September 8, 2012
I’m not an avid basketball player. Really, not at all. In fact, today, I was the last pick in the team lineup . . . made me sympathize with that stereotypical childhood dread of team player-choosing that I somehow didn’t really understand when I had my own childhood. But today, I actually felt sheepishly insecure, and embarrassed by how undesirable of a player I surely would be. To be fair, I have never made any pretense of athletic ability, in a team sport sort of way. But for whatever reason, I’ve been thinking lately of sports more often, and have been more gung-ho about joining in.
I think I know why. Whether or not I can paint a broad stroke with this statement, I do at least know it to be true for me: there is a natural cycle of one’s needs for stress-relieving outlets, corresponding to different seasons of life.
So today, when I found out about a student/staff game, I ignored those normal insecurities and joined right in. I didn’t even score any goals in this game, but thoroughly enjoyed the simple “running around a bit,” as another teacher and I called it, drinking water on the sidelines at the end of the game.
For this season, in this time, my normal, more independent leisuring self is trumped by a part of me longing for inclusion and company. But I know better than to think I’m any less of an inner bubbling sort of person simply because I’ve been focused on present events and people. That inner self works its way up from time to time. Last weekend, for instance: I didn’t hear the rumor mill about possible alarm testings so when I heard it sound, all I knew was “Danger!” I called for my housemates and headed for the safe room. Within a few minutes someone offhandedly called to me that they didn’t think anything was wrong, and not to worry about it. My immediate reaction was a flood of tears, and I didn’t know whether to feel silly or angry. At any rate, it was a good reminder to me that there is always, in this sort of life, an undercurrent that I cannot afford to forget, or take lightly: an undercurrent of uncertainty.
What else can we do but live the daily, though, when it comes down to it? Even in the “controlled” Western world, you never really know, do you? So today, I try to let go of my plans and intentions, sucking up the disappointment of not being allowed to do the things I’d like to do, thanks to the issues involved in living in this sort of setting. Resolving to trust that my own best laid plans are not His best laid plans.
So after writing the original part of this post, I saw this kite, suspended from the roof of one of the buildings on our compound. I couldn’t help but stare at it and remember one I wrote about in “aftermath,” one year ago, back when this place, and this life, were new to me. It seemed fitting to take another photo and add this one to the post . . .