|June 4, 2011|
In a few short weeks, we will have been living the theatre life non-stop for two straight years. There were times that I was convinced it was killing me (this is no exaggeration). I was staying up way too late and getting up as early as I always did. I was making dinners to go and squeezing in grocery shopping and cooking and cleaning whenever I could carve out the time to do it. I was driving here there and everywhere and turning the van into an office during rehearsals. I worked props and costumes and the hospitality side of things and even found myself backstage being a kid wrangler. I made a fool of myself using sports terms instead of theatre lingo (think half time instead of intermission, locker room instead of dressing room, roster instead of playbill, and having ZERO clue what "house left" or "stage right" meant).
That said, this adventure is coming to an end. My sister is ready for a break. My brother is starting classes at the college. And I've been told the next show they even audition for won't be until Christmas. We're two years in and the thing that has shaped every hour of my life since we've moved here is going to disappear. At least for this fall anyway.
In a way, I'm excited. There will be normal bed times and time for friends. There will be family dinners and movie nights. Our weekends will be our own. But, just like every hard thing, I'm realizing that I'm sad it's over. This thing that required so much of us all, brought us together. It gave me a chance to be stretched and pushed way outside my comfort zone. My brother and sister got to have THE time of their lives and I got to tag along for the ride watching them grow and shine and enjoy themselves. It gave me a chance to give and give and give and trust in the strength that God provides. The last two years have been the best kind of hard and an amazing gift. I knew it all along, but now I feel like I'm finally seeing them for what they were. Perspective...It's really something!
With the end of one adventure, comes room for another. As you all know, I've spent much of the last 10 years keeping house for my family and taking up other jobs as they came my way. It's weird and I've never tried to deny that. My parents made a commitment to me and I made a commitment to them and I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to be a part of my siblings' lives and to be able to serve people whether they could pay me or not.
I wouldn't trade those 10 years for anything and the decision to bring them to an end came with a lot of wrestling. The thing is, my brother and sister are entering new seasons of their own. Our family is changing shape. And it's time for me to move on. I knew the days of being their "other mother" wouldn't last forever, which was why it was so easy for me to ignore the pressure I so often felt to "DO SOMETHING."
I got to teach them and play with them and cook for them. I got to help with Awana and summer reading programs and VBS and all the plays they were in. I got to be there for dentist appointments' and grocery runs and every errand associated with the animals they used to raise for fair. I got to take them out to eat and to the movies and spend endless afternoons at the park or the pool. I got to give them baths and read bed time stories and build Lego and play hospital. I cheered them on at Little League games and waited in the car during practices. I can still hear their giggles and look back on the times they needed a good cry and an extra hug. When they were little they were so afraid that I was going to move away and go to college and marry a big hairy man....There was so much dread with being sure that I would disappear.
And then, the years went by. I opted to do college online. I never did meet a man (hairy or otherwise) that made me want to get married. I moved away for a few short stints, but I always left most of my things at home and promised to return when my time away was finished. In some ways, I wish that I did have a house and family of my own. I won't have forever for those things to happen. But, then I look back on the last 10 years and I realize what a treat they have been. They've taught me to care more about what God thinks than what anyone else (myself included) thinks. They've taught me that my worth and value are not in what I do, but in who I am. They've taught me to do whatever it is my hands find to do the best that I can. In short, they've taught me to live by faith. I don't have a lot to show for those years other than gray hairs and laugh lines and some of the most precious memories I'll ever make. I've known it all along, but now I'm really seeing those years for what they were.
I wouldn't trade them for anything. Not a house of my own. Not a family of my own. Not a bank account bursting with security for whatever tomorrow holds. There are some things that are worth more than you can ever imagine and God used the last 10 years to fill the cup that holds those things to overflowing.
As we made plans for this fall, an opportunity came up for me to apply for a job. I kicked the idea around and around and turned in my application hours before the deadline. In the meantime, I was offered another job. A few weeks later I went in for an interview. I left the interview feeling dread. Which job SHOULD I take? Should I take either job? Did the interview even go well enough to give me a shot at the job? They told me I could expect to hear back the next week. I made the decision I had to make and waited to hear back on the interview. I made peace with my decision and handed it all over to God. The next morning, I got a call. The interview went well and they were pleased to offer me the job. The first of August was scheduled as my start date, which gave me plenty of room for the commitments I had made with this last play that we're doing.
I'm getting paid to write on project based schedule and I'm working at a library. Those 10 years of learning to wait on God, I had quiet dreams coming to life. I dedicated myself to continuing to write. My hope was that someday something might come of those scribbles. Something has. Another dream that came to life was the realization that THE career I wanted was to be a librarian. I stumbled onto that dream when I used to fill in for Julie. During a long stint of that, one day it dawned on me that THAT was what I wanted to do. I researched degrees and positions and let myself get used to the idea of the possibility of it.
The same waiting and trusting and working that have shaped the last 10 years will continue now that I've got a few other commitments to juggle. The summer of 2017 will live on in my mind as the end of one season and the beginning of another. I've told you that there were things I was holding back until the time was right. Now you know what they are. There are a few more things I'm keeping to myself for now, but these ones are honestly the biggest.
As I learn to juggle everything and adjust to the way things are going to be now, I'm still planning to keep up this blog! I've given myself the freedom to enjoy this summer that may just be the last of its kind. Thanks for tagging along and reading when I write and commenting and emailing even when I'm not putting up fresh content.
You're the best!