For the last month or so, my DVR has been filling up a lot more than usual. Dirty laundry has piled up until the weekends. And my dog just sits and stares at me, trying to figure out what’s going on. But the new laptop with the advanced keyboard that at first had me severely frustrated is now my new best friend.
Just as many of you have mentioned having yourselves, I’m going to have to force myself to come up with a designated sort of schedule for blogging and writing or nothing else is going to get done. I feel a bit unbalanced, off-kilter with the many other things that have to be tended to.
But even though my scales are a bit tilted right now, there’s a wonderful blessing in all of this busyness – a blessing that feels like the bud on the Oriental Lily in my yard, bursting forth with a brilliance that’s breathtaking and oh so beautiful.
Let me tell you what I mean: My Daddy always told me I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. And that was while I was still in school, years ago. I’ll not go into the marital arena, so read between the lines there. My daughter told me years ago that I think too much, so I learned to limit the degree of which I ramble on with her. There’s been only one person with whom I learned that I could let my thoughts fly free without reservations. A co-worker with whom I worked for 15 years: Bobbie (Barbara) McKee.
We took morning and afternoon breaks together, went to dinner quite often. Her husband sang with a gospel group and we’d travel around to wherever they would be performing, normally on Saturday evenings. During all these times, we spent hour upon hour talking. We probably knew more about each other than anyone else in our lives, even our husbands.
We’d discuss every idea you could imagine. Did we believe in ghosts? did we believe we are the only life forms in the universe? did we believe those who’ve died know what’s going on in the lives of those they loved who are still alive? – those kind of questions.
Then there were the other kinds: how do those bugs get in those tightly sealed light fixtures? do fish sleep? and if you pass somebody whose in second place, what place are you in?
Bobbie was a bit older than me but we never gave that a thought at all. Over time, the endearing look that she’d give me meant the world to me. That look meant that she just knew without even looking at me when I was about to pose a question that would set us off on a wild ride. We would inevitably take it the distance and would end up laughing so hard we wouldn’t be able to talk. But my word, the discussions we would have!
Bobbie died in 2005 after being diagnosed only the year before with lung cancer.
Not that Bobbie is never not a part of me, but I was reminded very vividly of our discussions one day last week when a new co-worker, one I’ve known for just a little over one year now, shared a dream with me and off she and I went on one of those wonderful discussions. I was so elated – all at once for the reminder of Bobbie, for the fascinating talk my friend and I had just had, and for the fact that I was getting to let my mind run rampant for the first time in ages. I had goosebumps from my toes to my ears and actually had to get up and walk around the building, I was so happy!
And then it dawned on me…the time I am spending here in blogland is essentially the same thing. I have once again opened myself up to exploring infinite possibilities. But I am no longer a babe drinking babe’s milk. Even though I need not fear being drawn into wrong directions or harmful thoughts, there is a vast and wide volume and variety of viewpoints voiced here. I am learning to explore other ideas that are outside my own box. And in doing so, I am finding the path that allows me to maintain my own beliefs and at the same time, consider and converse with others who differ.
Therein lies the blessing.
My daughter says she’s noticed a difference in me lately. A contentedness. I know now that it has its roots in my newfound confidence I’m gaining through re-connecting with myself. I have, in a very real way, returned to myself. I am me again. And it’s been a very, very long time since I’ve fully been ‘me’. I am able to speak the truth here, with no pretenses, no reservations. That is very free-ing. And it is boiling over into other areas of my life, but I’ll save that for another post.
Thank you, my friends, for giving me back myself.