Thinking out loud while "changing my thinking"

in Him


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Change… the inevitable

Throughout the course of my 3 decades plus of life, I have come to a few conclusions.

Conclusion #1 – “Home” is a fleeting concept.

Yes, I have heard the statement, home is where the heart is… or at least where your family is… but what if your heart longs for something that is not present in a specific location and/or within the connectedness of a group of people?

A few years ago, I felt Gainesville was my home. I was familiar with it… I had people there I considered family…friendships…and some sense of belonging…BUT that drastically changed over the last few years that I resided there. Many connections dissolved while others got ignited. The sense of being a part of something… or maybe it was the sense of feeling relevant faded. I found myself pretty isolated and more so in a routine of social excursions, role playing, mundane lab work (thank God that is over)… all of which was becoming less stimulating over time. The pockets of adventure i marinated in, lay in self-created spontaneity and in the ways God included me in what He was up to.  I found these adventures were what kept me going in the midst of my sorting through the fact that my “home” was once again dissipating.

Conclusion #2 – Children have it made.

Lately, I have found myself looking at kids and just admiring the time of innocence they get to bask in unknowingly. Though circumstances can vary drastically… in general, most of the kids I see around are in a safety net. They are nurtured and cared for by a parent or parents or group of family members. They imagine a world that is fed to them through story books, cartoons, etc… they are content in just being able to run with the wind and collapse into a pile of snow (which would typically be dirt)… and they recover quickly from the little disappointments they experience, like not being able to get another piece of cake.

It is simple in those early years of life. Rarely are they clothed in insecurity, thoughts, or states of confusion…not being sure who they are or what’s expected of them…they don’t need little ego boosts nor some self-fulfilling satisfaction in “feeling like” they have reached some new level of confidence…

They are just free and curious…and naturally growing.

Conclusion #3 – Accepting change is hard.

Considering how much change I have lived through… this conclusion for me is a little more of a shocker. But accepting change is hard. Even yesterday as I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed, I could not help but think, wow… I was once really close to that person… we stood in a parking lot praying that she would have no more miscarriages and for her unborn children that we hoped for…and now she has them… OR in another case, we shared some really intimate moments of vulnerability. So many relationships that at one time were regular hangouts… and invitations to events… which are now distant and cold. And though I have always been okay with the evolution of relationships… there have always been the few that I thought would remain.

But that is not reality. Even now, some have slipped into their own unique state of “where is this going?”

Aside from relationally, I find myself also still adjusting to living in a new city. Ironically, I was truly relieved to return “home” after the wedding and fun honeymoon period. Having left for so many weeks, I was glad to be back in my territory. But till this day, I am yet to know where I can get my hair done or a once in a blue moon pedicure…i do not have a “trusted” mechanic…not sure where to get certain necessities…have not discovered the hidden treasures nor the hot spots…basically not feeling like I have fully acclimated to the city I live in. And with my job consuming so much of my time, I find myself more in a state of wanting to rest versus my normal, uncontainable desire to explore.

Conclusion #4 – Learning should be embraced.

As much as I complain about how much I have to study and prepare for lectures… and feel the stress of the “imposter syndrome” etc…I find that I actually enjoy learning. The biggest challenge I face is the sense of performing that I am plagued with every single day. The pressure… the anticipation… the unknown detours that come in the form of well thought out questions and challenges to what is being taught… they are all quite overwhelming…with few hits and many misses BUT… they certainly keep me on my toes and force me to engage more with the material… to think and question. The real frustration is in not always being able to find the answer and not having a safe, professional resource to turn to. Other than that, I feel stimulated in the moments that I am learning.

This same stimulation comes in recognizing growth spurts and “fatal flaws”… though the latter takes a moment to accept. As I watch myself take on various types of dynamics in my student-teacher vs mentor-mentee relationships, familial relationships, etc… there seems to be a constant state of transition that I am certainly an observer in. Yet I am learning more about myself, and others along the way.

I think at the end of it all, I am thankful that God has been with me every step of the way… He has never left my side… through heartaches, loneliness and sweeping fits of joy…. No matter the situation…my reassurance has rested in the fact that I know He is faithful, He is consistent, He is present and He brought me to this point… even though I trod along unsure of what this may evolve into.

Many things are being redefined at this point…there is part of me that is anxious about the inevitable changes but there is a part of me that anticipates the shift and hopes.

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Quick fix

 

In the past, I used to spend a lot of my time dwelling in pits of loneliness…deep, painful, dark and cold pits of loneliness. Basically intolerable. Points where I would utterly question my entire existence on this planet we call earth… and would have relief in the idea of being gone…dead…

I would imagine if then, my life would suddenly matter to those around me…like I was having an outer body experience picturing the scenery as certain friends, colleagues, associates, etc would be in shock at my suddenly being plucked from their lives…from this world. I thought of those who might even shed tears when they learned of my passing… and I literally felt more loved in those made up scenes in my head than I did in the state I was in.

I imagined the regret of people who did not take the time to care for my soul.. the people who took me for granted… the one’s who could not see me and truly know the depths of my pain.

Sounds pretty dark… but this description only expresses the surface of what was my reality.

I chose various methods of escape, whether it was sexual, food, people, entertainment, alcohol, etc… all the standard things that are used to give me a purpose in that moment…a promise to elevate me out of that darkness.

Despite knowing time and time again that the quick fixes would leave me dissatisfied at the end… unfulfilled… and plunge me deeper into nothingness…I found myself addicted to the idea .. addicted to that moment of having a purpose and acting on it.

Today, I can say, a lot of those addictions are gone… some by choice, some not so much… while others are a work in progress… but has my battle with loneliness ended? or have I found more acceptable “quick fixes”? Or am I coping with loneliness in more wholesome ways?

One thing I can definitely say, is though I am alone…and have been alone for a long time now (even in the midst of relationships)… today I realized that I am not actually lonely. I miss having close, intimate relations in the form of truly sharing myself with someone… my thoughts, feelings, weaknesses and strengths, etc… i miss learning through the reflection of my character those relations offer… but i am not in pain.. there is actually a peace about where I am now… though I am alone..

and though a big part of me wants people who I care about or miss or love or whatever…to reach out… to speak to me… to tell me every once in a while that they are there for me etc.. I’m actually okay with where I am right now…

To answer the questions I posed earlier… I do not think my battle with loneliness has ended…i think its dormant… I think I am in the “cease-fire” of it all… Do I have more “acceptable” quick fixes? Maybe.. possibly, blogging is one of them for me…its a way to share what I think and feel without fighting for someones undivided attention and wondering if I am boring them to death or sounding too self-absorbed or whatever else… And yes, I am coping in more wholesome ways… when isolation does not seem like what I need in the moment… I extend myself beyond my boundaries and connect healthily to others.. or I just spend it with Him.

But I do believe the more I connect with Him, the more I make choices to be in good relationships, and resist all temptation of my mind to think on lies… the more I will experience transformation from the inside out… the more I will experience freedom and truly be content.

No relationship, no status, no popularity, no illusion of love, no knowledge about, no substance/material… will ever fill those pits. I’ve tried it all. My hope rests in Him.

http://www.footprints-inthe-sand.com/index.php?page=Poem/Poem.php