Crisis Lesson and Old Friends

Last week was pivotal. I feel like I faced my homelessness crisis with unaccustomed, accidental courage and determination that was almost instinctual. It surprised me because, though it is unquestionably the way I tend respond to others’ crises, it is rarely, if ever, the way I respond to my own. I found tremendous peace in what seemed to me a moment of profound realization and confirmation that it is time to get moving, in more ways than one.

That happens in life so often, you know–at least to me. I can spend months, even years thinking of what I would love to do, or what I need to do and not really feel motivated to make any moves towards it. Then, out of nowhere comes the catalyst I need to get it in gear and make the necessary moves towards a desired end. Thank God for catalysts. I need them. I don’t know about you. I think that’s how I’ll re-envision crisis for myself…as a catalyst.

My world has been in this state of perpetual metamorphasis for a couple of years now, particulary in this last year and a half. So much is changing: my marital status, my family dynamics, my career path,housing, my circle of friends, my attitude and convictions. This amount of change was overwhelming to me at one point. But now it excites me. It fills me with hope because I feel like I’m moving forward. I’m making progress. Growing. Becoming. That’s it, becoming. I feel like I’m in the process of becoming who I am intended to be, who I’m created to be. There have been bumps and ravines in the road to impede the process (to totally derail it even) and send me down a completely other road, but I feel like I’m finally gaining my footing…and not just scrambling to my feet as think I’ve been doing for about the last 2 years.

I feel like essential pieces of me, of my life, are falling into place in such a way that I gain courage to hope for more, try more, expect more, believe more, do more, be more. I notice myself whining and crying less about what has gone wrong and talking and dreaming more about what can be, about what is becoming. It’s a wonderful place to be, but foreign just the same.

And, more and more I am surprised by new opportunities to reconcile and heal pieces of the past. Sometimes they are pieces I have long forgotten. Other times they are the pieces that stay on my mind the most. I realize that I am so not the one in control of this process, at all.

I spent Friday and Saturday with my bestest girlfriends from elementary and junior high school. The last time we were all in the same room for something other than a wedding or funeral has to have been 16 or 17 years ago. They have remained close, but as I traversed down the road of SuperChristiandom I hung out with them less and less and eventually lost contact altogether. There have been random phone calls here and there, maybe 10 in all, but essentially I’ve been separated from the pack for all this time. It was SO good to hang out with them. I don’t even know where to start…

First of all, the only reason I ended up with them in the first place is because Shellie happened to read my blog this week and thought I could use a martini. She was planning a martini party at her place Friday and invited me. I assumed that Cecily and LaShawn would be there, but I wasn’t sure. They were. And I’m just getting home now, at 2:something Sunday morning! I have not laughed so hard in sooooo long. Talk about reconnecting with people who know all your mess. It was absolutely a riot. Shellie, the historian of the group, broke out the photo albums and it was on. There are so many stories!! Some would have ordinarily been extremely shameful for me. But instead they just were. They have lost the power to make me doubt who I am. And if that’s not healing, I don’t know what is.

This was the first time in my adult life that I felt like I could be with these girls and just be me. I didn’t have to play the type-cast role of the “good girl/church girl”. I didn’t feel like I needed to make excuses for where I am in life, or hide where I am in life. I didn’t feel like I needed to say the right thing, be the right thing, think the right thing. I just showed up, was who I am, where I am and it was the best time I’ve spent with them ever.

The funny thing is, they were exactly the same; which reinforced the truth that this need to be something else, to be someone else was completely intrinsic. They have never done anything to make me believe I couldn’t be myself with them, but because of my own shame I chose to hide. And I’ve missed out. We talked about what has been some really shameful, painful stuff for me and they didn’t flinch. They could take it. They could handle Lexi with all her warts. They weren’t shaken. They weren’t appalled. They didn’t try to fix me or change me. That’s the stuff true friends are made of. I’m sorry I lost sight of that for so long.

Cecily married one of our buddies from our Jr. High school days. In 1993 he chose to launch a one-man protest of my relationship with ex. He’s known him since childhood and when he learned that I was dating him (at 20) he called me, asked me to excuse him for his unusual insertion of himself into my personal life, and begged me to reconsider. I blew him off. He wrote me off in silent protest, until today. LOL. This was the first time I’ve seen him in, man, 20 years probably. I had forgotten all about his opposition to the relationship until this year. Yeah, I guess I am one of those who needs a brick to fall on my head to get it.

