I have a confession. I lived in Minnesota for three years, and I don’t really like lakes. Well, it’s not that I don’t like lakes per se. It’s more what you can find in a lake that disturbs me.
Every single time I do the whole cabin-on-a-lake weekend, I fake my love of swimming. I like the outdoors, so inevitably some R.E.I.-loving friend assumes this means that I am 100 percent granola and that I must love lakes.
And I do. I like looking at them, riding in boats on top of them, reading next to them, even dangling my feet in the water off the dock.
But immersing my whole body in it? It makes me nervous. For the first 30 minutes at least, I stare intently at the murky waters hoping that staring longer will bring a little bit of clarity to the wet substance.
Eventually, I’ll just dive in because I’m the kind of person that just doesn’t like not trying something or getting left on the shore. After all, sometimes you have to try something more than once before you really like it. Usually, if I stay in the water long enough, I forget altogether that I can’t see the bottom or tell what’s swimming next to me, and I’ll have a blast.
Life for me right now is pretty much like a lake. It’s murky and ambiguous.
I’m only working part-time right now and busying myself with odd jobs and random writing assignments. Though I think my job title of “special sections editor” by nature invokes interest from other people, I still feel unemployed.
I’m mostly making ends meet financially, though most of the time, I have to attach the words “for now” on the end of that statement because I have no idea how next month will go.
I also just moved to my third home in the Portland area in the last two years. I feel sort of transient and unattached, and a small part of me is nervous by that lack of stability. Though I don’t mind moving around, I’m not trying to be restless.
I also must confess for the first time in a while, I think the idea of relinquishing some of my independence and ambition for the sake of a man sounds … nice. Of course that admission is because a certain guy actually got under my skin, and it does nothing but stir up the mud in the lake a bit more.
The weird thing? I’m starting to get used it. Now that I’ve dived into this lifestyle, I actually for once don’t care if I know a lick about tomorrow. The ambiguity is becoming exciting instead of scary.
Despite pressure from others to know what lies in the foggy recesses of the near future, I don’t have laser vision and I just never will.
I know who I am. I know what I want. Or at least I think I do. And that’s probably the best I can ever do in my muddy human existence.
So, I think I’m starting to like lakes. I just may not go back to the shore. The truth is: I am realizing more and more that no one ever really sees their lives clearly, so believing that I can would be a delusion. Only God can claim complete clarity.
So, I might as well just enjoy swimming. There’s definitely something freeing and beautiful about just diving into the hazy uncertainties knowing that I just don’t have to see—because that’s not my job. My job is to swim.