The Waiting

It has been quite a week…

Friday morning I got an email with news that I have been waiting for for about 15-17 years.

Now, truth be told the first 6-8 years was me waiting to turn 18 so that I could actually graduate from high school, attend college, and then start this dream.  But I still count those years because I knew back then that this is what I was meant to do.

The next 5 years or so I spent working through the educational requirements necessary to get to this point.

But then I was ready and there were no jobs, and no one could give me a chance, and I couldn’t find a way to demonstrate that this is where I’m supposed to be.  I started to second guess myself.

I wondered how I could have been so wrong for so many years about my purpose in life.

I wondered how I could have completely misread every sign or direction indicating the path that God had for me.

I wondered why God had given me such a strong passion for this field if this wasn’t where I was supposed to be.

I prayed that if this wasn’t the course God had for me that he would make it obvious.  That he would take away my desire for this course.  That I would discover something else I was passionate about, that I was also good at.

When none of that came, I doubted myself.  I doubted my faith.  I doubted my belief in God.

What kind of God lets you pursue something passionately with seemingly great success until the final moment and then rips it all away from you, leaving you with no purpose?

Why wouldn’t God reveal a new purpose for my life and give me something to be passionate about when I begged for it?

I asked myself those questions a lot, and since I was unemployed and essentially homeless except for my parents generosity I had a lot of time to sit and ponder those questions.  I couldn’t find an answer.  And then my 16-year-old cousin died in a horrible horrible tragic accident.

I still feel myself go numb when I think about how he died.  My hands and forearms tingle and I can hear the blood rushing in my head and I can’t bring myself to think about it beyond that point.

My cousin was a phenomenal athlete, he was passionate about going into medicine, he was funny, he was kind, and everyone in the tiny town he lived in knew that he loved Jesus.

I wondered how in the world I could be alive when I clearly had been wrong about the purpose of my life for so long and I didn’t know where God wanted me.  I didn’t feel useful and my sweet cousin who was only 16 and loved Jesus and was a shining example was lying in the ground.

As I’ve moved forward from all of that I’ve found myself feeling ambivalent about God.  I’m scared to turn away, but I’m scared to trust and I’ve been in limbo for a long time.

I have been trying hard over the last year to reformulate goals for my life without the main one I have always had.  I realized that I have been a sort of one-dimensional person and that I planned to use that path to fulfill everything.  I’ve focused a lot on what kind of person I want to be if that door is never opened.

I think the hardest part for me has been that as I’ve formulated  a plan for how I will serve and who I will reach and what I will do, I haven’t been able to move past the desire for the path that I’ve always wanted.

I’ve prayed hard for God to take that desire from me.  If that’s not his will then he should just take that desire.

But he hasn’t, and I’ve continued to struggle over the last year with that voice in the back of my head that reminds me of another course.

In December a door opened for the path I have always wanted to pursue.  In January, when my supervisor died, I found myself torn between thinking that I should stay where I am and that I was forging ahead trying to force something to happen and wondering what Frank would have done differently if he had known he was going to die the day after his 53 birthday.

Even as I’ve waited, and submitted forms, and waited some more I have been praying that if this isn’t God’s plan that he would prepare me for that, and that he would take away this desire.

I cried on the phone with my mom because I wanted to be able to get the news that this door was closed forever and say “It is well with my soul.”  But I couldn’t.  I knew if I got the news that this door was closed, I was still after all this waiting going to be absolutely crushed.

Then on Friday while I ran on the elliptical I got the word.

The answer was yes.

I jumped off the elliptical and literally ran through the lobby of my building so that I could call Homie to tell him the news.  I was pacing in circles in my tank top and shorts in front of the building and it was much too cold for those clothes, but I didn’t notice.

I cried in the shower wondering how I can even begin to thank God when I had stopped believing that he had a plan for me.

I wondered throughout the day if I would get some word that actually there was some sort of error or problem and that I actually didn’t get this position.  And maybe the moral of the story wouldn’t end with after waiting and struggling to trust these last 3 years it all paid off, but that actually the story would be that after waiting and struggling I got a yes but then some mistake had been made and I actually got a no.  Maybe my story would be how I responded to that last bit of devastation.

