The first page in my binder is a calendar.

My big goal and motto in life is from the Bible. Philippians 4:11. “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” The advantages to this mind-set are both immediate and far-reaching. They’re also a kind of life-saver. It saved me from … myself. from society, too.

[And here I sit, typing, erasing, stilted. To describe accurately? vaguely? Or, not at all? Even describing this description, I find myself just cycling through the options. I could just write in a journal, but I don’t have anything to fear from that audience — the first ingredient for sloppy writing. which is no good.]

To be content. Whatever state I am in.

When Crystal died, this meant: Grieving is okay. Let the pain swallow you whole — wholly. Eagerness to change the state of grief is like walking on a broken leg before it’s healed — a misunderstood idea of progress that ends up haunting you over the years. I’ve been purged of the eating-you-away variety of acid pain…but some in my family are still suffering. It drives me crazy — both because I’m mad at them for still hurting…but also because I still feel pings of guilt that I am so (relatively) free of the hurt. Survivor’s guilt. in a very real sense.

Why am I talking about this? This post was supposed to be about me being content — instead of impatient! — with the irrefutable fact that there are three weeks left until I am officially done being an English teacher. And an undergraduate. I began dreading student teaching back in … January 2010?, when I began the program. And here I am, at the end of it…but three weeks still feels like hundreds of individual hours spliced into planning, presenting, questioning, sighing. I’m trying to be content with where I am — it’s an incessant mindset I’ve been working towards. But still … The first page of my binder is a [dingdingding! Do we have an answer?].

There are so many things I am content with — a whole spectrum of things: some that I’m content with naturally, others that I had to work towards, and others that I had a big realization that I am content with. And I’ve embraced all these things fully (perhaps too fully?): being married, being childless, apartment-style living, being students, and the list goes on.

And still there are other things … or, Other Thing, that I am not content with. To be precise, I am content that I am NOT content with Other Thing. And, that just leads to a whole domino stack of UNcontent. And when the last domino falls, all that really matters is one thing:

I am alone.

family. friends. neighbors. community.
Has someone invented an e-mail address for god yet?, maybe?

“Dear God:
Thank you for always belaying me when I’ve taken those great leaps of faith. But this last time? When you forgot the rope?
I’m still falling.”

“Dear God:
It’s been months. Still free-falling. It’s cold. I spend time thinking about those hours begging you to not make me jump. Am wondering: Did I ever actually jump? Wasn’t it more of a shove from behind? Jerk.”

“Dear God:
I can wait.”

This state I am in? UNcontent.


One response to “The first page in my binder is a calendar.

  • On flying « Two Peas in a Pod

    […] I am the better person for having left. It’s wasn’t quite that way at first. For several months after having left the church, I felt that God had pushed me off of a cliff and wa…. I was expecting to plunge toward the rocky bottom until God decided to swoop in and catch me (aww, […]

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