A few days ago a mentor of mine gave me a little present wrapped in a big, gold bow. Inside was a model Mercedes Benz 300SL. I don't know much about cars, but this particular Mercedes is rather rare and valuable. I held the toy car in my hand and couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry.
A few months before I had been sitting with Dave and his wife, Lauralyn, on their couch, sipping tea and talking as the fireplace crackled quietly in the background. I mentioned that I was looking into getting a small, silver SUV as my next car. Dave has a way of making insignificant moments ring deeper than they appear. He looked at me with serious eyes and a slight smirk and said, You're not really a silver SUV kind of girl. I laughed at first, a little startled by his intensity. You're more of a red Mercedes kind of girl.
I wanted to brush the moment off, say, that'll be nice when I win the lottery. But Dave waited patiently for me to enter into what he was saying. As it sank in I felt tears well up. I have a tendency to try and hide my hopes and desires for a big life in practicality and structure. To put off writing a novel because there is vaccuuming to be done. To go on dates with guys I know aren't good for me. To let Netflix take up my Sunday instead of fundraising for the anti-trafficking trip I'm going on.
If I keep busy with the practical to-do list, I don't have to face all the hard questions and risks that come along with big dreams.
But I'm not a silver SUV. I'm a red Mercedes. And that is a little scary.
I'm letting that reminder stare at me from my coffee table. Letting its significance seep in. Letting my decisions take me toward a brighter life rather than one cloaked in false meekness.
Because it's okay to hold out for the best life we can have. And it's okay to believe you are worth a bright-red-paint, wind-in-your-hair, sunshine kind of day.