I sound paranoid.  Clearly Doubting Thomas has nothin on me.

Those thoughts ran through my head though.

I think it has just started over the last day or two to sink in that this is for real.  This is happening.  This is the course I will take.

In 11 days it will all be completely official.  In 17 days I leave for almost four months of training.

The whole entire wait is almost over.

Monday Mantra

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Blue Skies Above Storm Clouds

Today’s Monday Mantra:

Focus On the Good

There is a lot going on right now.  One of the things up in the air is whether or not something I have wanted since I was about 10 years old will happen or not.

There have been enormous boulders to climb over on this path several times in the past few years.  I wish I could say I handled those times well, but I haven’t always.  The last major derailment in 2013 was almost more than I could handle.

This week isn’t my final chance, but truly is my second to last chance.  I will get an answer this week and if it’s no, then I will have one opportunity, one set of steps to appeal that decision and then the answer will be final.

I know I won’t receive an answer before the end of the day Tuesday, and maybe not until later in the week and I’m having a hard time not worrying or letting it consume my thoughts.

I want to be able to say that whatever the outcome I am content.  I really do.  I’m just having a hard time because as badly as I want to be able to say that, I’m not there.

For today, I just have to focus on the good.

 

Who Am I and What Am I Doing With This Blog?

(I wrote briefly about this a while ago)  I used to blog on another WordPress site.  I actually had what I would consider to be a pretty large number of followers considering I just wrote about the random everyday type of things that occurred.
But life became a series of extremely painful events.  Some of those events were mine and some weren’t.
Some of what I needed to get off my chest was too raw to share with people who knew me IRL.  Some of it was too personal.  Some of it brought me pain, but the events weren’t mine to share.  And so I couldn’t say any of it.
I couldn’t write.  Until I reached the point where I couldn’t not write either.
My solution was a new blog where no one knows my name.
I’ve been posting on this one sporadically for a little over two years now.
I don’t know what I write about.  I find myself torn because I want to be anonymous, I want to be able to write and work through the events of the past few years.  I also want to document what’s happening in my life and be able to be open and include pictures or references to things around me.
I’ll admit that I’m scared.  I’m scared that someone I know or work with will stumble across my blog and they’ll recognize my picture or something and then they will know things about me that I would never tell them.  That I would never trust them enough to say.    And then where would that leave me?
As I was trying to pick up the broken pieces of my life I realized that I had become a one-dimensional person.  I only had one goal for my life, and everything revolved around that single goal.  When that derailed it left me with nothing.  So I decided to make a list of characteristics that would describe the type of person I wanted to be.  Then I worked that list into a list of goals for 2015.  I had planned to write regularly about my progress on those goals.
But one goal drowned out the others, biking!  And now I’ve been writing a fair amount about biking.  I love it.  It’s the best.  It’s one of my favorite parts of my life hands down.  I want to be able to share pictures of my bikes, and myself with my bikes, and Homie and I biking, and places that I go.
I don’t know how that fits into the original purpose of this blog though.  I actually wanted to bike to help work through some of the same issues that prompted me to start this blog.  But now that the two have merged, I don’t know where I’m going with this.

On Going Projects

I haven’t blogged as much as I have wanted to recently.  I have lots of things I want to write about, but I find myself feeling like I can either write about them or actually do them.  For example, the goals I set for 2015, overall I have been doing a pretty good job I think.  But it’s August and I think I’ve only talked about one.

I jotted down a list the other day of all the projects that I am trying to put time into or wrap up and when I wrote it out I realized it is a lot of things to be working on.  Especially because in the summer I usually spend at least one if not both days of the weekend at the pool.

But as of now, here are the projects I am trying to work on right now.

