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February 17, 2007

Life's Poetics: Life Lessons and Other Assorted Goodies About Me

Not often can one say they've been able to make amends for mistakes made previously in life.

The most recent has been making amends by listening to a lot more Bone Thugs N Harmony, a group I never really gave a fair shake back in the day when they were big. I just kind of wrote them off and went about my business. Only recently have I started listening to some of their music and, well, I regret not listening to them previously. But its all alright because I'm listening to them now.

The other instance was one of those that hit me with a little reality. About two weeks ago I was at work (for those playing the home game, I work at a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store) and I was putting some clothes out on the sales floor. I saw a girl who looked familiar. Very familiar. I kept about my work and listened to the conversation going on. This familiar girl was talking with someone, her sister is seemed (and, for privacy's sake I'll withhold real names). I hear her sister call her name and, lo and behold, it was who I thought it was.

I walk over and we start talking, just playing catch-up a little. Their mother was with them and we were all laughing and having a good time. I gave her my business card and let the three of them about their business and I had to hurry myself back to the actual work I was supposed to be doing.

Here's the interesting part - back in middle school I had a huge crush on her. I found it strange that I hadn't heard from or seen her since graduation and then, on a totally random night in Plum at the Saint Vincent de Paul, she suddenly appeared.

As such, I kept my eyes and ears open as to when they were leaving. Something stirred within me and I thought, of all things, to something Ludacris had said. He said something along the lines of "all I got in this world is my word and my balls, and neither get broken. But sometimes you just gotta put your balls on the line and risk it all." I found a strange poignancy in that, and it gave me enough of a spring in my step and a boost in attitude that allowed me to ask the girl out. Why is that such a big deal, some would ask. Well, to be perfectly frank...she bloody lives in Colorado now (which explained why she fell off the face of the Earth after graduation). It was also enough of a step in me getting back out there after breaking up with my previous girlfriend of two years.

It may not seem like much, but it was something to me.

We went out that night. Kept it local and quasi-early (it was the following day, but not disgustingly the following day). Talked about old friends and all different kinds of things. It was a good time.

Things started to strike me a little. I always understood how life was poetic. I also understood that, well, not everything will make sense. We are trained to believe there is a rhyme and reason for all things. Sometimes its a little difficult to believe that. I'm not what most people would describe as a "good Christian boy," but I do believe there is a God and I understand that He works in strange ways. I have had numerous times in which I questioned his motives. I questioned why He allowed my two serious girlfriends to cheat on me. I questioned why He allowed a lot of misfortunes to befall the best people I know.

I really, really questioned His motives when He took my dad away from me...wow, going on six years ago.

But then something like this happens, and I can't help but chuckle a little at God's sense of humor. I always understood that He brings people into our lives for a reason or a purpose, but it isn't always clear to us why they have been brought into our lives.

I think I understood, at least a little, why this girl had been returned to my life, if only for a day. He provided me the opportunity I needed to right myself in the world. In a previous relationship I had been wronged and it was my grand chance to make right of a great regret. He provided a situation and it was left to me to determine where it went from there.

The Lord gave me a second chance at something I missed a long time ago. Even though its one of those impossible situations, I was perfectly happy and fine with a date. One. That's all I needed. I was able to finally close the chapter on a yet unfinished section of life's book. I was able to take my regret and cast it away.

Rarely, I have found, in life are we ever able to wrap up things in a nice, neat little package. I was given that opportunity. I can't help but also appreciate the living poetic justice in that.

Life is, if nothing else, very strange.

Posted by KevinMcGinnis at February 17, 2007 11:57 PM

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