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So This is What Time is For

September 13, 2011

The days are slipping past me.

They bleed into each other with continuous flow right now, and I can’t separate the mornings from the evenings and the waking from the sleeping.  I am awake before the sun rises and desperately craving sleep before it sets and I feel like I’m just chasing time.  I’m chasing it and it keeps moving forward – like an opponent’s piece in a board game.

Today, I am sitting at my desk after work.  I take a breath.  I settle into the pile to my left and the pile on my right and I convince myself that there is enough time to complete the tasks at hand.  My email inbox button keeps flashing, but that is okay too.  I have an afternoon to myself.  I can get it done.  I have time.

But she walks in.

She walks in with her soccer jersey and shin guards and backpack after a full day of school.  She has wandered over from her day as a high school student to plop down in a familiar space.  She drops her backpack on my floor and looks at me, beaming.

“Are you going to ask me about my game?” she asks.  Her knee is bouncing with excitement.  Her fingers are twiddling.  She can barely contain herself.

It’s impossible to not return her smile.  It’s impossible not to respond to her energy.  In my peripheral vision I see the stacks of papers.  I see the blinking email.  I see the red glow on my voicemail.  But in front of me I just see this young girl, this young soul who wants nothing more than to share her story.

And this is what my time is for.

My time is for her.  My door is open at the end of the day for her.  We sit and we talk as she recounts her soccer game.  I ask all the questions she was hoping I would, and we laugh and joke and the clock keeps ticking in a way I no longer notice.  The afternoon was always meant for this conversation.  The stars of my day were not meant to align in any other way.  My time was always to be carved out for her.  For girls like her.  For young women to be encouraged, supported, and listened to.  For young women seeking assurance and reassurance, all the while trying to develop their own sense of confidence.  Young women who need to be reminded and shown, over and over and over again, that they are remarkable.  Their presence is invaluable.  They are extraordinary.  She, this young woman, is extraordinary.

So today, my time goes to that.

My papers did not get completed.  My emails did not get opened.  My messages did not get returned.

But a young woman felt important today.  A young girl found a place to put her feet up, and share her heart.

Perhaps, just perhaps, this is what time was always intended for.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2011 6:47 pm

    Oh, oh, oh. Just perfect. Yes, that is what time is for – kudos to you for recognizing that truth at your young age…that IS what time is for. Brava.

  2. September 13, 2011 11:33 pm

    I had a strangely similar day and experience with a couple of young men today. The main difference – I was far too exhausted upon getting home to write so eloquently about it. Thanks for the reminder that our fatigue, though seemingly endless, is a byproduct of actions that are meaningful to the wonderful young people we teach. That is to say, ‘worth it’.

  3. Erika permalink
    September 14, 2011 12:34 am

    Thanks for sharing that Lauren. I needed to hear that. Love you friend.

  4. September 14, 2011 2:15 pm

    Love, love, love this. I need this reminder sometimes. Life piles up, but little girls and youngs girls are only so for a short time. I need to remember to shape and mold and step back and listen and share their joy while I can! Thanks.

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