I have never acted, directed, or really had anything to do with any sort of play or movie or commercial or anything that required a script. Really not in my comfort zone. But that doesn't mean that I am not intimately familiar with one particular script. I speak of the one in my head with regards to my life. It is not completely fleshed out, but the outlines are certainly there. I do not claim that my script is original or unusual or perfect. In fact, I would claim the opposite, that it is the same as many others. It may be very vanilla in many ways, but I thought it was quite nice for my life.
You know the script well. It involves going to school, graduating, getting a job, falling in love, getting married, buying a house, having kids, raising said kids, then enjoying the grandkids. Generally in about that order, though obviously some of those things are juxtaposed. Most of us have some variation of this script, though it does vary for some people. Regardless of what the script is, most of us have one.
These scripts are not minute by minute or word by word for the majority of us (though for some very special Type A's, maybe they are!) They are more outlines in broad strokes with plenty of room for improvisation. I thought I was pretty flexible with the timeline for some of these things happening. I wanted them at a certain time, of course, but I was able to re-write the script as needed and find that it still fit my needs for the most part.
At least, that was the case until the last couple of years. In order for my life to fit with the rest of the script that I had written, certain things sort of had to happen by now. Now instead of minor revisions, the whole thing requires an overhaul. Many of the things that I wanted cannot be.
This is not to say that I can never get married, have kids, or own a home. But part of the script called for these things happening sooner. I was convinced that I wanted to be a younger parent and the parent of many. The first is no longer possible, and the second is less likely. I wanted to introduce my husband to all my grandparents. I could still introduce him to my mom's parents, but I will never see the love and pride in my grandma's eyes over my children the way I saw it for my cousins' children. One of the worst parts of it all? Sometimes it's hard to make new connections or keep connections with those whose lives followed the script more closely. We are on different pages. I want to be on their page, but no amount of wishing makes it so. I try to understand, but I can only imagine. Some of them try to understand where I am, too, but not all try or even seem to care.
I can't tell you how much agony and how many tears have gone into the script and all the mental rewrites. Imagine the paper, written on, scratched off, crumpled, stained and slaved over. I kept trying to get it right; kept working on turning out a product that looked half as wonderful as all those around me. I thought surrendering meant re-writing it until it finally fit God's plan, even if it didn't perfectly match my own original plan.
I find that surrendering means something different. The script cannot be my measurement for how my life is going. I can't use it to determine whether my life is going as it should or is leading in the right direction. I can't use it to plan what will someday be. I can't use it as the structure and framework for my dreams. In fact, I can't use the script at all. I have to toss it out completely.
What an easy thing to say, and what a hard thing to do. It is a script with a plan that has been held so closely for so long, that it doesn't shake loose from my soul by simply deciding it must go. It has to be purged bit by bit.
I have been having those pangs recently; like seeing the picture of my friend's 7 year old, and realizing that if my script had gone "the right way", I would likely have a 5 year old and maybe two or three younger ones as well. Or when I read those hilarious mommy blogs and wish I could join in the discussion with the funny things my kids said or did. Or when I hear of pregnancy experiences or birth stories and wish that I could join in with all the knowing in my voice of women everywhere through all generations.
On the other hand, I have also begun to notice the freedom of life without the script, and it is a beautiful thing. It's okay to be happy with my cozy little rental home that fits the current needs of my life. I don't need to own a home, because there's no script to say that I'm late in getting one. I do not need a husband by a certain time in order for x, y, and z to happen on time, because there is no time frame. Some of those things may happen, some may not. But there is no pressure that they have to happen a certain way because there is no script, only this moment; only today. And suddenly instead of a script of what my life should be, there is the story of who I am. It is a story that gets richer whatever comes along, so it doesn't particularly matter what happens when.
Thank you to all of you to all of you who are a part of my life and my story. I love that you are in these moments with me, whatever they are and wherever they're going next!