I want to remember everything about this time.
The details. The silver linings. The gooey middles. The intricacies that hold in these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. And how these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities seem to be happening pretty consistently in my day-to-day. And I want to remember that they should always, always humble me to my knees.
Last week I boarded a flight for Hollywood. I was there for a solid 24-hours. I stayed on the Boulevard. I brought wardrobe choices. I walked on a TV set. I had a dressing room with my name in the middle of the star. I sat down with a host I'd known for years by the glow of the screen. I wondered when I would wake up.
Life feels a bit surreal these days. It feels like it probably belongs to someone else. Or that it's been lent to me by someone who's coming back tomorrow, planning to ask me, "Was my little life good to you?"
And let's be honest-- I had no real intention of ever blogging about this. I planned to trot back from Holl-ay-wood and post my usual "Inspiring Post that Makes Others Think It Could Be About Them But Really It Is About Me... Maybe..." kind of post and stay off from all y'all. But someone sent me an email as I was boarding the plane, a single sentence email that read: "Please tell us about Hollywood."
OOF. Wind rush. Me? Talk about my life? On my blog? Jeepers, now that is something I don't like doing. I am going to be plain & honest & true with you... I have never felt comfortable talking about my life on this blog unless I muddy up the details with imagery & metaphors and leave your head spinning and wondering if the details of that last post ever even happened to me at all. And no one knows a thing about me besides the movement I started and the color of my hair. It might be a defense mechanism. I've done it for three years now. But something is pushing me out my comfort zone and I am ready to share more. And be honest more. And give you more of a glimpse of my everyday ordinary. (I am so swallowing hard right now, sweating profusely, wondering if I can actually do this.)
So my life... yea... and what I think it is these days.
I think it simmers down to this: Great faith. & great expectation. The two, braided together like horse hair, took me straight into a life I never planned for myself. A life I never thought my little hands would deserve.
When I quit my fulltime job back in July, God was calling. Trust me, it takes much bravery & courage on my part to admit that to strangers who only know me by the slang in my syllables. But the quitting my job was God's plan, not my own.
My plan has always been big & illustrious. If I were an Indian child, they'd have named me Lover of Big Names & Fancy Resume Buzz Words. I wanted to work for huge nonprofits. I wanted connections with names that would hitch up my LinkedIn profile and make it shine brighter than the Hollywood Boulevard at night. I craved security. Enough money. I wanted the things that would symbolize a job well done. A kid making well for herself in a struggling economy. But the plan was never to quit the job.
Then More Love Letters came alone. And it was a squander between a role God gave me that hummed to the riffs of His very own soundtrack and a job God had given me to deliver me out of the Year of my Unraveling. The Year Depression Wore Rainboots & Tromped Out My Spirits. I wanted to honor both roles. I burnt out. I worked too many hours. I forgot friends. I kept praying.
In the middle of April, God whispered July. The month would be July. I knew something would heave. Turn. Shift. And, sure enough, a job was offered for July that would cut me down to a fourth of the money I'd been making. I left a salary, benefits, insurance. My pockets were heavy from student loans. I found a limb... and I walked out on it. I was fearful. But I had a feeling it would fan out into something beautiful.
I could suddenly work from anywhere, for someone who gave me one requirement: The time not spent working for me gets devoted to your dream.
I agreed. I stepped out. And I clung to God for security. For abundance. For a direction.
My life takes on a new kind of ordinary these days.
A new kind of normal that I am learning to embrace with both hands. I'm not used to TV studios. Nor am I used to heavy email inboxes. Or public speaking. Or book deals.
But it is all rolling forward and I am being stretched in the limbs to show up every morning and be the girl that God mapped out for me. If I didn't want so much-- if I didn't already have the sweetest taste in my mouth for what God can do for those who trust Him fully-- I'd be the girl I thought I always should be: quiet. Pent up inside a box. Insecure. Sorry for her own existence.
And I don't want to stand here, with hands in pockets while looking down & kicking at the dust, trying to tell you that you can transform your life into something magical. Truthfully, I don't think I could pull off a shred of magical on my own. But I looked up to the heavens and said, pretty honestly, "I don't always trust you, I don't always know what you want from me, but I am tired of this sadness. I want my life to be whimsical. I've got big dreams. I have so much I want to do. I want to write books. I want to speak to many. I want to do Your work, God, if only I knew what that work was..." And yea... God met me with a pretty outlandish but whimsical life. (Twas' never my own doing and I don't ever plan to take that credit.)
And so, no, I don't want to be that other girl anymore. The tired one. The one who is not confident in her abilities & giftings. & I must refuse to bring her along in this journey because the girl already mapped out for me is another thing altogether.
She is pretty wonderful. She is pretty cool. She gets to do amazing things. She gets to meet amazing people. She feels blessed almost always. She is learning the art of gratitude better every morning. That girl is learning, above everything else, that she needs to embrace what is coming her way like golden tidal waves, whether she ever felt she deserved it or not.
That is the girl I want all of you to meet. She is not perfect. She is not trying to be perfect anymore. She is just joyful. Content. Ready to share. Ready to find her own voice on this blog.