Sometimes I look at pictures of my friends in high school. We are at the beach on spring break, shooting blow darts across the room at a styrofoam boogie board. We are eating pancakes on Saturday morning in our pajamas, painting our jeans before we all move away to college. We are driving through town at night with the windows down, angsting it out to punk rock love songs. We are longing for SO much and not knowing how to explain what it is we are looking for. So we sing U2 all the way to the coast “and I stilllll haven’t founddddd what I’m lookin for…” The thing is, I look at these photos and feel like I could go right back there, with those same people in the same cars and the same music toward the same Atlantic Ocean. And I would love it. I could be that girl again with the pancakes and painted jeans.
But I would feel a little different, and why is that?
What has happened since then that’s got me out of the angsty car and into other routines? Into going to bed before 2am and paying more attention to my schedule than my blog? Some might blame it on growing up–say I’ve lost myself and my young passion. They would see my life now compared to my life then and think, where did she go? Where is her freedom? But it doesn’t feel like that to me. It doesn’t feel like I’m lost. It feels like I have found so much of all that stuff I was looking for then, so much that I no longer have these insatiable impulses that keep me up all night singing and driving to the water. So much that I can sleep, and go to work, and do the laundry, and all these things that were so boring before, and yet still feel fulfilled. My freedom lies in stable things, safe things, things that do not fade away or threaten to elude me. Because I served my heart out on my mission and found lasting homes for all that passion I couldn’t seem to express before. Because I fall asleep next to Ken who is staying with me always. Because I wake up to God over and over and over. I always knew who I was. But now it is easier to be that person.
That being said, man what I wouldn’t do for those painted jeans and a weekend at the beach.
I will always be the girl with sand on her feet and a notebook in her hands.
iden·ti·ty (noun) \ī-ˈden-tə-tē, ə-, -ˈde-nə-\
1 a : sameness of essential or generic character in different instances
b : sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing : oneness
2 : the distinguishing character or personality of an individual
per·pet·u·al (adj) \pər-ˈpe-chə-wəl, -chəl; -ˈpech-wəl\
1 a : continuing forever : everlasting
b (1) : valid for all time
(2) : holding for life or for an unlimited time
2: occurring continually
3: blooming continuously throughout the season