I Didn’t Have to Wait Long

The quote from Dana that I’ve been waiting for arrived in my memories this morning. It made me happy to an enormous degree, because like I said yesterday, there is something precious about going back far enough that the divorce fades and just how funny we were together takes its place. All of our conversations in the humorous vein are tennis matches, and if there’s anything I miss about our relationship more than anything else, it’s that. Dana picked up all the parts of the conversation I forgot, or corrected me when I didn’t get a line just perfectly. I regret not taking more pictures. I regret staying home too much and not creating fantastic memories, because they say that money can’t buy you happiness, but it can if you spend it on the right things, experiences over objects. Most of the time, we were broke because either I didn’t have a job or she didn’t, but in the moments where we were doing really well, we didn’t take advantage of our middle-classness… and how I wish that we could bum around DC, because nearly everything is free.

Perhaps that will come in time, after we’ve had enough life experiences apart from each other that the pain of divorce will ease. I desperately miss being married to her, and getting away from her was the right thing entirely… but that doesn’t ease the fact that it was almost always amazing while it lasted. I don’t want to get back together, but in time, I’d like to be comfortable with friendship again. I’m not right now. You can’t grieve someone and go to them for comfort. You can’t cross a river and look back, wondering if the other person is still behind you. In the days after our divorce, when we were still living together, it was a mistake to try and roll back into our friendship immediately, because I couldn’t do it. We’d have an intimate moment (friendship-wise), and either my heart or my ovaries would explode. In retrospect, I am glad that we did not have children or buy a house or any of the things that would have made our separation all the more difficult.

I am still on the fence about having kids, and I have never once doubted that Dana would have been an awesome co-parent. But at this point in my life, at almost 39, the pool of women available to date have kids of their own, and I wonder if I’d make a good step-parent. It’s also not inconceivable that I could get pregnant (see what I did there) if I met someone, but going to the OB/GYN with Dana wrecked me, because our doctor said (when I was 35) that it would be considered a geriatric pregnancy. Now, while that may be a medical term, emotionally it made me feel 80 years old. And, of course, that was before I discovered all the ways I was truly mentally ill, having gone through teen drama/trauma and wondering if I’d be a good parent…. although I do have excellent role models for the task. My mother and father already have grandchildren of their own due to remarrying, but I cannot imagine how thrilled they would be if I did find the right family structure and I did decide to conceive. My sister and Matt have already decided that they don’t want children, and not only that, their last name isn’t Lanagan. I worry that I am the end of the line sometimes, and though it doesn’t weigh heavily, it is a thought that crosses my mind.

Though my possible future step-kids wouldn’t have the same last name as me, having kids who live with me (even if only part-time) would definitely be fun. It’s something to think about as I start to dip my toe in the dating world, because now that it’s been a year since the divorce, I have decided that I am not ready to date unless that person comes along that I simply cannot ignore; there’s a spark that’s not worth denying. My favorite plan is that it won’t happen for at least another year, but it doesn’t work that way. Life is what happens when you’re making other plans. I didn’t write it, but it’s no less true.

I also wouldn’t mind dating someone older than me, with the decision of children already made. That’s what on-the-fence really means to me… that the direction of my life will, in some ways, not belong to me, because it is a shared vision instead of a solo endeavor. There is also the looming question in my mind of whether I want the life I had as a child for either my own children or my steps, should I ever have them. Being a preacher’s kid is tough, moving a lot and having all sets of eyes on you all the time. Your family is your refuge. At the same time, I do not want to sacrifice the dream of being ordained and starting a church plant, so I have to wait for that person who will seriously consider those things with me, and in the best sense, not mind.

My dream for St. James is that it is on a river, with a huge parking lot on one side and a deck that leads down to the water on the other. That way, people have the option to choose how they’d like themselves or their children to be baptized. Don’t think that O Brother, Where Art Thou? didn’t go into that decision. 😛

I haven’t started fundraising as much as I’d like, but I am constantly “paying myself” by putting away savings, because in order to finish at University of Houston, I’m going to need money…. and then I’m going to need more money to finish at Howard.I would like to do all of this without graduating with a mountain of debt, but there are programs for that, especially for people who intend to enrich their own communities with non-profits. One of the local Congressmen has even suggested a program that will erase school debt by entering civil service. I dig it.

In my own mind, it is never too late to get my shit together, and getting the divorce and moving to DC was the first step in doing so. It is an exordium of enormous proportions. As I bless and release the past, I am making room for the future. It’s so big it needs a room of its own. It’s time to be the visionary my personality type dictates, instead of hoping that everything will come together with a knock on my door.

Nothing worth having comes without an enormous amount of work, and this is no exception. Jesus and I have the same personality type, given his extraordinary visionary qualities and the scene in which he loses his shit at the money-changers in front of the temple. I love the snarky quote, “in thinking about What Would Jesus Do?, remember that getting angry and flipping over tables is a viable option.” I don’t know who came up with it, but it makes me laugh every single time. You know how in the Bible, there are little descriptions of what you’re about to read? It would please me to no end if that particular scene was changed to “Jesus Loses His Shit.”

I personally think he’d get a kick out of it. Remember that he was a common man raised up into divinity, which means that there was nothing that the people around him did that he didn’t do himself. He was a joiner… a community organizer… and got people to follow him not because he was preaching from a place of judgment, but a place of, “I’m just like everyone else.”

In the end, not so much. And for that, I am grateful. I take all of him. His humanness, his divinity, his holy authority, and the lens he provides for me to look at the world.

In a country where laws are being passed that would affect me directly as a lesbian, I only have to look at Jesus to know how wrong they are. It is a table-flipping moment, and I applaud those who are doing just that.

Amen.

 

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