Tuesday, December 22, 2009

:::if i had my druthers:::

{This is a post that I wrote back on February 19th of this year after I had experienced one of those days at the office (I was still lower-casing at the time, so ignore just ignore it). I've had this post on the back burner since then, hemming and hawing about whether or not I should ever publish it, but I finally feel comfortable opening up and letting this out. I don't like to post much about being single -- it is what it is. I have a good life, I have a hard life, just like everyone else. }

i had a conversation with a friend today, the kind that you wish you could play back time and time again at the most opportune moments. our conversation made me think. my story starts out like this --

the power went out up and down our block this afternoon, and as soon as the initial excitement wore off people drifted away to various corners of the office to chat and wait things out. after wandering around, i found a friend of mine sitting in the office of an absent attorney taking advantage of the yellow sunlight and reading coursework for her master's program. she works full time, attends school at night, and goes home to a roommate.

i sought her out to talk about recent upheavals in our office that had blindsided more than a few of us. times like these -- these periods of work-related dramas -- always bring the reality of my singular situation to the forefront of my mind. this reality is that i am, despite my greatest wishes, devoting the majority of my life to this office, which is a place of no eternal significance. my worth is a resume and a work history, a skill set and some very feigned ambitions. i am an honest worker. i put forth great efforts. i strive, i adapt, i learn, i build, i contribute, but, truth be told, i could care less. how much less depends on the day.

i know the woman in my soul, and that woman is a wife and a mother. but, for some reason that extends beyond this mortal coil, i have been called to labor in this other vineyard. it is here that i sow and reap, but if i had my druthers, i'd be devoting my backbreaking work to my own patch of land. i know i've been commanded to appreciate the time i spend in this vineyard, and love the bounty of this harvest, and i can handle this on almost any given day...but on Sundays when the husbands sit with wives, on every holiday that i spend as an addendum, in temples where families are the key...i can feel empty, and i can almost feel invisible.

and then i can feel sad and lonely, defeated and unworthy because there won't be any rose-colored memoirs written about the hard lessons i learned as i stumbled blindly down this road not taken, this road that can be vastly different than the one traveled by women who were called to fill the measure of their creation right here, right now, while the rest of us wait, and wait some more, and pray and pray our way through alternative realities. i don't want to do this, i never wanted to do this. if you have any grand illusions about the single life, please, abandon them now.

anyhow, it made me think.


Sarah said...

I'm sorry, Bekah. It just doesn't seem fair, does it? I see those things for you, and know that they would suit you so well.

lelly said...

it's an interesting perspective, quite different from my own (and i appreciate the opportunity to learn about yours.)

there are times, as a 40 year old woman and mother, that i have thought about the vineyard i am tending right now. that i am not entirely sure it was the vineyard i thought i would be in right now.

it makes me think.

(still lower case for me!)

lelly said...


(my son just asked me to leave you a smiley face.)

Jill said...

This is a beautifully written post Rebekah, I'm glad you published it.

I have been guilty of yearning for other vineyards, even though this is the one I thought I wanted so I can relate to having vineyard envy.

I was thinking the other day about how the Lord knows our deepest desires, which then made me wonder why He doesn't give them to us, and the thing that came to mind was that it wouldn't be good for us right now. It doesn't make sense to me because it seems like so many people around me have been given my deepest desire, but they're not me, and I have to trust that the Lord knows what's best for me.

Joie said...

I remember feeling the fear of consigning myself to a single future. I was 100+ lbs overweight in high school and during my mission and my interactions with the opposite sex were limited to sarcastic exchanges. I never went on my first date until I was 24 and things just kinda started rolling after that.

Your words reminded me of the terrifying years I spent trying to convince myself that I didn't need what everyone else had. I don't think the feeling has really gone away...I just have more people with whom to share my insecurities. And now, I get to pass on those insecurities to the next generation :)

michelle said...

This is so tender and heartfelt, Rebekah. I know well the feeling of looking around for other vineyards to tend. I hope you do end up writing a rose-colored memoir someday! Or at least ones with rosy moments.

scrambled brains said...

Sometimes I totally have grand illusions about the single life. I guess we both need to compromise our perceptions. If only we could have a Freaky Friday type experience...uh, on second thought...maybe not? :)

Whitney said...

i love you rebekah.