Tonight I sat curled up in a coffee shop.
"Want to play cards? You look bored."
But I wasn't. I was watching, observing, feeling, thinking, savoring.
If someone wants to see what school is like, I thought, they should see this. This moment, this delicate picturesque thing where over in the corner there's the guys playing cards and in the back girls are hunched over their lattes and everything's buzzing ever so slightly and in all of it I echo words I've said so many times this month.
If this isn't beautiful, I don't know what is
I'm a people watcher. I'm fascinated by people and their uniqueness and their stories. And I was more than content to sit back with my latte and observe the loudness and softness of people.
As I sat, drink in hand, I was smiling. For this brief moment in time, no one needed anything from me. My blood, my time, my attention, my arms, my ability to scare monsters out of closets and smile, my mental capacity or my brain. I felt like in this moment I was just existing, filling myself up by indulging in the secret art of people watching.
During the past few days I've sat before a blank screen multiple times, trying to put thoughts to paper.
When I started this humble little blog, I thought I would fill it with all my adventures. I would write my way through heartache and happiness. I would fill my corner of the world with rambling prose and stories.
I was, after all, going to be a story teller.
I said it with some degree of awe. I whispered it at first, the idea of being an anything too much for my weak heart to comprehend.
When I started writing, it was my survival song. I wrote compulsively and out of desperation. I wrote because it was and is the only way I know how to analyze the world.
I write to document, to save, to fully experience and embrace a fleeting moment.
Writing stories saved me. I still have the first story I wrote: with shaky penmanship it was a love story I was desperate to believe in.
When I thoroughly exhausted myself in making up stories, I became a poet. My guilty pleasure became locking myself in the closet and listening to spoken word poetry. I sat in the dark until tears streamed down my face. I wrote poems until my fingers bled, then wrote the poems bloody.
Now my rambling prose has taken on a new form. I write, but mostly for myself. I write to process my thoughts, to feel, to savor.
I don't write with the same desperation I used to.
I'm getting to a place where I don't need to compulsively write to remember. I don't write to make myself believe I am something.
I'm many things. I'm a story teller, always. I'm an asker of questions and I'm a people watcher. I'm a daughter and sister and friend and girlfriend and a child of God. I'm in constant pursuit of the person He made me to be, and I'm doing my best to love fully the people and things He's given me.
I'm still the poet, but I'm learning I'm also the poem.
We're in the final days before Reading week. 3/4 of the way done the school year and I'm savoring the moments. 6 months ago I never imagined I'd wind up here: having somehow stumbled upon my home team, the people I call when something goes wrong or when I just need help.
In September I wrote on my puzzle piece words from a poem by Sierra DeMulder. They weren't my words, but over the months I've claimed them.
Dear you, whoever you are, however you got here, this is exactly where you're supposed to be
I didn't believe it. This story I'm in, it was meant for somebody else. Right?
But being here, I'm learning that this story is mine, that it's ok to believe that by some twist of fate you are worthy of good things.
I'm learning to laugh, loudly and often. And I'm learning to feel things, the broken and the beautiful and let it move me.
I'm learning that if you let them, sometimes people will surprise you.
Sometimes the girls you were assigned to become the girls who show up with chocolate and cards and arms that are willing to embrace every joy and sorrow.
Sometimes the guy who was just a friend becomes the guy who looks at you like you're magic and holds your hand and makes you laugh.
This is my home team. We've celebrated birthdays and engagements and new relationships, held each other through death and homework stress and breakups.
They say "Let me help" and "I love you" and "I brought you coffee"
I don't know what I did to deserve these people. But I am so grateful they're mine, and that they keep showing up and bringing coffee and holding my hand and reminding me who I am when I forget
My life is pretty beautiful these days. These are the tender days of becoming, of trusting and holding and growing and feeling and loving.
It's in these soft, stretching moments I'm finding out what my life is really about, and who I am.
I never thought I'd make it here. My heart was broken in a thousand different ways and I was the girl grasping for just one dream.
Now I'm here, and all I can say is "My God, isn't this beautiful?"
He asks me what I'm thinking and all I can say is that I'm grateful for this. I squeeze his hand.
I am grateful. I get to experience daily the work God does in a broken heart, the new dreams He plants in barren fields.
I don't know where my life is headed. All I know is right now, in all it's fragile beauty. So I'm savoring each moment and letting my life become the poem.
I'm saying thank you when I can and telling my people just how much they mean to me. And every once in a while I step back and see all that is, and all I whisper "If this isn't beautiful I don't know what is."