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Monday, June 9, 2008

Flyin' Away on a Wing and a Prayer, Believe It or Not, It's Just Me.

Meg, at Spicy Magnolia is curious about my bold profile statement.

In your profile, you say you're "living your dream"...what specifically is your dream?

I'll admit to y'all I have no idea what dream I was referring to specifically, if any, when I penned tapped in those words. I know they apply to my current circumstances though, and I think to my overall view of this little life I've got goin' on, out on the prairie and in here in my heart and soul.

I don't want get too deep on y'all on a Monday, but I think it's important to share a piece of my past in order to explain this present tense happiness I feel.

I'm gonna preface the walk down memory lane by saying this: I know. I KNOW. That both of my parents LOVE me, and they always have. And they've been GOOD parents, both of them. They were mere kids themselves (by MY definition, anyway) when they were married and had my sister and me, and despite being young and human and fallible, they did well by us, providing us with the things we REALLY needed along with strong and wholesome values, excellent educations and deep relationships with our extended family. In the grand scheme of life, and compared to probably 98% of the rest of my generation of children, I had a nearly perfect upbringing and I consider myself very fortunate. And I am thankful, so thankful, for everything both of my parents did to make sure I had the foundation I had when I stepped out into the world on my own. I'd say "I've forgiven my parents their mistakes and moved on." But there's nothing to forgive. I'm a parent now, and I see the fine line they walked, and how intense and difficult their roles were, and how conflicted they must have felt every day, just as I feel those same things myself in raising my daughter. It's a tough business, parenting, and they handled the business beautifully. I ache for the pain I've ever caused them by intimating anything else.

That said, you know, circumstances in a person's life are never perfect and aren't even meant to be so. (It's directly into the chasms created by human error that people grow, I believe.) And my circumstances, in combination with my own natural (I guess?) personality worked together to create in the young Megan an uneasy feeling of insecurity and isolation. Looking back on who I was as a little girl, an adolescent, a teenager and a young adult, it's clear to me I carried around a palpable sense of melancholy - an emotional burden far greater than a child in my situation should have been able to fathom, much less adopt as the lens through which she viewed her world and her place in life. Yet I did. Go figure.

But not hopelessly so. I had friends, and had normal-kid fun and interactions with those friends. And I had a few very influencial, supportive, insightful teachers and other adult influences who were able to bring me out of my little shell, give me confidence in myself and help me see beyond my somewhat myopic perspective to catch glimpses of what might be to come for me. And through all the normal channels of learning and growth to which a marginally privileged kid gets exposed, I developed a dream of what my life could be like.

A non-specific dream, without any very distinctive tangible details. More like a dream of a feeling - a dream in which the heavy weight of pain and loneliness and unworthiness lifted, and a sense of security and connection and love rushed in to permeate me as fully as the absence of them had done.

And that's the dream I'm living, Meg. The aches and emptiness of my youth HAVE yielded to love and healing and the beauty of a (limited, I will grant you) sense of wholeness that comes with Christ's redemption (which I accepted for the first time as a budding adult while I was in college), first and foremost. But also with maturity, with experience and with the undeniable power of that little thing called love.

I look at my life now, at 40, and nothing much substantial about me, really, has changed, on the surface. But then again EVERYTHING has changed. On the inside, I've been reborn in every way imaginable. Some of the transformation happened in my years as a single, independent person, learning what I was capable of handling on my own (not without God, though), time I spent fending for myself and doing a fairly good job of it. Some of it came from meeting Al, who challenged me to always strive for more, always take the high road, always ask more questions and never say "I can't do it," long before he became my husband.

And now I have my own family. A husband who sees who I am and wants me to be just HER, whoever she is. Who still encourages me to reach as far out or up as I want to reach, but also provides me with a safe place to stand and hangs onto me tightly as I reach, so I don't fall. I have a child of my own, already so vulnerable and sensitive that I am forced to confront the core of age-old fears and doubts in myself in order to learn combat them in her own little psyche.

And I have this peace. This security. As much as any human being can have security, that is, on earth. And I don't feel alone. I feel connected, vital and specifically meant to be. I feel loved and needed, valued and valuable. Just because I'm little old me. Goofy, clumsy, inelegant and a little slow on the uptake most days, but beautifully perfect for the life she's been given.

And yep.

That there's a dream come true, in my book, y'all.

16 comments:

  1. That made me BAWL like a freaking BABY. That's the most beautiful thing I've ever read.

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  2. Great post. Great dream - even better reality!

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  3. I can totally relate. It's still really hard for me to make friends. I tend to naturally put myself in that corner where I spent a lot of my childhood and adolescents.

    My children, more than anything, have taught me to walk in the spotlight, at least occasionally. If I want to walk with them, that's where I have to walk. That's where they deserve to be. And gradually, I've seen that I belong there, too.

    Thanks for a beautiful post.

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  4. I am glad you are "just you." Loved reading what you had to say about your dream. :)

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  5. very nice post...what you typed about your parents is what I would LOVE to tell my Mom if I had the chance again...to relate how happy I am with the "me" I am now versus the self-doubting girl that I was as I was growing up...

    beautifully written.

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  6. Megan, thank you so much for writing this post and answering my question! I really appreciate the honesty and transparency you put into it, and for sharing things that Jesus has done in your life. What a precious testimony to constantly remember!

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  7. That is beautiful! What a touching post. And I'm happy. For you!

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  8. I really liked your post. Beautiful!

    It is a great mark of maturity to be able to see parents in that light and it's not always easily.

    Becoming a parent sure helps the process. I know as I have had children it has made me less and less of a judgmental person overall. It is humbling to be responsible for the well being of another!

    Anyway, not to get too deep, I am so happy you feel content in your life and you have such great paint colors going on to top it off!

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  9. Awww... that was so uplifting to read this morning!

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  10. If I could reach way out there far enough, I'd wrap my arms around your Okra self and HUG you BIG!!! That was the most beautiful post I've ever read. You have such a gift. I actually felt like I was sitting here right next to you listening to you speak. You're such a gift, Megan.
    Love, Cathy from Southern Illinois

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  11. Beautiful post, I love the dream you're living!

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  12. I can so relate you what you just wrote. Change around just a few things and it could have been written about me.

    Glad you have found your life-lovin happiness.

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  13. "Beautifully perfect for the life she's been given." Wonderful.

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Thoughts?