Chicken Fried Vogue

For 15 years and most of her adult life, Bubblez lived in the suburbs of a major metropolitan city. She enjoyed taking her children to museums, parks, and dates at Starbucks. Then Bubblez moved to the country and her En Vogue attitude got chicken fried. Her yard is a park where the neighbor's rooster won't stop crowing, Starbucks is almost an hour away, and her large collection of fancy shoes is worthless. But, living in the acres of green has presented more opportunities for living "green" as Bubblez travels the path toward self-sufficiency (and bitches ((and prays)) along the way).

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Holes, Souls, Friends, and Destiny

There is, in each of us, a God shaped hole. This is what my church teaches. As we walk through life, we all carry an emptiness in our souls. It's a longing to feel whole and complete, and people will have this longing until they "ask Jesus into their hearts and become filled by the Holy Spirit." I do not disagree with this teaching, but, as a "believer" I find myself asking God why, regardless of my faith, I often feel empty and incomplete. What else is missing? Why do I not feel whole? There remains a yearning within me.

Being born into this world seems a lot like being picked up by some unknown person and deposited on an island somewhere, being told that I have a purpose for being here and handed a book on the island's history, agricultural practices, and customs of the inhabitants, and then being left for an undetermined amount of time without ever being told what it is that I'm supposed to accomplish. I know that I was selected specifically to be here, but haven't got the foggiest clue as to why.

I'm pretty sure a lot us of feel that way, Christian or not. Some of us find contentment in our chosen professions and some in marriage and family, which is a profession. Shall I be a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker?  Shall I unearth great treasures like Indiana Jones or be more like Captain Jack Sparrow, wandering aimlessly and seeking refuge in a cache of rum or the single bullet that will end that ongoing yearning for something more and the feeling of despair that accompanies the belief that there might not really be a purpose for being here at all. Maybe it's like living in The Truman Show, and we are nothing more than entertainment for an unknown audience.

No. I believe with everything I have that I am destined for greatness of some kind, maybe not globally great, but on some level, great. But what? Will I ever know? How will I find it?

As I meander my way through life searching for my own destiny and looking for signs that I am, not only on the right path, but going in the right direction along that path, occasionally, blessedly, God rewards me with a bit of encouragement and a sense of "yes".

I recently traveled to Chicagoland to attend a book signing event where my very good friend, Nicole Knepper was promoting her new book: Moms Who Drink And Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind. Followers of Nicole and her Facebook group, Moms Who Drink And Swear, traveled far and wide to be a part of this event.

I had two goals in mind as I made my way toward Chicago. One was to support a woman who I have grown to love very much. The other was to take some time to just check myself out, a little vacation from reality. Life's been a struggle for me, lately. That feeling of yearning has been raging and causing a pounding ache in my soul. I needed to get away. I needed the fresh perspective that stepping back can sometimes give. I did not expect the thing that actually happened, but ironically, it is exactly the thing Nicole describes in the first chapter of her book.

Every person I knew who had also made this trip, was someone who I had met initially on Facebook and eventually in person. There were still plenty of people I hadn't met who only "knew" me via the wide web. I was amazed and thrilled by the people who said excited, "you're Bubblez?!?" as they looked me in the face for the first time. OK, maybe it was only two or three people, but I felt like a celebrity. I felt special and important. It felt good. It felt "yes."

As the hours passed, I found myself in situations where I could talk to just a few people at a time, and man, did I talk. My story started pouring out of me like a waterfall. Everything that I had been going through in my personal life and my deepest, most intimate thoughts spewed out of me to patient, listening ears, and rather than escaping reality, my reality was affirmed. These women smiled and nodded and validated me. They said, in essence, "yes, this is really your life and not your imagination, and yes, you are so much more than where you are and what you're going through."

Yes.

See, maybe we do have a God shaped hole, but we also have empty spaces where friends belong. As we plod through our lives, it is imperative that we collect up these people who affirm us and support us. I sincerely believe that none of us can be anything that we were truly meant to be unless we fill ourselves up with these important people. We need them like we need food. These are the people who help you find yourself. They guide you and nourish you and make sure you are on the right path. Without them, you will never find your destiny. 

Many relationships are a struggle. They seem to hold you back or tear you down rather than help you to move forward and upward. It's easy to get stuck, to even give up on yourself. The contrast between a relationship like that and the kind that nourish and make a soul grow is mind boggling. As people, I think one of our favorite phrases is, "they're good for each other." It's amazing what a person can do when you find someone who's good for you. So, I want to thank each of my "good for me" friends, both old and new, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, friends, for helping me be who I am meant to be, and for helping me to find my purpose in this life.

"Everything that don't make sense about me, makes sense when I'm with you." -Hunter Hayes