Projects:

  • Outfitting my bike for commuting
  • Or possibly getting a bike to outfit for commuting
  • Reupholstering 4 chairs
  • Finishing my dresser
  • Repotting a number of plants
  • Cooking regularly
  • Eating as a pescatarian
  • Simplifying our belongings
  • Finding an end table that fits
  • Paying off my student loans
  • Finding my abs
  • Finding a bridesmaid dress
  • Composting
  • Transitioning to a new position at work
  • Organizing our house
  • Getting our pictures organized and in albums
  • Getting a dog
  • Finding a church
  • Reducing waste

WTF is “lifestyle change” supposed to mean anyway?

WTF is “lifestyle change” supposed to mean anyway?.

This post is almost a year old, but I just stumbled across it and it nicely sums up a lot of things I have been contemplating recently about life.

The best part is the “Defining Your Wellness Values Chart” and the steps to identify and prioritize goals.

I’m going to do the activity and I’ll see what I get.

Goal Setting

Not only have my career goals been an abysmal failure, but I have felt like I have no idea who I am without those goals.

It’s a crappy feeling to not only be failing miserably at finding a job, but to realize that without that job you have no idea who you are as a person.

I decided back in January to make goals for this year that were different from previous years.  Instead of the normal “work out X number of times this year” or “be able to run X number of miles in X minutes” I decided to approach it this way…

If I were to never get a job that I love that I am passionate about, what else would have to exist in my life for me to be happy?

What kind of person would I have to be outside of work for me to feel like I had purpose in my life and be satisfied?

When I meet people and wish I could be more like them, why?

What do I need to do to not feel like a failure?

 

 

Baby Steps

I have mentally composed a post about my goals for this year about 18 times, but have yet to actually sit down and write it. If I had, this post would make a lot more sense. But we’ll just take it one thing at a time.

I took three steps this weekend to accomplish big goals that I set for myself, and it feels awesome.

One goal was to go to things to learn. Whether that be a book discussion, a class, a lecture, a museum exhibit, whatever just go. I never want to stop learning. A few weeks ago I signed up for a one night painting class and I went. It was pretty awesome. I would have told you that never in a million years could I paint anything recognizable. And my painting isn’t great and I can think of at least 12 tweaks I would like to make, but I did it. I did something outside of my comfort zone to learn something new.

Another goal for this year is to be brave. I used to be so brave. I used to be such a bad ass. I was never afraid. And then I started getting kicked in the face by life, and those events have left me worried and nervous. What if something happens? What if I get hurt? What if after everything I went through something happens and my dreams really are destroyed? And so I hesitate and move cautiously. But that’s not who I want to be.

Riding my bike in the street (as opposed to the sidewalk, a bike path, or a designated bike lane) symbolizes not being afraid to me. So today I ordered lights for my bike so that I can stop agonizing over if I’m visible enough and using that as an excuse not to ride. Fuck it. I’m riding my bike in the street. Just as soon as I get my lights installed.

The last thing, and this is probably the biggest – my goal for this year is not to be mean to myself.  I punish myself all the time in a million different ways for not being good enough. One of the smaller ways, is that I don’t let myself buy something I really want if it’s not the cheapest option. It’s really silly when I say it out loud. I’ve never let myself buy mascara more expensive than Cover Girl or Maybelline. I don’t know why. It just seems too extravagant, like I’m not pretty enough or skilled enough at applying makeup to spend the money on expensive stuff.  I really wanted Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, I couldn’t bring myself to buy it so I put it on my birthday list. But I didn’t tell anyone that I had a birthday list. Because it seemed like too much to tell people when they asked that I had some things that I wanted, but they were nice good quality things that I haven’t been able to bring myself to purchase.

So I put mascara on my birthday list, and didn’t tell anyone. Shockingly enough, I didn’t get  mascara for my birthday. And that was fine by me, because if I had gotten it I wouldn’t have been able to bring myself to use it. I needed eyeliner so I went to the store and while I was there I bought myself Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. It took me a little more than 6 months to bring myself to buy it but I did it.

It feels good to be able to look at what I did this weekend and see three little things that are really steps to my larger goals for being the person that I want to be. I’m just taking baby steps.