Thinking out loud while "changing my thinking"

in Him


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Time

(Exhale)… For the first time in several months, as the chaos dissipates… I hear silence.

I have missed moments like these… moments where I can hear the birds chirping, watch the deep green leaves rustle in the wind, and hear insects crash into my glass patio door – though today one ended up in a gecko’s mouth.

 I have longed for this stillness for so long, it seems surreal. 

This morning, I am reflecting on where I am today with a level of gratitude…yet, I can’t help but ask myself, “What just happened?”

It’s like I was swimming blind folded underwater for months and now I have come up to take some air, and find myself facing a completely new land… and I am wondering is this where I belong? Is this real? How did I get here? Am I happy? Or better yet, content?

Years ago, the process of “sitting – planning – expecting” stopped. I learned to accept the patterns and cycles I found myself trapped in, though I always put up a fight or attempted to resist. I gave up on chasing some “idea” of what my life should look like. I made peace with where I was, and made the most of it.

During this period, I also found some level of satisfaction in being confident in whom I was, and more free to walk to the beat of my own drum. While others anxiously desired the model happy life of success, companionship, or whatever else… I learned to just watch and evaluate myself along the way.

Some might think this meant I was protecting myself from feeling disappointment, or that I had lost hope… but really I had just learned to separate myself from the limitations of time.

Time is the ultimate source of pressure for most of us. There is a sense of failure when we think of what little we have accomplished or experienced at a certain point in time. There is a sense of fear that our “dreams” will never be fulfilled within this lifetime. But at the end of it all, who says your life has to fall on the same scale as everyone else? Who instilled that scale… and why is it the standard?

Don’t get me wrong, taking double the amount of time I expected, to complete my graduate studies may never be something I look back on with pride and happiness… however, EVERYTHING was worked for my good (Rom 8.28)… and boy did I go out with a bang! 

I have officially attained my doctorate in chemistry and it still has not sunk in… who knew there would be no climax even after attending graduation. I have secured a job that I am extremely excited about and can’t wait to give my undivided attention to…and in one sweep, I have gotten engaged to a man that could not be a better complement to me… a man that I consider my friend and family… a man who’s presence has given me a sense of home.  Yet I am still asking myself, “What just happened?”

In my next post, I plan on slowly addressing some of these questions as I reflect on the happenings of my life these past few months … but what I am really grateful for, in this moment, may have been missed.

It’s like I was swimming blind folded underwater for months and now I have come up to take some air… 

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Good laughs, good eats, good happenings = Good trip (Raleigh, NC)

The journey north was long but overall, FUN. Not only did my group (lab mates) get to truly just be in each others company for a change…which is a nice deviation from the standard meetings, etc… I think we actually enjoyed each other… I can definitely speak for myself, that I enjoyed them. Each person had a different flavour… each person was key in playing off/feeding into another…and there were some little one on one moments that I will definitely cherish. I thrive on such times when we can just connect, as people, on a different level.

I love my group/my co-workers. Oh and the singalongs.. who would have thought these serious faced scientists had it in them to get goofy and “serenade” a restaurant.

I also had the opportunity to re-connect with old friends… man I love those guys.. had no clue her brother was even back in the country.

But in reality, we went to Raleigh for the SEMRC conference.. but can you tell that was not the highlight of my trip?

On a different note, so many little things happened at this conference that truly just left me encouraged.

First I got a letter that turned down my application for a travel award,… then the recant saying that the first letter was a mistake. This is after I had already started talking to God about me accepting my app being turned down. Then I saw the professor who essentially marked the beginning of my graduate career completely changing course… like literally, this is the man I went to GA tech to work for… and yea… long story short, decided he did not want to keep me due to limited funding, etc. And from that point, I have gone through 2 other advisors (rough experiences)…I also ran into my favourite graduate advisor from GAtech.. and we had the opportunity to catch up.. he is still so adorable and forever looks like a baby…. I don’t understand it. And then the talk…despite being completely unprepared… having to present other people’s research… and totally insecure about that. Once again, the peace that surpasses all understanding hit like a wave.. and the comment I got was that I was “smooth”… lol. go figure.

I could not help but think after all these things of one word… restoration.

Not sure why, but that word popped in my head many times… cause all I could think of was how I saw flashes of my past… and could stand. I remembered how a long time ago… one of the two advisors I have gone through since that first one…told me I had something special.. the way I commanded the room while delivering my original proposal (my very own, original idea… i forgot I actually created a project back then)… to my committee at GAtech.. and I remembered how worthless I felt when I stood at UF a failure… low… told I could never get a doctorate…. and I saw myself now, inspired… working hard (though that’s  definitely draining at times)… with a boss who seems moody, that I rarely see yet supports me in true faith of my potential… and another boss who thinks I can master anything… overcome any challenge (I tend to go down kicking and screaming but eventually allow God to make up for where I lack)…

So many memories flew through my mind.. its like I came full circle.. I was so confident before… it all got torn down… and slowly but surely…I am being rebuilt.. but on the right foundation this time… one that is sturdy… one that will last regardless of the stamp of approval.

This was a good trip… and I have a lot to think about.. a lot to be thankful for. Cause even though I see areas in my life that are lacking and need repair… man… nothing can take away from what is.