I want to be your deep (Mark’s word) and ugly (my word). I will talk about the the things you are afraid to bring up in book club or bible study, and I will simmer and percolate on them until I can bring you a fearless prerogative. Not to quote my girl Joy Williams too much, but as she puts it, “I’m gonna stand here in the ache//Until the levee on my heart breaks”. God put me through the fire and made more resilient (yet more tender?) than I ever imagined, so if you can’t bear to stand inside your hurt and fear long enough for insight and relief, I’ll do it for you. I will put myself in the cross hairs of self-scrutiny and humility until we get some answers we can talk about. THAT is what I’m doing here.