I Want to Be Radical

That’s right, I want to be radical.  Have you watched Darren Wilson’s films?  If you haven’t, see them.  They are amazing and life-changing.  But what I want to say is, someone said that the people in Darren’s films are “radical.”  I want to be like that.

I’ve said in my About change that I’m “sold out” to the Holy Spirit, meaning that I want Him to lead my life.  No one else.  Period.  That’s why I quit my job.  I felt God leading me away from accounting and it was a big “put up or shut up” moment.  I might even go so far as to say it was radical.  But that’s how I want to live my life.  I want to live from one of those moments to the next.

I can’t really think how my life could have gotten more boring as it was.  Now I finally feel excited to be doing things.  I get up expectant for what He has for me.  I do have a few tentative plans but nothing major.  And that’s just fine with me.  Here’s to being radical.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord.  ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”  Jeremiah 29:11

 

Next Chapter: A List

Now that I’ve given notice on my job, my mind has turned to what won’t be happening anymore.

Things I won’t do in the next 12 months:

  1. Tax Season (oh, sweet relief!)
  2. Take only a couple days off at a time because of work obligations (and the fear of being told I’m not good enough)
  3. Try to make up an excuse to get out of the Christmas Party
  4. Stand around in the conference room and celebrate every other thing (birthdays, Boss’s Day, Administrative Assistant’s Day, these people really like to celebrate)
  5. Listen to whining from people who have no right to whine (well, that may still happen, just different people)
  6. Listen to my bosses blame me for things that aren’t my fault (again, could still happen but different bosses)
  7. Feel guilty that I’m not doing enough
  8. Beat up on myself
  9. Be paranoid about what others think of me
  10. Do everything for everyone else and never for myself

There’s a lot of work on me that has to be done.  It starts with taking a break and then figuring out how to move forward.  God has a plan and my job for right now, is trusting Him.

Next Chapters and Such

So, I, uh, well… I kinda quit my job.  Yikes.  I actually wrote it.  I quit my job to be a writer!  Yay!  Just kidding.  Kind of.

Let me back up.  I ran into a friend of a friend at Barnes and Noble the other weekend.  I went to buy a copy of Thirteen Reasons Why and drink iced coffee in the cafe like a legit hipster.  She’s going to a local college to get some kind of Masters and working there to make ends meet.  I asked her how she was doing and she said she was happy doing that.  Happy.  I had a total epiphany.  I have savings and I hate my job.  What am I doing?

I’m just so over it.  I’m over accounting, I’m over the utter crazy that is the management and I’m over being depressed about how my life turned out.  So I didn’t get married in my twenties and get stuck in a job I hate because I’ve got bills to pay and kids to buy stuff for.  That was the dream, right?  Well, screw that.  I just turned 30 and I’m going to take this opportunity to make myself happy, because I’m so tired of being practical and sucking it up for everyone but myself.  And I may never get this opportunity again.

I also feel like God has something more for me.  More than just this job and all the crap that goes with it.  More than being single and yearning and all that blah, blah, blah.  God is leading me away and I have to follow that no matter what.  Like I’ve said it’s about trusting him even if others think you’re crazy.  And trust me, there are some people who think I’m nuts for doing this.

So, anyway, I decided I’m going to take a gap year to find myself before I start the next chapter and find my bliss.  Carpe diem, y’all!

 

For the Broken

Brokenness is usually seen as a bad thing.  People want to “fix” you or help you “put yourself back together.”  Maybe we should change our mindset about brokenness.  My friend attended our church’s annual Women’s Retreat.  They were given the following letter among others but this is what stuck out to me.

IMG_5569

My favorite part is Jesus’s glory shines through the cracks.  Your brokenness doesn’t have to define you or take over your life.  If you lay it at Jesus’s feet, he will use it for good.

Yes, I have cracks and they are a part of who I am as a person.  Those experiences have helped me get to where I am today.  I want the light coming through those cracks to shine on the people around me.  Depression is not my weakness.  Jesus will use it as my strength.  There are a lot of people out there who need to know that it’s okay to be broken.  Medication and therapy are necessary but giving it to Jesus is the only way I know to truly heal.  Let Him be your healer.

Caution: Wet Floor

The last couple months have been a bit of a slippery ride.  I had a freak-out in February and ended up at the psychiatrist’s office.  He bumped my Lex and put me on Abilify, which is an anti-psychotic, by the way.  I think that officially makes be the craziest.  Yassss… but I digress.

He put me on Abilify to combat the lack of motivation and energy.  And it worked.  Boy, did it work.  I had energy to burn.  I was churning out tax returns and cleaning out closets and doing yard work.  And then I just… crashed.  The first time I thought it was the Ambien.  I had a horrible night’s sleep and had to take a “mental health” day from work.  I thought it was a fluke.  Until the second time.  This time I went low, both physically and emotionally.  You ever read about people with depression not being able to get out of bed?  Yep, that was me.  It was a weird kind of numb.  I had to call in for a real mental health day.  And the swing was intense.  One day I’m up at 6 and the next I’m sleeping ‘til noon.  My mood has been going up and down but it really went down that day.

