The Sun and the Moon

Sometimes I wonder if the sun ever misses the moon. In the rare moments where they meet or glance at one another from across the world, do they know how much time will pass before they meet again? Do they care? Or do they celebrate both their meeting and their divide without feeling sorrow in the time and space between them? I hope they do, and I hope I learn something from them.

Because my first thought in a moment that I recognize as fleetings is never celebration – it’s immediate longing. And as time passes and I come closer to the end of the season I’ve been living in for so long, I’m filled with an insurmountable longing that I can’t seem to shake, even though I know it’s a longing for things that haven’t happened yet. I feel myself missing moments and people and experiences despite the fact that they’re not gone. But the idea that someday they will be is too much for me to simply push to the side. And I know nobody wants to talk about it. But the incessant denial is only putting this feeling at a higher regard. It’s giving it the power it needs to grow rather than the care it needs to heal. It’s like ignoring weeds in a garden and expecting them to go away instead of sitting in the uncomfortable heat for long enough to just dig the damn weeds out.

And the truth is, I am both saddened and terrified at the thought of change. But when I think about the sun and the moon and the rhythm of the earth, I am comforted in knowing that nothing is meant to stay sedentary for too long and change always leads to a beautiful and natural evolution. I don’t think the sun ever misses the moon because it knows that in due time they will meet again. This is a lesson the earth teaches us time and time again and I am doing my best to learn it: that no matter the discomfort from growth and change, everything will work itself out in due time and just like the wonder that comes from the stars at night and the beauty that is revealed in the light of day, it doesn’t matter what you’re missing because something great is being experienced it its place.

Lighthouse

My dreams have always had a way of tearing me down. They come through each day like a wave and with my eyes open I watch as the things around me get worn and washed away, and then the wave comes back and does it all again. I’ve watched this cycle for as long as I’ve been dreaming. I’ve noticed that the more intense the desire, the more intense the wave. When my heart races at the thought of getting what I know is right for me, that’s when the water comes crashing in at full force. I stand with my feet buried in the sand and my body held strong, ready to get hit by what’s coming my way but refusing to be knocked down. I don’t cover my face. I don’t turn my back. I just stay tall and firm, confident in knowing that I will not fall. And while I’m proud to say that my feet have never been washed out from under me, I can’t say the same for the things around me. When the water pulls back it often takes relationships, opportunities, materials, and other things that I thought were too secure to be washed away. I want to run. I want to chase after them. But I spent so much time burying my own feet in the sand that I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to move, and now the same ocean that has it’s grip on me rolls back in laughter, carrying the things I thought were mine to keep.

The truth is, with everything that comes and goes I am learning that a dreamer’s journey is a lonely one. I have fought and struggled and chased down everything that I wanted to stay, hoping that I could remain steady where I am while controlling the fluidity of what’s around me. But I was never known for my ability to chase so I am learning how to show strength in the roots that I build. Though I chose sand for a foundation, I know that when packed and secure, it can be as strong as I need it to be. The only weakness comes from the things on top that refused to dig deep enough to stay. And while I will enjoy everything that sits around me while it’s there, I will also let it go with peace. The water is not meant to be dangerous or scare me into finding solid ground somewhere else; it’s meant to wash away what no longer belongs to me. And as it takes things away, I will remain steady. I will let the beat of my heart and the light of my dreams call out to the water in front of me and serve as a lighthouse to guide and welcome what is mine. Boats and rafts filled with new people and new loves will find their way to me and I will embrace them with open arms, but I will not ask them to stay. I am where I am because of my dreams and they are where they are because of theirs. And if the water washes them away as they are called to venture somewhere else, who am I to stop them?

And as time goes by, I know that with everything around me, I am changing too. I am being molded into who the world is calling me to be. Sometimes my edges are sharp and the clouds in my mind match the ones above my head. But other times I am soft, and the water rolls off me with ease and I am unbothered. Most of the time, though, I am somewhere in the middle – fierce with determination and wild with desire, but calm and content all the same. Enough to tackle what comes, but to accept what goes.

I have built myself into the anomaly of a dreamer standing still. I am a lighthouse attracting everything that is lost and searching for a way, welcoming all that is meant to be. And, if in time, a boat is sent my way with nothing on it, then I will know that it’s time for me to dig up my roots and continue elsewhere. But things in life – be it dreams, people, opportunities, or otherwise – are not meant to be chased, they are meant to be welcomed. And whether I am standing tall in the sand or flowing free in the water, I will welcome what is brought to me and let it come and go with peace.

The Things I Cannot Change

My mom used to mutter this prayer a lot when I was growing up: “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…” There was something about peace and wisdom too, but I never took the time to remember those parts. I’ve been learning a lot about acceptance lately, so this prayer has been on my mind. I’ve been learning about how sometimes the sun doesn’t set in a way that leaves me in awe and sometimes it will only rise to reveal another cloudy day. I’ve been learning about how chasing a dream is a lonely journey because some dreams you can only dream alone. I’ve been learning about fear and love and how they’re two sides of the same coin.

I’ve learned about how all of this is okay. That even though the sunsets and the sunrises don’t look the way you want them to, they’re still signs that the world is moving forward and so are you. That even though you can only dream alone and not everybody will understand, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dream at all. That even though fear and love are two sides of the same coin, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel both with a whole heart and let them drive you to make radical decisions. Life is about accepting everything that comes your way and trusting that every pain you feel, love you show, or decision you make is meant for nothing other than good.

