Guys, in the last 24 hours I have read a 300+ page book. How that happened, I am still unsure. Last night, a few hours in, Matt looks over and asks me how it is going. I put the book down and reveal that I am currently sobbing. He had no idea what to do with that. He came running over freaking out about why all that watery stuff was coming out of my eyes. He is not a fan of reading. (His sweet grandma may or may not have voice recorded herself reading all of his books throughout high school to help him out. She is the real MVP.) He cannot grasp how a book could make that much emotion come out of my body, and he had zero ideas about how to best handle my current meltdown (poor sweet man).
I can really get into a good book. I love seeing other people's lives written out in front of me, unfolding with each turning page. I like to watch them move to various stages of life as adventure, heartache, and love play out. It takes just about everything inside of me not to turn to the last page and read the ending. I have done that often which quickly ruins the books for me. Now I no longer wonder if the sweet lady dies of cancer, I can look at the last page and find the answer (now you understand the uncontrollable sobbing), which make me rush through the sweet, painful, and precious moments and conversations that lead up to the end.
Lo and behold, I live my life in a very similar fashion. It is not my favorite quality about myself, but I do. I am a dreamer, and often find myself dreaming about what my life has to offer. What jobs will I have and what adventures will I go on? What will my sweet babies look like, be like, and act like. Will they get my unbelievable athletic abilities (jokes) or my hair?
I do not think that dreaming is bad, but my problem comes when my dreaming turns into longing that turns into discontentment.
I’ve done this for as long as I can remember. I think the next stage of life will be better, sweeter, and more fun, so I rush through the current one, missing all the sweet moments that one has for me.
My sophomore year of college Matt and I were dating long distance. As my relationship with Matt moved on, I could see where it was going and I was so excited. I couldn’t wait until I was finally back near him so we could start a life together in the same area. I spent so much time dreaming of being together and getting married, that I became discontent and disconnected from the place I was currently calling home. I was living with 5 sweet girls in a four bedroom apartment off campus. Life was crazy for all of us at this point in time, and I missed so many opportunities to be involved with many moments with these friends. I could have taken that year to enjoy where I was. I was in a beautiful city in North Florida in the middle of a lively college town with fun adventures waiting. There were people who I had loved that I let fall away because I was so focused on what was next. I missed out. I do not think that I allowed my second year up at school be all that it could be.
And the funny thing is, with each milestone that is reached, I simply moved on to the next one:
I got married, and looked forward to finally graduating. But the reality is this is a sweet time of learning that I will not get again. I get the chance to interact with peers, teachers, and precious little kindergartners that I would not get to otherwise. By being discontent in this season of school (that after 3 schools, 4 majors, and 5 years seems to never actually be ending) I could miss out on the daily interactions and moments that I do get.
We got a little apartment, and I look forward to the house I dream of often with a yard. Again, dreaming is not bad, but I have found myself too often ungrateful for the space that I do have. After 2 years of living in a little apartment, I am starting to find contentment in my little space in the world. I do not have a lot of stuff, and I do not have a lot of space, and I kind of like that. The space I do have is cozy and comfortable and I feel safe. I have started to hold onto the sweet memories that Matt and I have gotten to make here and I get sad at the thought of handing the key over to the next family.
We get married and I quickly look and long for the sound of little footsteps running back and forth around us. Even today I spent an hour stalking a stranger and her baby on Instagram. (Don’t judge me, you know you have done it. If not, I’ll show you how.) I found myself discontent with this stage of life and longing to be there (Mom, put your hand down and quit praising Jesus. We still have some time.) But as I sit on my porch with my husband napping in the next room over, I am learning to be content with the quiet of this season. I get to be selfish with my time and my husband and I are both good with that for now.
I do not want to look back at my life the way that I look back at my sophomore year with a lot of regrets of missed opportunities because of a discontent heart. I want to be able to find the sweet moments where I am now, taking full advantage of the view around me. This season is sweet and this season is passing, and I want to look back with fondness of each season and confidence that I lived those moments to their fullest and celebrated each along the way.