from the other side
i've had lots of conversations with people lately about why i'm here and where i've come from.
just today i sent an email to a new friend who's about to graduate and seems to be in a similar place that i was then.
i'm also staying with a girl who just moved here from the US and is having a hard time figuring out who she is and where she's going.
to both friends, i mentioned my blog.
it's hard to remember all the details of what has happened and perhaps easier to just read what i wrote.
i checked back to see when i began my process of being 'undone'.
in september of 2006 i wrote a blog titled 'wrestle' and my first line of the entry was
'i cannot find God'.
and back then, i couldn't.
the next two years were the most painful two years of my life thus far.
as i've written, it was two years worth of being undone.
flash forward to july/august of this year...
and as my friend johannes said,
i needed to get up from the bathtub floor.
the bathtub floor was where i found myself much too often over the past two years.
the pain had gotten to be so much that i would lie there, crying in a fetal position, until the pain was gone and i could go on.
it is strange to talk about all of that in past tense now.
things are so different.
my life is so different.
i am so different.
it feels good and i hope that i can share some of what i learned from that.
just the other day i shared the email that ryan wrote me before i left on this trip.
he and i were broken up at the time,
but these were the words he wrote:
'i want you to have the time of your life in europe.
i want you to continue to work hard at unlearning old habits and putting on the new juli and finding out who that is,
and to have fun doing it.
please, have fun for me.
go see beautiful things.
meet beautiful people.
practice loving strangers.
practice being those things that are at the center of who you are.
take pictures (you take great pictures).
have good conversations with people you respect and want to learn from.
listen and share with people that look like they need it.
let people listen to you and share with them every little part of who you are and where you have been and where you want to go.
they will love you for it and you will love them.
and it will give us something to talk about over coffee when you get back.'
i know i have done those things...
when he first wrote that to me i didn't know if i could,
but i did and it has been beautiful.