Sunday, September 13, 2020

How wonderfully

Originally published in the Miami News-Record, June 2019 

I was scrolling through Facebook one morning, just as I do every morning. I allow some leeway in my morning schedule to give myself time to wake up. I take that time to scroll through Facebook. I’m sure a psychologist would screech in abject horror that I’m doing something horrible to my brain by waking it up that way, an optometrist might waggle a finger and tell me that blue light first thing in the morning will surely blind me. Meh. I enjoy a lazy, sleepy-eyed perusal through my most-used social media first thing in the morning and until Sigmund Freud himself tells me I should stop, I’m going to continue. 

Wow, that was a digression. 

The other morning as I was doing my morning scroll, I found something my youngest had shared. It was a square filled with line after line of the same sentence. The font was teeny tiny but neat and it caught my eye immediately. My scrolling stopped and I just stared. The repeated words formed beautiful row after row, line after line of perfection. That’s what originally stopped me, but then I read the repeated sentence:

“How wonderfully you have grown since June of last year.” 

It was like that little box was speaking directly to me. I’m not sure the reason why my daughter shared it. Maybe for herself, maybe for a friend. Maybe because she, too, liked the look of the repeated lines and rows. But it certainly wasn’t by accident that it showed up in my feed that morning. 

Last June Paul was on month three of unemployment. Aside from the loss of our first child, it was the hardest season we have gone through in our marriage. We were both bitter and angry. Fear plagued us both. I was a month away from having a total hysterectomy after over a year of severe problems. I was in pain and exhausted physically, then we were thrown into a place of insecurity we had never been. By the end of the month he had a job. A job that would thrust him into a depression he’d never experienced. At the beginning of July I had surgery. Major surgery. I felt better immediately. However, during my recovery I found another job, the job I am at now. All while trying to make sure my husband didn’t harm himself or give up. 

“How wonderfully you have grown since June of last year,” echoes in my head as I write this. 

I am learning how to be. And by “be” I mean, I am learning how to “be [fill in the blank].” It seems general and vague, but think about it. I want to be [better at painting]. I want to be [a cowboy]. I want to be [more loving]. Being is a state of existence and I want to be. 

I want to be more loving, caring, compassionate, fun, open to change, open to diversity, able to roll with whatever comes my way. I want to be a better mom, wife, grandma, daughter, sister, and aunt. I want to be a better employee, student, person in general. You can add “I want to be…” in front of all of those and make sentences. Profound sentences. 

Since changing jobs I have realized how closed-minded my world has been. I have shrugged off some ages-old thoughts and ideals that benefitted NO ONE and I’m ashamed I propagated them for basically my whole life. I now embrace everyone and even the “worst” individual humankind can introduce me to, I try to see things from a different perspective and see past what they are and into who they were and how they got to where they are. I love with all that is in me. I do good recklessly. I love who I have become since June of last year. And I hope that next June I can look back and see where I’ve become even better since this year. 

How wonderfully I have grown. 

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We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...