Wednesdays have an usual aura around them. A blue one, I would say. I feel safe inside of a Wednesday. I’m not overly anxious about the impending weekend—not exhausted at the thought of how far away it is, either. I have time, yet, to get done what I need done, but there is still a very visible light at the end of the tunnel.
I had a tea-date with my older brother’s high school Spanish teacher, last night, (try figuring that one out), and it was absolutely nothing like I expected. I went into the meeting feeling uncomfortable and anxious. I couldn’t decide on what façade I would wear for this encounter. Professional, of course, but still youthful. Driven, obviously, but still fun. I felt rushed and insecure. I felt like a Thursday afternoon. Gotta get it done, not a lot of time to do it. I imagined the meeting being small talk about “what’s going on in our lives” and the plans for the future; perhaps a reminiscent story or three about that little high school in Groveport, OH we both made it out of. I had already scripted out answers for when I was asked the dreaded questions of “so what are you up to these days?” or “what’s going on with school?”
However, as I sat down and stared across the table at the woman I was there to chat with—my apprehension only heightened. What was I doing here? What was the purpose of me even scheduling this get-together? What did I have to offer her in conversation? Nothing. What did she have to offer me in conversation? Who knew…
So I did my typical routine and sat down my iced chai latte that was far too small for what I paid for it, shuffled my purse around a bit, looked right past the other party and let out a sigh.
“So… hey! How are ya?” I painted a fake smile on my face.
Instead of indulging me in what I thought I wanted (small talk, giggles at other people’s expense, romance gossip, etc.) Ms. Duffy, my brother’s former Spanish teacher who doesn’t know me outside of whatever image I put out onto social media, forced her inviting brown eyes into contact with mine, laced her fingers together and exposed me for all I was worth.
“So. Kelsea. Why did you ask me here? What can I do for you?”
I was immediately confused. My initial reaction was defense. Why did I have to want something out of this? Couldn’t I just want to engage in some friendly conversation? I just wanted to get some expensive iced chai and bitch about the weather. Right? What do you mean, what can you do for me?!
“Oh! Nothing! I just wanted to visit!” I mustered the happiest tone I could find, coupled with a teeth-blaring smile.
Ms. Duffy wasn’t buying it, but she didn’t pry. I asked her where she was working now and she told me about her job as a counselor at a local high school, and her current business flipping houses. I inquired more about the latter job out of genuine curiosity and in an attempt to deflect any vibes that I was here seeking attention or counsel. However, Ms. Duffy saw through this as well and after a few more sips of my tea, I found myself emptying my soul to her.
Suddenly, this meeting no longer felt like a “Thursday afternoon” on the anxiety scale. It didn’t feel like a hopeless Tuesday like it actually was, either. I was suddenly resting in the safety of a Wednesday; in that cerulean blue aura. I had sat down in that booth with no idea what I was going to do with my future. I had ideas of joining the military in an attempt to get the rest of my education paid for and make some money. However, Ms. Duffy held a newly-windexed-mirror to my face on that whole situation. She held that same mirror into soul, altogether, if I’m being frank. Here’s what I learned about me after our extremely successful encounter.
I’m a rebel. I enjoy all things unconventional. No. Not enjoy. I feed off of it. I need it. I thrive and bloom and blossom in the “not-normal.” I like being “left” in a right world, black in a white world, a vagina in a world full of cocks. And something that Ms. Duffy confirmed for me, as well, was that our Jesus was (is, will forever be) the same way. A renegade.
I learned that it is okay to accept help when it’s offered. If I am going to get anywhere in this life, it will be through my own will, strength, determination, but also by the prayers and encouragement and outright assistance of others. Being independent doesn’t mean exclusion. Ms. Duffy began our conversation by ASKING me what she could do for me, and my involuntary response was negative. I don’t need you. Wrong move.
I don’t have to go back to school. It’s probably a good idea. It’ll certainly help. But it’s not necessary. It’s not the only route to the top; to happiness. Someone, somewhere along the way, wrote out a screenplay of how “life” was supposed to pan out. You go to college when you’re 18. You graduate when you’re 22. You get a desk-job, you get married, and you pop out a kid or two before you hit 30. And while I’m sure there are many people who are content to abide by this guide, God did not build me that way. God built me for wandering and travel and meditation and confusion and freedom. And while I’m certainly not ruling it out, I’m not sure if “college” fits into the repertoire.
I’m pretty talented. So, I struggled throughout this entire conversation. I struggled with feeling selfish and conceited. I often asked Ms. Duffy if we could discuss something else because I was growing very guilty about speaking exclusively of myself. She was bathing me with compliments and I still have no idea how to properly receive them, so I pushed them away. She finally peered into my eyes and told me that I wasn’t being selfish or vain or conceited—and that this conversation was one that she initiated and willfully participated in. (That I needed to stop apologizing.) And she also told me that I’m very smart and talented and can essentially do whatever I want to do with my life because I (literally) have nothing tying me down to ANYWHERE. Simple thoughts, right? Your mom tells you every day from the time you’re born until you die: that you can be whatever you want to be.
But when you’re twenty-two and your parents are no longer astronomically older than you, your friends lives are panning out a lot differently than yours, and your mistakes and regrets are constantly tapping you on your shoulder, “you can be whatever you want to be,” does not feel as genuine and hopeful as it used to. It feels like a cop out. Like a train you already missed. Like a “just kidding.” You know why? Because you have a car payment and a cell phone and things like insurance to worry about. And “whatever you want to be” is a lot more difficult to attain than it seemed when you were 5 and wanted to be on Disney Channel. You know how the world works a little better now. It’s not as simple as crying until you get what you want, or telling on your older brother to make yourself look better. It’s not about what you’re gonna be “when you get bigger” because you stopped growing like 3 years ago. You are “bigger.” And you’re still not on Disney.
But somehow, I left that tea date with my brother’s old Spanish teacher feeling like a 5 year old girl in a tutu whose Aunt Jennifer just asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. I felt like I could be and do anything. Like the world was at my fingertips, for real. Like all I had to do was leave that dang Panera, get in my car, and drive. That was it.
Life is wildly overwhelming, friends. If I know absolutely nothing: I know that. I am forever being rocked by my ever-changing emotions and perhaps you are, too. That’s why I started this blog. I wanted to remind myself of these highs, because I’m certain I will not always feel as ambitious and capable as I do today. But when it’s a “Friday” and I’m feeling stretched too thin, or a “Monday” and I have no idea how I’m going to make it through another week in this Godforsaken state, in this lackluster town, at this dead-end job…
I want to something to put me in the safety of the blue aura of a Wednesday. I hope this blog is a Wednesday for you. Hopeful…