Thursday, May 27, 2010


When I was about 15, I was pretty sure I knew everything.  Then I got my first job, as a dishwasher in a restaurant.  That job taught me I had much to learn.  I worked as much as a high schooler can possibly work and still go to school.  During summers, I worked that job plus a couple more.  I did not love to work, but I worked hard and loved the freedom that those jobs provided through income. 

At 18, I moved into my own apartment with a roommate.  This roommate was separated and DEFINITELY getting a divorce.  Almost, as soon as our lease was signed, she reconciled with her husband.  That really taught me I had alot more to learn!  I went to college full time and worked a full-time job.  It was very difficult but I really enjoyed my independence-probably a little too much.  I was a poster child for why 18-20 year olds need guidance and nurturing from the responsible adults in their life, even thought they think they don't!

At age 20-ish, I moved back home because I was really tired of working like a dog and still being broke and hungry.  I learned I was not very well prepared to be an independent woman.  I moved home, paid off credit cards, saved money, bought a more reliable car and got my house in order as much as my 20 year old self could.  My oh my did I think I knew it all then.  I was only beginning to learn some hard lessons.  I was, in fact, gaining wisdom.

Wisdom is what you have at the end of a battle with life when life not only wins, but completely kicks your backside.  By the time I was a little older, married with two children, I was pretty sure I was the smartest person on earth.  My wisdom was vast.  I was smarter than my husband, my family, and pretty much everyone I knew.  I strived to be the perfect mom, the perfect wife and the perfect Christian.  I worked to train my children and husband in how to be perfect as well.  I had many painful years of learning ahead!

I feel sorry for late 20-something Janice.  She was so delusional.  She was also maniacally controlling, abysmally unhappy and obsessed with keeping up appearances.  She had much to learn...much wisdom to gain.

So, here I sit at the ripe old age of 38.  I now know that trying to control other people is not only futile, but it can make you 3 shades of crazy.  I no longer try to keep up appearances sometimes not even my physical appearance, instead I am focused on being authentic-real-transparent.  I have learned that I will never be perfect-mom, christian,wife or anything else-and neither will anyone else AND that comforts me.

Wisdom acquisition is very interesting.  Having a little bit of it just makes you realize how much more there is to collect.  The more I know, the more I realize how little I know.  Right now, I feel like I have learned many lessons.  But mostly, I've learned that as soon as 6 months from now, I will marvel at just how much one can learn in 6 months.  I love this crazy roller coaster ride called life.  Sure there are exciting top of the hill moments and lose your stomach plunges, but it is never boring.  Each and every day brings a little more wisdom and I am so thankful because I don't need anything as much as I need more wisdom.

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