It had been a while since we’d talked.
“Tell me where you’re at,” she said.
“Not where I thought I’d be,” I said.
I began to unveil to her the raw and unrehearsed corners of my mind. There was no need for filters or highlight reels here. We don’t get to talk as often as I’d like, but she remains the kind of friend that you can pick up as if you’d been texting all afternoon.
My story was familiar to her. Turbulent pipe dreams. Uncertain steps. Questions of sanity as the imagination runs wild with hopes for the future only to be brought back to present reality.
The funny thing that I have come to learn is that we all have something in common.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been journeying through life for some time. Whether you’ve achieved success or you’re sitting in the grind working for it each day. Whether life looks just as you hoped or whether you are reaching for more… we are all dreamers. Every one. Dreamers.
All of us have dreams hidden in our heart. Promises we cling to for the future.
And so I told her of the joy I felt in my present day. After all, it’s a happy life I lead. I told her of delight I felt in my current stop in the road. But I was also honest of all the hopes and dreams I still had for the days that lie ahead.
And just as she always does, speaking wisdom with a quiet knowing, she said, “So you’re marinating.”
I remember a few years after sweet husband and I started dating, he’d moved into a house with several other friends from college. I probably don’t have to tell you that the food situation in that humble dwelling was bleak. If it wasn’t Easy Mac or Ramen, it wasn’t on the menu. With all of my domestic prowess, I began cooking every Sunday.
Some people like to say how broke they were in college. Looking back, we were probably broker than we thought at the time, but minus all these little mouths we currently have to feed. In light of that we probably weren’t the smartest money managers, and we ate like kings and queens all that time. One of my favorite things to cook was steak. I didn’t know how to use a grill, so I would cook these delicious ribeyes in the oven (insert the side eye here).
One day after choking down some rather dry steak, then mustering all the kindness that he could, that precious man of mine looked at me and said, “Maybe you could marinate it?”
Upon that suggestion, I marinated those steaks like it was my JOB. I would prepare the marinade and let them sit for great lengths trying to soak in all the flavor, all the tenderness, all the spices. My hope was that this time of soaking would allow those steaks to gather all the good stuff– all they needed. When it was time for them to be put to the heat, they would not dry out, but instead pour out with the flavors obtained in their soaking.
Marinating. It sure was important.
Our seasons of soaking, they are not in vain. We must not wallow in our waiting, for it is in the waiting that we often find all we need.
Our seasons of waiting, our stops in the in between, these are often the moments we want to rush through. We don’t like marinating. It’s messy. It’s doesn’t look pretty. And looking at this mess sitting there, it’s hard to imagine that the finished product could be anything worth waiting on. But ohhhh, how it’s worth the waiting…