Sunday, September 9, 2012

Creating Yourself.

My twenty-third birthday was this week.
I spent the actual day, September the sixth, teaching high school kids, singing in a choir that's inspiring me more than ever, even though it's my third or fourth semester there. We're singin' Order My Steps, and it's bringing back all kinds of gospel choir memories. It's all I can do not to bust out in soulful line of run-filled praise every time--which urge I promptly satisfy on my drive home, don't you worry. I think of Lyndsi Shae and Claire and Niecie, havin' my back at every rehearsal and going out on every 'express-yourself-and-sing-praise!' limb I directed. I remember Niecie telling me that Order My Steps was like her mantra on her mission, and she asked God for it often, that it was important to her. I remember what a difference I made to people directing that choir.

But I don't direct gospel choir now. It's my birthday. I savor a simple sandwich from Zupa's and people-watch. I walk outside into the dropping rain and see the first full double rainbow I've ever seen in my life, and it's the kind you can see from edge to edge, the way you draw all rainbows as a kindergartener. I smile and say aloud, "Thank you! Happy birthday to me from God!"

It was.
For my birthday, I sang, I taught, I pondered--perfectly reminiscent of the woman I see myself becoming. I'm feeling pretty proud of her.

Don't worry--there was plenty of partying and loving from a few fabulous people on different days. But the exact day I turned twenty-three, I felt more myself than I've ever felt. That's part of my life mission, and it feels good to know that even if I'm not sure how teaching or singing or photographing or writing totally fit in my whole world for my whole life, these things make me feel more like myself.

There's a quote in the office of the room I teach in every day:
life isn't about finding yourself. it's about creating yourself.
I feel that.