Hashtag Goals

Hashtag Goals

So here’s what happened. I was at connect group and we were talking about taking steps. Moving towards the big hopes/goals/dreams step by step. And as a practical challenge, we each wrote down three things that we want to accomplish or at least make significant movement towards accomplishing in 2017. And then for each person, someone would call out a number from one to three, the chosen person would read whichever goal that was and we, as a group, would help decide the next practical steps to take towards that goal and ways that we, as a group, could help and/or provide encouragement. Make sense? No. Okay, well maybe this will help. My list of three things was something like:
1. Run for a political office
2. Buy a house
3. Date
I say “something like” because I kept scratching 1 and 2 out and replacing them with things like: Go back to Australia… Visit Barbados… Lead a political rebellion… You know – things I really want to do. And number three was the throwaway. Because honestly… who cares? I don’t. I mean, I didn’t. I really didn’t. I only wrote it because I’m dumb. And as I wrote it, I was thinking, this “This is dumb. You don’t even care about this.” But then (as I so often do) I started to Jedi mind trick myself — “Maybe you do care. Or should care. And that’s why you’re writing it. Maybe you really do want to be challenged in this. Or maybe God wants you to.” So having sufficiently overthought it, I decided that in the 33% chance that it was chosen, I would take it as a sign that it was something I should be thinking about. And you know what they say:

Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.
Ask for a stupid sign, get a stupid sign.

Because when it was my turn, the number chosen for me was three.

Great.

So now I’m supposed to be dating. And it’s just really lucky that it’s so easy for me. #AlternativeFacts

UGHHHH. It is the worst. Because nobody likes me. And I say that with my self-esteem fully intact and a pretty healthy sense of self. It’s not even hurtful anymore, it just is what it is. And I don’t mean “like” in general, I do have friends. Obviously. (I do, you can ask anyone.) I mean “like like“.  For whatever reason, I am just not the girl who guys see from across the room and/or dating app and think “Wow! Let me find out more about that.” Nah. They see me and think… I don’t know “I wonder what the temperature is in Central Park right now.” And that’s totally fine. (Literally, it is currently 51 degrees.) I just didn’t need the daily reminder.

So what’s a girl to do? Well… I tried fulfilling my contractual obligation, I was on a dating app for almost over two weeks. I went to a party with a friend on a Saturday night and danced. And let some guys dance up on me.  We out here. And we still out here alone with no signs of that changing. And that’s actually okay.  Thanks to Jon Hamm.

I don’t remember exactly how or why, but a few months ago, I just decided that I’m going to marry Jon Hamm. And I know that’s crazy  (so I know I’m not crazy because I fully understand and acknowledge that that is crazy) but for whatever reason, I haven’t had a true what-if-I’m-single-forever-?! panic attack since. I think it’s the unknown that freaks us out so much, so I just subbed in a known placeholder and it’s working for me.  Because the fact is that life and time are going to keep marching on and my life is going to keep unfolding and I have to trust that things are happening and are going to happen right on time. And I have to stop treating dating and marriage like some mystical category of life where God is completely capricious except for when He’s being punitive.  He’s not leaving that answer blank to torment me or because He’s still deciding whether or not there is an answer. He’s just doing what He always does and taking His freaking time.

So while 98% of me wishes I had chosen a different #3, there is 2% of me that is glad that exercise went the way it did because it has just reinforced for me how unbothered I am right now. And it’s kinda nice. I was talking with a friend last Sunday and he asked me if I had someone for Tuesday (aka Valentine’s Day) and i said nope, but then I changed my mind and said “Actually, it’s only Sunday – I don’t know.” Because I don’t know when things are going to change for me but I do believe that they will. Because I’ve seen it happen in other areas of my life. I’ve been surprised by things in my work life, in my creative life, in my church, in my friendships, in my finances… I have seen God open doors, make crazy connections, do the impossible… and I don’t see why this area should be any different.

