To pivoting when it’s time.
Last night my friend Shannen made that toast when we clinked our wine glasses. I had gone to LA to spend the evening with her, as in I left the baby child with Trever and left the house with actual shoes on. I had to be careful not to overdue it with my outfit, because now I’m a mom, coming to the big city for a meal. Before I know it I’ll be wearing my one leather jacket every time I cross the county line out of suburbia and into the city.
We had Mediterranean food in a restaurant the size of my living room that jutted out into the corner of Sunset and something-rather. I updated her on all the best news about Colette, her adorable and happy personality and how much I love being a mom. Then I told her what I’m working on, which is to say, what is hard right now. “I’m working really hard on mindfulness,” I said, “because I’m happy if I stop wishing I were in Paris. How come no one else struggles”, I asked her. “Because you’re someone else”, she said, “it’s why I like you.” Well that was nice. When it came time for her update, I asked her to tell me the next 6 places she’ll be going to in the next 6 weeks. “I don’t want to tell you,” she said.
Just TELL ME!!!
Japan, Italy, Yellowstone, Big Sur – I stopped listening. I gluggled my water, they didn’t have wine.
The grass is always greener though, which means we’re all discontent unless we choose to be otherwise. She looks forward to when she’ll have a partner, I look forward to a bit more freedom. She tells me she sees beauty in my future, change and pivots and new adventures when it’s time. Now is the time to love my Colette. We discuss dating app horror stories and the uneven ratios of eligible bachelors to bachelorettes.
Then we walk in search of wine and find ourselves under light bulbs dangling from thirty food ceilings, and seat ourselves in front of a 5 shelf wall-to-wall bar housing Japanese whiskey and Mexican mescal. And then our conversation moves its way to where we always end up. God.
We grew up the same way, went to the same college, shared the same deep conviction for our faith and conservative lifestyle. She found herself in a city that stretched her mind, and I found myself in a conservative church that stretched mine. Opposing reasons for the same shake-up and ultimately the same results, which left us saying - I don’t know, but I believe.
We lost the blessed ignorance of easy belief. We discussed how desperately we wished our churches had told us about the nuance. We wished they didn’t call what was grey, black and white. We wished they pointed out big questions and confusion so that we wouldn’t discover it alone in a city or alone amongst believers. We wish we talked about how hard it is to believe, and yet together pursued belief.
Then we talked about hope, the thing that keeps us believing.
When life goes where you didn’t expect it to, or genetics or birth defects cause a major f*ck up, you discover how you see the world. For Shannen and me, no matter our confusion we can’t shake hope. We see this life as a moment in the greater breadth of time. We see the brokenness as a part of this broken life, so we see hope in the ending of it and thus the beginning of something whole. Whatever God’s involvement today, creation makes us believe He is good.
And that’s about all we can say. We can’t claim belief in the details anymore. We can’t rest in surety like we once did. The ease now comes to us in the releasing of a need to know.
I don’t know, but I believe. That’s what we can say. It’s lovely to have friends who say, me too, a connection itself, which helps me see.
Thank God, I think, and I mean it.