Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Closing Thoughts To The Metroplex

Dear Dallas,
Our time together came to an end almost two months ago. It’s crazy to think that it’s already been that long. More than that, it’s crazy to think of how much time I still need to process through what the last three years mean to me. I think we both know that I’m telling the truth when I say we had a… tumultuous season together. Yet you’ve contributed so much to who I am and have made me grow. Sometimes, it was painful. It was certainly always necessary. When I think back over the last three years I see just how much of a love/hate relationship we had:
-There was the time you gave me a church family that carried me when I could not move on my own
-There was the time all of my theology classes had names I had to Google just to know what I would be studying
-There was the time I realized I could out-drink most everyone in seminary, but then realized that was nothing to brag about since it was, after all, seminary
-There was the time I realized that most dating options in Dallas meant frat-tastic cowboys or homeschooled pastors’ kids. Then there were the times I tried to make it work anyways
-There was the time my best friend for over a decade moved to town and reminded me of who I am
-There were all of the times I shouted every four-letter word I knew when a light drizzle of rain would start and the highway would practically shut down. Seriously, Dallas, it’s just rain
-There was the time you gave me drinking buddies to laugh with. Then there was the time I got put on disciplinary probation for going out with those drinking buddies
-There were the times when I was made to feel like my spiritual gifts were “less than” because I didn’t want to be a pastor
-There were so many Taco Joint dates with friends. Then the time I was asked on a date by a Taco Joint employee, said no, and had to forfeit free queso privileges
-There were all the times I was told I needed to be a good steward of the body the Lord had given me, followed up by slut shaming for wearing yoga pants on my way to work out
Honestly, Dallas, I’m not sure how I feel about you at this point. You have really good food and Texas sunsets do have their own charm, yet I feel like the weight is finally off my shoulders of people telling me how I’m supposed to behave to be worthy or lovely or enough, all in the name of Jesus. I feel like I’m entering a season of life that allows me to be who I was created to be. Although the last three years have felt so stifling that I'm not even fully sure who that is. This new season will be one filled with family, laughter, mountains, and good drinks. A season which embraces my quirks instead of trying to suffocate them. A season that does not make me feel like something is wrong with me simply for being myself.
For the last three years I feel like I’ve been walking around afraid to offend my fellow seminarians. But here’s the thing—I think we’re offended by the wrong things. Sometimes it seems like the culture I’ve been immersed in gets offended over swearing more than they do poverty. They’re offended by tattoos more than the blatant mistreatment of the orphans and the widows and the ragamuffins. They support social justice causes on a grand scale, but fail to love their neighbor because it doesn’t fit their own expectations and needs.
Please don’t read me saying that the last three years have been all bad. I am beyond grateful for some of the experiences I had there. But now, I’m ready for the next. I’m ready to be encouraged instead of suppressed and to embrace all of the oddities life has to offer. I’m ready to do things that make me come alive. Because when you do things from your soul, other people really dig that shit.
So Dallas, I know we’ll see each other again, probably soon.
Until that day comes, know that I’ll think about you often. Most of the time, even fondly.
P.S. Thanks for the view of the skyline every night. That was really cool of you.
P.P.S. I really miss your tacos, a lot.

1 comment:

  1. i have been waiting for a new post for months. and just know that this little heart in dallas loves you. :) come visit me and i will redeem the bad memories with coffee and drinks (sans disciplinary actions) and tacos. oh, the tacos. love you lots. miss you a ton.