“it’s all happening.”

When my alarm goes off on Tuesday morning (because I do set one–my reasoning is that I have one full day off a week, and I’m not wasting a second of it), I have the groggy morning confusion as I try to assess where I am and what job I’m running off to today. When it hits me that it’s Tuesday, along with the reality that I have a whole day to myself, I love everyone and I can do anything.

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The barista at Starbucks recognizes me now because I’m here every Tuesday morning for a bit until my dance lessons (which are still happening, guys, I can’t believe I’ve stuck with it this long) and then I either rollerblade or kick it at the library because that’s my jam.

It’s day nine of Dressember, and I can’t tell you how hard it is for me to stay creative with these dresses each day.

day1

10687105_10154929351815220_1347847098904312829_nday3Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetday5Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetday7day8Pairing them with boots makes me feel more like myself, so that helps and I’m going to get myself a pair of boyfriend jeans at long last at the end of this month just for fun. This whole thing has been worth it so far, because already at the end of week one we’ve collectively raised over $170k, which is nearly as much as we made the entire month last year. I personally have tripled what I raised last year thanks to the generosity of many kind friends and family. I’m almost to $1,000 myself and I’m ecstatic to have raised that much and so thankful to see many other girls participating all around the world. There’s nothing more empowering than seeing people come together for one common cause regardless of the distance between them.

—-

Time is really flying by for me these days. Between the salon and the safe house every other weekend (which feels like every weekend with the rate that my weeks go by) it’s all I can do to try to work in something fun and creative in my limited down time. Like I said, I’m still dancing, so that’s something and reading a bit here and there–probably have about five books going right now. I’ve binged on all my shows on Netflix, so I will occasionally watch a movie here and there. Last night after I finished my morning shift I came home and watched ‘Almost Famous’ (2000) and ‘Stand by Me’ (1986), both of which were excellent and I can’t believe it took me this long to see them both.

For someone who does less sex, drugs and rock’n’roll than the Pope, I can’t explain to you why I love the whole band on the road thing, but I guess it probably appeals to my sense of ‘just going out and experiencing life, and the world, and people’, which is really dehydrated right now since I’m doing the responsible “working to pay off my student loans” thing and sitting in one place. I have pockets of my life like this, usually sandwiched between all the adventures that I’ve been so privileged to have, and it’s normal and healthy and good.

Because I’m a compulsive documentarian, I have a good many of these pieces together with songs that punctuated the experience and I can go back over these and reminisce, which I’ve been doing a lot this week. Most of them are quickly throw together and would make most filmies cringe, but they’re part of the reason I studied film in the first place: they’re little monuments of where I was, who I was with and all the emotions carefully preserved.

This was the first thing I ever made back in 2009 after my first trip to Chicago with all my best friends in The Fam, and almost five years later, it still makes me smile.

This was over two years ago when I was living in LA for the final semester of my senior year and Christina came out to visit me. (Shout out to my baby bro as she’s now engaged! This was before she even met her fiance, so it’s crazy to see how quickly things can change.)

This was just about two years ago when I first got to Tanzania and spent some time in Kigoma with my team family before moving down to the Rukwa Valley.

Ahh, memories.

Going back to ‘Almost Famous’ William has a point though:

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I’m the worst at this and I do it all the time. I put whatever I’m doing right now in the present in the category in my brain marked, “preparation” or “temporary” or “filling the space of time before I do what I really want to do”. Part of that has to do with being a dreamer and probably has something to do with my personality. I’m always looking ahead, always envisioning the next big thing, and I’m constantly having to bring myself back to the fact that life isn’t on hold until I find my “next adventure”. It’s happening now.

LIFE

This is only becoming more true with time.

And life right now for me is honestly very good, and very full. Little Miss Dreamer just needs to open her eyes and put a hold on her “great wide somewhere” fantasies long enough to realize that life is now. Life is actually made up of all the mundane routines and meaningful glances and taking out the trash. Right now, life is listening to my sister plan out her wedding on the couch while COPS plays in the background and holding the other little sister while she cries because her best friend is in the hospital. It is having one of the girls crawl into my bed in the intern room while I’m writing up my reports and having them say, “What does it mean to enjoy being in God’s presence?” and me trying to put that to words. It is Dressember and hopefully Christmas shopping later and trying to drink more water because I’m constantly dehydrated from all the coffeee I’m consuming. Right now, my life is full of all kinds of wonderful things that I could appreciate properly if I could just keep my eyes open long enough to see them.

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This has been a PSA, and mostly for me.
Happy Tuesday again, kids.

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One thought on ““it’s all happening.”

  1. Hey Stephanie, even though we both attended SEU, I don’t think we ever met.

    Anyway, I wanted to say that I enjoyed this post – especially this bit at the end: “Life is actually made up of all the mundane routines and meaningful glances and taking out the trash.”

    (Perhaps like you) I’m chomping at the bit to begin living out the “dreams” that I believe God has called me to. Yet, I find that I’m in this place of “waiting.” I’m in seminary, which is definitely a blessing from God, but it can still – at times – feel mundane. For me, I think this experience of what feels like “mundanity” makes it seem like I’m ‘waiting’ for the great dream to materialize – which can surely cause discontent. Kind of like sitting at a restaurant after ordering, anxiously anticipating the meal.

    But as you noted, I’m beginning to realize that the problem with this is that most of life is waiting. Most moments in life are the mundane A through Y moments. Only a few are the thrilling Z moments. So right now, I feel like I’m *learning* to appreciate the mundane times as moments of Divine opportunity and possibility. What is God speaking, showing, doing, in the moments that seem bland? God surely isn’t absent and God is constantly up to something, so the question isn’t an “if” God is up to something but a “what.” What is God up to in these moments that seem terribly mundane? So in this season of life, I’m praying for eyes to see and ears to hear so I don’t miss it.

    For everything in life, Jesus is the best example. So I take comfort in that Jesus obediently waited 30 full years on earth before the Father gave Him the “Okay” to begin the thrilling stuff that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell us about. But I’m further taking comfort in the good news that those first 30 years of Jesus’ life weren’t pointless at all. Rather, they were filled with God’s presence. And for those in Christ, it is the same; there are no truly-mundane moments.

    So I think you’re right: “life is now.”

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