Love Is All I Am*

Last week I had an identity crisis.

I really blame Pinterest for starting the whole thing off anyway, and lovingly attribute the last 80% to the best friends of mine who keep deciding to get married like it ain’t no thing. But anyway, I made a love playlist on Spotify. I mean, a long one. And I’ve been listening to it. I called my mom and told her about this recent development. “Who am I?” I said. “A love playlist? Really?” I’m fairly certain she rolled her eyes, but not entirely sure because I was 97 miles away (literally.)

Perhaps equally—or at least nearly—as shocking is the fact that I kicked a small child in Target last night. She ran out in front of me, I tried to sidestep her, I did a little stumbling dance, and the next thing I knew, a wee little face was looking up at me with eyes that unmistakeably asked, “Why did you just kick me to the floor?” Her mom had those same eyes (it must be genetic, huh?) Perhaps the most interesting thing is that I had stopped by Target on my way home from serving in the nursery at church, where I actually didn’t kick one single child, so I was forced to ask again, “Who am I?” (Two fingers crossed it was a fluke, though tiny readers beware.)

Not to worry, though. Other than that, I’m still the same coffee-drinking, flower-picking, sky-loving, bad-joke-telling poem enthusiast I’ve been ever since I tasted coffee and downloaded Instagram (not at the same time, mind you, though that would have been quite the transformation.)

You know what will remind you who you are really quickly? A trip home. C’mon, can I get an amen to that? I went home for the least fancy reason, and that is because I just missed them. Nobody’s birthday, not a single dance recital, zero baseball games. Just an ache to be in the same room. Everyone was feeling it, obviously.

He was actually mad at me because this was a one-day trip visit; he has this endearing way of getting angry at me every time I tell him I have to leave, because every single visit is not me moving back in (which he thinks I’ll be doing after graduation. The job market for bloggers works in his favor.)

I got home just in time for furniture shopping. You know, they say you can survive anything if you can survive furniture shopping with someone. And I’m actually not sure who says that, but they should be saying it, trust me. I was an eyewitness to this principle.

And I didn’t get any furniture, lobby as I did. But I did get a lot. I got moments, right there in the middle of the Sandman mattress store, where my mom would catch my eye and tell me a joke that way, and we would dissolve into laughter. I got to hear my kid sister—the same one who has entertained the thought that I am the least cool human on the planet—say, “I like you!” I got to take some beds apart and put some other ones together, which ranks high on my list of Fun Saturday Afternoon Activities. I got [free] chicken enchiladas. Color me loved, why don’t you?

I’m in this place where I’m measuring my life in these weekends. I crave my work; I adore my Tuscaloosa people (the number at this moment is low, but they’re still lovely all the same.) I savor these days, where I’m allowed to slowly tiptoe into the day in bed, the evenings where I get to make loops around campus and consider the world. The heat is sticky, but I don’t mind that so much. I’m a summer sort of person. And during the week, these things fill up my days smashingly. I have hours to sip coffee with Jesus and Instagram the sky on breezy nighttime walks. I know that soon enough those hours will be penciled in with other responsibilities, and so yes, I’m taking it. But people, I’m working for the weekends.

I’m one weekend away from a crack-free windshield, new contacts, and seeing my best friend for the first time in weeks. Someone say, “Hallelujah!”

I’m two weekends away from another round of family-in-the-same-room, which will most certainly include more inside-joke making and kiss stealing. Someone sign me up.

I’m three weekends away from near-complete refilling of my people here. Maybe you’ve guessed, or maybe I’ll just tell you: this makes me happy. I believe in Skype; I love a good text message. But my arms feel empty and they’re ready to wrap people up.

But tonight, I think I’ll take a walk. Stay tuned for an update on the sky.

*P.S. Do you like love? Do you want to listen to some songs that croon about it? Here are my most-played off of aforementioned playlist:

Catarina by Joe Purdy

I Was Born to Love Her by Ivan & Alyosha

Gracious by Ben Howard

The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack by Liars

The Love You Love by The Walkmen

Stars by The xx

Dead Sea by The Lumineers

Brand New Start by Little Joy

Swept Away [Sentimental Version] by The Avett Brothers

Love Is All I Am by Dawes

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