Who Said Life is Fair?
by Melanie Dale
I wasted pretty much my whole twenties longing for the next stage. It’s my biggest regret, of all the regrets. That and when I tried to get the Meg Ryan haircut. (You know the one? Cute, choppy pixie cut?) I ended up looking like my elementary school PE teacher, who used to dance around the gym to “Mony Mony” with her feathered bob blowing in the breeze of her enthusiasm.
What had I done of consequence during my twenties? I phased down my job as I ramped up the fertility treatments and had nada to show for it—no job, no baby. I was a human incubator with no incubatee inside.
If only I could get pregnant . . . If only I could keep this baby . . . If only the adoption would go through . . . I’ve spent years, maybe a whole decade, iffing my life away.
What I’ve learned is to flip my whole perspective and exchange the ifs for the nows. As you’ve probably been told bajillions of times, life is about the journey, and if we if it away, we miss it.
So even now, in the waiting, in the sucking, in the agony of open wounds and unmet expectations and unfulfilled dreams, how do you find joy? How do you savor the smell of a rose even as its thorns bite your flesh?
You count and catalog the gratitude, hunt it down, capture and write it and collage it on a wall. You aggressively seek the good amidst the bad and give thanks, give it as an act of defiance against circumstances seeking your demise.
And you eat a meal with a friend. Your safe person. If you don’t have one, set a place across from yours at the table and ask God to fill it.
Light the candle that’s huge and expensive that you don’t want to waste. You aren’t wasting it if it’s making your life brighter during a dark time. Buy a cake just because life is worth celebrating. Go out and take a night off from talking about The Thing.
Be gloriously and ridiculously yourself. Dare to hope in the present, in all its squishy mess. Incomplete and messy with lots of question marks.
You write down what you know. You write down what you don’t know. You pay attention and record these feelings, because so often we wait for everything to be better before we make a record. These are the memories you have right now, and they are worthy and lovely even in their painfulness and horribleness. Don’t wait to start living until everything is okay and you’re a real boy, Pinocchio. Live now as a creaky wooden doll person.
Taken from It’s Not Fair by Melanie Dale. Copyright © 2016 by Melanie Dale. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com. All rights reserved.
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