I love a good pity party. I have never had a problem playing the victim, feeling sorry for myself, or thinking everyone's out to get me. I can wallow with the best of them and wear the distress on my face like it's a thick layer of foundation. If Much Ado About Nothing were a Shakespearean tragedy, I would have been the protagonist and pity would have been my tragic flaw.
On that note, this is my new reality:
The mirror in my house looks like a scene straight out of Good Will Hunting (thanks for the line, Timmy), and Jake now spends more time at the DMU library that he does in our home. I find myself talking to Ginny like she's a real human being just to hear words spoken out loud when I'm home alone. I have redefined my idea of quality time to mean sitting in a cubicle reading next to a very focused first year medical student. I find myself being unproductive during the school day just so I'll have work to bring home with me at night.
The other day I caught myself giving Jake the cold shoulder just so he would know that medical school is really hard on me too.
That [she] is mad, ’tis true. Tis true, ’tis pity,And pity ’tis ’tis true—a foolish figure,
Boo hoo. The only beneficiary of self-pity is the makers of Kleenex, and let's be honest, my middle school building alone should keep them going for a long time.
Everyone's got something. I seem to be reminded of that when I'm tempted to succomb to the self-pity. Everywhere I turn in my life I seem to face someone who's dealing with something that makes their life difficult on a daily basis. And it's when the hardships loom that I have to believe there is always good to find.
And there is so much good in my life.
For the first time in our three years of marriage, I see Jake's joy in feeling as though he's exactly where God wants him to be. He has an energy in his voice when he tries to explain the chart on our mirror that I never heard when he was nailing chair rail to the walls of apartments. How can I feel sorry for myself when he's finally doing what he's worked so hard to for?
The answer to that question is because self-pity is rooted in selfishness and so often it's easier to be selfish than gracious.
But the good is there, and when I watched Jake walk across the stage in his white coat on Saturday, I was filled with a sense of pride that I have not known until now. A pride that filled my eyes with tears and reassured me that this change in our lives is good even though it's hard.
I'm a firm believer that if I choose to look for the good, I'll find God's grace. And in God's grace is peace, encouragement, and joy.
How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping! I don't want to be a tragic hero. Instead I want to be a believer and receiver of God's goodness on a daily basis. It's there, and I choose to see it.
 Shakespeare, Hamlet
 Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing