"you know something, baby? we tell ourselves we're happy, when what we really are is content.
contentment is nothing but the conviction that things are 'good enough,' and we let our fear convince us that if we try to make them better, we risk losing everything. well, i don't believe that, sara.
we tell ourselves the only reason to make a change is because we're miserable. but change is the natural order. the people who realize that and embrace it, they're the ones who discover real happiness."
- runaway saint
in which i write about sibling bonds
what have i been thinking about?
what is true for me right now? what is real? what matters? what am i learning? what hurts? what makes sense?
living six hours away from your family can be hard.
it took a few months (i think 5?) for the missing to really seep in.
i reveled in the sudden room to breathe, the change of pace, the newness of everything that my husband and i had just opened the door to.
and then one day, in the beginning or end of november, either when we were leaving from visiting and celebrating lyddie's 13th birthday or when caleb and rachel were leaving here after thanksgiving and some wonderful and terribly unfortunate events (caleb getting sick and justin sleeping out next to the couch to help him when he woke up throughout the night while rach, jacklyn and i slept in our master bedroom), then one day, i realized: i miss my siblings. (i miss my parents, too.)
my siblings are growing up and changing and becoming wonderful, hilarious, awesome individuals. we understand (or are coming to an understanding) for the place the other is coming into.
all the years of bugging each other and fights and bruises and yelling and shoving and homework races and immaturity have given way, slowly, day by day and then year after year, to a wovenness that we seemed to have woke up to, because suddenly i have no clear memory of the changing, but it appears blurred though definitely changed when i look at the tracks behind us, from childhood until now.
we've hurt each other; on accident sometimes, on purpose other times.
we've celebrated with each other, stayed up late nights discussing current life things with each other, been angered at each other, laughed with each other, talked through easy things and hard things and worrisome things and laughable things with each other.
what do i want to say about siblings and the bond we share?
i wish i could easily tug the phrases and meanings out of my soul and write them in a way worth being stunned by; the rare resounding of truly good writing involuntarily bringing that loud, beautiful tone up in your soul as well, like the simple piano prelude for a favorite song.
i wouldn't trade any one of my family for anything. i cannot imagine my childhood, and my life as a whole, growing up without a single one of them.
i'm just so, so very thankful that i grew up with those people. so thankful for who they are and their presence in my life. i truly wouldn't be the same without them.
i wish i could blame my loss of more words, better words, on the fact that i gave in to sleep at 4:30am and woke up at 10:15am. that could easily be a legitimate excuse for it all, no? weird, terrible sleep hours?
yeah nevermind. (i tend to be an insomniac to a slight level when justin works night-shifts a couple nights a week.)
on another note, growing up so close in proximity and then bond-wise, here's a very odd, heart-stretching concept that we're all waking up to: that life was not necessarily, for every single person and every single family, meant to be lived in one town or one county or one state. dreams and purpose do not kill the love; the love grows the dreams and purpose that erupt after the right amount of years has elapsed for each human being.
the grace we have for one another, the tough love, the encouragement and nudging forward we have given each other through the teenage years and to this day, those things and the heart we have for each other is what waters the seed that resides in every soul, unique all to their own in all, and that grace and heart and courage we have for each other places that seed in an open, freshly tilled, spring-season field sometimes.
i wish i could perfectly, 100% of the time, express my heart to them so they would know that just because i can't be there to spend time with on any whim, or because i'm so, so far from being excellent at communicating and initiating it. time can only teach us these things. our importance to others. it's a deep, sticky subject.
on yet another note:
have you ever tried to think of an idea your mind finds amazing yet scary? something you might someday want to do, but maybe not? but maybe yes, and you're just going to wait until the perfect, over-prepared, well-thought-out time to do so and pursue it?
do that thing.
sure, wait a little longer if you need to summon courage.
but do that thing.
it grows the heart. it grows the trust in our Maker and the thrilling and unknowing one day turns into beautiful lessons that introduce us to new worlds and new points of view. it grows the capacity for feeling, for seeing, for wondering what else you can try in this life before we all reach the end of it.
i'm not speaking this out of the been there and done that experienced mindset.
i'm writing these things for my heart, to see it in black and white ink and reassurance, that earth shaking and things like change, and those terrifying and excited emotions, are good things, and usually precede things worth pursuing.
maybe it's something that will most likely hurt, but hold so much meaning that you can only hope to grasp the very beginning of at this time.
your soul knows this.
your soul knows where you need to go to find space and freedom to stretch into the pain and depth and light, and suddenly there's slowly a transforming coming about that happens as slow and yet as sure as breathing.
pain is beautiful when it leads you to something perspective-growing.
it's so hard to think of that above phrase as a good thing when you're in the middle of times that are especially rough...but it's still true.