confession tuesday: travel and birthdays and things

Hello Tuesday. It’s been awhile since I’ve stopped by to confess all my deepest, darkest secrets. So let’s get to it —

On travel
Paris and Rome were something special. I saw a nun flash mob in front of Notre Dame. I’m still riding the happy wave from that. I confess that I have a deep admiration for nuns. There was a time I was discerning whether that was the path for me… and then it was a nun and her guitar, framed by sunlight in a Mexican orphanage, that made me think otherwise. I confess that my faith has been a curious path. Now I’m not even a practicing Catholic. But I wouldn’t change the journey, and through it all, I have never lost my admiration of nuns… I confess that I am sometimes envious of the focus that their vocation affords. 

There were more nuns in Rome, of course, so it continued to be a happy trip once we finally (finally) got off the train from Paris. Except I confess that in Rome I was very concerned for the nuns, as they were all wearing skirts and it was snowing and drizzling and freezing. I was reminded of the time my mom had to fight my Catholic school to let the girls wear pants instead of skirts in the winter.

Rome was magical. I want to go back already. I confess that it mystifies me that there is not an ounce of Italian in me. I love the language, the appreciation for long meals and big families, the friendly vibe… it’s nothing overt — I just feel at ease. But I am so Polish and German and English and Scottish and Welsh and stuff. I have a steak and potatoes family tree but a pasta and limoncello personality. 

The highlight of the time in Rome was probably the tour of the necropolis beneath St. Peter’s. Our guide was a soon-to-be priest from Philadelphia who is studying theology. I’m still unpacking the stories he shared, like how the first example of saintly intercession was discovered in the necropolis. One of the headstones said something to the effect of, “Peter, pray me to Jesus…” I confess that it was the first time I considered just how innate such intercession is in the Catholic faith. And I wondered what that says about the human condition and our relationship to God… perhaps that most people are so fearful or intimidated or scared of addressing their own mortality that we intuitively seek an ambassador in the afterlife. (Just an initial thought. I’m still processing.)

On a birthday
I turned 28 last week. But that didn’t stop everyone in Paris and Rome and on the flights from thinking I was a teenager. I confess that no matter how much eye makeup I wear, no matter how I cut my hair, no matter whether wear I jeans or wear dressy clothes, I will look young. It’s just the way it is. I confess that I stopped wearing suits a long time ago because I just looked like an intern playing a part. Also because I discovered that the people who make a big deal of those sorts of things are not great people to work with or for. Also because of Steve Jobs (really, I confess that is totally true, however silly). 

I confess that while turning 27 felt like a transition or transformative time, turning 28 feels more… practical. Not in a bad way. This feels like a time of housekeeping and quiet, subtle preparation. Maybe the word should be contemplative or reflective instead of practical. I’m actually excited about that, although I confess that it feels like I am already watching this year unravel. How is March right around the corner?

Final birthday note: I was overwhelmed with incredibly personalized and thoughtful gifts and notes this year. Some of my closest friends and family shared things with me that not only mean a lot, but seem to reflect the particular way they relate to me. It was humbling. 

On long posts
I confess that I know this is a long post, but I really don’t care, people. I’ve had fun writing it.

On what’s next
I confess that I have lots of link goodies that I have wanted to post here since catching up from the trip. An explosion of internet wisdom and thinking is likely on its way to this little bloggy-abode. You’ve been warned. 

(The end.)