In my 20's, I was fiercely guilty of living with the impression that life really could be like the movies. For example,
-After college, I would move into my own cute and fully decorated apartment in a fabulous new city. And occasionally, I would go back to my charming hometown and spend a few days laughing and making memories with my quirky but loveable family.
-I would easily land that dream job in marketing and then get to spend my days working in a stylish office with modern decor and the wardrobe of Jennifer Anniston.
-I would have a funny/clumsy/charming love story, marry the handsome guy who was perfect for me, and we would live out our happy life together.
**INSERT RECORD SCRATCH**
Back to reality here... Life is NOT AT ALL like the movies, well, most specifically it's not at all like the romantic comedies I had become so fond of. Not that life wasn't beautiful in my twenties, but it was a slow (very slow) realization that many of the naive hopes and dreams I had built up in my mind, weren't going to happen the way I had scripted in my head.
-My parents got a divorce when I was 23 years old, which meant going home to visit was painful and complicated.
-My first job out of college was fun but it was spent in a gray cubicle where I wore polyester dress pants from Forever 21 that cost $19.99.
-And although I did marry a very handsome man, our love story was actually full of doubts and confusion and indecisiveness. And I think most couples would agree that marriage is one of the hardest things you'll ever experience.
Now in my thirties, I'm just starting to figure things out. I'm starting to understand that the messy, painful, confusing parts of everyday life are the good stuff. The stuff that keeps life interesting. And therein lies the art.
I think Shauna Niequist says it best in her book, Cold Tangerines:
"Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearls. And strung together, build upon one another, lined up through the days and the years, they make a life, a person. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies."
It's so much more about the transforming of my character instead of the achievement of worldly standards. To me, the real art in life is when God actively chooses to prune and water and harvest this rebellious heart of mine. It's messy and ugly and wouldn't make a great movie. But like a master artist, he sees the end result in his mind and knows it's beautiful.
This post is part of a series I'm writing for the month of October entitled "31 Days of Seeing the Art in Everyday Life." See all other posts in this series by clicking here.