I know something isn’t right when I get mad at drivers who don’t use their blinkers before moving into my lane on the freeway.
When I get mad at something like this, it’s a glaring warning signal that I’m not paying attention to something going on deeper within myself (because come on, there are so many more important things to be angry about in this beautiful, broken world).
When I feel that surge of anger at the driver who dared to get in front of me without so much as a warning blink, I’m aware of how ridiculous I’m being, and I pretty much force myself to take an emotional/mental/spiritual inventory to look for underlying issues that are making me grasp for control in other ridiculous ways in my life.
This time around, the procedure isn’t that invasive. It’s glaringly obvious: I’m feeling unsure of my place in the world right now.
The (well meaning, I think) comments of, “Oh your best friend is getting married, this person is moving there, that person is doing this one thing….and what are you doing?????” bring up the pretty familiar feelings of lost-ness and the kind of unfamiliar feeling of envy.
I have become increasingly aware of comparison in this season of my life AND IT IS SO FRUSTRATING and annoying and ugly!!! Envy/comparison is something that I honestly did not think I struggled with much before. I’ve been pretty used to just doing my own thing over here to the side while everyone else does whatever over there.
But now more than ever before, it’s very tempting to look over at someone else and think—they are being so much more effective. They are doing the more important things. They are traveling to all of the places I want to go. They keep getting opportunities I would die to have…
…While over here, it seems like I’m growing increasingly more aware of all of these things that I’m passionate about, while becoming increasingly more rooted in things in my life that don’t involve me in many of those things that I’m passionate about…
While the solution to that dilemma seems pretty simple, the crazier thing is I don’t feel the need to uproot (hence the angst and the need to control my lane on the 405).
Side note: I don’t think that just because I don’t have this specific revelation from the Lord to pack my bags and move or quite my job and do something else, that I shouldn’t do it. I’m also extremely aware that my discernment could be off. But right now-as confusing, frustrating and annoying as it sounds, I think I actually am where I need to be (why is a whole other ridiculous process I’ll save you from…for now).
People (very lovingly) give me all kinds of advice (thank you everyone, really—I’m not being sarcastic—because that continually challenges me and makes me think and know that I am actively choosing), but I’m continually trying to learn the importance of seeking and sensing the voice of the Lord above all others (even when that doesn’t make sense to the people around me…or even to me sometimes!).
I find myself consistently in the process of learning to manage the tensions. When to hold tightly or loosely, and to what. Which battle to fight at which moment, and when to
It’s actually exhausting, honestly. Nobody really told me how exhausting it is to feel deeply. But in comparison to the shell of a human being that was pre-college, un-emotional me, I don’t think it’s worth going back.
I just took you on a roller coaster that is my process.
I hope all of these pieces I just mentioned fit together to make up a picture of what my life looks like right now.
What I think I’m really getting to here, is that I’m growing more and more aware of things about myself that feel ugly and uncomfortable. I want to hide them and ignore them, but they leak out anyway, dripping onto my every day life and on the people with whom I interact. And sometimes I feel removed from myself, hearing what I just said or re-playing that thought process I just had, or the way I just interacted with that person, and I want to give up and run away because that is a lot easier than apologizing or admitting that I’m wrong or dealing with the consequences, or feeling okay with the fact that the people I’m around, the people I care about, the people I look up to
If I can’t control people who are not using their blinker, I can control how vulnerable I am in my weakness. At least I try really hard.
My anger at something ridiculous like people not using their blinkers and envy of the people who are doing things that I would love to do and my inability to hide my weakness from the people around me and the exhaustion of feeling things deeply and being unsure of my place in the world in light of the things that I’m passionate about do not
to make this pretty puzzle-picture like those Thomas Kincade holiday scenes or stunning waterfalls in nature.
Instead, it’s a lot more like a Picasso piece where that one part belongs over there but it’s actually over here and the lines don’t connect and the corners aren’t lined up. And I don’t even like his art.
I had some idea of where I wanted to go with everything I’m saying here, but what I’m realizing lately is that I love to talk about the idea of vulnerability, but when I let people who are in my life (not just that person I’ll probably never see again) into my actual weakness (not the processed pain that I can properly explain), or they happen upon it accidentally, or its just sitting out there in the open—I want to rewind time and undo it, or pack my bags and move on to the next place, to erase all of those lines that don’t fit and put all of the pieces together the “right” way so everything just
A couple weeks ago at work, I was talking to Scott about one of my many issues and he told me something about the process of growing that I have already repeated in at least 5 separate conversations…
You can’t always see how to get from A to Z, but you can probably figure out how to get from A to B.
Right now, I think I made it from A to A.5, but hey—I’m moving in the right direction.