Lent 2014 – 19: And Then There Are Other Days….

Yesterday was tough.  While I was at work I had the opportunity to facilitate the donation of a very large amount of food to multiple nonprofit organizations.  The first two that came to mind were the USO (which sends care packages to our soldiers) and the American Red Cross (which can use the food at disasters they go to or to sell to raise money for the local chapters).  I was happy that I was able to help these organizations and, by extension, help the people that they help.  So I was feeling really good until the Red Cross showed up.  They backed their truck up and we begin to load it.  As I stood there looking at the truck, a wave of emotion came over me.  I learned so much about life when I was wearing that red cross on my chest.  I learned so much about myself as I worked in three different states as a member of the Red Cross Disaster Team.  But that was a long time ago, and that was a different life.  That was a life when my dreams and plans for myself involved making a difference in the world, when they involved helping people who asked for help, helping people who couldn’t ask for help, and helping some people who didn’t even know that they needed help.  

Man!  How did I get so far off course?  How did I end up doing nothing that I set out to do?  How am I 32 years old and still just coasting through life day by day?  The easy answer is that I changed my priorities.  I decided to pursue an education and I am so glad that I did.  I decided to move out of state, and I am grateful for the opportunity.  But why have I not made it back yet?  I was supposed to be back “home” by now; back “home” in the life that I thought I wanted.  I was getting really down on myself when I realized that there are people in my life who would never have been here if I didn’t take this path.  And, can I honestly look at any one of them and say, “I would trade you for a different life?”  No way!! I am here! There is a reason that I am on this path.  There is a reason why I diverged.  There is a reason why I feel this longing to get back to something that once was and something that could have been.  As I was ruminating on this an older coworker/friend of mine showed up and started chatting with me.  I shared with him some of these thoughts and he offered some helpful insight.  But, what really got to me is what he said as he walked away.  

For years I have longed to hear my father’s voice and listen to any insight that he might offer about my life.  I have dreamed of knowing what he thinks of the woman I have become.  I have called out to him to ask for guidance and, every now and then, I hear his answer whispered in the wind or carried to me on the waves of Lake Huron.  But, more often than not, I am met with silence and loneliness.  So, as I sat and berated myself for straying from my path, my friend reminded me that many people lose sight of their goals/dreams/plans and that is okay, as long as you don’t lose sight of who you are.  And then, as he turned to walk out of the room, he quoted a line to me said by Jimmy Stewart in my father’s favorite movie, Harvey.  I knew, without a doubt, that while my friend was saying the words, the message was coming from someone else; someone who knew that I would understand the importance of a six foot three and a half inch tall white rabbit.  

So, while I may not be where I was, and I may not be where I intended to go, I know that I am still where I am meant to be.  I am in a place where I can realize what was and what is and make the choice to create what will be.  This is my story and I am thankful to Harvey for reminding me of that.  

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ruddyruminations
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 10:22:48

    It is only when we feel a little lost that we see we are always home. I would have loved to know what the coworker said to you! Cliffhanger 🙂

    Reply

    • atlaslaughing
      Mar 26, 2014 @ 21:37:09

      He was telling me that, while I used to do BIG things to make a difference in the world, I can have just as much of an impact by doing SMALL things every day. He said that I am nice to people and I make them laugh and that makes a difference in his world. That is when he quoted Harvey by saying that Jimmy Stewart was right all along. We can be smart or pleasant, but he prefers pleasant. The direct quote from the movie is, “Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be’ – she always called me Elwood – ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

      Reply

  2. ruddyruminations
    Mar 27, 2014 @ 18:10:13

    lol, I like that.

    Reply

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