i turned 37 in a world i didn't know existed
It’s my annual birthday post.
Which I feel comes with the inevitable, ‘I didn’t think life would be like this!’ Surprise. It never is.
But there was a time I did think I knew how it would be.
I would graduate college. I would get married. I would have a few kids. I would go to church. I would have a job. I’d live in community. And so on… all the basics.
Yet, basics aren’t so basic.
Yes, I graduated college. Yes, I have a job and go to church. No, I haven’t gotten married. No, no kids yet.
But like, those were all supposed to be easy Yes’s.
I used to think life just kept getting better and better, bigger and bigger. You just continued to check boxes off. And then you retired and had grandchildren.
But now, I realize life is messier and more complicated. And not just for me, but for pretty much everyone. I’m sure I lived in ‘privilege’ longer than most to even think life had a ‘successful’ pattern to it.
I grew up in a 2-parent home.
I’m a white male afforded opportunities many don’t get.
I went to college and graduated with minimal debt.
I’ve always been looked up to and well respected.
I’ve never had to worry about my next meal.
Even when I didn’t have a place to stay, I had a place to stay.
Even when I was in ‘trouble’ there were people to bail me out.
When opportunities came my way, I jumped on them. Because I could. If I failed, it wasn’t life or death.
But even though those things appear to lead to the life one has ‘always dreamed of.’
There are things that don’t have privilege.
Some things come at us regardless of the world we created or anticipated.
What happens when prayers don’t work?
When someone you trusted betrays you?
When a community leaves you behind?
The world keeps going. It’s just different. You adjust. You keep breathing. Sometimes barely.
But you adjust and live in a new reality.
A reality that the world isn’t static. There isn’t a pattern. It’s evolving with wins and losses. With heartaches and triumphs.
It’s not a bad thing. It’s just different. Different than what was expected.
I don’t live in the world I thought I would.
I don’t live with the peace I thought I’d have.
I don’t live with the wife and kids I thought I would.
I don’t live with the God I thought I knew.
And all of that, well, it’s ok. Because I feel like I do live in more of a reality than the life I imagined it to become.
This is life. It’s raw. It’s dirty. It’s messy. It’s painful.
There’s something about that seed that falls into the earth. It appears to be dead. And yet, it’s storing nutrients, it’s receiving rain and sunshine, and soon, soon, it will bloom again.