Last weekend in Surrey was a very strange time for me, most notably the time I spent at the events for the Covenant Annual General Meeting. It was like all of these different world were colliding; I don’t think I realized it until the end of the weekend. There were people there from our home church: the “now” people. There were friends who’ve moved away: the “past” people. And people who will be our friends and pastors when we move to Manitoba in the summer: the “future” people.
I don’t know. It was just strange. It made life seem so impermanent. The past people used to be the “now” people; the now people will soon be the “past” people, and shortly the future people will be in the now. It kind of made my head swim. It makes you wonder how we have any relationships at all, with time always moving us, taking us along these paths that only cross for such short times.
Did I forget to mention that the day Marc and I flew home from Surrey I spent a half hour crying uncontrollably in our rental car while Marc returned the shoes, dress and sweater I bought for my cousin’s wedding this summer? Well I did. The crying started with $10 of stupid hotel charges for using our calling card. (GRRRR! I hate all of the hidden fees they throw at you when you check out!) It continued because of my exhaustion from the weekend, my head cold and plugged ear (that I still have now!), having a crummy 30th birthday, acting like an idiot in front of our friends about said dress, sweater and shoes (according to Marc my ability to make a spectacle of my insecurity is “endearing”; lately I’ve thought it completley idiotic, but I’m trying to get over it), and then seeing those worlds colliding at the conference and feeling like we are just spinning around in the middle of this movement of our lives.
(And Marc wonders why I have trouble articulating my feelings to him!) Like I said, the crying started at the hotel elevator about those stupid phone charges. And it did not end until Marc had returned all of things at the mall and we were well out of Surrey. Honestly my whole face, my lips, my eyes, felt completely swollen and puffy. It was horrible. And I couldn’t stop it. I tried. I couldn’t.
But for as stupid as I look when I cry and for all of the dumb reasons the tears come, I am glad (mostly) that I can vent all of these life frustrations through tears. Because you know what? Sometimes life just sucks. Sometimes, even at the tail-end of your first ever holiday away from your children, life sucks. We’re too tired and too frazzled to appreciate it. The things we look forward to and want to appreciate don’t happen. The people we love disappoint us or leave us and our lives take us to a new set of people to love and hurt and leave.
So much more these days, as we prepare the house for moving and prepare ourselves for saying good-bye to friends and family and completely reorienting our lives and purpose, I feel the good and bad of our days. Sometimes my heart is overwhelmed with the good moments and the good friends and all of the opportunities we’ve had. And then other times I just get bitter and tired and depressed and am ready to give up because I don’t have the strength to do it.
So, if I’ve been quiet on the internet this week (which maybe nobody noticed but me), it’s because sometimes I have the decency to spare the world from bitter, tired Dixie. The Dixie that cries until her faces is swollen and her lips are fat. The Dixie that just keeps doing the stuff that needs to be done even when doing those things is exciting and hopeful and scary and exhausting all at the same time. The Dixie that can’t make sense of who she is or where she’s going or why she does the things she does, so she just shuts up for a little bit and it doesn’t make it any better, but maybe just saves her a week of embarassing herself yet again.
But that’s what we do in life, isn’t it? We have the good moments and the bad moments. The times when we’re wise and the times when we’re idiots. And we all move along where life takes us. And the moments when the paths of our loved ones and the goodness of life and our ability to experience that goodness all line up… well it makes the moments when we cry uncontrollably in a parking lot worth it. Really. It does. And I know there will be good things to come as new worlds collide.