I don't sit down and spend the afternoon writing because I'm afraid and also because the housework and the things that are practical work jobs always take precedent. I want to spend the afternoon writing today, but I know there's dusting and decorating and shopping and work to do so even though the idea of writing songs during a free afternoon sounds awesome, I don't do it.
I don't go to a quiet place and pray. One day a year at church we hold a vigil and we all sign up for hours and half hours to fill a day with prayer and lift up all the things on our hearts. I feel like that one hour of silence is the best thing in the whole world and I long for it every other day in the year. You'd think I'd just go over to the sanctuary, take off my shoes, breathe deeply and spend time with God, but I don't. I tell myself I just can't be so indulgent as to take time in quiet and conversation with the Father.
I don't call up friends to come over for dinner or go out to dinner or go to the movies or do anything really. I never call up friends and ask to do something. I don't do this because I'm afraid and also because the message is always to never treat yourself except for Netflix by yourself at the end of the day. All other fun things feel like they're against the rules. Like life is supposed to be mostly shitty and sometimes there's a ray of light and you hang on to that ray of light for as long as it'll brighten up the schedule, and then maybe you'll get by in the brief conversations you get with friends and neighbors in the comings and goings of life.
And you know what I'm doing when I don't do any of this? I'm believing some weird lie about what life is supposed to be. I buy into the idea that adulthood is a drag or that life is only responsible and noble if we make sure we're not having fun. I treat peace as a luxury, as relationships as above my pay scale. I treat myself as a prisoner and as though freedom is out of reach.
And then I think about boys and how I never want them to think peace is only allowed if you get your work done and how feeling locked up is what it means to be an adult. I don't want them to think friendships end in childhood.
If you're like me and not doing something, ask yourself why? Is it because of a rule you made up? I would dare to say you've drawn lines in the sand you don't cross simply because at some point you decided you don't cross them.
Consider how all those NO signs in your mind and those actions you don't take are being broadcast to the world.
Because I've been thinking about what I don't do, I've been thinking about how to change. Because I know that life is going to change in the next year, I've been thinking about what I want it to look like in the future. I don't want to be the one that teaches invisible NOs to my kids. I want to be the person who teaches them how big this freedom really is.
And that's what I want to do. What do you want to do?