So, in my last post I talked about how other people’s blog posts had inspired me and so I started with a little something about my Grandmother, and as these things tend to do, it got longer than expected and so I have waited to post my other Lesson about Life here today.
It reminded me of a particular feeling I’ve had in life, sadly, many many times. I will call it Fear of Commitment and it is brought to you by this picture of where I lived in New Zealand:
I would like to go ahead and blame ALL of New Zealand, and the life that I lived there for what happened after I left, but I think that’s probably pretty unfair. I mean, sure it was a beautiful place, a place that has SO MANY picturesque elements that you could be a HORRIBLE photographer and come away with a piece of art just by pure accident. And sure, I met some of the most fantastic people that I have “carried” them with me ever since and some of them are still some of my very best friends. And sure everyone’s college experience has elements of the “ideal” that hindsight can only shake its head at you and say, “man, if you had only known how GOOD you had it!” -but ultimately I know that this Fear of Commitment would have reared its ugly head after any amazing experience-and happily, I’ve had quite a few so far in my life…but now I’m getting ahead of myself. First let me say that the first time I really and truly baulked at Change and Commitment, I had just moved back to Texas after living in New Zealand for several years.
I won’t go into the details about how hard it was, and how much I missed my friends and I missed the country-but lets just say it all came to a head one fateful day when I went to get a cellphone.
Things were going pretty well at first, I found a cute little phone that was Red. Which was important. Color is always important. And since this was back in the day when cell phones did not double as appendages, other than the color and whether or not it rang when people called…the only other issue to be settled that day was the cell phone contract. And that’s when the sweat beads started to form. I was told that to get this Shiny Red Phone, I would need to sign a contract for 2 years. TWO YEARS!!! For serious!?! It was at that moment that a very boring, uneventful, void of beauty and happiness two years flashed before my eyes! HOW could life POSSIBLY be as wonderful as it had been when I’d lived overseas?! How could life in my humdrum home town EVER make up for the excitement of far off adventure?!?! I mean, suuure, I had agreed to move back to Texas and back to my home town, but I had never been faced ( as of yet) with the FINALITY of having to stay in the United States for TWO WHOLE YEARS until that moment in the AT&T store.
Now, I’ll go ahead and ruin the suspense for you and say that I ended up swallowing that sinking feeling and going ahead and getting the cell phone ( after all, it was red. BUT it took much, much longer for me to learn to NOT be afraid of Change. To not be afraid that my Past had truly been “the best” and that my Future had no chance in the competition! In fact, while I couldn’t possible imagine it then-my two years in Texas proved to be very important. I went to Italy with friends, I even went BACK to New Zealand for a visit. So my fear of no adventure was wrong. I also gained a new best friend. My sister and I would probably never be the friends we are today if I had not moved back to Texas were we could finally bond over cupcakes and episodes of The O.C and so my fear of never making such good friends again was also wrong….Oh, and I probably would not have re-met Brett and we would not be married today so my fear that truly wonderful things would never happen again, well, that was DEFINITELY wrong.
So, really, those “boring, uneventful” two years turned out to be very important to my life!
And yet, I hate to tell you, I still struggle with the Cell Phone Contract Syndrome even today. I still longingly look backwards and wish for past days. Moving to Georgia has been hard on me yet again, hard because its not nearly as exotic and fantastical as my life in Washington had been, and I have yet to make friends that could possibly compare to my Washington friends….or so I think! At this point I should know that every season of Life has offered me Beauty, Excitement, Friendship, and Adventure and so I should just go ahead and commit already. It’ll be worth it.