Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
– Helen Keller
I start a new job in Virginia, tomorrow. As of this moment, I still don’t have a place to live. I can’t keep paying for a hotel and moving expenses, so I have to have a place to live by Friday, or things get a little sticky. The primary challenge in making a move like this is that I was in California (when my dad was in the hospital, passed away, and then again for the funeral) for 18 of the days I could have been working on tying up loose ends at my old job and finding a place to live. It all feels a little impossible at the moment.
There have been numerous times during this process that I’ve felt super uncomfortable with this situation – uncertain how it will all come together. But uncertainty and a lack of obstacles mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. A lack of obstacles in your path do not indicate that you’re on the right path. There are times when that is the case. But it isn’t always. I can say with certainty that in those times when there are challenges that seem insurmountable, getting past them is the best feeling. It may not exactly make the rocky path worth it, but it does make the victory feel a little sweeter.
The best views come after the hardest climb.
While I don’t know how it will all come together, I’m trusting that I’ve gotten this far for a reason. I am looking forward to seeing how God will work all this out and how He will give me strength for each moment. If you’re in a similar weird time where you can’t imagine how things will work out, hang in there and keep pressing forward.
“Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt because it matters.” – John Green
I’ve had a bit of a rough week. There’s some uncertainty hanging around that’s absolutely driving me nuts and with an impending trip to California for my dad’s funeral, it was just a lot. I also had an event at work today. Though it was small as events go – they’re always lots of work and a lot of moving pieces. But what was jarring about this week was that in between doing everything else for work, I was doing things like…writing an obituary for my dad and looking at houses online for a potential move. Toward the end of the week, I was straight up not having a good time. 🙂 I wished for things that I just couldn’t make happen, no matter how much I wished or how hard I prayed. One of those things I wanted, was to make my feelings cooperate, as I grapple with very mixed emotions and really crazy circumstances right now. Our feelings are complex. So are various events, circumstances, and relationships (or relationships we wish to be in), in our lives. I’ve found myself all over the map with my emotions.
It’s possible for things to be more than one way. It’s possible to feel hopeful about a future with someone you care about, and also extremely fearful about getting hurt. It’s possible to look forward to a trip, but know it will be painful. It’s possible to be hopeful about a change, but worried somehow it won’t work out. Lately, I’ve gotten it in my head that life is one way or another. So dumb. I’m not really a black and white person. So how is it that I found myself thinking I should feel one specific way about any of the things going on?
The beauty in life can often be found in these very different and opposing sides of our emotions. Life is not simple. There are so very many shades and colors. Like the John Green quote (and is the case in my favorite novel of his), things we love can also mean greater hurt. I am incredibly excited about four days and three nights in one of my favorite places on earth. I’m also extremely sad to be going to California because my dad passed away. That’s hard stuff.
Falling for someone you care about, feels good. It feels hopeful. It’s also scary as hell. I can feel anxious that it was never what I hoped it would be. I can feel excited and happy and content at other moments. Sometimes in the same day. These feelings are not mutually exclusive. They can exist all at once (as weird as that sounds).
As I head into my final few days at work before going to California, I’m reminding myself that all of the wildness of this time means I can feel many things at once. Taking care of myself and ensuring I’m present and able to experience all life has to offer, means that I also have to accept all of the complexities of life and our emotions.
I think we can have a tendency to want to insulate ourselves from hurt or hard things. It’s a normal reaction. If you find yourself there, I wanted to share this – as it was quite comforting, though I wouldn’t have thought so.
The probability is high that I’ll be moving out of the Carolinas in the near future. As the chances increase that I’ll be preparing for a move, it’s easy for me, a person who likes change, to feel the excitement that comes with a new place and new opportunities. Especially when it’s somewhere I’ve loved living in the past.
But there’s also the easily accessible fear and doubt that comes from change. We are weird creatures – even if we love change (which I do). I love adventures. I am good with doing the unexpected (see last post), or the things society least expects. I like to do and try new things. I ain’t scurred. 🙂 But when life knocks you around in ways you least expect, it’s easy to forget your once bold spirit, (that usually isn’t afraid to walk into rooms supposedly not meant for you).
