When I grow older, I promise to never have a job in accounting.
(No offense accountakids, I think ya’ll make great dads. Not because of the hours or the nature of your work, but because every time I meet a dad who is also an accountant, he is honorable, kinda goofy, and gentle.)
Regardless, I promise to never join you in the field of numbers and money.
My Dad is an airplane mechanic,
which I have ALWAYS thought is cool.
(I don’t think he knows that.)
Sometimes we would go to his work—it’s called The Hanger.
Does that make you think of closets? Me too—but it’s not about that. It's where the Dads open their toolboxes to show each other pictures of their daughters. It's where they fix the airplanes.
This is where my family would sit on top of the mini van
and watch the planes come in to land.
The sky was usually pink when we got there, dark purple when we left.
I would look at those planes and think of all the people in there,
The people and their unknown stories.
And I would think
“My Dad helped that thing to fly.”
Today I am also thinking that I want to have tons of good movies when I’m a Mom—but none of those empty-and-kinda-raunchy ones. We will have only movies of substance!
(My kids will get annoyed at their nerdy mother, always shouting "substance!" with one hand in the air, making them trade in their subpar DVD's for literature. They will gag.)
Thursday night I was in the car with my new friend Sarah Motley.
“Where do you see yourself in five years?” she said.
I can tell her things like this—like graduated but not an accountant or dumb-movie-owner.
But I cannot tell her much.
“I’ve been shown recently that I have no idea what’s happening around here. Nothing is turning out how I thought it would. So I’d rather be open and adaptable than make a solid plan,” I say.
I try to explain this to her. It’s hard.
Because here’s what my brain keeps saying.
It says DISENCHANTMENT.
This is a word we’re learning about in my Native American Literature class. I have a nifty blue handout full of what it feels like to experience this word.
Here’s a piece:
“The existence of the her belief, the nature of her destiny, the very shape of reality itself are all, in a flash, brought into radical question. The daughter can either accept the world as bereft of meaning… or find some deeper sense in the ceremonies and objects which had come to mean so much to her. The naive realism of her previous perspective has been exploded. Necessarily, she begins her religious life in a state of serious reflection and in quest of an understanding of the sacred profound enough to sustain her new life.”
It means my world gets turned on its face,
and yes, it’s been doing that lately.
I do not understand the way my relationships are shifting. God still talks to me, but he doesn’t explain why these things are happening. I want to tell you about it.
But how can I explain this to you publicly
without overstepping my bounds?
(Translation: How can I show you these people I have stories with, and the confusion of the plot-lines, without exposing their hearts unfairly?)
Zach. Jordan. Jared. Claire. Stoph. Emily. Brody. Corey. Lacey. Dad. Sabrina.
This intersection of timelines splatters across past journal pages and I watch from the side as my understanding dwindles and my predictions humiliate themselves.
* Some of them are saying “I love you! Come back!”
I say... “I’m not sure why, but I can’t. I’m sorry.”
Or... “Really? Are you finally saying this? Because I don’t know what to say back anymore.”
*Some I will never get answers from.
* Others are popping in and out of my life unexpectedly—planting their roots in the middle of my path. Sometimes I trip over them. Sometimes I have to watch my step for days and days, but sometimes I stop and see their tree coming forth. Trees I never thought could belong to my world. I would not permit my path to be smoother by digging them up and away.
*Some surprise me with their choice to be someone else for a while.
*Some are filling me with love and possibility where I assumed there would always be shadows and contention.
*Some: are just Gone.
And so I am disenchanted with my own predictions—a loss of faith in all things once hopefully deemed “Obvious. Natural. Coming Soon.”
I am by no means obliterated, only silent for a while—telling myself to relinquish control. And then, relinquish the idea that I have any knowledge of what is to come.
“But I am not that girl!” I say to myself.
“I am not the girl with the 5 year plan who refuses to deviate. I’ve always been okay not knowing the answers.”
“Oh please. You’re NOT the girl with the 5 year plan and the permanent mascara, but you ARE the girl who is thrown by all these twisting outcomes at once. It’s okay that you’re that girl, but you have to change your perspective now: You make choices. God makes outcomes.”
He is the only relationship I can predict as Obvious. Natural. Coming Soon.
With this on my mind, I walk into that Native American Literature class.
My professor speaks up. “I’m passing the role,” she says.
“Circle your initials if you’re prepared for discussion today.”
I look down at my blue handout,
“Disillusionment means ‘to be in the condition of being disenchanted.’”
So I reach for the clipboard.
“LSB.” I write.
I have a lot to say today.
As my stories with these people take exits I could not see from the driver’s seat—I realize that I am not wholly driving this thing—that the map I’ve got across the dashboard is drawn by my own narrow predictions.
“That’s a nice map you’ve worked on,” God says to me.
“But in the past I’ve always navigated by my own omniscient vision, and I think we should stick with that.”
I tell him it’s okay, and slip out of his seat. I think I was cramping him a little bit.
See how he talks to me like he’s just my Dad?
The truth is: I am thankful, even desperate to believe in something beyond my human limitations—even if I have no idea where He’s going with all of this.
“Fine. But do I have to be an accountant?” I ask.
I think he said no, but he probably just laughed.
Here’s a piece of hope from the blue handout:
“The rites of disenchantment must end on the threshold of revelation, for it is only through the living of the religious way that the sacred becomes fully known.”
I’m willing to fully know the sacred, to let my hope get of the ground.
I see myself as a passenger in that ungraceful airplane,
The child in me looks up to see her future fly over.
My unkno`wn story is contained in
an impossibly huge and bulky machine,
and I am comforted to know:
My Heavenly Father helps these things to fly.