If I Stay

The first half of 2017, I was asked to stay.

Three times, to be exact:

  1. By Jesus
  2. By my family
  3. By my boss.

Jesus never shouted it from the mountains, but whispered in the wind, “What if I ask you to stay? Will you? For me?” He nudged me to new opportunities that offered a positive outlook of my hometown.

Pops & Mama are the kindest humans. They support me in my journey as I pursue health and happiness. My Nana & Big Daddy moved back to town, my big brother just got married and my baby brother is growing exponentially — physically and mentally. I would hate to miss all of these things, all of these people.

Carl, my boss, hired me during the first five seconds of my second interview. He asked, “Do you want this job? Will you stay for at least two years?” Nobody ever asked me to stay in such an explicit, blunt way. I said, “I can do anything for two years.”

I’m happiest when I live in the present.

A hot yoga instructor told my class, “We are most happy when we live in the present. We don’t have expectations to be met or not. We don’t worry over future or past.”

I used to have a go bag in the trunk of Glinda, my car. It had a change of clothes, toiletries and extra contacts — just in case I need to slip away, in case I need to run. I liked the idea of having a backup plan, an escape route.

I expected the desire to leave, longing to chase freedom. I expected to be unhappy in Dallas, unhappy at my church and with my friends. I expected to be let down enough to where I would have to get away, for a weekend, a week, or a lifetime.

My go bag is fully unpacked, its items placed in drawers and cabinets where they belong — in my new house with a semi-new friend. It is finished. It is done.

I’m here in the present, and I’m here to stay.

To live in each moment: the good, the bad, the in-between. To wake everyday to Dinah meowing. To drive each morning down 75. To spend most of time on Forest Lane. To learn about Jesus at the Village.

To meet strangers at coffee shops. To transform them into friendly faces. To sit and weep and crawl and rejoice and pray and shout and stand and fall and fly. To do each of these things in the moment they’re given, in the second they arrive.

To worry less and do more, to plan less and live more, to wander less and be more.

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