Tonight I've been thinking, turning the thoughts as I turn the bits of chicken and beans and rice, as I observe the mess that has become dinner and an idea that, more than likely, will be filed under "things that didn't turn out the way I thought they would".
I have had moments in life like that too. My file of "things that didn't work out the way I thought they would" for my life would be FAT. This year has been excruciating. It has been stressful, it has been overwhelming, and through it all I have been asking God the same questions all year - what next? What NOW?
A couple years ago I started a photography blog, that turned into photography classes, that turned into 10pm- 2am work hours and a heart full of resentment and exhaustion. I felt like maybe it was time to step away for a bit. God made it very clear that it was time. I loved that job, but I had a new baby and needed to be done.
I've been a full-time stay at home mom for about two and a half years now. Right now it is Driving Me Crazy. I know that it is what I'm supposed to be doing. I know that having the mental, emotional and physical energy to be available to my kids is really important right now. I can't afford to be distracted or overwhelmed with work. But it has been hard. Like "where do I turn in my pink slip" hard.
I liked saying "I'm a work at home mom" and "I'm a photography teacher." I liked having something to do other than dishes and dinner, and I really liked having some additional money. It was a great job, and I am really thankful for everything I learned during that period of my life but I feel like that phase of my life is over for right now. I don't feel like it was a failure. But I know that's not the direction I want to go right now.
So it has been hard just sitting with this question "who am I?" Not just roles, not just relationships - me. Under the labels that are so easy to hide behind. Behind the words of affirmation (that mean the world to me, but threaten to define me) what do I want to do and who do I want to be? More importantly who has God made me to be? Because I want to be that person - no more but no less.
Here is what I'm realizing - I have to be willing to continue to add to my folder of "things that didn't turn out the way I thought it would."
I've been working on writing some fiction and it has honestly been one of the hardest things I have ever worked on. Ever. I have had to face a lot of inner demons and a lot of fear. I have sent my artist-sister a gazillion texts about it. Biggest of all is "what if this fails?" What if I don't want to write fiction? What if I pour hours of effort and tons of mental energy into something that a) I might not ever be good at and b) I might not even want to pursue as any type of career.
It is scary to take the first steps without knowing where I'm going to end up. It's scary to keep moving forward, not knowing how things will work out. What if this whole experiment in writing doesn't work out?
|via The Nester|
Well - hopefully I will have grown a lot internally, learned some important lessons about facing my fears and working hard even when the results are discouraging.