The sun set long ago, and I am ending my day with the satisfaction of finishing all of my Christmas shopping. I did it all on Amazon, so I didn’t even have to put on pants. I’m wearing pants, but that’s not the point. The point is that I did all of my Christmas shopping in a situation where pants are not even necessary. That is #winning in my book.
Earlier, I went to the bank to get a temporary debit card, but apparently a printout of my driver’s license was not enough. I was able to get cash, interestingly enough, but no debit card. Bank of America has long mystified me, and I wouldn’t even have created an account if I didn’t need a national bank. The good news is that now I’ll have a direct deposit, making my account free. There’s nothing like coming home to a negative balance when I haven’t remembered to leave enough for that $10.00 charge… actually, it’s probably more, but I’m too lazy to look it up. The take-home message is that by next month, my money issues will look a lot different, in that I will have some.
I plan to keep living the way I do now so that I can just sock away money for undergrad and grad school. I’m single, I don’t have a car payment, I don’t have kids, and my salary is what I was making in Houston, where my rent was almost double what it is now. They say that DC is an expensive city, and it is, but not when you find a room on Craig’s List and eat a lot of peanut butter sandwiches and hot dogs. I really only splurge for three things. I love Ezekiel Bread, Daiya cheese, and diet grape soda. I’m not vegan or vegetarian, I just like Daiya better, especially on pizza. In fact, my favorite pizza in the world is Daiya and “Sorta Sausage,” which to most people is weird for someone who also loves bacon. Groceries are truly a love in my life, because cooking at home is so much more satisfying than going to a restaurant. When you marry a chef, people assume you cannot boil water. In my case, Dana was the boss at work, and I got to be the boss at home. Although for the first few years this was not the case. I was primarily in charge of grating cheese. I had to earn Dana’s trust with the All-Clad. 🙂 If I still lived in Houston, I’m pretty sure I would ask for visitation rights. I doubt she would give them to me, but all she could say is no, and she’d definitely say no if I didn’t ask. That’s been a life lesson for me, that “all they can say is no, so what do I have to lose by asking?” At this point in my life, there is very little that I want, and I am grateful for the chance to be able to provide.
I will not want for anything, and that is something for which to be extraordinarily grateful. Thanksgiving was exactly that for me this year. I prayed over all of the abundance I have achieved by paring down to the bare essentials. It’s funny that living on nothing gives you everything.
I’ve found that all I really want out of life is a great pot of tea and a warm heart to share it with. The last time Prianka and I got together, it was at Teaism Dupont, where we had Darjeeling and the chord that runs between us aglow with the friendship that has sustained us in both small and large ways over the years.
This has been a wonderful chapter in my life, this learning who I am (and who I’m not). And in getting this job, I’m hoping to start the climax and denouement; the climax being my ordination and the denouement spending my days preaching, teaching, writing, and most of all, learning.
It is a lifetime pursuit, this learning how to be in the world. One of the characters in “The Man in the High Castle” says something profound, and I will share it here… that being a good man is difficult, and as you get older, it is harder and harder to decide what being a good man means.
There was a while where I didn’t think I was a very good person. When I was in it, I realized that what I thought of myself was true, and made changes to that effect. It’s hard to be a good person when you give up your rules. I was anchorless because I relied on others to provide that North Star.
Having everything was creating my own.
This is not the first time I have used a West Wing episode as an entry title. Here’s the first, so named because Argo was the help line of enormous proportion that got me through the moments when my emotions exploded all over the place. It was the beginning of trying to figure out who I truly was, wanted to be, with lots of stumbles along the way. I want to be the idealist version of myself that does funnel light to others, but I couldn’t in the middle of the mess. In order to get right, I had to want it.
And I do.