Because you are meant for nothing other than good. You are meant to do what you know is right and trust me when I say you know what is right. You will feel it in more than just your heart. You will feel it in your mind and your soul, and it will flow down to your toes and pulse with each step you take forward. And when you feel the pushing and the fighting from your head, you will know that that fighting is nothing other than the world testing your endurance and your understanding of who you are and what you want.

So let it test you. Let it push to the cliff as Fear itself believes it is getting you one step closer to a fall. One step closer to a fail. It will laugh at your struggle and embrace your discomfort. But just as it starts to think that it has you figured out as you stare over the edge into the darkness and your toes curl as they lose ground beneath them, jump. Fear and Doubt did not push you over the edge because you were always meant to take that leap of faith – they simply gave you the courage to do it. And as you find yourself falling and learning to fly, accept that this moment right here is not something you can change (nor is it something you should want to change) because it is exactly what you are meant to be doing and trust that you will land exactly where you are meant to be.  

Light

Around ten o’clock every morning the sun shines through my room perfectly, allowing it’s warmth to soak my skin despite the freezing cold just beyond the walls. If I don’t have class or work or any other responsibilities, I’ll lay in bed and allow the warmth to fill me up. And, just like plants in the same way sun gives them life, I feel life flowing into me as well. I’ve learned this year about the importance of soaking up life. About letting light in every form it may come, be it the company of a friend or serenity of solitude, pour into you and fill the parts of you that so desperately needed it. Because sometimes you don’t know. You don’t know that that impromptu conversation with a stranger is going to turn into a sharing of stories that will leave you feeling giddy and nostalgic. You don’t know how that random drive will lead you to a beautiful place, filling you with a serendipitous memory you can call your own. You don’t know about the things that seem like a burden at the time, either. You don’t know how that person leaving your life was really making room for someone better, even if it was just yourself. You don’t know how that horrible moment was paving the way for a beautiful mind.

But even among all this unknowing, it’s hard to deny that life isn’t always working for you. We’re always going to outgrow a part of ourselves. And if you remember being younger and struggling to sleep as your legs kicked back and forth along the bed and the growing pains kept you up then you know that growth is not comfortable. In the same way that your body changed so will your life as a whole. You’re going to outgrow the person that you were; you’re going to outgrow the person that you are. In the midst of all that, you’re going to outgrow other things too: dreams, people, circumstances. The only reason it’s uncomfortable – the only reason it hurts – is because you don’t know what’s next. But if you can trust your body to grow into exactly who it’s meant to be, you can trust life to allow you to grow into who you’re meant to be.

You don’t have to know what’s going to happen to know it’ll be okay. Life is always working for you, not against you. It’s just a matter of sitting in the sun every chance you can get even if you know there’s nothing but cold around you.

Bloom

Winter beat me down. Freezing the soil that was supposed to help me grow and leaving my soul covered in ice and ready to shatter at any given moment. The constant battle between feeling the warmth of the sun and hiding in the shadows became exhausting and left me tired. Tired of the pain that comes with clawing my way through the frozen dirt. Tired of the ache that is felt when my mind wanders to a place it shouldn’t. Tired of fighting for people who didn’t fight back, leaving me covered in bruises while they were left standing tall. I had been pushed away, people not realizing that what really happened was I had been pushed down as they walked away. There had to be more to life than this. Flowers don’t bloom in frozen soil and you can’t move forward when you’re lying on your back.

But I know that winter is both an end and a beginning, and I will honor every ending. Even if the ending is a broken heart. A broken soul. A broken smile. The sun continues to shine every day and whether I’m hiding in the shadows or not, the ice around me will still melt. And while the sun shines around me, I know that there is a light within me that shines as well. It may be hidden behind the cold and darkness right now, but it is trying to break through and eventually it will thaw out the frozen heart that aches within my chest. The light is beautiful, and so am I. When it gets its chance to shine through it will flicker and fade like everything else, but it will shine with an urgency that lets the world know that I am not done. I have not been defeated.

Soil cannot be used until it has been beaten and rained on. I am confident that while I have been put through the wringer time and time again, I am being prepared for something great. For someone great. Someday I will know how the stories that have been building up inside me were being archived to tell to the right person. To someone who wants nothing more than to hear about the mess within my mind and smile when I tell them about all my little victories. About how sometimes simply getting out of bed made me proud. About how the mud that once covered me flaked off my skin to reveal a softness I never knew I had. A softness that was preparing my heart to love in a way it never knew it could. They will see the unsteady light within me and know that it, too, is something worth fighting for.

Though winter beat me down, spring brings a new sun. A new peace. I still have to fight my way through the cold and rely on my own uneasy breath to warm up the layers of ice that have been collecting over my spirit, but I will keep breathing, even if my lungs begin to ache. The soil that has been stomped on, trampled over, frozen and soaked is only being prepared so a garden of the most beautiful flowers can begin to bloom in the new sun. There will be daisies and sunflowers. Things that remind me of light and beauty. Things I always have but cannot always see. While I have been left hurt and uneasy, I am grateful that I was pushed down and beaten by others because it has ripened my soul. I am not always the best and I am not always right, but I do my best to do what is right. A new season is coming and by the grace of God, I will bloom in every way I know how.