Growing up, we had a Dairy Queen within walking distance of our house. Because of this, entire periods of my childhood are marked by specific DQ menu items.
In the beginning, it was the Dilly Bar. We'd roll up in my mom's Astro Van after a swim meet, exhausted from racing so late into the night. Or, on special evenings, after my dad would take us for a night swim at the local pool. I always associate the Dilly Bar with my eyes burning from chlorine.
In elementary school, it was the blizzard. Almost too big to finish, always Oreo. When I fell off a stool and hit my chin on the counter, that blizzard was the answer (after the stitches, of course).
And, in middle school, it was the now-retired Frozen Hot Chocolate. As we became old enough, my parents would let us walk the four blocks with friends. We felt so old, walking on our own, talking about boys.
One of my friends always made fun of my Frozen Hot Chocolate. She said it just didn't make sense for it to be named both frozen and hot. I remember that every time she said it, I would think: Hm. She's probably right. But, I like it even if it doesn't make sense. And then I'd enjoy every bit of it.
I've been thinking a lot, lately, about how our feelings don't always make sense. My brother, Duke, and I have shared a duplex for the last two years. He recently moved out to prepare for Chris to move in after our wedding.
I'm overwhelmed with joy at the thought of living with Chris. But, I've found myself mourning no longer living with Duke. The juxtaposition of the absolute joy I feel for the future and letting go of what once was is leaving me feeling confused. I'm finding that my feelings don't totally make sense.
But, as I've sat with them this week in my empty little house, I'm reminded that feelings aren't about making sense. It would be easy to let myself feel guilty for having mixed emotions about a chapter for which I am so ready. But that wouldn't be fair to myself, because feelings aren't always black and white.
So often we try to draw lines around our emotions - fighting feelings with facts. The best thing we can do is give ourselves the grace and space we need to process, feel and learn. Just like my DQ treat could be both frozen and hot chocolate, so our feelings can be marked with both sorrow and joy. I'm continuing to learn that there is so much beauty in life as we learn to make space for a little bit of ambiguity.
Happy, happy, Thursday, friends