January 2, 2013

my alter ego

This morning after breakfast I shared a few pieces of Toblerone (dark, from the local Amish dent & bent grocery) with my Farmer over coffee and I remembered my very first Toblerone....

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I was 22 years old, flying to Japan after college for my first Real Job*.  When the Korean Air flight attendants brought around the duty-free catalogs, it seemed like the thing to do, given my new identity as a globe-trotting sophisticate, to order something.  Ah-ha!  Here was something chocolate, something affordable (my Real Job had not yet netted me my first paycheck), something imported and exotic.  [It rather betrays my true identity as a rube, doesn't it, that I'd never even heard of Toblerone before this!] 

So I bought some.  I ate it in-flight, feeling so grown-up, so urbane, so in-the-know.  A fitting start to my new jet-setting career.

*[my Real Job turned out to be, in retrospect, a hilarious misnomer.  I spent two years in the backwaters of Japan, "teaching" high school English through the Japanese government's JET Programme.  I did spend time in the classrooms, and even, on occasion, got to do some lesson-planning, but most of my time was spent catching up on any reading I hadn't gotten done in college, doing crossword puzzles, creating bitmap art on Windows Paint, and customizing the appearance of my new laptop, with a little worksheet-creation, hangman-playing and pronunciation-modeling thrown in for good measure.]

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Fast-forward sixteen years ... I am sitting at a worn kitchen table in my century-old farmhouse, overseeing the education of my children in rural Pennsylvania, dressed in a hand-me-down sweater and jeans that pre-date some of my children.  Some sophisticate I turned out to be.

The contrast amused me this morning, as I drank my generic decaf coffee brewed the pre-Keurig way in a plain old drip coffeemaker.  But as I wrote this post, I used thesaurus.com to help me find "urbane", and saw that sophisticate as a verb means to adulterate, to cheapen, contaminate, corrupt, degrade, falsify, taint, make impure, water down ... and I realized that sophistication has never really been the goal of my heart at all.

There is nothing I want more, truly, than to be unalloyed, pure, undiluted - aimed hard & undistracted at my Maker.  And there is nothing harder, for me, than just being who He made me to be, and not who I think you'll want me to be.

During the past four months, I have gradually emerged - been freed, really - from the depression that has cocooned me for over a year.  Part of this has been through teachings on God's design for us, and part of it was, I believe, the depression itself:  born of weariness in mask-wearing, it gave me respite, a space in which to rest, and heal.

The depression itself, it seems, was a means to freedom.  Which reminds me, again, of the chrysalis.

A jar waits on a shelf.  One chrysalis hangs empty, a story of freedom attained.  Two remain, and what they contain, whether dormant butterfly or wasp, or nothing, only God knows.

I wait, too.  Only God knows His design for me, and whether sophisticate or rube, or something yet unimagined, He will bring it about in His good time.  This I know.

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2 comments:

  1. Hi Potter Lady! So well written! I had to laugh and then rejoice. By the way, Sara and Laura told me about duck eggs, and now I'm gungho. I'm eagerly waiting for out two little ducklings to grow up and supply us with orbs of nutrition.
    PS. I LOVE toblerone
    :) Lillian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lillian! Thanks for rejoicing with me. :) May your ducklings grow mightily and multiply and make many eggs for your breakfasts (and try them in your bread!! wow.)!

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