I Sputter

Sometimes I don’t know why I have this blog, it’s just not something I’ve been able to be consistent with, no matter what I want to do, no matter how hard I try. Do  you ever feel like you aren’t passionate enough about something to actually be doing it?

I don’t know how much of this is my depression talking, but I’m feeling that way now. I see how passionate other people are and I feel broken. I feel like I’m incapable of being passionate about anything. Of feeling those emotions.

I lack motivation. I lack the will to do things. I try to write and I just start to wither at the thought of creating. I try to speak about what’s got me so frustrated and all I can come up with is “It doesn’t matter, I’m fine, leave me alone.”

I feel like I’m fighting a monster, and that monster is me. I don’t laugh like I wish I could. I don’t sing and dance. I don’t take joy out of most anything. I feel like I miss the beauty in the world.

The only reason I keep trying is that once every while I get passionate for just a little bit. Last Christmas it was about C.S. Lewis. A little before that I had this strange obsession with Alexandre Dumas and the Three Musketeers. Myart takes over for a few hours once in a while. My writing too. But, most of the time I feel like I’ll never experience those things again, until I do.

I feel broken until I don’t.

Sometimes the brokenness is barely noticeable and I can almost convince myself that it isn’t there. That I’m just another cog in the machine. I feel two dimensional, but at least I don’t feel broken, I don’t feel like something is missing.

I live for the bursts of passion that spark through my life.

They’re like an engine that won’t quite catch. I cough and choke, and sputter and try to get all the pistons and spark plugs working as one, firing together. Striving for that glorious rumble that signals the journey’s start.

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The State of Things

I’ve been struggling for the last week or two to come up with something to write here. There’s a lot going on right now with my mental health, my physical health, and trying to figure out the future and what I’m doing with my life.

It’s been a whole year since I graduated college and I can honestly say that I didn’t expect to be where I’m at.

I didn’t expect to be working at Lowe’s still.

I didn’t expect to be living in northern Indiana still, let alone at my grandparents’ house.

I didn’t expect to have taken out a car loan.

I didn’t expect to have to go to my doctor 4 – almost 5 – months after the fact to have my back injury treated and to talk about my mental health.

I didn’t expect any of this.

But, I look back and I don’t even know what I expected.

I thought I’d have a better job, be living on my own – possibly not even in Indiana anymore.

God has a funny way of working in our lives. He puts us right where He wants us, whether or not we want to be there or intend to be there. He forces us into these situations, into our lives, for one reason or another.

I don’t know what His reasoning is behind where I’m at. I’ll tell you right now, though, that I never would have done talked to a doctor if I’d been in another city or state and not near the doctor I have right now for whom I am able to shake off my anxiety long enough to place some trust in her.

I’ve been having problems lately because while in my head I know that there’s a purpose for what’s happening in my life, for the way things are shaping up, it’s always a long journey – that 18 inches – from the brain to the heart. I can’t always make the little chemicals in my brain cooperate and reassure me that it’s okay.

When I was a kid I would spend hours and hours planing out my escape, my runaway. The day I turned 18 I was going to disappear at midnight and I was going to drive west, or east, or anywhere but home. I was going to have a life. I was going to join the Marine Corps or travel across the country with a dog and a truck and pretend that I wasn’t terrified of people. I wasn’t going to go to college, I wasn’t going to let anybody tell me what to do ever again.

Now – I don’t let other people dictate my life. I’m an adult and I make my own choices. But, I’ve started planning again. I have at least a dozen different escape plans typed up and ready for me to try one of them. Maybe they’ll end up in a story I write one day…

Or maybe one of these days someone will say or do something and I’ll just go. Just throw a few sets of clothing into my backpack with my gear and just disappear for a while, following one of my plans or making one up as I go.

It gets harder and harder, the more I hurt, the more stress I’m under, to not just pass by work and keep going – driving until I either run out of gas, money, or both. Whether or not I like where that takes me.

As a writer, and as an artist, this appeals to me. This idea of freeing myself from the responsibility of every day life. Of taking a new and exciting path.

As I want to do this – I’d prefer it be thought out and planned a little better. I’d prefer to do it on my terms, rather than terms set by the chemicals in my brain that aren’t doing their job the right way.

I’ve been asking myself all year, and especially now that Facebook has so kindly reminded me that one year ago I graduated college, what I’m doing with my life. College is done and over with and I’m still in the same spot – at least geographically and professionally – that I was 12 months ago.

Heck, I’ve barely been able to bring myself to create most of the time. I’ve been getting better, getting things to where I want them, working hard on making myself create again. Let me tell you, it’s awesome to feel that again. But, there’s something missing.

I don’t feel motivated. It’s harder than it should be to dig out and dust off the passion I once felt for my creative work.

