In That Space

Wow! It's been a while. 

Coming to this seat to reflect and write is always in the back of my mind, but sometimes it's just more complicated than others to actually get here. I have several significant events to share with you. I have pictures!! You must see! We've celebrated Charlie turning 5 (Oh my Lord! His world has changed!) We had our family Christmas time. We've had SNOW! We went skiing. Life keeps happening. I photograph it when I can. And I come here when it's time.

It occurred to me today why I haven't been posting much. 

This blog is primarily a place where I capture memories, store my photos, share a few laughs, and watch my kids grow. I tend to organize it around the photos I take. While I have a few pictures that I want to (and will!) share with you, for some reason my thoughts haven't been very focused on those photos or those events. I've kind of been in a weird space since the beginning of the year. It's not a bad space… it's actually probably a good space… it's more of a reflective space. Inside my head. I've spent a lot of time inside my head. It wouldn't be pretty to photograph that. You don't want to see it. I promise.

I'm not even sure what it is on which I'm reflecting. I think I'm probably searching more than anything. Searching for purpose. Searching for where I'm supposed to be. Searching for a deeper understanding of who I am today, at 36, in Knoxville Tennessee as a wife and a mother of two amazing boys. Searching for why I'm here now, and what I'm meant to do next. I go through these stages. I assume we all do at various points in our life, and in our personal growth. I think I tend to do it when I have time. Whatever that means. Things are probably more stable in the Agrestic household than they have been in a couple years… so maybe that finally gives me freedom to withdraw and reflect…. and FEEL. Who knows? 

So this reflecting thing… this space… what does it look like? Well, for me, it manifests in lots of different ways. I get lost in music. A lot. I can't get enough of it really. It's usually sad songs - though my general mood isn't overly sad. I guess I just relate to the depth and emotion in those songs. I tend to take any and every opportunity I have to be alone - inside myself - inside my head. This means maybe taking the long way home from work. It means sneaking out of the room to simply stand silent in a separate space by myself. It means making an extra loop around the grocery store just to stare off mindlessly into nothing at all. It means driving. Way too much driving. I could drive for hours and go nowhere. It keeps me sane.

I also find myself getting emotional with people that I've allowed into that deeper space into my life. I confessed to my dearest friend's mom how much it impacted my life that she stood up for herself and left her husband twenty plus years ago and started all over to create a life of her own. That mattered to me. That was a major milestone in my life. Women in my world didn't do that. I hadn't seen that before. I didn't know a woman could get out of that situation and stand on her own two feet. But she did. And it mattered. Oddly, I confessed that to her just after she sent me a sweet Happy Birthday message. Hmmm… that might have been weird on her end. Now that I think about it, I might need to follow up on that one.

I have also found myself with a completely new understanding of my best girl, my first lady, the love of my life, friend for now 31 years who has been through a painful 2 and 1/2 years with her own complicated relationship. In my logical, systematic, independent way of thinking I have had a hard time understanding how she can allow things to be as they are. Out of blue, I found myself flooded with emotion, completely embracing her thoughts, her pain, her dreams and desires for this person. I confessed to her. I apologized. I cried by myself for 30 minutes. For her. For them. For us. For me. I don't even know where it came from. I just couldn't stop. And just for the record - I don't cry. It is rare. I might get teary eyed, but I can wrap it up pretty quickly. It's a choice I make… for some reason. But in this space that I'm in things are different. I become different. I have to go to that touchy feely place in order to figure out what I'm doing here. And I'm not able to move past this space until I figure it out.

So, the other thing that happens is I spend time trying to figure out what I'm looking for. Sometimes, I keep my thinking at the surface… Maybe I need to change something on the surface. I need braces. I've wanted them for a long time. But I don't want to have a teenage metal mouth for two years. Invisalign. Yeah that's what I need. I could use a boob job too. Really. I could. I don't want to be big. I'd just like a little something. Really just a B cup would do. That's all I want. Botox looks pretty intriguing as well. I've looked into it. The laugh lines around my mouth make me a little crazy… but ya know, I'll take them over frown lines. I don't have those. That's a good thing. I hope to keep those off my face for a long time. Or maybe I just want to have another baby. My gosh I love being pregnant. I just can't even describe how that makes me feel. That movement. That shape. That inconvenient, uncomfortable, perfect pressure. That private, indescribable bond you get to share with this creature that God hands to you. I have dreams about it. I have gone back and forth on the baby thing for years. It hasn't been an option for us, really. Tree. Surgery. School. Money. You know. But it kind of is now. But now I'm 36. Charlie is 5 (did I tell you that his whole world has changed?!) I have a hard time sorting through whether I'm just infatuated with the pregnancy part of it, or if I really want another baby. It's tricky deciphering between infatuation and true love. I always thought I'd have 3. I just didn't plan it quite this way… maybe I try to plan too much.

I told Richie the other day that I'm starting to feel like I'm being called to do something big. Much larger than myself and my immediate surroundings. Something really big. I don't know what it is… spend a month teaching and loving orphaned kids in Africa is the kind of thing I'm talking about. That sounds pretty cliche, but you catch my drift. Shamefully, I haven't been a good servant in my life. It wasn't ingrained in me as a child, and it just hasn't been my natural way of thinking. I'm not making excuses - just being raw. But I'm feeling that tide turn. It's not something I'm guiding. I'm really just feeling it right now. I hope it turns into something. For now, it's the small tugs I notice - like when we are asked to send in a few dollars to school so our kid can get a yearbook. Something keeps saying "Send in a few dollars times 3 for a couple of the others in the class who your son stands beside each and every day, never realizing that she doesn't have a mom who can afford those few extra dollars or he doesn't have parents who even take the time to read these notes. Those kids deserve a yearbook too." It's small stuff right now. I'll let you know how it grows.

The final thing that happens for me in this space is I crave and savor my female friendships. My gosh, I could take a bath in true friendship. I really could. I'm extremely finicky with friends - I let in so few people… it's kind of crazy. But when I find her… when I find her, it's good. Strong. Deep. Real. Forever. The picture it paints for me is lying flat on a hillside next to a true friend under the stars, talking, laughing, crying, dreaming, breathing, being silent… and knowing that something bigger is happening. We may not know exactly what it is right now… and we may never fully understand it… but it's happening. That's the good stuff.

Okay! So I think I've probably divulged enough for now… and rambled on way too long. I hope I haven't scared you away. Things are good. They are really good actually. I'm just navigating, and taking the time to really soak in the scenery and the map. I'll let you know where it leads me. And I'll share pictures soon. I promise!


  1. What a beautiful post Mary, all of it. Whether you realize it or not, you do serve others in so many ways with your genuine and loving self. Thanks for that! I hoep to see you soon!

  2. Love you, girl! Here's my two cents worth: commit to 36 random acts of kindness - one each day for 36 days. Trust me on this one - it will change how you approach each day - in a good way! Then, have another baby (girl, if possible, cuz I really need to love on her), and then have the boob job. In that order! My sister did it the other way around - not such a good idea :/

  3. p.s. I love the fairy drawing. Did you create her?

  4. I can and will promise you this, you are more inspirational and touch someone's life more than you realize. I know you have personally touched mine with how strong and interactive you are as a mother, also with how interactive you were with us kids when we were growing up. Also, throughout this pregnancy, I have looked to you for guidance. You are someone who I do trust and who is not just my family but also who has a special place in my heart because of the way you look at life and the way you live your life.

  5. Head's up. I'm working on a new musical playlist for us to share. Entitled: "Another Random Act". CD arriving soon :) Disclaimer ~ it contains some happy tunes!


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