I Had Dinner With Life At Red Lobster

While sitting in Barnes & Noble, the song “Wait” by M83 starts playing. (Before you start reading I encourage you to play this song in the background so you can truly feel and it can add dramatics).

Have you found it… okay let’s begin.

And boom. It hit.

Life is a beautiful mess.

Recently, I’ve been hearing the common phrase, “That’s life” every time something negative happens. It didn’t bring me comfort or make me face reality, it just made me more upset than I already was. I know that I’m not guaranteed a perfect life, but dang yall… can yall at least say something comforting? But who knew I would find comfort in such a vague phrase.

A couple days ago, I found myself sitting in a Red Lobster booth across from my mother. But this wasn’t a normal scene. No, I was bawling crying. Not just a few tears here and there. But the type of tears produced from feeling like something was wringing my insides and forcing them out. These tears were so uncontrollably strong, I couldn’t breathe.

I felt embarrassed. I’m a grown woman, sitting with my mother, crying because of life. I was upset, I was flustered, and I was trying to make it stop. People around us tried so hard not to stare, but I could feel the weight of their curiosity pressing on my back. The glances were growing and the genuine looks of “Oh my gosh, I feel so sorry for her,” were multiplying.

I know you’re imagining how uncomfortable my mother was. Except you’re wrong. My mother was looking at me with a twinkle in her eye and a half smile. In fact, I’ve never seen a person calmly devour a steak and crab legs with so many eyes watching our every move. Not once did she encourage me to stop or calm down. With kind eyes, she said, “Honey, it’s okay to feel. Allow yourself to feel.” Of course, a mother knows so her words triggered an even bigger episode. It continued to pour out. But after I left, I felt better… I felt stronger, and I realized more in sadness than I have in happiness.

I’d like to think my mother was smiling because she knew I had to feel this. She knew I had to get it all out. If not, the wrong seeds would grow. Through pain, you see who supports you and who is there for you. Some of my bonds have been solidified from trials and tribulations. Through pain, you find the motivation to get back on your feet and try again. Through pain, you find the comfort in God. He lets you know He will always be your support.

Life is messy. You can do all the right things and still get hurt, still get broken, and still get mistreated. You will get lied to, you will fail, and you will meet rejection head on. Life will knock the hell out of you, but there is beauty in the struggle. Through these various trials, I’ve found I can be pushed to new limits and come out on top every time. Through life, I’ve found beauty in sunsets, the motivation to get back up in melodies, and comfort in crying in public places. Through pain, I’m reminded I’m alive and I thank God for what I have.

We are not immune from getting hurt, but when we do we try to bury it all. We bury the pain, unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, and lack of trust, convinced that life wants us to. These seeds eventually begin to sprout and cause problems later on. So remember, people won’t think like you. Don’t let the actions of others turn you cold. Everyone is going through something, so slow down when you point fingers. You need to understand that we’re all at different stages in our lives and we will never reach the same destination at the same time. What you might have conquered years ago, for some this is a new battle. Forgive people and let it go. Not only forgive others but forgive yourself. We fail tests every day. Just because you reacted badly, doesn’t make you a bad person. You deserve forgiveness.

So, the next time you meet life and she’s not so kind. Thank her.

It’s gotten to the point where I feel like I’m always writing about this, but these simple things are so easy to forget. We know the right thing to do, but how often do we actually do it? We add on stress when there is no need to.

There is beauty in ashes. Sometimes you have to let people go, sometimes you have to say no, sometimes you lose, but that’s life. You ultimately have the power and that’s beautiful. You can change your mind, you can make mistakes, you can take a win, or you can take losses. Whatever you chose to do, or whatever happens, listen to what life is trying to tell you and embrace it. Don’t let life make you lose sight of what you want. If you want it, never stop going after it. If you were wrong and you get knocked down, let life show you the beauty of being knocked around. I’ve found some of the best friends, the biggest support, and God’s grace while having the wind knocked out of me by life.

What will you find?

Best,

J.