So I deleted that app and I’m back to minding my own business and not bothering with things that aren’t bothering me. Because Lord knows I have enough other things to think about, worry about and work on. And I’ll bet that you do to. So what is on your list of things you’d like to accomplish this year? Because finding love might be the number one thing, but it had better not be the one and only thing. It can’t be. Because, believe me, you don’t want to be with the person who wants to be with the version of you that is doing nothing but pouting and waiting around. When you find/are found by your Jon Hamm and he asks “Where have you been all my life?” I hope you have such a full list of people, places and things to tell him about, that he quickly realizes how much fuller his life would be with you in it. But first, I hope you realize how full your life already is. And keep doing whatever you can to keep it that way.

Paperwork

Paperwork

Right around this time last week, 4 out of 5 people on my Facebook feed were posting and sharing this song. And rightfully so. It’s legit. Even I posted it. And I generally shun doing anything that everyone else is doing. I’d say I’m a rebel, but too many other people already have so… #itsdeadtome

Anyway, I had that song on repeat all day at work. And at one point, I was sitting there at my desk with tears in my eyes. Not because I was moved by the beauty of the song, but because everything about my life at that moment was so opposite to touching the sky. Far from soaring or dancing on the wings of anything, I was going through boxes and boxes and boxes of paperwork for one of the company heads. And if there is one thing that I hate, it’s paperwork. And the only thing worse than paperwork? Is somebody else’s paperwork. So I was miserable.

But there I was. And I realized that moment was basically a summary of most of my life. I have all these high hopes, dreams and beliefs and they are great and they are encouraging and they lift me, but most of my life? Honestly… it just looks like paperwork. It’s boring. It’s mundane. I don’t even know why most of it is happening. And it feels so far from everything I’d rather be doing.

But it’s happening. So it’s gotta mean something. Or be worth something. Or be building something in me that means something or is worth something. Right??

I certainly hope so. Because yesterday I had a moment. A friend of mine texted me with some great news. An awesome door is opening for her. A door that I pointed her towards. Which I don’t say to take any credit for, I only mention it to highlight how stilted my life sometimes seems. People are walking through new doors all around me and meanwhile, I feel like I’m forever outside and forever knocking. Forever filing paperwork. Forever given the jobs that no one else wants to do. Never asked to do what I want to do or what I’m good at… except… that’s not 100% true.

Because I am good at paperwork.

A few hours after shedding those workday tears, I was adding the printed labels to the stupid folders I had just spent all day organizing and filing. And I felt… pleased. Proud even. I would never have asked for that task, but I finished it. And I finished it well. And when looked at in the right light, that’s actually a good sign for my future, even if it looks like it’s going nowhere fast.

I think back to the parable of the talents in the Bible (Matthew 25:14-30), the short version is that three servants are given a certain amount of things to handle for their boss – one gets 5, one gets 2 and one gets 1. The boss goes away and then comes back at some point and has a debrief with each of them. The first two servants doubled what they were given, but the third servant has nothing more to show for the time that has passed. So the boss gives the first two more and but takes the little from the last servant. Whomp whomp. Anyway, because of the use of the word “talents” it’s really easy to romanticize this story and imagine that each of the servants was given something good or that they liked to start with. But what if it was all just paperwork and filing?

What if it was all something  that they could do (obviously), but wouldn’t typically choose to do? What if there were other things they would have much rather been given?  It makes it a lot easier to understand why that last servant flamed out so spectacularly. And how easy it would be for me to do the same. To look at what I’ve been given and do just enough to maintain it, but invest nothing of myself and add nothing to it. Saving all my energy for when the door to something I really want to do opens. When what I should be doing is using what’s being given to me now to build up my stamina, strength and resolve for whatever is on the other side.

For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance.”

So note to self: Whatever you have now – whatever time, whatever relationships, whatever tasks, whatever paperwork – even if it’s nothing you would have chosen, it’s something you’ve been given.  Not to keep you from what you really want, but to build and strengthen you for something more. 

So play that song a million times more and cry if you need to, but don’t stop filing. Get that paperwork done.