Honest, hope is a verb, I choose champagne, it takes a village, relationships

The grey purse is still in reach

Here’s the thing:
I should be writing my Christmas letter right now. I should be writing it and compiling all the addresses I have and preparing to literally ship out the cards the minute they come in the mail.

But, I’m not ready yet.

I feel as if most of my thoughts lately have not been suitable for audiences. As if the thoughts in my head are somewhat inappropriate and also a little mean, mostly to myself.

What I’m trying to say, in the words of my work wife, is that my brain has “no chill”.

My brain doesn’t realize it’s Christmas fully. It doesn’t know that I need to be wrapping up my thoughts on 2019 and attempting to piece together what feels like failure in order to close this chapter.

I normally love the end of the year. I love reminiscing on what happened and where I went and what I accomplished.

I am trying with every damn fiber of my being to not throw everything of this year into a dumpster and light in on fire because I feel like I failed myself.
Because, to be honest, this year brought so many good things, and people and food and trips and self-realization.

But, instead of focusing on those things (which will happen, but first I gotta get through this week) right now, I am focusing on this simple phrase that I wrote last week that has been coursing through my blood for most minutes of the day since.

I’m NOT over yet.

Just because we’re leaping into a new year and decade, just because I can no longer admit I’m in early thirties doesn’t mean I’m done or over or don’t have more beautiful life to live and relationships to have and adventures to go on and more songs to sing.

Folks, we’re not over yet.

I think I spent a lot of this year believing I was. I think I spent a lot of 2019 standing behind those who were winning at life and applauding them and cheering them on and lifting them up and celebrating each and every monumental occasion. I think that caused me to believe I had no more victories until I had certain victories happen.

And it makes me think of my perpetual list of things I want. Back in I think about 2009 or so I desperately wanted a grey purse. But I’m picky and knew that not just any purse was going to cut it. I spent months and months looking for a purse. I had a color of grey in my head and a shape and a type of strap and pockets.

And I had a really hard time buying anything for myself until I found that purse. And then one day, at a Kohl’s in Huntington Beach, I found a Vera Wang grey purse. It was like it had been created for me.

2019 has felt like I’ve been looking for a grey purse again. I have a specific purse in my brain, that’s really abstract to describe and I feel as if I don’t find it before the clock strikes midnight on December 31rst then I will have failed miserably.

But, that’s not how it works.

It’s not over yet.
I still have more stores to go to.
I haven’t failed.
I still have victories and celebration left- they might not look like I want them too- but they are still there.

So, if you’re feeling that right now. If the build-up of everything ended and beginning again is too much for you.
If you feel like you haven’t had a win in a while I just really need you to remember that you aren’t anywhere near over yet.
You aren’t alone.
You aren’t over.
You can still find your perfect grey purse.
2020 is a new decade and year but January 1rst doesn’t make dreams and desires and pain go away.
All we have to do is keep fucking going.
with love,
Meg

Honest, washington whimsy

You won’t win this round Washington.

I was writing an email to a couple friends today, it was an email I’ve tried to write at least three times in the last two weeks. I’ve done a lot of deleting and not saving drafts. And as I was typing I started talking about how California was never a battle. Like physically. Living in Orange County, in the environment, the air, the ocean, the sunshine.

Sure my ten years in Orange County were filled with depression and sadness, death, broken friendships and tears. But I also did yoga, on the beach, while the sun went down. And Disneyland was my backyard. And I wore sandals most days. And nighttime beach trips after mojitos in Huntington. 

I didn’t have to physically battle with the environment around me.

So I came to a weird realization as I haphazardly threw words on a page. 

Washington is beating me up. 

The weather, the lack of sunshine, the fact that said sunshine isn’t super warm. 

And then I got to thinking to the world race and the countries that physically were the hardest: Peru (both months), South Africa, Mozambique and (duh) Cambodia.

Peru was dirty, all the time, and hot and sticky. But I can never get back the month spent in Trujillo with access to some of my favorite people all the time and I would have followed pastor Nestor all day and watched him interact with the people of Chincha. South Africa was cold and cold and cold and tiring and frustrating and sad, but when I walked out of the stable every morning I could see Table Mountain and I felt home. Mozambique it never stopped raining, everything was wet, cooking was an all day event, but the spirit of the Lord was there. 

And Cambodia. Dirty, small eye, cellulitis, all the freakin things. But after a seemingly rough month in Thailand of team dynamics, I dare say the 112 was officially bonded for life over Cambodian princess pictures and also Cambodian small eye.

So, what I can learn from all these experiences is when the environment is tough and dirty, and wet and you spend too much money on Clorox wipes, sublime chocolate, Maui onion & balsamic chips and ice cold pop, that when the environment is wanting you to run, that maybe just maybe you need to stick around for the view from the top.

I remember when we were in Capetown and a group of us decided to spend one of our last days there climbing table mountain. Our contact said it wasn’t “too bad of a climb”.

It was a staircase up the side of the hill.

And I was maybe ten minutes and was the least physically capable person in the group and looked at the physical challenge facing me and wanted to throw in the towel. But the ladies wouldn’t have it. They wanted me to make it to the top with them.

And it took me longer and more breaks, but I did it.

And let me tell you–it is something I will never forget. 

  
I will never forget that view, or the view of the rice fields in Cambodia, or the expanse of the land around the compound in Trujillo.

All those times I just wanted to out my head down and run, or sink into myself (or not be in a tent in Mozambique during the rain). All of those environments, physically were everything I find it hard to exist in. They all tried too, and sometimes succeeding in their attempt to beat me up and push me out before I had the ability to get to the top to see the view.

Those were really small seasons in life, 3-4 weeks tops. They are bookmarks in my story, a place where I have dogged eared the pages in order to remember and look back on.

Washington though, is life and home for the near future. 

And it’s doing everything it can to beat me up. 

Telling me that I can’t wear flip flops and shorts. 

Telling me that I can’t be who I am here. 

Telling me that I can’t make it to the top of the mountain and find the goodness.

Washington is trying to tell me I don’t fit.

YOU KNOW WHAT WASHINGTON?

If I ran from every place I didn’t feel like I fit in at I would be nowhere.

I didn’t feel like I fit in Spain, or at Vanguard, or in Kingsburg. I didn’t feel like I fit on Team BA and I was their leader. I don’t feel like I fit or have a place at any of the churches I attended/worked.

I have spent most of my life battling the environment around me and not feeling as if I fit in it.

I just had another listen to my now over a year old prayer and prophecy from grad week from G42. And all of them are crazy scary accurate to my life. 

The last two were spoken by two men whose words I hold in high regard. And as I heard them again I realized that they had truths I need for now.
“But Meg, don’t diminish yourself or shrink back or hide to make the people around you feel comfortable but just unfurl yourself in the fullness of who you are and force them to catch up.”

“Where she takes a safe place with her, not leaving a safe place, you are a safe place….. you are going back out as a safe place”

Because, if I have learned anything from my years of traveling and being places where I didn’t feel as if I fit, it’s that at the end of the day I am still the same human, whether I am in the deserts of Peru or the rain of Washington or the sunshine of California. It’s taken me a lot to get to that place and (obviously) I’m still learning how to fully remember that when my brain feels spinny. 

So that’s it. No solutions. Small epiphanies. Ugly truths.

But one I thing I know for sure: if the cellulitis, small eye filled village in Cambodia didn’t cause me to give up on who I am?

You don’t stand a chance Washington.