To those of you that celebrate, a very Happy Easter to you.
This Easter has particular significance to me. After all, it really wasn't that long ago that my life, my body, and my mind were one disapointing hot mess. I'd come out the worse for wear from a short but passionate romance, I'd come to realize the gravity of my mistake in turning down a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and the truly insane negative stress of my job had crossed over into the realm of nightmares. The effects all this was wreaking on my body meant that I'd pretty much stopped eating for a little bit there. Got lots of compliments on my too-big pants but aside from that silver lining, I was a wreck. I spent a lot of time staring into space or bursting into tears without warning, which was embarrassing if that happened, say, in line at Starbucks.
That opportunity I turned down? This very one. You see, I was originally supposed to leave for Georgia in early January. By my own choice, that didn't happen. And now, also due to my own actions, it was entirely possible that I wouldn't be able to join up with the Georgia program at all. In fact, by the time Ash Wednesday rolled around, I'd pretty much given up on it. And I had no freaking CLUE how to fix my life back into something resembling sanity, let alone happiness.
By a series of fated circumstances, come Ash Wednesday I found myself walking down the street and into a DC Catholic church. This was a fairly stand-out event, as I was raised Catholic but am not exactly what you would call religious. But I was getting well and truly desperate for some grace, and nothing else I'd tried recently had made even the slightest dent.
I enjoyed the service. It actually felt pretty cool to check in with God about my state of affairs. Georgia didn't really even come up in my mind; like I said, I'd more or less written that off at that point. But when I got back to my desk later that day, that was when I got the email saying that all was good to go with my departure and that I would be leaving for Tbilisi with the April 30 group of teachers.
That was 40 days ago. Today, in respect for the truly staggering list of things I have to be thankful for, I checked in with God again, attending Easter service with my Mom for the first time in decades. I don't consider this to be a religious epiphany or myself to be a sheep returned to the fold or anything. But when I look at what my life was like, waking up that Ash Wednesday morning, and what that life looks like now, I am floored. Astounded. Humbled, and grateful like I have never been so grateful for anything in my 31 interesting years.
If someone had told me my future 41 days ago, I would have called them a malicious liar. It seems rediculous that so much could have happened, that it is really me who is on this brink of an incredible adventure. That I Got Out. That my prayers were answered. I'm not gonna waste one second.