Sometimes I get to feeling anonymous in my life. I would say invisible but I know I am seen in these times, I just feel unknown. Anonymous. In these moments I look back at my past in pictures and try to find moments when I was known.. at least to myself.
The girl who was thrilled to have the original fixtures in her prewar bathroom in that tumble down apartment building in Jersey.
The girl who was happier in her green kitchen in Brooklyn than anywhere else she could dream up at the time.
The birthday girl in the botanical gardens, crushing on her Stephen.
The girl sitting next to her sister- in- law on the downtown A.
The girls whose best friend came to see where, and how she lived.
The girl who loved her puppy, perhaps a little too much.
The girl who happened to be in town when baby Maddie was born and was absolutely terrified to hold her tiny body.
The girl who could see Manhattan from her kitchen window. The girl who was glad it was in the distance. Glad the row houses were up close instead.
The girl who watched her best friend become a mother, and was sure she wasn't ready to be one herself yet.
The girl who sold her last Volvo for scrap metal in Jersey.. but not before scrambling to retrieve the mix tape still in the cassette player.
The girl who followed the family of geese on their stroll through Greenwood.
The girl with her family in the field in Maine.
The girl watching Stephen and David playing baseball with lobster floats on an island only reachable by ferry.
The girl who didn't go on that Kayak ride with Stephen and Ollie. The one where Ollie was sure he was meant for life on the open sea.
The girl who suddenly couldn't hide the fact that she was pregnant with twins when this belly appeared at 16 weeks... and just kept growing.
The girl sitting at the computer screen tonight has a weary heart. Why is it so easy to feel alone? You can feel alone when you are surrounded by loved ones. Surrounded by friends. Well maybe you can't but I sure can. I do it all the time. I see people I love.. I keep in touch with people I want to love. Then a few unanswered text messages later I am in doubt. Doubt of the relationship. Doubt of whether to speak into that relationship and ask if something is wrong. Doubt is my go to instrument of self punishment and torture. "I must have texted too much and now they are tired of me." "I really should only text when I actually have a question... not just to check in and say hi." "They probably think I only text when I need something and not just to keep in touch." It never ends. I can do no right in these moments. I want to believe that the relationships I think I have are actually as strong as I think. I want to nurture them.. but how to do it without smothering them ? How to be sure that they actually exist in the first place? Faith is all I have. Faith that I am not crazy or that I am and need to get over it. So I try to walk away to keep from feeling hurt. I try to keep my eyes on my own path. But the creeping feeling that always overtakes me is that of anonymity. That I only think I am known to my loved ones but in fact I am known only to myself. If my loved ones really knew me they would know I was suffering and would tell me not to worry about lack of contact .. that they hadn't forgotten me. I know how selfish each word of this sounds. I am keenly aware of that. The shame of my own selfish heart is another thing that keeps me locked in my anonymous box. If I let someone truly know me and they walk away, even for a moment, I won't handle it well. I will selfishly desire for them to help me feel loved, thought about, cared for. I have decided all of this is ultimately a distraction from my relationship with the Lord. A way for me to focus on myself and have a pity party for what I perceive as lack of care from those around me.. when I am adrift in an ocean of care from my Abba Father. When I retreat into me, I retreat from everyone around me. I lock myself away and wonder why no one has come calling. Come and find me! I seem to be calling to the world at large. Why is it so hard to see that each time I do this I am only hurting myself ? That if I could just keep walking hand in hand with Him I wouldn't have to hide and feel sorry for myself ? Tonight I was fighting a losing battle with that downward spiral. It usually helps to admit to it.
The girl who puts her faith in all the wrong places.