on being a grown-up

Helluva week. I know that's not really kosher to say, but it has been. Two days before I left for the Dominican Republic, I totaled my car. The day I returned, my cell phone was stolen on the plane. That's the simple version: add to that lost car titles, flat tires, sketchy Craigslist ads, international jet-lag, insurance adjustments, tow trucks, banking on two different coasts, planning for more international trips for work, and chiefly, being far from family. There comes a point when you throw up your hands and say, "Really!?!? What's going on? How do I avoid the next minor disaster? How do I prepare myself for the worst case scenario?" I'm not sure if I'm already past that, or if there are more hassles/headaches/catastrophes to come. The hopeful side of me (which, incredibly, has been pretty vocal through this whole thing) says that life is still good and everything is going to be okay.

But deeper than that, as I've been phoneless and carless this week, I've had to become very dependent on the kindness of strangers and friends. People have come to my rescue in ways I could not have asked for or imagined, and I've been so thankful. Old family friends whom I haven't seen since I was in grade school, people I'm barely acquaintances with in Seattle, wonderful Dave in another country, family on the East coast. I've been amazed, and humbled. It builds in me a deep gratitude to all these friends, and a desire to be the one to offer aid wholeheartedly when called upon in the future, now having been in that place of need.

I asked to learn about grace a few months ago. Part of me regrets asking for that — had I known what kind of scenarios would bring that about, I may have constructed my prayer differently. But this is right. This is good. It feels good in the way that drinking a wheat grass shot might feel good — tastes awful, but you know that it's working miracles on your innards. A lot of this tastes awful. Most of it isn't fun. Scratch that — none of it is fun. What has been the joy in all this is the deepening relationships between me and all those who have so kindly offered their assistance. Also the growing awareness that I am not enough for myself — I am not big enough, strong enough, smart enough, rich enough, connected enough, able enough to go through life on my own. I need people. This is a pretty crucial realization for me, the oldest child, independent and confident. I think my self-confidence is being shaken, in a good way.

My roomie was reading me something out of a book that talked about shaking, and five purposes in shaking something (let's say for this example, your life):

To bring it closer to its foundation. To remove what is dead. To harvest what is ripe. To awaken. To unify or mix together so it can no longer be separated.

I love this. It shed some great light on what's been happening with me lately.

So it's been a roller coaster of a week, but today I feel like I won some major battles, which I feel so great about. None of it would have happened without a bazillion people, whom I've already mentioned — I feel like I'm writing the beginning of an Oscar acceptance speech. What would my award be were I giving that speech? I hope perseverance, joy, faith, hope, trust, and a good attitude. If I won those, I think I'd cling to them more dearly than ole' Oscar.

So why did I title this post "on being a grown-up?" I'm so glad you asked. Namely because I've made a lot of adult decisions and done a lot of adult things in the last few days that I've never had to make or do before — asking technical questions about cars ("How long since the timing belt has been changed?" Note: I was instructed to say this by my brother, but inside I'm thinking, "Wtf is a timing belt?"), finding a new insurance policy, notarizing forms, and what I am most proud of, making an AWESOME BUDGET. Awesome sauce. I am awesome. Congrats to self on awesomeness in being mature and handling money like a big girl. Yay for the new year and discipline. Okay off my soapbox. But seriously, pretty pumped. I also cleaned the house with more vigor than I have in a long time the day after I returned from the DR with no phone and no car. I think I have a coping mechanism that only emerges in extreme scenarios: cleaning and organizing and categorizing like a beast.

In other news, I'm making kale chips. What has Seattle done to me?!

In other other news, please enjoy this music video that employs a very creative use of a magazine for a percussion instrument.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/9963936]