I have often wondered why timing plays out the way that it does. There are moments I wish would slow down and last forever. And moments I’d quite rather speed right through. Three years is right around the bend. And I can’t help but thinking, these days, that my pain and grief had place and meaning so that I would know how to handle the pain and grief of others.
I’m a sucker for finding meaning in things. I’m known to overthink, analyze until the subject disintegrates in my mind from wear. It’s a double-edged sword but it’s a gift that I don’t think I’d want to live without…it’s part of what makes me, me. Since mom passed there have been several moments and experiences where I’ve walked alongside others who have experienced their own grief. And what once felt like an unspeakable time and situation has morphed. I’ve been able to add perspective, experience, and a type of grace that only comes with having walked a similar journey.
I never would have wished my own grief on myself, but there is a silver lining, a way that I use the memories of those I’ve lost to move forward and help others. With the unexpected passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and several others this week I’ve been reminded that life is a precious thing we often take for granted. It reminds me that telling people you love them is important, letting people know they have an affect on you and a very real place in your life is something not to overlook. No matter how silly it seems, or how repetitive it becomes, it’s important to appreciate and values those around you–you may not always have the same opportunity to do so.
In a world that feels unknown, scary, and as if we have no control at times–I believe there is still good, light, and love when we are courageous and vulnerable enough to share it. In a world where we second guess, worry, stress, and concentrate on “failure”–I believe there is peace, grace, hope, and growth. Things aren’t as grim as we make them to be. And if we open ourselves to sharing, really openly and authentically sharing, our lives with others we will know happiness and joy.
When I was in middle school we were required to take a general music class as one of our “specials” rotations. Our teacher was eclectic, some would have probably called her neurotic. She was one of the sweetest ladies, but generally misunderstood by our pre-adolescent selves. As an assignment we all had to complete a singing memorization test during the course of the semester.
We sang every day in that class with content drawn from a wide range of classic musicals. But our singing was more patriotic in nature. We had two songs to choose from: The Star Spangled Banner or Lift Every Voice. Our teacher told us the story of one of her former students who chose to memorize every verse of the National Anthem. Because most people already knew our National Anthem, that was the song most decided on. But Lift Every Voice resonated with me. Not just the intensity of the words and the vivid picture it paints, but the lyrical and rhythmic dichotomies it contains. The melody is haunting–you can hear the strife and heaviness of the story it tells just from a few opening notes.
So among a diverse group of students, there I stood, belting my heart out to a National Anthem that I barely understood as a white 12 year old girl. There are times during the year that I call upon this song, it has a way of soothing my soul in a unique way. It helps me connect with something outside of myself. It reminds me that there is still work to be done. As I write this post I am cautious in my language. This semester in grad school I’m in a class on Diversity. I recognize I bring my own (sometimes invisible) bias and privilege when talking about race (and other categories we are taught by society should divide us). On this MLK day I hope to be a little more open-minded, a little more willing to have and engage in tough questions, a little more vulnerable to how I’ve contributed to the problem of privilege over the years.
Maybe one day all of our voices can join as one, as humans, to true proclaim and embrace liberty for all people.
I’m holding myself accountable in new ways this year. Listening to my body and my spirit and really becoming in tune with what I want and need. As a part of that I have committed to doing some type of exercise each day–could be big or small. I created a new Instagram handle: @sedgefit I’ll use it to help me track daily. It’s a public profile so feel free to follow along. It’s really for me but if someone else gets something out of it, great!
The big accomplishment today was that I did a 25 minute run and I ran the first 15 minutes of it without walking! I’d call that a win! I’ve got #grit