You know, I should be worried sick about all the work on my desk but I’m just… not.  I can’t care about a bit of it.  On the one hand, I’m glad that I’m not worrying like I have in past years.  On the other, I don’t have a lot of motivation to do returns.  Eek.

I suspect the Abilify.  That’s okay, we’ll get it straightened out.  They say when you’re going through hell, keep going.  And I will.  I just have to navigate the wet floor for a while.

Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend

If you’ve been reading this blog this year, you may have noticed a running melancholy in the posts.  I realize they haven’t been exactly upbeat.  Even though I’ve tried to put a positive spin on my angst, they’re kinda downers.

So far this year, I’ve written about the horrors of tax season (that’s not an exaggeration), my dog’s untimely death (seriously, why?), my teenage self vs my current self (like looking in a mirror), being persecuted for following my own path (probably paranoia, but you know what they say about that), turning 30 unmarried (and thinking about it way more than is healthy), and my crushing loneliness and restlessness.

So, what’s left to write about?  Oh, yeah.  My descent into depression.  Depression is a horrible disease but it can be funny, too, right?  Well, last night as I swallowed my shiny new Lexapro through snot and tears (again, not an exaggeration) it was really not funny.  But today it is because, you know, Buzz Feed.

God bless Buzz Feed.  Seriously, how many times has it just made your day?  Like today with this article.  Spoiler Alert:  It’s stuff people posted on Tumblr about being really not ok.  It spoke to me because there’s nothing worse than having to tell people you’re “fine” when you are really, really far from fine.

And a lot of people don’t get it.  Which is why I appreciated this article.  It puts a humorous spin on being supportive to a person going through depression.  And it makes some great points.  There’s such a stigma around depression and yet so many people suffer from it.  The disease causes enough shame; we shouldn’t be getting it from the people around us, too.  I feel misunderstood under normal circumstances so it’s ten times worse when I’m depressed and people think I’m just being weird and anti-social.

Laughter is good medicine but if you’re depressed or suspect you might be, please get help.  This isn’t my first rodeo and I know that waiting only makes it worse.  There will be days when you can laugh about it and days when you can’t.  Let’s hope there are more of the former.

Rebel With(Out?)…Whatever

This summer has been hard.  I’ve been really listless and bored.  I just haven’t wanted to do anything or go anywhere.  Some of it is the oppressive heat but a lot of it is me.  I’m a home body.  I’m not a very social person.  I just prefer to stay home and watch Netflix or read.  I know I need to get out more.  I just haven’t had a lot of opportunities.

A recent sermon about mentors really hit me hard.  Our pastor said to be living a Biblical life we need to be making disciples.  We need to be mentoring someone and someone should be mentoring us.  And I bristled a bit at that.  Mentoring takes two.  It takes someone investing time and love into you.  That’s a little beyond my control.  I can’t just ask someone to do that for me.  It made me realize the lack of people in my life.  So I started praying about it.

Last Saturday we had a women’s one-day conference at the church.  At the end they announced that a woman who had just moved to the area was opening her house to women who wanted to connect.  It was answered prayer.  A small group met at her house the other night for fellowship and I didn’t have any anxiety about it.  Usually, as soon as I sign up for something, I immediately regret it.  It’s easier to just stay home and do my thing but I really felt like I needed this.  And so did the other women there.

Our church is pushing these kinds of groups in homes because that’s the Biblical church.  People connecting outside of church and becoming family.  It is sorely needed.  Our church has over a thousand people attending every Sunday and we come and go like ghosts.  We want to connect with each other in a real way.

I’ve finally reached the point where I’m fed up with being a ghost.  I need more people in my life.  I have my family and my church fellowship group which are great, but I need more.  I’m rebelling against myself.  I’m rebelling against the urge to stay where I’m comfortable.   My 30th birthday is coming up and I have actual plans for a celebration.  That never happens.  I went from having nothing to do to having a pretty full social calendar this fall.

I don’t know if taking myself on makes me a rebel with or without a cause but I do know it’s time and that God is faithful.

How To Give Your Blog a Facelift

June:  Go on WordPress while bored at work.  Think about how your blog could use a facelift.  Decide to look around at the themes.  Try one out and do some customizing.  Abandon it.  Pick another and play with customizing.  Abandon it.  Think that you really need to pick a new theme but they all seem to require you to actually take a picture and upload it.  Go on Goodreads and look at your recommendations.

July:  Get notification that it’s your third Blogiversary!  Think that you should really get serious about updating your theme.  It’s been two years since you picked the old one.  Look at the themes again and write down three that you like.  Make a mental note to do it on the weekend when you’re bored.

