Turning 30 certainly has a way of putting some things in perspective for someone like myself. It’s like July 26th of last year came, and “voila”… things that made absolutely no sense to me in my 20’s suddenly became crystal clear. I am exactly one month away from my 31st birthday, and I cannot wait to see what Mrs. Epiphany brings my way this year. I promised myself that I will embrace it all… the good, bad and the “why the hell didn’t I figure this out earlier” moments. I used to frown upon getting older. Now, I am excited about it because at least I’m getting wiser. Well, sometimes.
My duties as a teacher ended officially on June 2nd. In my empty classroom that Friday, I did my “happy dance” (this consists of a lot of wild flailing of the arms, a PG 13 version of twerking and rapper MC Hammer’s typewriter dance) because my summer freedom was now at my fingertips. This meant that I could finally relax, workout and breathe life into the writing projects that were often choked out by the overwhelming task of teaching. Anyone who has ever taught knows it gets hectic (unnecessarily) toward the end of the school year.
This summer, my main priority has been to finish my book , which I have been working for at least three years. When I came to the realization that three years have passed, I honestly got down on myself. Why has it taken me so long? What was getting in my way? Could I have done something differently to get it done earlier? The answer to all those questions is: who knows. But right in the midst of my negative self talk … Mrs. Ephipany showed up and shut it down. She then revealed a nugget of hope that I could glean from this perceived delay. The book I am writing has evolved over these past three years… and the perspective I once had has significantly changed. It got me to thinking that perhaps God had planted the idea in my head years ago so that over time, I could consciously and “unconsciously” gather what I needed to finish the book this summer. Today, I had a conversation with a fellow author who had the same experience that I am encountering now – all the ideas I have written down, conversations I have recorded in my mind and lessons that I have learned were necessary to shape the perspective I needed to truly do this project justice. At age 27 or 28, I wasn’t ready for this. Three years ago, I definitely wouldn’t have seen the up side to this delay. Now, I feel like the time is right.
I think back to everything in my life that didn’t happen when I thought it should have, and I am grateful a lot of situations and opportunities fell through when they did. Marriage is one of those things. I’m not the traditional woman, but I once played with the thought I was ready to get married in my mid-20s. That’s laughable now. I am sure I’d already be divorced by now if I had done so. And it’s not like I’m some expert in love at 30, but I definitely have reached a maturation in relationships that is essential to a marriage’s survival. I literally thank God every day I didn’t get married when I wanted to. I’m sure my husband feels the same way.
So why am I sharing this? Everyone has some goal they are trying to reach, something they are trying to finish, or a desire for something they haven’t received yet. Some of us will give up because it is taking so long. Some of us see a delay as a sign that it isn’t meant to be. We let the trees block our view of the forest. No, we won’t get everything we want in life. But it’s important not to give up on the process, especially if it is something we really want. No matter how long it takes. Maybe your life needs to shift properly to prepare you for what you want or need. You can’t expect a cake to fully bake or reach its true tasty potential if you take it out of the oven prematurely. There is a time for everything. Be OK with the delay. Sometimes, it necessary. Sometimes, it’ll save your life.