If you’re anything like me and nearing change, but find yourself tempted to ruminate on all the hard parts that come with it, let me challenge you to think about all of the ways that it can or will work out. Put your focus on the positives and the way change can stretch and grow you and and positively impact your life and future.
If you believe it will work out , you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t you will see obstacles.
Even when specific opportunities change in front of your eyes and things don’t work out quite like you planned, change is not inherently bad. Seasons change and bring with them beautiful and gifts. Even if things don’t work out, this time is a reminder of the opportunity that comes with change. The opportunity, however, lies in our openness and focus on what will or can work out, and the good lies ahead. If we’re focused on what we fear, what might not work out, or what we could lose – we certainly will face a negative future.
My #oneword365 for 2023 is fearless. I’m 100% certain there was a reason I knew that was my word for the year. What’s your “word” for 2023? Do you find it popping up in your life so far in 2023? I can’t wait to see what the coming months hold for me and my friends reading.
“As William James observed, we must reflect that, when we reach the end of our days, our life experience will equal what we have paid attention to, whether by choice or default. We are at risk, without quite fully realizing it, of living lives that are less our own than we imagine.”
– Tim Wu
Sometimes we hope and long for things that feel right on the surface. Our feelings are our feelings. We love, hope, dream, and plan around them at times. We are attracted to people we are attracted to. And yet, our feelings can betray us in many ways. There’s not much you can do to change them. You can love or care for someone and not be able to change that. But it may also mean that your feelings are pulling you in the wrong direction.
I deserve (you deserve), the absolute best. I reached a point (took forever) not too long ago, where I was just done with certain people. I’ve held onto or kept open connections because of obligation, my career, or an inability to let go (for reasons unknown to me). I have, in increasing measure, grown ruthlessly protective of my life and the days that lie ahead.
But sometimes, even still, I’ve found myself letting my feelings carry me away – without standing firm in what I want for my life. I don’t want (and you shouldn’t either) sloppy seconds, being chosen last, or being carried away by feelings, in general. Particularly when, as the quote above says, “we are at risk without quite realizing it, of living lives that are less our own than we imagine.”
What does that really mean? Frankly, I interpret this to mean – stop wasting time on men (or women) and relationships that are less than what you truly want (and deserve). I think it means that we go along with the current, carried by circumstances and feelings, without thinking. We’re pulled along in that current – without reaching for truth, remembering what we’re here on this earth to do, or what we know we truly want.
I can care for someone until I’m blue in the face. My feelings may try to steer me in their direction. But that doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for me. Your feelings are just that. We shouldn’t deny or hide them. Nor should we live a life void of them (of course). But we have to evaluate them and when they’re not steering us right, we have to choose differently.
I’ve shared this video above because I love the idea of making conscious decisions to choose. We have countless choices to make, boundaries to set, and paths to take. We can choose to remove ourselves from relationships that don’t keep us on that path or that potentially derail us from getting to that life we know we truly want to live. Additionally, we don’t need to sit back and passively wait for some future thing to happen for our lives to begin.
We can choose. I choose to believe that I’m worth more than someone who can’t make up his mind. I’m worth more than a man that is flattered by the attention, but doesn’t care for me and want what’s best for me. I’m worth more than someone who isn’t all in. You are too. You know this in your gut. You deserve better. You know you do . . .
I’m fully committed to choosing the right partner. I’m fully committed to choosing the path I’m on and the boundaries I need to set, to stay on that path. Don’t be swept up in the current of your feelings when you know you deserve more.
Merry Christmas! I know the last couple of years have been hard. A global pandemic, sometimes isolation from the people we care about, and so much instability in the world. It’s hard to see the good things, at times – especially when that’s what fills our Facebook “newsfeeds,” social media, and what we see on the news.
But the Good News is, there is hope. This has been a hard few years for me. I’ve lost a child I believed I would raise, I lost in love, and I faced a toxic situationthat has now contributed to my health facing new challenges. But there is hope. There is always hope. No season lasts. No trial endures forever. The Good News for me is in the form of Emmanuel – God With Us – Jesus.
I don’t care much for religion and the ways in which we’ve perverted His message and the reason He came. But I do know with complete certainty that I’d be lost without Jesus. And so, that is where, in spite of all of the ugliness, where my hope lies.
I wish you & yours a beautiful holiday season. And I hope your day today is filled with peace, joy, and all the good things.