August:  Go on WordPress while bored at work.  Decide to look at the themes again.  Search one that is good for text and doesn’t focus on photos.  Find a good one and start customizing.  Decide you don’t like the suggested header images.  Search for a header image.  Abandon search when you can’t find one in the right dimensions.  Look at Facebook.

September:  Go back to the theme you played with last month.  Change the color scheme.  Decide there is one suggested header image that really is kinda cool.  Change your title font.  Update your tagline because even though you’re not 30 yet it took you this long to get a new theme, so.  Click Activate.

Et voila!  Hope you like it!

Call Me Pepper Maid

I’m turning 30 very soon and I’m (mostly) okay with that.  I’ve had a year to get used to the idea and I’ve (mostly) made my peace.  But I was watching Jeopardy last night and a clue mentioned that the Danish call a woman who is 30 and unmarried a “pepper maid.”  I looked it up.  There’s a whole ritual associated with it where your family and friends sprinkle you with pepper on your 30th birthday and give you a giant pepper mill made out of an oil drum.  I don’t know about you but if someone were to leave a phallic-covered oil drum outside my door, I’d be pissed.

It got me thinking about other terms used for women of a certain age who have never married.  Here’s a selection.

Spinster

Not to sound weird or anything, but I’ve been calling myself a spinster for a couple years now.  I’m joking.  Sort of.  What was once used as a legal term for any unmarried woman is now a derogatory term, meaning you’re not desirable.  A couple trips through online dating and you’ll start to believe it.  And question your sanity.  Bright spot:  Wikipedia lists “Notable Spinsters” as Jane Austin, Emily Dickinson, Susan B. Anthony, Coco Chanel, and Queen Elizabeth I.  Those ladies did all right and they didn’t need a man.

Catherinettes

From the Wikipedia entry: “Catherinettes was a traditional French label for girls of twenty-five years old who were still unmarried by the Feast of Saint Catherine (25 November). A special celebration was offered to them on this day, while everyone wished them a fast end to their singlehood.”  A fast end to their singlehood.  Yeah, that makes me feel real good about myself.

Cat Lady

I’m not really into cats.  I think I’ll be the lady who lives out in the country and hoards a hundred dogs until some do-gooder calls the county and they come take all my precious babies away.  Thanks a lot, asshole.

Wow.  That took a turn.  Anyway, despite the fact that people are waiting longer to get married and have kids, our society as a whole still expects you to be married (or at least be in a long-term relationship) by 30.  What’s up with that?  Is it better to be a divorced single parent?  At least they were married before 30.  Dodged that bullet.  I admit that this is not how I imagined my life at 30.  But am I really going to listen to that confused 18-year-old who still had boy band posters on her walls?  No.  But that same 18-year-old never let other people tell her how she should be.  And this 30-year-old isn’t taking any of that shit either.

When the big day comes I’ll celebrate this new chapter of my life.  Just do me a favor and leave the pepper shaker at home.

It’s Not About Them

Why am I different?  Why do I always have to be the odd man out?  Why am I on a different path from everybody else?

Of course why is irrelevant.  I’ve already talked about that. But I seem to always end up on a different road.  And sometimes that’s uncomfortable.

It’s so much easier to be seen doing the things God calls you to do.  When your calling matches up with what church folks expect, it’s pretty easy.  You get to talk about it and share it with the people around you.  You don’t get funny looks or the “What are you doing for God?” kind of questions.  It’s so much harder when you’re the one God called to abide.  Harder when you’re called to a solitary activity.

I’ve been hearing a lot of noise around me lately.  Noise about what everybody’s calling is and what they’re doing.  My church preaches relationship and obedience to God.  No matter what that looks like.  And yet when you know you’re being obedient, people still expect you to be something else.  In my church lately it’s been all about creating extended family through home group fellowship and study, becoming a prayer servant who prays for healing, and hearing the Father’s voice and giving prophecy to others.  These are all great things and I’m so happy that there are so many people participating and building family and reaching out to the community.  It’s awesome.  But I do not feel called to any of that at this time.  In fact, the Father has been quiet lately.  And that’s okay.

That’s okay.

And yet, I have all this static around me saying that it’s not “acceptable,” not good enough.  Everybody’s got all these stories, experiences, words, and they feel they have to share every one of them.  And me?  I don’t have anything to share because what God has for me right now is intensely private and quite frankly, no one’s business.  What right does anyone have to tell me that’s not good enough?

I feel like obedience is being lost in a sea of goals.  Life isn’t a video game.  Gifts of the Spirit are not levels to be beaten.  Your growth should never be measured against anyone else’s journey.  You are where the Father wants you.  Turn your eyes to Him, not to your friends or the church leadership.  Don’t join something just because your friends think you should.  Don’t do something just because the leaders preach it from the pulpit.  It may not be for you at this time.  And if that makes you different, then so be it.

Make obedience your goal.  It’s about Him.  It’s not about them.

“He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’”  Luke 11:28 (NIV)