Plenty and Want
January 3, 2016 § Leave a comment
“Another year over
and a new one just begun”
I did have fun this Christmas and New Years. All the year’s energy seems to hurtle towards the last two weeks on the calendar and makes them overflow with anticipation or angst. The day-to-day work starts to wear on you so you welcome the break. The days off are lovely and free and full of eating (at least in my parents’ house). There’s magic even in the unseasonably warm air we experienced in Alabama this year. Anna’s family shared their tamales with me the week before Christmas. I got to know Amy from my church better over tacos during a leisurely Monday lunch. My oldest friend Joy had her first baby, and I am raring to visit and bask in the glow of the miracle with her. I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas with my family, watching movies and exchanging a few gifts and sharing meals. It reminds me of the time before Josh and I grew up and moved away. I know I can’t return to those years, and don’t literally want to, but it’s the closeness and togetherness that I miss. I’m thankful that we can still share it, even if in smaller spurts. I am eternally thankful to have such a home life. It is a gift.
The month of December has also felt like an upending, mainly due to a roommate change. It seemed like my outgoing roommate and incoming new one were going to be living on top of each other there for a minute, but outgoing roommate’s much delayed apartment was ready just in time last week for new roommate to move in Saturday. With all that squared away, I was able to go off to Nashville and enjoy extended time at the start of this new year with Natalie and Adrian, and Jared, Alison, and toddler Hunter. His almost-two-year-old limitless energy made everything from air mattresses to jewelry store shelves an adventure. We all ate well, relaxed, and laughed heartily.
I feel filled up by all the special times shared with my family and friends. I’m optimistic that this new living situation will be a good one as we learn how to share our space. I want my home to continue to be a haven. I’m hopeful that my job will remain as I also strive to look for another one that doesn’t have to renew itself every 4 months. At the same time, I am struggling with a sadness and resignation that has dogged me for months now. I admitted it to my church small group a few weeks ago, which has helped lift the gloom a bit. I know part of it is my response to change, or change I don’t like. Change does unsettle me. I know it does most people. As I type, I’m reminded that God doesn’t change like shifting shadows, as it says in James. I find comfort in this truth.
And yet my heart aches for something I’ve never known. When my dear friend Alison asked us all this weekend about what we were looking forward to in 2016, it was the ever-present wish I kept to myself, the hope that I don’t often name. I know the love and acceptance of my mother and father and brother and what life-giving loves they are! I am grateful to love and be loved by friends who’ve seen my faults and embraced me. I don’t know what it’s like to be loved by a lover. It is a wondering I carry with me, and most days, it’s a silent partner. Lately, my heart has not been quite so content with its romantically-solo state. In my plenty, there is still a lack. And I’m feeling it at the start of this new year. Being still-single at 33 is not something I prepared myself for. I assumed the time would come, a man would ask, I would say yes, and that would be that. Living life with this goal unattained has been challenging and illuminating and frustrating. It’s been fun and adventurous and fantastic too, because that’s just how I roll. I don’t know when or if I’ll meet someone special (no pressure, 2016), and that is hard for me. Yet my desire to know the contentment that the apostle Paul wrote about in his letters is strong, and, I pray, stronger than my current discontent.