I think about all kinds of weird things while I run. Why is that girl next to me chewing her gum so obnoxiously? How much longer until I pass out? Why do they always have cartoons playing on one of the TVs at the gym when you have to be over 18 to be up here? Really hard hitting questions.
I also think about what would happen if I really did keel over while running and someone had to pick up my phone and saw what I was listening to as I logged my miles. They would either be extremely embarrassed or incredibly impressed.
Which kind of sums up my whole life.
I am constantly doing things that fall into two categories: let’s hope I don’t get caught doing this or I really hope someone sees me doing this.
My playlists for running are schizophrenic. I either listen to inspiring, Godly worship music or I listen to hardcore rap that would embarrass my mom and prompt her to wash everyone’s mouths out with soap. There is no rhyme or reason to which type of music I go with, sometimes I need Jesus and sometimes I need Lil’ Jon, sometimes I need hymns and sometimes I need Rihanna.
I think this wide variety of running music tells you a lot about me. It shows you my struggle and it shows you my spirituality. (I do not think there is anything wrong with rap music so if you are waiting for me to start preachin’ about the evils of rap and rock so you can show your kids, you are going to be disappointed. Because I enjoy rap music! Mid-thirties white women love rap music! It makes us feel cool and it pumps us up on the treadmill, the StairMaster, and the minivan. Nothing puts a little pep in our steps like “I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie.” That is some poetic verse right there.)
But I do think this playlist I swear by tells things about me. And if one day I really do fall over dead (or just unconscious) at the gym, I hope I happen to be listening to the worship music and not Lil’ Kim. Because I like things to look good on the outside. I like to show the world a pretty put-together Mary because it’s neat and tidy and makes me feel better. I like to turn the radio station to the Christian station as I exit the van just in case someone else gets in after me so they can be impressed with my focus on worship.
Even if I had to eject the Taylor Swift CD to do this.
Trying to pinpoint the moment what I thought being an adult would be like and what being adult is really like collided is hard. I don’t know when I lost the dream and reality set in, but I guess I thought things would just be easier. I guess I thought I’d have it more together. I imagined being an adult meant knowing all the answers, always having enough money, and being content.
But the more adulting I do, the more I realize the only thing that has changed is my outside appearance. I’m still kinda dumb. I still make bad choices. Sometimes I don’t have enough money. I probably know less answers than I did twenty years ago. Maybe I’m actually getting worse instead of better?
Being an adult is not at all what I imagined. I wanted to be better than this. I wanted the grown up worship music soundtrack and not the explicit album that I can’t listen to when my girls are in the minivan with me. I just thought I’d be making better choices by now.
It’s funny how when I ask, God can show me how far I’ve come. He can show me the pits I’ve been in and how I’ve moved past those with his help and guidance. He reminds me of my progress and growth, of my kinder heart, tenderer words, and more compassionate temperament. He is loving and kind when I ask if I’m better than who I was.
It’s also funny how when I ask, he can show me how far I still have to go. How humble he can make me when I don’t know much of anything, when I keep making the same mistakes over and over again and keep crawling back to the foot of the Cross asking “what happened?” because I can’t learn.
I just imagined I’d be a better learner by this point.
I just imagined I’d be listening to better music by this point.