The proctor at the front of this huge room speaks into a microphone. "Thank you for your patience. I know you've waited a long time to be re-born. Please prayerfully consider what blessings you wish to receive during your next life.
"Remember that you have Infinity to obtain all the blessings necessary to graduate -- there is no need to overburden yourself during this next one. There is no shame in erasing a few checkmarks, or even an entire page of them.
"Raise your hand once you've completed your form, and someone will come to you to collect it."
I hurried through, checking off boxes, flipping through pages. I raised my hand and was the first one finished.
The proctor looked through my application and shook her head. "Seriously now, you do not have to complete your journey during this next dispensation, Ginger. I realize you are a strong advanced soul, but honey --"
I cut her off. "I know I can do it! I'm ready! I want to get it out of the way so I can move on; I can't wait any longer to advance."
She smiled; she'd heard these same words from others before me.
"Okay, then. It is not going to be easy. You will want to quit -- many, many times. Do you promise to do your best not to give up no matter how hard it becomes --- because, love, it's going to seem impossible at times. So dark, so lonely. You have lived before; you know how hard those lives were. They will seem like a piece of cake compared to the one you're signing up for."
I signed my name on the dotted line. She stamped my form.
* * *
It has been so hard, so damned difficult, this life of mine. I can't tell you the times I've toyed with and even dwelled on bringing it to a close. But my friends are so wonderful, so encouraging, so full of love. They step in just when I don't think I can go another step, and either carry me a ways or support my walk.
Thank you, everyone. It's not profound, but those three words say it all.