If you ever wondered what it’s like to walk around inside my shoes on a typical day?
You go to work in the morning, bleary eyed because you don’t get coffee until 7:37 at your Starbucks, the one whose baristas know your name and give you extra tea bags and honey when you’re sick and sneezing all over their counter and who sometimes slip an extra shot into your morning latte.
You arrive at work, do your thing. A few times during the day you’ll put your head in your hands and wonder, why am I doing this? Is this even the place I am supposed to be? You’ll eat 7 crackers from the whole gran TLC cracker box, then 7 more, then worry for a few seconds about whether that was the right portion size because it’s still January and you might want to make this year the year of food awareness or eating right or something… then you’ll forget, and eat another 10 crackers while you type furiously because typing fast makes you feel more productive.
You’ll drive home. You’ll pray out loud as you go, rambling prayers, prayers of woods and left turns where you almost forget to put your blinker on. You’ll pray that God explain Himself and His plans. You’ll pray to see yourself more truthfully, see others more graciously, see God more clearly. You’ll pray some things that go deep into your heart and rest there and others that you forget just as you drive through the intersection before your intersection when you’re distracted wondering what Dad is making for dinner.
You’ll work out to Zumba by yourself in your room on the second floor and occasionally wonder if the floorboards might give under your enthusiasm for “Bollywood style” dance routines. You will wear ballet slippers you got sophomore year of college for the ballet class you took. You’ll wear these with socks because the toes on each slipper have worn almost through. You’ll have your hair in a sweaty bun and you won’t really care that you are shaking all your bedroom furniture to music you wouldn’t listen to with your grandmother because no one can see you.
And then, oh, and then: then you will walk into the grocery store wearing yoga shorts, red TOMS with “Blue Moon” logo socks, a long wool coat, and a T-shirt.
I am not kidding. You’ll look down in the vegetable aisle and realize this, realize that your coat length plus shorts plus beer factory souvenir socks your mom bought for you when she visited said factory plus hair in its messy bun = disaster.
There you are.
There, indeed, I was. Not only did I wear that outfit into a public place, but I proceeded to walk around the grocery store holding, now wait for it:
grapefruits, iced tea, toothpaste, granola bars , razors
This assortment of items practically screamed, “LOOK! LOOK! I’m a twenty something! I live at home! I have no clue what my life holds! I cry in my car sometimes to country music radio!”
I thought, this can’t get any better. Here I am wearing beer logo socks and yoga shorts, lugging around a bag of grapefruits and new razors, looking for my mother…
When of course, it does get better.
The cute guy from Driver’s Ed several years ago, the one who used to (I think, kind of) flirt with me on occasion under the guise of making fun of me? The one who I proceeded to see whenever I went to the local ice cream store or CVS? Oh yes, friends.
He works at this grocery store. He works, in fact, directly in front of the Greek yogurts that I was furtively trying to stash under my chin until I could wobble towards the checkout because I hadn’t thought to get a basket or a cart.
There was that pause. The, “Oh, CRAP.” pause. The pause of does-he-see-me-where-is-the-exit-shoot-he-saw-me-too-late pause. I smiled. He smiled. I moved my hand away from the Chobani yogurt. He took in my outfit, my arms full of groceries, said a vague “hey, good to see you,” and went back to unpacking boxes.
There are these days. These days of blue moon socks and counting TLC crackers in your office. These days of not enough pretty words shared or said to you and by you, and these days of yoga shorts and old ballet slippers and Zumba in your room to a YouTube video and buying grapefruits. Wearing TOMS. With socks. With a long coat and shorts. And the cute guy looking you up and down like he has never seen anything like it (probably true).
And you know what? I love these days.
They’re what make us real. They’re what make us gracious, graceful. They’re what make us loveable.