IF YOU COULD BE ANYWHERE RIGHT NOW, WHERE WOULD YOU BE?
Today’s writing challenge is all about “being somewhere”. When I initially read the prompt, my mind went to a physical place that I would want to be – and my first, immediate, without question, thought was “I would want to be standing at the base of the Eiffel Tower, looking up, snapping a picture of all those beams and cross-beams” (closely followed by sitting at an outside cafe somewhere in the Greek Islands). And so, my initial thought was that I was going to write about my love for Paris (a city I have yet to visit) and why I can imagine myself as an ex-pat, living somewhere along the Seine, in a small room that would not hold 1/4 of the material STUFF I have accumulated in my 50 years of life – wearing black all the time (with splashes of purple just for kicks) – drinking coffee (and wine) – going to the local store every day for my “daily bread” (and veggies) – and (re)learning how to speak French so eloquently that my fellow Parisienes would NOT look at me with disdain as a “dirty American”. Yep, I would win them over with my charm and grace and loveliness.
But as I started writing this blog – LITERALLY, as I hit the button for NEW POST, I decided that I wanted to write about a different kind of place. A mental, spiritual, “me and who I am” kind of place. And when I asked myself THAT question, I realized that there is no other place I would rather be than where I am right now. In all honesty, my life did not turn out to be what I thought, hoped, imagined it would be when I was younger. I mean, doesn’t every girl dream of a wedding and a husband and kids? I had those dreams at one point of my life, but that is not the life that God has handed me. I never imagined that as I approached my 50th birthday, I would be single, no kids, living in a home with my retired mother, being the “responsible one” for so many people in my life. But that is my reality.
Sure, there are times when I want to go screaming to the mountains and rail against how my life didn’t turn out. After all, as people KEEP telling me, “you are such a wonderful person, I cannot believe someone hasn’t snatched you up by now.” Or, “you are so good with kids, how come you don’t have any?” And even, “Girl! My hat is off to you for living with your mom like you do. I couldn’t do it.” And if I believed in alternate universes and the like, somewhere out there, there is a Kristina who is living what I once considered my “dream life”. She is skinny (ok, skinnier), she has Denzel or Shemar or one of their twin brothers as a loving, devoted, thinks she made the sun shine, husband. She has two well-behaved, smart, good looking, respectful children. There is money in the bank and food in the house and a convertible in the garage of her well-appointed beach house. Yeah, she is living the good life. And good for her. I’m only a little envious.
I say I am happy to be where I am right now in my life because, despite some trials, life is good. I have lived in my house for 17 years and have never been late with a mortgage payment. I have been able to provide a home for my mother for that same amount of time, and while at times it can be challenging – two grown woman with very different outlooks on life under the same roof – I am grateful for the opportunity to honor her as is Biblically mandated. While the bank accounts are not flush with extra money, every month I am somehow able to meet most, if not all, of my financial obligations, and as my voluptuous figure will let you know, there is ALWAYS food in the house to store, prepare and enjoy. I have been on the same job for the last 14 years and still enjoy going into the office every day at the appointed time. I work with a great group of co-workers, and for the most part, my job is a stress-free environment for me. Who can say that in these hectic times? I am blessed beyond measure and I know all of these good things come from my Heavenly Father above. So, why would I not be content to be where I am, right now?
Yes, one day, I hope to stand at the base of the Eiffel Tower. One day, I’ll sip some exotic Greek drink on Santorini. But until then, I’m gonna squeeze every bit of happiness I can out of being here, in Atlanta, Georgia, living the life God has given me. It don’t get much better than that.