Filling the S P A C E

I don’t want to be afraid of the space in between phases of life.

In fact, I desperately want to fill it with beautiful things like books and watercolors and spending more time outside. But some mornings I wake up terrified I’ll be a barista the rest of my life, but something tells me I was made for more.

I’ve been told by a number friends who have been done with school that it’s like having your security blanket taken away. But what gets me most of all is that school and classes have become my security blanket. I genuinely hate that. And I don’t hate much at all, if anything. I guess I keep waiting for someone to tell me to become a student of the world, grab life by next opportunity, and hightail it out of my routine. But I’m realizing that I don’t know what I’m in such a hurry for or where I want to hightail it to.  

I don’t want to be afraid of the space between making plans and having none at all.  

Did you know I used to write poems that sounded like, “Embrace the abyss” or “The unknown is beautiful”? That used to be me, so unafraid of what was to come. I sometimes wish I could take my own advice like I do while backpacking or traveling: Stop asking so many questions and just walk.

Maybe it’s what I’ve been taught in school, or as a journalist to always be curious, constantly skeptical, alway asking the next big question. But what I’ve noticed in real life, (not college life) when I’ve trusted my faith and hope in a God who wants what’s best for me, things tend to work themselves out.

So maybe it’s time I trusted the space? Trust that all I am really called to do is sit at the feet of a God who I am to blame for every grand path I’ve been led.

And every path I’ve taken hasn’t eaten me alive yet, but rather given me new life.

I say I’m not a planner and most of the time I wish I wasn’t so uptight about sticking to a plan. (You should ask Harry about my attitude a few days ago when we cancelled our bike plans to make surfing plans. I was livid and I took it out on him because I had my heart set on that silly plan, instead of on Jesus). I think I enjoy having a plan more than I let on, and it takes daily reminders to not be consumed by the plans I make. Not to say that what I want in life isn’t valid (I’m also learning about this too), but that all the calendars I mark-up, the money I save, and the degree in journalism I will eventually have, all of it quite small compared to God. I know He has my best interest in mind and it sometimes takes literally throwing my hands up to the sky and asking for His guidance, rather than sending another email or crossing off another day on the old Rifle Paper Co.  agenda.

So here’s an unofficial list of what I want to do with my post-grad life because I am a HUGE fan of making lists and crossing things off:

  1. Show up

  2. Just freakin’ trust Jesus because he is everything that is good and beautiful

  3. Make time to be genuine and authentic

  4. Apply to at least 10 freelance jobs (kind of sinking my heels into the ground with this one)

  5. Publish my book & watercolors ( excerpts coming soon!)

  6. Backpack the John Muir Trail with Harry

  7. Participate in the Nat Geo Genome Project and visit my homeland (wherever that may be. . . I’m really hoping it’s Ireland)

  8. Continue to write daily because it keeps me sane

  9. Stop being a wuss and get a tattoo

  10. Continue to fall in love with Harry

  11. Spend more time with Mom and Dad and Sister

  12. Embrace my grandma-ness and start a book club

  13. Also stop being a wuss and surf bigger waves

  14. Finally be able to pluck strings on my guitar because the excuse that my hands are too small is horse poop

  15. Meet myself where I am at all times (i.e. inner negative voice needs to get a life)

  16. Apply myself in the journalism field because I won’t be getting this damn degree for nothing

  17. Cultivate a space that I LOVE coming home to everyday

  18. Hike Half Dome with Mom and Dad and Sister (I know I know, I can’t believe I haven’t done it either)

  19. Learn to mountain bike

  20. Stop making so many lists