Angela fits

January 12, 2010

I'll be honest:

I've been whiny.

I love change. The opening and closing of life's doors makes my world keep turning.

But, like anyone, I suppose, I struggle with the coming and going - the in and out dance that I've been doing for a few years now. I say "like anyone," but that's not entirely true. As I learned on Sunday, some of us come and go more gracefully than others (ie: me).

I struggle with returning to places I've been gone from. I know that everyone's lives have been moving forward. I find out about relationships over facebook. I see pictures. I know, and yet I don't know, how much I'm missing. And I have relationships, post pictures, live - I guess that's part of the hard. I feel like a staccato note in the midst of a whole plethora of whole notes. I hate coming in and out. I get nervous every time. Lately it's been about everything: school, friends, new places.

I know it is the difference in our notes that create harmony, melody, complete music. I know that I come in on cue - leave on cue. I know that I have my own unique place, and that every time I leave I find places and meet people I can't imagine living without.

But it's still hard.

This week, I've been moping. It's not that I'm not looking forward to moving - it's just that, sometimes, I think that I want to stay in the safe zone. My friend Geldie calls me on it when I say that I do. "No you don't," she laughs. "I know you."

She's right.

But it's still hard - coming and going.

This week, I've been reminded of the gargantuan loss, the gaping holes that would exist in my life if I didn't go when I felt the urge.

Four summers ago, the urge was Haiti. I met Angela - black converse, camo shorts, ipod. She was yelling in Haitian Ceole and gathering everyone's bags - looking like she fit, like she belonged. She kept looking that way the whole time I was there, managing children, managing nannies, tearing her hair out over the chaos, and yet laughing and enjoying it all, while teaching me more than she will ever know. She fit in her role as house manager of a Haitian orphanage. I can't imagine never having gone, never having known her.

This Sunday, we met for coffee and I watched her play a different role than she did when we met. Her role started to change about a year after I met her as she grew (literally) from the inside out. Her new role keeps us on our toes, keeps us running to catch up - keeps us moving breakables and grabbing spilt raisins. This past Sunday, she met me at Bloom coffee, relaxed jeans, flats, bag over her shoulder - her new role prattling on her lap.

As I sipped my mocha, I watched her fit like she did when I met her in Haiti. Still speaking in Haitian Creole, but softer this time. Still in charge, but grinning when it was time to help open the trash can, reminding when it's not okay to touch, giving soft kisses - teaching me more than she will ever know.

We've shared dreams ever since that day in the Port-au-Prince airport - shared dreams sitting on her porch waiting the Caribbean sun, shared dreams laughing with the children she called hers, shared dreams while chasing down a daughter that is hers.

She says she's not sure, sometimes, where she'll leave her mark, or how.

I'm not sure if she'll ever know how much she already has - at least on me. I watch her move seasons, shift, take it in stride - I watch her fit, amid sorrow, joy, disappointment, changes in her dreams.

I stopped whining on Sunday. I drove away reminded of my purpose in moving again, reminded me that it's less about my fear, or even about me at all - more about others, more about learning the new place, the new people - relearning the friends I'm coming back to, seeing what I can give and giving it, and, at the same time, laughing, crying and learning in the midst of all of it - wherever it is.

Here's to fitting.

I love you, friend.

(photos mine)


angela said...

i love you too. and i love that you feel that i have been someone, when i'm so insignificant. i'm praying for you, your parents, your brothers. all four of them.