I know I just posted an update a few days ago, but I think I might have jumped the gun a bit. While I do feel like the things I wrote the other day are good, and I’m glad to be learning them, I just discovered the lesson was only half over. But to tell the whole story, I’m going to need to do a bit of backtracking.
The year was 2000, and I was a poor orphan fresh off the boat from Madagascar. Okay, just kidding. The year was 2012, and I had just quit my job with no plans. But you guys are fairly familiar with that part of the story. During this exploratory summer, I’ve picked up a number of habits that, at the time, seemed rather inconsequential until today.
For one, I can’t stop listening to the Foster the People station on Pandora. Nick turned it on once during a long car trip back in June, and I’ve been listening to it ever since. It’s wonderful.
And secondly, I’ve learned to appreciate an excellent bubble bath. Most people my age haven’t done the whole bubble bath thing since they were yay high and learning to potty train (or they have one of those awesome deep tubs like everyone on tv seems to have that no modern apartment in the country has in real life . . . not that I’m jealous). It’s an often overlooked guilty pleasure. But I randomly decided to take a bubble bath in my micro apartment tub a few months ago and have done it like once a week since. Do it. Trust me. Fire up the iPod, kick out the kids, and soak in warm soapy awesomeness. The use of candles and the drinking of wine are optional (just because they do it that way on tv doesn’t make it right, apparently).
And thirdly, I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix. Don’t get me wrong, Netflix and I have been BFFs for a solid ten years now, but there is a lot of time to catch up on reruns of sitcoms past when you have no plans for six days straight. Needless to say, I’ve been living vicariously through lots of characters these last three months, the most recent of which is the lovely and talented Betty Suarez, better known to the world as Ugly Betty. This was not my first run through of the Ugly Betty series, but it had been a couple of years and a refresher course was definitely in order. I finished the last episode about an hour before slipping into a bubble bath while listening to Foster the People radio, and the stage is set.
In all the time I’ve been listening to this station, I have never heard one particular song that came on and caused this update that you are now reading. In fact, it’s probably safe to say I haven’t heard this song in five or more years. The song is Dare You to Move, and the artist, in case you don’t know, is Switchfoot.
So the year was 2000, and I was a sophomore in high school. The new Learning to Breathe album came out, and we three Rowes listened to it a lot. Dare You to Move was the opening track and was also featured in a cute little film called A Walk to Remember (Nicholas Sparks fans, anyone?), the song and press because of it helped turn Switchfoot into the mainstream band it is today. I am very familiar with this song, and after the fiftieth time of hearing it over the years, it starts to lose some of it’s oomph and conviction. Today though, it rings true like the first time I heard it.
So here we are. The other day I wrote about being happy with my job and things finally falling into place for me. And here is God telling me, unequivocally, that he dares me to move. Move where? Not where. How. Move farther. Move bolder. Move smarter. Just as at the beginning of the summer I wanted him to move me, he is telling me right now that I have not moved far enough. Yes, I did find a new job. Yes, I do get to stay in Columbus with the people and church that I love. But I’m not done yet. This was not just about finding a new job, it was about finding a new me. And in that challenge I have not yet finished. It is true, as I said, that this is only the story so far, but I didn’t really realize what exactly that meant until now. This place where I am now is not enough for me. It’s not enough for the changing, growing Lauren I’m trying to become.
Ugly Betty is the story of a homely but goodhearted girl who gets a job at a fashion magazine and eventually ends up finding herself and following her dreams. Over four seasons of disappointments and shames, she is forever positive and hopeful. And even though she’s not a real person, she and I have a lot in common, and her attitude and drive are inspiring. I needed her to wake me up, just like I needed that song, and that bubble bath.
The thing is, inspiration comes when you’re not looking for it, and it’ll come to you even when you’re happy being content in your surroundings. God dares me to move beyond this point where it seems like the end of a journey to discover there’s more on the horizon that can be learned and gained. He dares you to move as well past your hangups and insecurities. Past your fears and regrets. He dares you to move into the uncharted territories of your life and see what can be found there. Resist the urge to be complacent. In the words of the great John Connor (oh yes I did), “If you’re listening to this, you are the resistance.” Go ahead. I dare you to move.