It’s one of those nights where I glare too intensely at other people’s lives. I examine them, pick them apart, and then in turn scrutinize my own life to see whether or not I measure up, or whether I could one day.
Surprisingly, I’m closer than I’ve been in awhile.
I lay in bed tonight not reading, or writing, or watching Chopped on Hulu, but instead doing work. Something to do with spreadsheets and neighborhood data from the past 3 years. How did I get here? I wondered, aloud. The dog didn’t respond, nor did the cats, so I’m putting it out into the blogosphere…maybe I’ll find myself a kindred spirit in which to nurse all of my philosophical questions.
It’s recently occurred to me that there really is no such thing as the real world. I’m a (supposedly) successful, late-20’s woman who lives alone, manages her own life, has close friends and hobbies, and a good job. And I haven’t felt like a grown-up yet. I always thought something would click one day, and I would magically know the right answers and know what to say and be able to make sparkling conversation and not feel like that college kid who has no experience and no right to be anywhere except a classroom. Maybe it’s all a farce; maybe no one really knows what they’re doing. Maybe we’re all pretending.
It’s something to think about. Fake it ’til you make it.
I had brunch with an old friend today, and talk turned to church (it was Sunday, after all). As neither of us are particularly traditional folk, waking up for church every Sunday isn’t high on our list of priorities.
But then we started thinking…what is “church” anyway? It’s a gathering together of like-minded people to share time with each other.
My friend’s church: hiking through Amicalola Falls, viewing nature in its purest form, the snow still coating branches and forest floors, with friends who equally appreciated the activity.
Going to an excellent live show, where the musicians are on and the crowd is connected and you can feel everyone else in the room.
Spending time with family, recounting stories and laughing late into the night.
As for me, I haven’t figured out my church yet. But as the last strains of A Prairie Home Companion drifted through my speakers, I found myself singing along to their last song, a tribute to George Beverly Shea.
Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds thy hands have made…then sings my soul, my savior God to thee.
It was the part of traditional Baptist church I’ve always loved…the good old hymns. It’s all about what brings you closer to what you deem most important…I feel these songs. And I sang with the audience, and I remembered every word.
It’s a late hour, so please forgive the possible ramblings that might appear forthwith.
Let me begin by saying, I am a Southerner. I was born here, raised here, and will, by the grace of God, die here. My family has been Southern for 200-some odd years. Hell, my ancestors founded one of the most Southern town in South Carolina. I have roots here. It’s in my blood.
Which makes working for a Yankee pretty damn hard. We don’t see things the same way. We don’t speak the same way. We don’t communicate with people in the same way. And lately, it’s been getting me down. It’s trying.
However, this evening, while in the shower (where most pep talks seem to occur), it came to me. I’m not leaving this job. I’m sticking it out, no matter how much it makes me cry and how much wine I want to drink at the end of each day. I will not quit. I will not give up. Does the magnolia break apart in the hurricane? No…she stands tall, her branches strong and hard. I can handle these two Yankees and their northern attitudes. They’re on my turf. And if I have to act like a crude, loud, and rude Yankee to stake my place in this company, so be it. I will be northern during the day; I will drink Tennessee whiskey and let my accent come through at night. I will sleep soundly, knowing I did everything I could do, and in the morning, I will get up and face the new day again.
The South might not rise again, but I certainly will.