I was reminded recently that my life now is nothing like what I would have expected from it five years ago. At the beginning of 2011, I was a happily married father of an almost one year old, pastoring a church that I was about to take through a process of discernment. I was exactly where I wanted to be and exactly where I thought hard work was supposed to lead. See, to that point and in broad strokes, I had done everything right. I had been a good enough student, a good church going kid, a college grad who felt drawn to work with inner city kids and ultimately drawn to ministry. I married only my second serious girlfriend . We waited for each other. We had our adventures and got to be together six years before having a healthy baby boy. Unbeknownst to me, my life had a plan. I was pretty much going by the book.
Then life happened, and it threw me off my game. I wasn’t prepared for failure. I wasn’t prepared for uncertainty. I didn’t have the emotional infrastructure (my therapist’s terminology) to deal with the swirls of emotions and I allowed things to fall apart. Now, five years later, there are my two kids five hours away, my ex, a career on hold, a new partner who has similarly had her script disrupted and her two kids, a trail of broken hearts, and an uncertain future. Oh, and a dog and a kitten. My life is messy.
It’s not that my life suddenly go messy. It has always been so. All I did was blow up the facade. Life is messy because people are messy. We do all we can to hide our messiness from one another and then we’re shocked and appalled that when we see someone else’s mess while breathing a sigh of relief that are thin veneer hasn’t yet worn down. The game is exhausting and not very fun.
I am a messy person. I’ve never been incredibly organized, I’ve always had a messy desk, car, bedroom, etc… I know that bothers some people and I try to keep it contained. But I am messy. I am complicated, moody, wildly insecure and an incredibly proud. I love people but am highly introverted. I’m hopeful but easily discouraged. I’m passionate but sometimes lazy. I’m scatterbrained but very thoughtful. I’m funny, witty, and insightful. I’m undisciplined, careless, and arrogant. I am, in short, very human. I love/hate that about me.
My life right now is a bit of a mess. Like my bedroom, it is a comfortable mess and I know where everything is. I’d love for it to be less messy and will make efforts toward that end, but I won’t apologize for it. I’m sorry if my mess offends you. Oops, that’s an apology. See? Messy.