I think I may have mentioned before how great my friend are. I need to add Cecily, Shellie and LaShawn back to that list….and Keith.

I’ll stand by this until my dying day: Man’s greatest desire is to be fully known and still loved and accepted. His greatest fear–that if fully known he’ll be rejected.

Maybe you guys got the memo on this long before I did, but this is good stuff for me. And new stuff. It’s so much easier and refreshingly fulfilling to just be who and where you are–and to hell with anybody who can’t flow with you because of it. So simple, but it’s taken me a lifetime to learn. It’s one of those things you know and can tell other people to do, but to do it yourself requires you to bleed, to ache, to mourn, to heal, to grow. Living it means that I must be the first to choose to accept me and love me as I know myself more fully. It requires that I cease to reject the me I know.

It’s now 4:39am and I haven’t the slightest clue about the coherency about what I’ve just written. I need sleep. I’ll update and edit if I need to…after slumber.

Good night.

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6 thoughts on “Crisis Lesson and Old Friends

  1. Catalyst… I think it’s just God’s way of saying, now is the time. I know that I find myself stewing on things for a long time, but only when it’s time to move forward, is it truly time to move forward.

    Becoming… That is glorious! Look at how we have spent the first parts of our lives getting totally screwed up and screwed over by life, people, and frankly, ourselves, only for God to bring out of us in the end what He put there in the first place. I wonder what that’s all about? I guess if we didn’t need fixing we would forget how much we really do need him? Hmmm… Not sure I understand it, but the process is a beautiful thing.

    Knowing and being accepted… intimacy is also a beautiful thing.

    I’m so proud of you, and tickled to death over everything that is taking shape in your life.

    And I can see your place from here!! 😀

  2. In-to-me-see I love it. It’s the only thing that really matters. It’s all about relationship. Why do I care what you know anyway unless I know that you care.

    I too my excited by the great things that the Father has instore and has already given you.

    Keep walking knowing tha nothing suprises Him….

  3. Good for you Lexi. Sometimes we all need to just let everything out in the open. Hey, I can bear your “funk” much easier if you air it out rather than try to hide it up under everything. It just festers and gets more funky there! LOL

  4. Alexis,

    I too enjoyed your company Friday night, I heard I missed more good times on Saturday. I find it so refreshing to read your blogs and get a little insight on another’s life. It ‘s refreshing to watch because you’ve apparently been through so much, yet you still have faith. It gives me hope.

    P.S. I am NOT the stalker although I do plan to catch up on some of the blogs I’ve missed lately :’)

  5. While I am still recovering from Friday night (yes I know it’s been 4 days) I had a ball. I am so glad you could be there and it made me decide that we need to do that more often. While I have not been around on a daily basis for the last 10 years, you know that I am ALWAYS there. As I said to you on Saturday, I know who you are…all that painful stuff is not your whole person and I for one LOVE Alexis Michelle Flanagan (yes I said Flanagan) for everything that she is and always has been to me. She is a part of who I am today. Each of my friends has helped shape me into the person I am today in one way or another and I am grateful for that. Friday night was just a chance for me to celebrate it!

  6. @ Tania (Katrice)

    I am tickled to death too. I really thing there are people in my life who are hating because of the changes that are happening. Misery loves company. I’m checking out! (That has little to do with your comment…but you know what I mean. LOL)

    @ KMF

    Thanks for sharing your funk with us last night!

    @ LaShawn

    I am amazed that you read my crap and find hope. But I’m glad you do. I can be so cynical at times. I’m glad the hope shines through in spite of the cynicism.

    @ Kwesi

    I love that expansion of “intimacy”. That’s what we’re inviting people to do. Take me or leave me. I’m glad to be able to let people see and to be able to move on with life if they don’t like what they see. See ya!!! LOL.

    @ Shellie

    I love you too, lady. All of you. And I have missed you guys like crazy. Thanks for loving me for me…all of me.

    Now, do I need to post some comment rules? You guys keep outing me to the public. Next thing I’ll find in the comments is my damn SSN!!

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