I’m not sure what I was expecting-well actually that’s not true.
I knew it wouldn’t be instant of course, not day one instant.
But I thought she was here.
You know, her. The better one. The more impressive one. The one everyone’s been waiting for.
Her. The me I thought was waiting to be picked up here, the me I thought I’d step into straight off the plane. Like a gown that had been hand-stitched for 22 years, tagged with my name and left at Terminal 3.
I was home hoping someone had taken every single one of my personal hopes and disappointments and stitched them into a scarf I could wear in the moments where I sat wishing I would have a been a little better.
But it’s been a little over a month now and…she’s not here.
In fact, she’s no where to be found.
Which means the full space that has been reserved for her is being filled by-you guessed it-me.
I didn’t have an option you see. I came, she didn’t. I’m here now…And in a place where I thought you got to choose who you wanted to be and where some line from some movie about “reinventing yourself” was the news crawler in my brain, it’s nothing like that at all.
Rather than becoming the mysterious me I thought was waiting for me here, I’ve indeed only become very much more of myself.
I have taken that reserved seat and sat in it Indian-style, unafraid of the personal circle I am stretching to accommodate me.
I have taken ownership of my inconveniently loud expressions and of the ways I pronounce consonants too sharply in words. I’ve given up on trying to be good at directions and taken it as a chance to make quick friends when asking for help. I’ve decided to not be embarrassed when I’m putting a smile on someone’s face-I’ve found people to dance with me. I’ve owned the moments when I come off too sharp. I’ve committed to using my words more as a shield and less as a weapon. I’m growing of course, but it really still looks a lot like me.
And I don’t know why, but that’s kind of surprising.
And a little disappointing…
But then also quite exciting.
If you knew me then-if you miss me now, I’m sorry to disappoint, but I’m very much the same. I still trip on things and my cooking is still hit or miss. I still mix up the times when you’re supposed to care what people think and when you’re not. I still can’t sit still for very long, I’m always almost late, and I still tear up at the thought of Jesus loving me.
If you’re holding out, I’d say you should just stop now. Because maybe a year 7,671 miles away will make me her, but what’s more likely is that it will simply make me a more brave me. And who knows, that could be even better.