Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Car Wash Epiphany

Do you ever have those weird moments where you feel all confused over a wave of emotions you may be experiencing and then all of a sudden it clicks? I had that at the car wash yesterday.

Let me back up. Due to a recent turn of events in the world of Mel, I have a had a lot more on my mind this week. None of it was really negative or positive. It wasn't troubling or worrisome. It wasn't happy and exciting. It was just a bunch of swirling thoughts that I was suddenly covered up in. The first day it just seemed normal. The second day I felt a little overwhelmed. But yesterday? It all made sense.

See, the thing is that I didn't suddenly have these thoughts tossed into the mix of the normal things I think about. They've always been on my mind. I've just been quietly ignoring them. Not because I don't deal with things. Not because I bottle up emotions. It's been more that I just haven't had the time or energy to sort through everything going on in my head lately.

So yesterday, my boss comes in and hands me the key to his Honda Ridgeline to take to the car wash. Driving the truck is fun, so I was happy to get out and a gorgeous sunshiney day and venture down the road to get the truck all gussied up. There was of course a line. I sit. The radio is on. I don't remember what was playing. I don't think I was even really listening. But I know I wasn't really thinking about much at all and suddenly there were tears in my eyes.

What the heck? I'm not one of those anti-crying people, but I also don't cry all that easily. I was surprised. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I started flying through thoughts in my head to try to figure out which thing, which person, which situation could potentially be causing this. I wasn't sobbing or anything... just a few quiet tears spilling from my eyes. I couldn't figure it out. I just felt really overwhelmed by emotion that I didn't have prior to arriving at the car wash.

And suddenly it all clicked... it didn't have anything to do with the events of this past week or really any events whatsoever... or any one person... or one situation. I think I just suddenly realized that because I hadn't given any attention to the thoughts making camp somewhere in my mind that I suddenly just felt really overwhelmed by it. A lot of it stems from my upcoming 25th birthday. I know I've mentioned a forthcoming post about this occasion, and I promise it's still in the works. It's not like I'm dreading my birthday or feel any sort of huge weight because of it, but I think it's just one of those birthdays that really makes you think about your life from a different perspective than you were before you realized you're about to turn 25.

I also realized as I headed closer to the front of the line that I hadn't really been talking about any of the things on my mind much either. That's not really like me. But I think that sometimes even though I know I have some of the most amazing friends ever, I still have a tendency to fear that pouring out stuff on my mind would be overwhelming to them. And I don't want to do that. But I know that my best friends are there for me, and I should feel free to share what's going on with me. It's not a burden on them... it's just friendship. It lets them know how I'm REALLY doing. It let's them know what I could use a few prayers about. It lets them know the things that only best friends such as them are privy to.

By the time I went inside to pay, I was fine. It was like this huge relief. I realized I don't have to sort out every single thing on my mind. I don't have to question if the gut feelings I have are real or made up. I can just be. I can just experience the emotions and feelings I have about different things. I can trust that my gut feelings have often been right and that it's good to follow my instincts. I don't have to figure out what everything in my life means and if I'm doing everything the way I should be. (We all know Melanie is guilty of some overanalyzing sometimes... she's working on it, but sometimes it can't be helped). I realized that sometimes you just need to talk it out. Or in my case, write it out... because I fired off two lengthy emails to share some of what's on my heart and mind. And it felt good.

I've always been a pretty open book with the people I'm closest to, but I had been holding back lately. I think it was mostly because I just wasn't ready to open up. (Gosh, I know I'm being vague... I promise it's nothing terrible or anything. I'm totally fine. It's just life and things that are on the mind of a soon-to-be 25-year-old gal... just normal life stuff, I promise. You'll get a feel when I finally make that 25th bday post.) Sometimes you just can't tell your friends what's on your mind until you really know what's on your mind.

In summary, I'm thankful for my friends. I'm thankful for whatever caused me to remember that they're the ones I can count on to listen to me chat about whatever might be swirling around in my head, no matter how dumb it may be or how serious it may be or silly or exciting or whatever!!!

It really feels better to share. I don't think we were made to carry everything around and keep it all to ourselves. I mean, I certainly believe that God wants us to share what's on our minds and hearts with him as well as other people. I know I always feel more peace when I pray AND when I talk to people about what's going on with me. Sometimes I forget both. Sometimes I worry my desires and thoughts and everything else going may seem silly if I tell God about it and/or a close friend. But then something always reminds me that thinking THAT is silly.

So I try to remember to give things over to God and to not worry about sharing things with my friends. They want to know what's going on with me.

Wow, I feel like I just made it sound like I never open up and share things and that I keep it all bottled in. That's SO not the case. I really am a pretty open person. But sometimes I ignore my own thoughts long enough that they kind of eventually sneak up on me and it's like I have to spend several days sorting through it and kind of pour it out to a friend or two to get some feedback from the people who know me well and the way I think through things... and then all is well. It's like sometimes I forget that I don't HAVE to sort through it alone. There are people who love me and genuinely want to know what's on my mind just like I want to do for them.

So all is well. I promise. I still have things on my mind, but that's life, right? Always something... I once again remembered that life is good, and I have a lot of good people in mine. So the moral I suppose is to go hug a friend, and to never forget that there's always someone to talk to. I know that for me, when I finally decide to pray about something and let it go, I always feel so much better.

To top it off, I was at the new singles' ministry we've started up on Tuesdays, and the speaker had a great lesson about living our lives to the full.. being compassionate and full of love... surrending things to God and relying on our fellow humans to travel along the marathon of life with smiles on our faces. Real smiles. I felt even more sure after that that my car wash epiphany was just one more reminder of a lesson I learn over and over... life is always better when you share it with others.

So it seems that since my posting may be less frequent this week due to my busy schedule, that my posts are leaning more on the lengthy side. I hope it makes up for my absent days. I have a sticky note of thoughts I want to share, which also leads to the bit of randomness found here.

Thanks for reading. I'm not sure if I'm gotten my point across as eloquently as I intended, but it's time to get to something else. I hope you all know what I mean. Life is just meant to be shared. And that is very good to be reminded of frequently.


B2G said...

Isn't it funny sometimes how in a moment of quiet things can just become so clear? Good luck in sorting everything out. I'll be thinkin' bout ya.

Rachel said...

It is sometimes hard to talk about everything that is on your mind, but it seems to make everything a little better when you do. I have the same problem sometimes. I tend to hold things in. Good Luck with it all!