One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug.
I woke up thinking about the last year, about how much has happened. Maybe it’s something to do with the fact that I read through my old journals the other night, reminding me of faded Polaroid memories of events I wish I hadn’t been reminded of.
Life is a funny thing, you know. We think we can plan it and live that plan out to completion, but then plans get derailed and . . . you find yourself in a different place than you thought you’d be.
This time last year, I thought I’d be closer to being done with my Associates. I thought I’d be leading an AWANAs group, solo. I thought I’d still be waitressing. I thought I’d be published, and writing more stories.
But where I’m actually at?
I’m at the college’s library, settled in one of those orange square-ular chairs that are only comfortable if you drag two together to make a bed; I’m watching The Squad laugh and tease around me as the weather shifts from rainstorms to cotton-ball clouds floating lazily across the sky.
I’m at the Writing Center, begging the Vets for help with payroll, with tutoring ideas, with assignments, with life, as the students and I dare each other to try the mystery flavored lollipops we keep on the tables.
I’m at my fountains, eating pasta from tupperware with G, drafting ideas for our pet projects that we’ll get around to someday. I’m lying on a concrete bench with Seth beside me, talking about books and music and classes as we laugh at each others antics and share earbuds when a good song begins to play.
I’m stretched out on the carpet at The Den, talking oh so vulnerably about Jesus and past experiences until Age and Rae get up to make gourmet grilled cheeses and chocolate chip cookies for everyone.
I’m on stage Sundays, singing for Jesus, trying not to beat myself up when I miss a note or fall off beat. I’m in the parking lot at the college, doing my devotional before I go inside and become Sunshine. I’m at Brew N Bake, crying as I watch my Dragon Slayers from the window table when Pastor pulls me aside for a one-on-one.
There are so many moments, so many places I am at now, I don’t know how to describe some of them, most of them. I could use a thousand words to tell you how those ridiculous orange chairs look, but there aren’t enough to explain the feeling of how you can’t sit in them without having a contradictory sharp-cushioned angle pressing against your side or in your back, but you don’t even really care because it’s the best place in the college to go when you want to see someone. Because that’s The Spot; there’s always someone you know, and usually someone you like, there.
I don’t have words to describe sitting on the concrete of the walkway, facing a plain white wall but knowing the gray murky sky is right behind you because you can hear the rain sounds and feel that almost-cold, “it’s almost fall,” Texas wind ruffling your hair. Or sharing pizza up at The Spot in the library, and nobody cares how everything starts to smell like grease or how loud we’re being. Or making drink runs when your friend is sick, then ordering an exorbitant amount of tacos to take back with you, because we’re broke and starving college kids.
I feel like I am the me-est me I have ever been, and it’s exciting. Life is exciting; life is beautiful.
That’s all I’ve got tonight.