Have you ever thought about how a movie about yourself would begin?
What would it look like?
I’ve always pictured my opening scene the same way:
I’m sitting by a closed window in a quaint, aesthetically pleasing café with my notebook, a laptop and a cup of coffee. The weather and mood of this scene has always changed depending on my disposition and the stage of life that I am in; but I almost always picture a cold winters day or a brisk fall morning with deep, de-saturated colors. It gives a sense of yearning and contemplation, with an ever so slight essence of hope for more things to come. I was never sad or feeling downhearted in these scenes; just always waiting for something. My gaze went consistently from my writing, to the window, and back. Even as a I read through my old journals and study every instance where my “movie” is mentioned, I never write down what I’m looking for. I just know that I’m looking.
I haven’t thought about the opening scene of my movie for quite some time; in fact, the only reason it’s on my mind now is because I did a deep-dive into the drafts patiently waiting to be published on my blog. Out of the s e v e r a l unfinished posts in that folder, this one captivated me. Not for the moody setting or the unanswered question of what exactly I was hoping to find, but because my opening scene that I picture today has changed entirely.
I’m still in a quaint little café by a window with my laptop, journal, and cup of (now iced) coffee; however, the colors have changed. It’s no longer deep and brooding. It is full of light and vivid color. It must be spring because there are flowers framing the window where I sit; and instead of being on the inside looking out the window, I’m outside on the patio—and from time-to-time, I look up. The feeling is of overwhelming gratitude. I don’t feel the need to gaze in front of me in search of something more to come because I’m genuinely happy and thankful for exactly where I am.
So what happened between these visions?
I’m still me. I still prefer my coffee to be mostly cream; I still write in 3 separate journals for different purposes that only make sense to me; I still go out of my way to say hello to every dog that crosses my path and I will wave across a sea of people if I see a baby make eye contact with me; I still put way too many chocolate chips in my undercooked-mostly-dough cookies and no, I will never stop; I still clean the counters and somehow miss all of the crumbs from my sandwich earlier that day; I still giggle when the little bubbles from dish soap spurt out of the top; I will still choose a decade-old cheesy chick flick or classic Disney movie over a thoughtful documentary on my nights alone because nostalgia always wins in the end; I still drop whatever I am holding, especially if there’s no saving it once it is dropped ( i.e. miso soup—sorry Caleb); I still sing way too loud and out-of-tune; I still have an uncontrollable urge to buy every pink water bottle I see especially if it has gold writing on it; I still haven’t figured out how to properly hang wet clothes so that they don’t wrinkle and, honestly, I probably never will; and I still get way too emotionally invested in fictional characters and refuse to throw out any book I have ever owned.
Yes, I am still me. The difference is, I’ve humbly accepted it. I am blissfully and irrevocably happy to be who I am. I’m no longer gazing into the distance waiting for something to come my way; because I have absolutely everything that I could ever need. I have my family, my friends, my love, my health; I also have insecurities, and heartache and doubt from time-to-time. But I no longer see those moments as setbacks or something to dread. Life happens; and while life happens, God is right there by my side. He’s got me, and He’s got the ones I love. One of the biggest realizations I had during this journey is accepting the fact that God needed to be with me before He was ready to give me to someone else. I had to put in time with Him and myself before I could offer anything to anyone else. That relationship had to mend first. Once it did, everything else made sense. I stopped searching for a picture-perfect life, and started accepting the bright and messy life that has been put in front of me.
My life is no longer filled with fleeting and de-saturated periods of waiting; but it is bursting with fulfilling, never-ending moments of pure joy and vibrancy. I may drop my miso soup that was generously bought for me, and I may trip on absolutely nothing and feel the need to dramatically fall to the ground; but I will do so with a smile on my face and laugh uncontrollably leaving my mouth. I’ll have moments of deep sadness and need some guidance, and I’ll have moments of pure joy and try my best to spread that feeling to everyone around me. Exactly who I am, whether I’m on the ground covered in soup or standing on the balcony of a 5 star resort in Mexico, I’ll be happy.