Fight or Flight?

No surprise here. I’m a first born, red-headed extrovert. I choose fight every time.

And yet.

This has been a season where the urge to flee has popped up in unexpected places. At first, it looked like restlessness. Most of my generation suffers from wanderlust, and, as this was a more convenient diagnosis, I added myself to their count, and went to Europe. It was wonderful. And since my summers inevitably turn into a parade of road trips, this wanderlust was well-fed for four long months.

And yet.

The last suitcase has been unpacked, a routine is slowly re-emerging, and the restlessness remains, having only been pushed beneath the surface.

But as it has settled back into my heart, I’ve determined that this unfamiliar knot in my stomach isn’t just antsy for a new adventure. It’s a knot of mangled fear and disappointment.

As is true of most fighters, we like to be in control. And my world, my carefully molded, carved world, stubbornly refused to bend to my will and is now changing without my permission.

My list of examples, of dreams deferred and jolting realities would bore you. Sometimes it bores me.

And yet.

At nearly 28, I am facing a world that looks very different than the one I imagined. My world looks different than most of my friends’, my parents’, and certainly my grandparents’. The disappointment that I don’t have that job, that address, that man, that family along with the fears of what I will have if I never get those makes me want to run. They make me want to find a new city, a new career, a new past with a new future. I want to stop fighting, change course, and hope that I pick up a decent tailwind.

And yet.

I am still here. That will not be my story.

I live with three beautiful women who love me well. They listen to my tears, and they sit in the sadness with me, then they are the first to remind me of the sweet gift of laughter. My family lives far away but does not let that stand in the way of daily life lived together, of shared secrets and hidden smiles. Kitchen tables and living room floors and even hearts have been made open to me all across Northern Virgina in ways that both surprise me and instantly feel as though they have always been.

This is not what I imagined. But it is richer than I could have dreamed. The fear and the disappointment remain,

and yet

I trust in the Author of this story who knows and is the Beginning and the End.


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