Saturday, April 28, 2012

don't force it.

It's French press Saturday again and the house is silent. Even the washing machine has stopped running and all I hear is the faint hum of the refrigerator, a few birds outside. Ah, yes.

I've been thinking lately about how our lives gradually unravel, like threads in a tightly wound cord. With each slow turn, the threads become a bit loser and begin to separate. Eventually, one can start to see each individual strand and how it fits into the whole.

Or perhaps our lives are more like books that can only be read one paragraph at a time. We cannot skip ahead to read the final outcome. We cannot know how the plot will twist and turn or how our character will be shaped by the events and people that weave in and out of our trajectory. We can only know the part we are reading now, in the moment, and each paragraph gradually alters how will things will play out in the future.

This is how life has felt lately for me. I am an odd one. I like to read books and magazines from back to front, or sometimes I like to plop myself right in the middle and skip around from there. This drives my left-brained, linear-minded husband absolutely mad. But me, I am not so linear. My mind likes to flit and float around, jumping associatively from one topic to the next. It sometimes resists a neat and orderly narrative.

But there is no jumping around in the narrative of my life, no option to read from back to front or to start somewhere in the middle. There is only here and now--there is only the sentence that God is currently constructing, one word at a time, and each word is formed based on the one that preceded it. Sometimes the process feels painstakingly slow. Yet it is in the slowness and stillness that I'm learning to listen to His voice. I'm learning to slow down myself, to trust that He will uphold my character through all of the peaks and valleys, twists and turns ahead. I don't need to rush the story or try to force the action before its due time.

Don't force it. That's what I keep telling myself. I'm aware that I've tried to force many things in my life, and I'm equally aware of how unnecessary it is. I don't need to have it all figured out. I don't need to make decisions before I'm ready to or before I'm required to do so. Wait and trust, wait and trust, I say.

I dropped my last poetry class a few weeks ago. It is the very last class I need before I can begin my thesis. I am so close, yet so far away from finishing this MFA. I knew in my gut that I needed to drop it. I knew that with everything that's going on in our lives right now, I would not be able to get my mind into it. I need to be fully present and engaged in what is happening right now--with God, with myself, with my family, with Ren. I can't do that and school. Besides, if required to write poetry at a time like this, I'm pretty sure my poems would end up sounding a little something like this:

The cat sat
on a mat
and then it
ate a rat.
What do you
think about that?

So, as of now, I'm registered to take my next class this December. I'm thinking that our lives might be a bit more "stable" at that point, but who knows. Most people say that the first year post-adoption is insanity, so I will have to cross that bridge when I get to it. If I don't take the December class, then I'll be dropped from my program and I'll have to reapply again if I want to complete my degree. If this happens, I'll also be required to take three extra classes that weren't required when I originally started the program. And to be honest, I'm okay with all of that. I want to finish this degree...I have come so far...but I am also at peace if for some reason it doesn't work out and I can't finish. I don't want to force it if the timing is not right.

Sometimes other things come along and get in the way of our plans. Sometimes, something big, like Love, gets in the way, and our trajectory is forever altered, our original plans get modified, and who we become is no longer compatible with the dreams we once had. We become different and maybe we learn to dream even bigger dreams than before.

Who knows what lies ahead in my narrative? Only God. Who knows if I'll ever finish this MFA? Only God.

But one thing's for sure.

I'll never stop writing.

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