I was sitting in a coffee shop a few weeks ago. It was the kind with that urban indie feel with home made biscotti’s and mismatched cups with saucers and chalkboard written drink specials. The acoustics ran a simple and pure noise. The big leather sofas begged to be found as I sat sipping a chai tea reading words. Tons and tons of words. Words on suicide. Words on grief. Words on trauma. Words. Words. Words. and they all remind me that my life has had it easy. too easy.
In the last couple of weeks I’ve been given more breaths, I’m reconnecting with friends. They ask how I am, “really.” The easy and quick answer is busy. The answer is somewhere between, I love school and I’m ready to be done with school. Let me tell you–I’m ready to be done with words. Those kinds of words. And so ready for new words that come from healing and help and service.
A song played in the faint distance of this new found little place of solitude. A familiar song. By a most favorite voice. Yet it was different enough.
You grieve you learn
You choke you learn…
Oh my sweet Alanis, how you do speak to my soul ever so strongly, and that acoustic album (HOW DID I NOT KNOW!?). Somewhere in that blink where October came and went the reality set in that this whole grad school thing and those words keep taking me in..pulling me under as I fight to stay ahead in these friendships that brought me to the now, pulling me under as I fight to win more lessons, live more life, breathe more air. And the words- they just bury me. But I fight. I fight. and then I fight some more because deep down, I do love this. Deep down, biting off more than I can chew has been and continues to be such a beautiful lesson of priorities, of values, of reality.
and I sit there and realize, Alanis- you speak such harsh and lovely words all at the same time, and all I can do is embrace.
You live. You learn. I’m living. I’m learning.
And these words are so special and so much a huge part of this process.
My words today say that the relationships in my life are the nutrients that get me through each part of this journey. The snuggles that leave behind baby socks, and the laughs that leave behind two empty martini glasses. The texts that make me smile a special kind of laugh and a happy kind of dance when I read, “miss you babe!” I love- like sincerely love my peeps. And WORDS can’t express enough the necessity you are to me as I live, as I learn. And I’m just so thankful. So so thankful that I get to stop in between that word that can bring me down, or that word that can make me cry, or even that word that can make me lose a bit of hope, just so that I can see your words that bring me back up, that can wipe away the tears, that can restore a precious hope.
Let me tell you something, “Those firetrucks are coming up around the bend…”
Friends, this semester has been tough. Not just because of the time management I need as I’ve made my relationships just as much a priority as school (if not more), but because it’s deep. I took Grief and Loss. Six hours of counseling strategies and techniques for the traumatized. Six hours of real stories from real people… and my heart crushed. Yesterday I read all about suicide and substance abuse. And in a few months–I’ll be learning about the social injustices that everyone faces (yes everyone). It put things in perspective.
I wrote a paper on adolescent counseling in the wake of peer suicide. Words. Words. Words. Words. They have this way of putting things into perspective. There’s so much more behind them than we’re willing to admit. And here I am with more–and in them a hope to bring healing…
Friends, we face such petty problems over what was fair and what wasn’t, over who was right and who was wrong, over our own wants rather than the needs of others, or just things for others. Truthfully, if that’s how living is teaching us “lessons,” then we’ve missed something along the way. Quite frankly, if that’s the case, then may the WORDS that write our stories come up with something more creative, something that can wipe the tears we’ve cause God in the process of our selfishness; something that will tear away the hurt we’ve caused others and something that will restore the hope we’ve gracefully been given. Because honestly, we weren’t doing a good job writing the story ourselves.
My family is fighting a silent and cold fight. I can’t say more than that for now because I’ll hear about it from 20 of the 30 that are fighting the pangs together (or maybe just the five that take the time to read my words). But words. WORDS. Our story is in the midst of being written and oh how I hate for it to be written with those words and not these better and selfless ones. Do we need more creativity? What is it we need in order to change these words? Really… put things in perspective… let’s rewrite our words…
I left that cute little coffee shop ready to compartmentalize the tears that my heart weeps when I read about the hopelessness…well, compartmentalize until I’m ready to
deal do. And on my way out, I found that perfect acoustic Alanis song all over again, and I sang it until my heart caved in…precious words those were:
wait until the dust settles…
You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn..
but dear Family, let’s not lose. let’s just learn. And Words- just rewrite our story. Please.