This might be long. And it might be jumbley. And I know this is generally a happy place to come and visit. But at this point, everything is about to come busting out of me like a volcano, so if I don’t let it out now in a controlled fashion, it might come spewing forth like Vesuvius tomorrow or the next day or the next, firey and devastating and without warning.
I’ve not had words for weeks now. And every time I kneel down to pray the only thing that comes out is … “It’s all so messy Father. I’ve made a mess.” And then I cry, which to be honest, is more of a sob.
And I’m not usually this open. At least not about the difficult things. And especially not in the moment. I’m fine talking about my struggles (sort of) … AFTER the fact–once I’ve come through to the other side and everything is neat and tidy again. But never while I’m in the midst of it, with no answers or wisdom to accompany.
And even now I’m scared as hell to be this open. But for some reason it hurts more to not be real this time. And please mom, please don’t call and hover. Oh please don’t hover. And Cyndy, please don’t put me on the Relief Society Presidency’s “need to visit” list. I’m not asking for help and I’ve never been one for advice. I just need to get it out.
See, I’m the kind of girl who likes everything to be in its place. I keep my life buttoned up tight like a shiny little package, beautiful and perfect. But lately it’s been a wreck. I’ve been a wreck. Poor Frit, I go from laughing to crying in seconds. But today, I just need to be honest. I just need to be real. I just need to say that life is really sucky right now. Eloquent, I know.
This Friday will mark the one-year anniversary since I lost my job. And essentially the mess can be summed up in six words: I don’t know what I’m doing. I still don’t know what I’m doing. How is that possible? It’s been 365 days. I should have things in order by now. I should be successful. I should have a plan. I should be kickin’ butt. I should feel passionate about life. Shouldn’t I? (Rhetorical.) But instead, everything is messy and confusing.
Last night I almost bought a plane ticket to a city on the other side of the world. Why? Because I just wanted to go somewhere. Anywhere. Away. But after I’d typed in all my information and was ready to click “Complete Your Order” I thought about all the reasons I shouldn’t be rash.
I thought about my consulting clients and my shop and my church duties. I thought about my credit card bill (that already has more on it than an unemployed girl should allow). I thought about whether or not it was safe to just up and go to a city I’ve never been to by myself with no plan or place to stay once I got there. I thought about the risk and all the reasons I shouldn’t. And instead of clicking the round blue button and embracing the uncertainty of what I was essentially wanting to do, I closed the computer, took a hot shower, cried, and went to sleep.
My mom often illustrates the fundamental difference between me and my younger sister with a story about how we approach the swimming pool. Karly sees the pool, runs full speed ahead and jumps, without ever checking to see if there’s even water. I, on the other hand, carefully walk to the edge and inspect every inch of the ledge to make sure it’s safe, before dipping my toes, and then finally immersing myself.
But for some reason I just want to run and jump. There’s this voice inside me that is screaming “BUY THE DAMN TICKET! GO! JUST GO! IT’S WHAT YOU WANT!” And it’s true. It is what I want. To just go. Not to run away. No, not at all. But to go. To see something. To walk. To think. To write. Away. From here where everything is messy and my mind can’t seem to find quiet or peace or confidence or passion or fulfillment.
But the risk. I’ve never been one for risk. For I’m a fearful soul. Fearful of failing. Fearful of how I will look if I do fail. Fearful of letting people down. Fearful of making a fool. Fearful of making a mistake. Fearful of getting hurt. And so I keep everything buttoned up and safe in the afore mentioned shiny package. And I never risk. But for some reason it’s wearying me lately. And I don’t know what the package is supposed to look like anymore.
Please don’t get me wrong. I know–I KNOW–I have a beautiful life. I’m very aware of the mountains of blessings I’ve been given. But I’m frustrated and I’m confused. And I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing.
And maybe it doesn’t matter what I do. But I feels like it does.
I started a business and it’s fun. I make pretty things and I enjoy it. I take good photographs and I enjoy it (probably the most of everything I do). I offer advice and send press releases for my consulting clients, and while I don’t enjoy it, it (sort of) pays the bills.
And I’m grateful for the chance to try to make it on my own. I’m grateful for the chance to be my own boss and work from home. But none of it is becoming wildly successful. None of it is really supporting even the bare essentials of my life yet. But whenever anyone asks, I smear the smile on and tell them, “Things are great!” (Shiny packaging at its finest.)
And maybe it’s because I’ve spread myself in so many different directions. Maybe I need to focus my efforts. Maybe I just need to work harder. Heaven knows I’ve watched my fair share of Netflix On Demand this last year. Or … maybe I did the wrong thing. Maybe I chose the wrong path. Maybe I was in such a hurry to find something, do something, be something, that I jumped before I’d fully inspected the ledge. Totally uncharacteristic. But maybe that’s what I did.
And now, I’m barely treading water, looking at my messy life, wondering what in the world did I do? And, what do I do now?
I was reading a stranger’s blog this morning and she wrote of her life, “I GET TO LIVE MY DREAM! … I GET TO DO A JOB THAT ACTUALLY FULFILLS ME on a daily basis…”
What would that be like? You know, for the longest time I thought I was, but then it got taken away. And then I thought I would be, with all these new endeavors, but I’m not so sure anymore.
Because the thing is, I don’t even know what my dreams are anymore. I know what I’m good at. I know what I enjoy. But I’m not doing anything that makes me jump up and down with wild excitement and certainty that I’m contributing to the world in a meaningful way. I’ve lost my passion. And I feel totally lost. I don’t even know what I want most anymore. I have no idea what that “thing” should be in my life.
And then there’s the whole business of matching up what I want (once I figure it out) with what God wants. It always comes back to that for me. This frustrating place where I labor to align the two wills. I mean, where is that line between what I want and my agency and what God wants for me. I never seem to be certain of it.
And the thing is … I want what He wants for me. I do. More than anything. But I want what I want too. And I think I’m supposed to. So how do those two worlds marry?
And lately, He and I–God and I, that is–are on a rocky footing anyway. Not that I’m going anywhere. In fact, He hears more from me these days than He probably ever has. But I’m frustrated and upset with Him because I feel like He’s not helping me when I need Him most. Yes. You read that correctly. And I hate feeling that way toward Him. Because then I feel upset with myself for feeling upset with God. Because you’re not supposed to feel that way. He’s God, for crying out loud. You shouldn’t get mad at your Creator and source of all good things, especially when He blesses you the way He does. But I am. And don’t worry. He knows I’m frustrated with Him. I told Him so. And He said, okay.
And that’s the other thing. I believe in divine revelation. I believe that we can talk to God and that He talks back. I have no doubt about that. But I can’t seem to hear Him lately, especially when it matters most. And I know it’s not because He’s not answering. He always answers. It’s because I’m not hearing. So then I begin to evaluate everything in my life. What am I doing wrong to make it so that I can’t hear? And if that’s not a recipe for frustration and guilt I don’t know what is.
But nothing’s coming together like I thought or hoped it would. So now I’m in a puddle on the floor by my bed nightly. I’m an inch away from packing a bag, jumping in the car, and just driving–simply because I don’t know what else to do. I’m in the middle of what seems to be a mess, with nary an idea of how to organize it and put it back together.
I’m at a loss.
And that’s where it stands today.
(p.s. sorry for the swears. I don’t usually have a potty mouth, but sometimes those words release a whole lot of the inner frustration that can’t seem to get out any other way.)