It’s been hard to write lately. Usually when I put up a blog post I either want it to be an update on my life, or at least something positive that I’m learning. Updates on my life, as of late, would be too personal and would probably paint a negative picture of people, which I want to avoid. The events in the past few months have left me feeling more disrespected and betrayed than I ever have before in my life, and pretty much have driven a wedge and strain through almost every friendship that I have. I’m still working through those things, and have yet to land on an overall “this is what I’m learning and working through” type of message from that. I don’t doubt that I will, but that level of hurt will probably take a while for me to really be able to write about from an objective, non accusatory point of view. Aside from that it feels like pretty much everything inside me is in a whirl wind of angst.
The novelty of California is wearing off. While I’m still marveled every day when I am driving and look up and see the breath taking mountains and sunsets, I’m missing home more and more. I knew fall would be hard as I got to follow my friends going to football games, mountain weekends, and all the usual beginning of fall activities without me via Instagram. I have a love hate relationship with technology right now. I love the fact that I can text, snap chat, g-chat, and pretty much stay in constant contact with my friends. It kind of feels like my closest friends are an extension of my being, and are connected through a ceaseless flow of thoughts via the aforementioned channels of communication. But I hate that through Facebook and Instagram I get constant reminders of everything I’m missing out on. I’ve taken a few social media hiatuses but never really follow through because aside from connection to the outside world, Instagram is pretty creative and pleasing to me as far as following food and fashion bloggers that, sometimes, I just want to look at pretty things and then my hiatus is over. I miss my family. And walking through one of the most emotionally hard periods I’ve ever had, all I want to be able to do is go get a bottle of wine and cuddle and cry with my best friends whenever I need to. I’ve gone as far as thinking about quitting my job and moving home to figure out what I want to do next. I’ve never really allowed myself to fall back on my family, and that option is still shining at the forefront of things I want to do. Packing it all up and running home to let my momma take care of me, feed me, and love me for a few months sounds like a really really great option. My family has definitely had some woes before, and is in the most stable place that it’s been since I was a kid. Part of me thinks that going home and falling back on them would be really healing from some years that I felt like I couldn’t trust my family and that I had to look out for myself.
I don’t know if I’m supposed to rest here, continue with my job, continue in California, or if I should follow my heart back to my family and my friends. California is expensive. The cost of living is outrageous. And it’s 2800 miles from every person I’ve ever loved. I am pretty certain I don’t want to build my life that far away. I want my kids to grow up in Southern culture. I want to walk through life with my friends. I want to be able to drive home when I had a bad week. I want my future kids to actually be able to spend weekends at grandma’s house. So how does it make sense for me to stay so far away? At the same time, it’s still such an alluring place and is hard for me to imagine leaving. I love the outdoors, and there isn’t a more beautiful option anywhere on the East Coast.
I’m frozen and polarized from making a decision. If I start applying for jobs, where do I look? Charleston, Nashville? Should I go back to school? Should I try to teach? Should I go back to Atlanta and pick up my life where I left off? My greatest desire right now is to go to seminary, but putting myself in more student loan debt isn’t an option. I want to do something that makes me happy to wake up every day and that I look at and see as purposeful. I can’t stand toiling away at something that I think of as trivial. I’m just not motivated by money. My desire is to learn and know the word of God backward and forward. The cultural and historical context, the alternative and in depth meaning of every word. Aside from seminary, everything I want is really simple. I want to be a staple in my community. I want to be there for my friends and family. I want to serve people and love people. I just want a life that I’m content with. Right now I feel like I’m constantly chasing my tail, never finding the niche of where I’m supposed to fit. It feels like the life I’m supposed to live exists in an alternate universe and I’ve somehow gotten lost along the way, and just keep walking up the wrong alley. I look at some of my friends lives, and wonder how everything fell into place so easily and simply for them, and so differently for me. If I made alternative decisions, would things have been that easy for me too? Was there a plan that I missed somewhere along the way, or is this still Plan A? Did I mess something up?
My desires and circumstances are not aligning, and I literally don’t know what to do next. I don’t know what’s right for me. Everything I want seems out of reach. I feel over praying about it. My faith is fragile and small. I know that when you can’t see a solution is when you should really press in and be asking and expecting, but it’s really hard to do that when I honestly feel like the past several years of my life have been me sitting in anticipation of a solution that never comes. I don’t even trust myself to make a decision about my future at such an emotional, aching-for-home point in my life. I’m afraid to move home because being alone with my family in Clarksville, TN sounds like a really great recipe for me to go entirely stir crazy. I don’t feel like I can stay because I feel so much discontentment. I just want the answers to find me, rather than me searching them out, but it feels like they never do. If I don’t do anything or make a decision on what I want my next move to be, it makes me feel stuck. I don’t know if this is a situation where I’m in a an emotional phase and I should suck it up and just machete my way through and establish myself here.
I started this blog with the intention of it being honest and real and raw and sharing what I’m learning, so I’m taking this time to be that. I don’t have a happy solution for what I feel. I don’t have a few bible verses to tie together to convey “lesson learned” or “learning lesson”. It’s hard to pray because I don’t know what to ask for, and I feel broken and insignificant. I feel like my desires are the flea on God’s back and I just need to let go of everything that I imagined or thought or loved, and blaze a new trail, and accept what He’s given me because who am I to argue, and I’m powerless anyway. I’m afraid of my doubt, and my small faith, remembering times throughout the Bible where people were denied blessings because they didn’t have belief enough to obtain them. Moses never entered his promised land because of an ounce of doubt. After decades of unflinching obedience, he was denied the promised land because of his lack of faith. What if that’s me?
On the other hand, Lazarus was raised from the dead when no one expected or believed that that could ever happen. A man’s daughter was healed from sickness even as he was confessing his non belief. I’m hoping in the mercy of God that His blessing isn’t dependent on me or my ability to believe anything and that He’ll just open up some clouds and push me in the right direction, and heal everything that I feel is broken.
I would feel very much like a negative Nancy if I wrote an entire post without one uplifting thing in it, so I will just add this verse that is bringing me a little bit of comfort as I literally have no idea what my next step should be, or how to evaluate anything that has lead me to this point. I feel surrounded by things that are unfair, and unjust and make zero sense. I’ve felt attacked on every side lately, so this one is hitting home.
“O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless against this great multitude which is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
2 Chronicles 20:12
I seriously can’t wait to be middle aged. They have it all figured out, right?