Friday nights seem slower in this past season. The week pulls and tugs at me, coming apart the tiny seams I spent so long stitching, and by the time Friday night rolls around all I want is a bed, a few free hours to clear my head.
I fill my time with countless episodes of Scandal, loads of laundry. I feel everything deeply and intensely and in these moments, I tend to bury within myself and hide away from a world that is constantly demanding of my time and attention.
There are only a few weeks left in the semester, and while I'm almost in shock at how quickly this year has gone by, I am readily anticipating the break.
Something about the Christmas season always fills me with a sort of childlike joy. But something about the advent season pulls at me with a sense of longing, of waiting through the darkest days for the light that I know is coming. And I'm in the middle of that phase, where I am feeling my heart turn itself open. And I know, I know, the joy that is coming, but in this moment all I feel is the clenched tightness of these dark, waiting days. That's advent, isn't it?
I celebrated my 19th birthday a week ago, and to be honest it doesn't feel like much has changed. When I was younger I would be in knots over my birthday, filled with excitement over being another year older and more mature and closer to the adulthood I so desired. But in the last few years, with each turn of the calendar, I haven't felt the momentous becoming of another age. I celebrated in a way that my heart has been yearning to celebrate: with my favourite movie and dinner with the family and game night with friends. I looked around at my life, in all its missteps and mistakes and floundering, with some sense of bewildered amazement that I still ended up here. Despite the big shift from freshman to sophomore year of college, entering into this new world with added responsibilities where I am daily butting heads with my perfectionism, despite feeling sick in the deepest part of me where I wonder if I will ever fully recover and experience health again, and being painfully honest about my life up until this point and learning to accept my decisions, I have found beautiful people that support me, love me and encourage me. I am still (by nothing short of a miracle) able to experience every day the wild beauty of love. And even though I'm a grown up now, I'm still very much a daughter, and a sister, a granddaughter and a niece and (as of recently) auntie to my cousins' beautiful children. I have found volunteer work that fills my heart, even on its worst days, and even in the messy, frustrating trials I am learning more about who I am, and who I want to be.
I guess all this is to say that my life is changing, in ways I never expected. I am continuing a process I started early this year, and am furthering my metamorphoses and becoming a butterfly.
Friday nights roll around and my heart is full from the heaviness of the week of which it carried. I ache for the still quiet, for the celebration in the midst of a heavy season.
This semester, this year, this season, has brought me to my knees time and time again. It is full of the bittersweet. Sometimes it is both in the same second and I am unsure of how to handle it, how to hold these two emotions at the same time. There is the weary exhaustion of a Friday night, limping to the finish line of another week with barely enough time to catch my breath before we go again, and yet I look out my window on this unusually warm December night and see the glow of the street lights, and hear the laughter echoing from down the hall.
There is brokenness but there is wholeness. There is darkness but everything in me is waiting for the light. There is the turning another year older, the finishing of a semester, silence in a dorm room where it seems like everything might be falling apart but maybe its really just falling together.
We hold our breath in anticipation.
And once again, the weary world rejoices.