In my life I’ve spent a good deal of time feeling unclear about a lot of things. People, decisions, relationships, work. I’ve also felt unclear and murky about who I am. I’ve felt insecure. I’ve felt that others feelings were somehow more valid than my own. I’ve felt that if others were unhappy, or mad, or disapproving, then my emotional state had to reflect that. I’ve felt confused and depressed, but lately I’m coming out of a fog I wasn’t even aware was there until recently.
I see so clearly, all of a sudden. I feel like God herself came down to give me this epiphany. I am not in charge of anyone else. I cannot make anyone else love me. I cannot look to anyone else to make me feel secure or good. We’re all driving our own trains, passing through this life under our own steam. I came in alone, and I’m heading out alone. It’s just me. And God. And I have to do what I do to be who I am, and take all that encompasses being Liz out of the box I shoved her into. That’s no one else’s fault. I owe myself that apology. And it’s my job to unpack my soul, to stretch my legs and remember myself. What a blessed relief.
It was getting awfully dark and tight in the box.
Anyway, this weekend I saw this house in Frenchtown, NJ. And lately as I’ve allowed myself to ponder questions like, “Wait do I really like this?” Or, “Wait, does that really sound fun? Or, “Wait, that doesn’t seem right to me.” I stood in front of this house and had a moment of total clarity. From my earliest memory I have always loved a spooky looking Victorian house. Always. Not with a regular love. With an all-encompassing passion. Like a “if I snuck inside to live there how long before the owners notice” kind of devotion. And when I was little I always believed that one day I would live in one and fix it up.
As I was standing in front of this house, a cold breeze on my face and a few raindrops coming down, admiring the star light fixture on the front porch, my daughter yelled, “Wow!!! Look at that one, Mom! I bet the Grand High Witch lives there!”
And I grinned so hard and so wide I was afraid I might break my jaw. Because while I lost myself for a while, and finding myself has felt like an epic battle, I’m back. All that I packed away years ago didn’t rust or disintegrate. I still love this season, and I still plan to live in a house like this one day, and I wake up in the mornings looking forward to the sun and what could happen. I want to hug the old me. I want to say, “I’m so sorry I didn’t take very good care of you, but look! Look at that house. Remember all the things you love? We’re going to go find them again.”
Remember who you are. Remember what you love. Remember to pray to whatever you believe in because there is power out there.
And it feels great to step out of the box and stretch free again. I can’t recommend it highly enough.