Sometimes blogging comes easy, other times I feel completely uninspired but I wanted to get something started for the week. At church yesterday, Heather Zempel preached and reminded me that we need to record the acts of God in our lives. She noted that it took men recording their experiences, feelings and Godly wisdom over thousands of years to produce the Bible. What if they hadn’t written it down? We need to write down the evidence of God’s grace, truth, love and guidance in our lives so that we remember it and others can benefit from such stories later. That’s just a quick reminder to myself not to take God’s hand in my life for granted — to record His voice lest I ever forget how He’s blessed, lead, loved and forgiven me.
Lately, I feel like I’ve been ambitiously lazy. What are my goals? Where am I going in life right now? The truth is, I always imagined I would be married with kids at this age. I’ve also been inclined to see now that such a dream wouldn’t bring be fulfillment every moment of every day. So there must be more — a further goal to which I can aspire in the quiet moments, in the seclusion of my mind when everything else just isn’t quite enough. I think my day is coming — for a family and the life that’s always been painted in my head. But, what am I doing today to make my mark in the world? The thing about ambitious, successful people is that they are never done. They conquer one goal — win an award, earn a degree, publish a manuscript — and then the say — what’s next? I often catch the fire of inspiration but stop short of doing the hard work to achieve the glory of a successful conclusion. The marathons are one of the few instances I can say I felt the inspiration, did the hard preparation work and crossed the finish line feeling proud of myself.
The previous paragraph actually reminds me a lot of my journal entries just after college — when I really was lost and had no idea what to do with my life. I suppose you go through that every so often. Obviously, everything turned out pretty great back then (despite my tearful, fearful, depressive, neurotic, freak out entries of 2005.) When I was 23 — after taking a fifth year of college to finish my Journalism degree and get a teaching license, I felt I had the world at my fingertips — yet the freedom was daunting. I visited my friend Anne in Los Angeles (the Hollywood Hills) and seriously considered (for two days) picking up and moving there. I applied for a job at a restaurant and checked out studio apartments. I remember finding a studio for $1,0000/month thinking it was a ridiculously high price. Little did I know DC isn’t any better on front.
After getting over LA, I searched for jobs in PR all over the country — having no clue that no one was going to hire a college grad with no experience. I researched taking jobs in Australia and Italy and South Africa. My friend Lindsay and I drove to Jacksonville to Kelly Clarkson singing “I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly.” We found “signs” that we were destined to move to Jacksonville at every corner. I had fierce debates in my head about remaining in Bloomington forever, thinking of how quaint it might be to be in one town your whole life. The other part of me said, how cowardly and unadventurous and boring. I envisioned becoming a secretary at the local auto parts store — smoky and dirty and decorated with quarter candy machines filled with years old sweet tarts. I worked full time at Applebees, slaving away and wiping tables and hating the humanity that is the clientele of an Applebees.
I liked journalism was terrified of being a reporter, even moreso of being a teacher. I liked to write but wasn’t talented enough to be a travel writer, or support myself doing freelance. It was one sunny afternoon, the night after I met a boy I hoped could be “the one” (every boy I met I hoped this about), Lindsay called to say she was in Charleston, South Carolina. She loved it, she was apartment hunting and applied for a job and did I want to move with her? I had about two days to come up with answer. Did I want to move to a place I had never been without a job or a single friend but Lindsay? I had no idea but because I had nothing better to do — I said yes. The guy I had been in love with for 6 years was getting married the weekend I would need to move and though I was invited to the wedding, it seemed like a great excuse to let go of him forever. The move was the symbolic gesture I needed to say good riddance, to prove my adulthood, to be courageous, to see what life had to offer. The move to Charleston was the beginning of my real move to DC less than a year later.
I need to recapture the wind of what propelled me here. I don’t want to recreate the same experience but find that passion and enthusiasm about something new, or at least a new version. I’m not sure what’s gonna happen but my mind is spinning, my eyes are open, my senses are alert — and I’m ready to be motivated and inspired again. Luckily, I’ve had someone whispering in my ear lately, reminding me of what I am capable of, what’s possible, and what’s true about life so far. I’ll keep listening to him, to myself and to God. More on this later in the week I suspect.