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.

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The Logical Song

I’m not going to lie, I’m obsessed with this song right now.  I completely forgot about it until I saw the commercial for the printer about the girl who grows up and changes and realizes it while watching her daughter.

In particular, these lines resonate with me:

But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible    Logical, responsible, practical.

And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable.

Clinical, intellectual, cynical

I feel like what I have gone through the last couple of years can be perfectly summed up in those lines.  I often find myself feeling cynical and jaded in my view of things.

I used to believe that if you followed the right path and you worked your hardest and put your best effort in, that you would make it to where you wanted to be.

The realization that sometimes, your best isn’t good enough to get you where you want to be even if you’ve done everything “right” was one of the most devastating lessons I’ve ever had to learn.

Identity Crisis

The last two years have been a bit of an identity crisis for me.  I spent the latter half of 2013 drowning in failure.  Then the first half of 2014 afraid to hope, certain that everything that seemed to be improving was going to fall out from under me.

It was only as 2014 came to a close that I was able to look back at the last year and a half critically and identify why some specific failures were so devastating.  Why not getting hired for the position I wanted completely derailed my confidence and made me feel like a total and utter failure.

Long story short, I realized that I have wrapped my identity up in my career.  Everything about me, my goals, my purposes in life has been tied to one thing.

When that one thing began to crumble and seemed to be slipping from my grasp it made me wonder who I am.

What is my purpose?

What the heck am I doing?

Where am I going?

What am I good at?

How do I move forward?

Who am I if not this person I have been working to be for 15 years now?

 

Fear & Failure

The whole first week after we moved in I couldn’t even enjoy being in our new place because I had this feeling of horror that we were going to have to give it up. I don’t know why, I did the budget over and over. I just had this feeling of sheer panic that we were going to need to immediately move out and just hope that they let us out of the lease. I didn’t want to unpack because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get everything out in time.

I was mentally composing the email to our friends asking them if they could come back and help us reload everything.
I know that sounds weird. I think because after 9 months of hoping for things to happen and then something going wrong each and every time I was just afraid to hope. It did not seem possible that something good could actually be happening and the details working out.

That fear combined with a little bit truckload of disappointment in myself for not meeting my goals made it hard to enjoy the change.

When I was about ten years old I decided that I would buy a house by the time I was 25. Despite everything, I still think that was a fairly reasonable goal. And all through grad school I had it in my head that I would graduate April 2013, start my new job either May or June 2013, sign a lease, start cranking away at my student loans, and begin stashing for a down payment.

Homie and I even talked about a plan to earn an extra $7,000 or so. I would move to my new job, he would move in with my grandparents, we would give up our apartment and he would stay an extra 3-4 months at his job so that we could maximize our income. If he got a new job at the same time or in that range he would accept it, but we knew we could handle being apart for 3-4 months.

Based on that plan we would sign a lease in May or June 2013, stash money away, and I figured by March 2013 start looking to buy. That way we would have time to do research, interview some real estate agents, and take a look at the areas we were considering. And then we could purchase anytime between May and September and life would be glorious.

Instead, we were apart for 4 months with a decrease in our income, I was offered a position starting in October, and Homie took a huge ass pay cut to move here with me. We then didn’t manage to sign a lease until March 2014.

And that means I failed. I will turn 26 in October of 2014 and I’m locked in a lease until March 2015. I’ve worked for 15 years to meet my goal. And even though signing a lease and having a place to live again is fantastic and awesome and I sound like a brat, there was still a big part of me mourning the fact that I failed to meet my goal.
I feel like all I’ve done is fail.

Where Is Here?

Here is:

In my parents basement

Legally homeless

Living without all of my belongings except my clothes, everything else in a storage unit

Working a job that I could have gotten straight out of high school

Unable to find a single place to live because I don’t make the minimum income requirement

Unable to get a job in the field I intended to work in, despite having about 10 promising leads back in July

Stuck.

The No

I’ve known for as long as I can remember what I wanted to do with my life.

When I played Barbie’s or house with my sisters, I played this.

I worked hard to set myself up for the opportunity for a career in this field.

And yet somehow, at the culmination of it all, when all of that hard work is supposed to be paying off I can’t get anywhere.

Literally no where. And on paper I have done every.single.thing.right.  Jobs that I seemed to have in the bag have suddenly not been options.

As in, I go through the application process, I go through the interview process, I am praised for how perfect I am for this position, and I am told they definitely are going to initiate all the hiring paperwork. And then silence. For one reason or another something happens and I don’t hear anything, and then finally after weeks and weeks of waiting and wondering I’m told they are so sorry they just can’t hire at this time.

What the heck?

If it happened once I could understand. Even two or three times I would chalk up to the rough economy. But no less than six times makes me wonder what the eff is going on.

I seriously do not understand.