I’m from Texas. We do things big. Big hair, big cities, big personalities, big scandals, and big budgets. I was always raised to be willing to take big leaps and big risks.
Last summer was a summer of big steps for me. My roommate and I made a relatively big move, in terms of getting a more “adult” place. I went on a big, 3-day river trip – which may not seem like a big deal until you realize that you’re committing to spending three full days with one person (the same person!) I made some big changes in my personal life and took some big risks in terms of dating. I went to big concerts, big festivals, big games, and big parties. It’s easy for me to look back at the summer of 2009 and see major change happening in my life.
The summer of 2010 isn’t over yet but I was starting to get worried that there weren’t enough big changes. I haven’t taken any major trips, I haven’t necessarily formed any major new friendships, or made any big decisions. I found myself unable to sleep the other night feeling as if I was wasting this summer, this summer of my vita abundantior.
But yesterday, when I received a text message from a new friend, I realized that there have been changes, albeit ones of a smaller nature. New friendships have started to blossom, in the same slow fashion as our long-suffering garden. There have been tiny shifts in existing relationships – no major additions or subtractions but a subtle reshuffling as people grow and change. A small email rekindled a friendship. A passing introduction suddenly turned into a new favorite person. A simple night at the lake made me laugh so much my sides still hurt the next day. Making a small decision to forgo a wasteful expenditure or make the effort to dig the accidentally-trashed recyclable is reminding me that change can happen in small ways, in incremental steps.
I’m not, by nature, a small person. I’ve always had a tendency to overlook the smaller things, the details, the tiny moments. Summer 2010 has been a time of tremendous growth, change, and discovery for me – exactly that spirit of vita abundantior I’ve been hoping to channel. It’s just happened in a tiny way. And I’m learning to be okay with that.