Happy or Content?

In what is a weird twist of events, the last few weeks, outside of being utterly bummed by the state of the world, in my own tiny world – I have been happy, content – things have been good. If feels weird. It feels weird to say it feels weird. Haha.

The thing is, I had a plan for what I expected to happen next. I dreamed about what would come next. I had high hopes. And now that I’m here, I’m not sure God wants me moving on. How’s that for a kick in the pants? I literally have no idea about what comes next. Because things in my life so drastically veered off course in 2019, I don’t even know how to figure it out. At 45, this is not where I planned to be. I can’t seem to breakthrough to what I want to be doing, in spite of my experience.

I wanted to move away from this city I live in – it contains unhappy memories. I wanted a change of scenery, a new job, more opportunities to find the life I’ve been trying to chase down for a while. But here I am. Entirely uncertain about whether I’m even supposed to leave now.

I’m not exactly bothered by it. Which also, you guessed it, feels weird. With my two weeks of vacation ahead, I hope that in the rest and and time away from work, I can make sense of what this time in my life is supposed to be. Especially if it’s not what I’d been hoping for, for so long.

There is a line of thought in Christian circles, that obstacles indicate “closed doors.” That can be the case. But there are, without a doubt, times in our lives when obstacles aren’t meant to turn us away. They’re meant to be climbed over. If it’s a closed door, sometimes you just gotta open it again. Or maybe kick it in. Since when does favorable circumstances indicate that something is God’s plan or will?

He’s not exactly known for clearing the path for the average saint. Sure, he parted the Red Sea. But then, when his own people were being total douches, he was like, “Okay, dudes – you want to do it your way, enjoy wandering in the desert for 40 years.” But, even when they knew they were in a location He’d told them to go to, obstacles were found in their path.

And often, His words to them about how they solved their little problems and removed their obstacles, made zero sense on the surface of it all. So no, I don’t think “closed doors” are rock solid evidence you’re on the wrong path.

In my uncertainty, I see where there is an opportunity to trust deeper and to respond with faith, when it seems like there’s not much to work with. So in this space of being content with the unknown & happy about the end of stressful times, I’m just going to work on trust and pray until I don’t have words left.

The Trouble With Wanting

“And if you never come back
If you never call
I say I’ll understand when I don’t at all

‘Cause the trouble with wanting is I want you
The trouble with wanting is I want you
The trouble with wanting is I want you
And I want you all the time”
– Joy Williams

I don’t understand. I don’t think I ever will. But I’m certain, somewhere in the quiet places, I’ll always miss you. Around dark corners, when the busy days grow quiet – I will wonder. I will think of you.

These days, when the day fades, in the quiet of these humid summer evenings, I wish to understand. But the artist in me knows that the beauty in life, is often found in the grey. In the hazy spaces, where things don’t make sense, is where life grows deeply vibrant. Pain turns to growth. We find truth, art, beauty. It’s sometimes buried deep – but by God – it’s there.

My greatest joy has always been born from pain.

I am not sure I’ll ever understand. But I’ve certainly learned, in a way that makes me a better version of me, from what I’ve lost or don’t understand. And you, the man I’d burn it all down for, are no different.

“There are more questions than answers. In the beauty of this wild thing, I long for you. What is and will not be follows me around like a coastal fog. Through the haze I see you. I don’t hold it against you – you can’t tame wild things.

I live here in this tension, with what will not be, settling into the cold, wild – alone.”

I don’t hold it against you.

But, I think somewhere in my heart, I will always miss you.

Don’t Should On Yourself

I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve wanted to – but it hasn’t been there. The words are jumbled in my head. I couldn’t quite get them to flow to my fingertips. There have been some tough things going on. If I didn’t work where I work, I might share. Maybe they’ll appear in a book someday (people who have been mean to me should watch out – haha). I haven’t been able to work on the novels, either. Last weekend, I got a stack of books at the library on our local military installation. I came home and read non-stop (except to sleep) the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday. It was glorious. I read more this week than I have in ages (after work). I come home and climb into bed to read. The TV hasn’t been on much. It has been restful in that sense.

The energy to work on the novels has been missing. The inspiration feels a little lost in the challenges of the day to day. In other news, my muse is being a real $%&* and doesn’t feel like coming out to play. But one thing I’ve learned lately is to accept what is in the moment. There’s so much freedom in that. I don’t feel much desire to coax it out of me. I’m dealing with a bunch of stuff I’d rather not. Why beat myself up if I don’t feel it right now?

That said, I’m making an attempt this evening, whilst making a cake and potato salad (haha), to do a little reading in my manuscript, with the hopes I can get the juices flowing again. But I will say that if it doesn’t happen, I’m not putting many “shoulds” on me going forward.

So I guess that’s what this little post is about – don’t should on yourself. There’s so much pressure around us to be and do things that others think we should do and be. We do it to ourselves, too. I can’t do that anymore. The pressure I’ve placed on myself is not pressure that needed to be placed on me.

So tonight, if I end up climbing in bed to read more of Beach Music, that’s the way it goes. A lot has happened. I don’t know what the future holds. I mean, I know what I want. What will actually be? No clue. I have carried more than I needed to. I’m certain others can relate. So I’m sharing here to encourage you to do the same – don’t should on yourself.

As for the song, I’m all over the place right now – uncertain about the future, missing what’s missing, and a little confused. But I have a high hope. Things don’t make sense now. But I’m certain they will. So while I’m waiting for the picture to be more clear, I’ll keep hoping and praying for what I’ve waited for, for so long.

“Know you’re coming from a bad place
Honey, I was there just yesterday
So I know the time it’s gonna take
For you to feel like you again

Wonder if you’re seeing colours yet
And if your spirit needs a tourniquet
‘Cause if it does I can hold you tight enough
Help you forget ’em for a minute, love
I know you got a heart of gold
You wear it like an olden rose

I’ve got a high, high, high, high hope
We can climb this burning rope
And I’ll be here if you need me
If you don’t, just know
I’ve got a high, high, high, high hope”