There are days when I don’t even know if I really remember what it was to feel normal to feel like I could get out of bed in the morning and tackle the world. It’s an odd feeling – not knowing what I’ve rally felt, what I’ve really done. Not truly remembering years of my life.

It’s kind of depressing too, knowing that I missed out on so many milestones and experiences in high school and college that everyone else got to have while I was in a haze, convinced I was fine, but really I wasn’t.

I find myself worrying about younger me. There are times when I want to go back in time and take her in my arms, no matter how much she fights being embraced, and tell her that it’s not alright and that she needs to get herself together and figure out what’s going on before it’s too late and all of her chances to be a normal kid are gone.


I read this back to myself and I ask now, why I’m writing this. Why I’m going to share this on my blog. What’s the significance of it? It’s not something I’m looking for encouragement or reassurance on, and I’m at a point where reassurance and encouragement would just make me angry.

(Ever felt that way? It’s a ridiculous feeling.)

This is my state of the union speech.

This is my update because I know that there are people in my life who care.

This is me telling myself that it’s going to work out.

This is me just trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.

In the last year I’ve said that I want to go back to school for teaching, so I can teach English on a high school level. I’ve said that I want to go to graduate school for creative writing, or maybe literature so I can teach on a college level, or maybe just for the heck of it.

I’ve even thought about pitching an idea for a travel column/food blog type of deal. (Not completely out of the running yet.)

But, let’s be honest, none of those feel right. No matter how much I pray, no matter how many times I ask God what to do. I always seem to hear a “I have something else in mind.” kind of response.

I apply to any job I can find that I remotely qualify for that uses my degree in an interesting way, but I never get any calls back. I never get asked for an interview.

That’s okay, but the discouragement is real and there’s not much I can do about it but keep trying, keep praying, and hoping that it works out.


Right now, my greatest joy in life – teaching first grade Sunday school.

There’s nothing quite like it when you see something start to stick in their heads, when you start to see them understand God’s love and how they need to have it and show it in their lives.

And, honestly – I think I sometimes learn more applicable things from the Kids’ lessons than I do from going to the adult service and sitting through a sermon. (Even though I’ve been trying to do both.)

God’s got a plan, and while I’m antsy to figure it out, I know it’ll work out. There’s a reason I’m where I’m at, and a reason I haven’t had all the experiences I think I should have had by now.

There. Is. A. Reason.

It. Will. Sort. Itself. Out.

God’s. Got. This.

I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

Be a Person

I am 21 years old. But, most days, I feel much older. There’s a lot that goes into that feeling. It’s the aches and pains, the tiredness, and my lack of socialization.

I’ve spent so long wanting to be a writer, but I’m finding it more and more difficult as time goes on. Mostly, because I’ve never done anything or gone anywhere. I’m a homebody whose only hobbies are reading and writing

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Be as passionate about your life as a child is about new things.

– and the occasional World of Warcraft Session (becoming more frequent). It’s only recently that I’ve gotten more into painting and drawing. It’s refreshing to have a creative outlet other than writing, but  can already feel it slowly, waning as time moves forward – almost without me.

 

Recently, a friend of mine, I hope as a joke, has told me a few times that I’m an old maid. 21 years old and not married. If I was married I’d be part of a young couple, but because I’m single, I’m a spinster and old maid. Now, I’m not certain what century this friend hails from anymore. He’s old enough to be my dad, but in reality he’s more of a big brother… with the occasional victorian ideal that slips out. He’ll make a reference to some movie and I won’t get it. Or reference things that I don’t really care to know about and it goes right over my head.

It’s when I’m around normal people, at work and other places, that I realize how little life experience I have.

Did you know I’ve never been to the movies by myself before writing this?

Really! I’m an introvert and my anxiety plays into that. It’s one of the most difficult things for me to be able to just go do anything by myself or take that leap and sign up for the ball room dance class I’ve always wanted to be a part of.

It’s important to do things by yourself, to discover what you like free of the influence of other people. Until this year, I’ve done everything with someone else, from shopping, to going to the movies. I hardly ever play solitare by myself, but I’ve missed out on the joy of learning what I like rather than what everyone else likes.

When I create a character for a story, usually after the first draft. I start to see that they’re rather flat, two dimensional. Outside of the story they just fall apart. There is nothing to them. You don’t know anything about them. All the characters seem to respond to situations in the same way. But people, aren’t like that. We’re all different, vibrant, and beautiful with our own unique strengths and weaknesses.

Being a person is the most important advice I can ever give to anyone, it’s piece of advice that I’m still struggling to take to heart and use in my own life. To be a person is to have passion for something, anything. To grow and to believe in a better future.

Being a person is being something beyond your day job, your blog, your online persona. It’s getting out of your comfort zone and discovering new things.

My word for 2018 is “Passion” and there’s more to passion than just pouring yourself into something. Passion is learning and discovery. To be human, to be a person, is to have Passion, to live and breathe with that feeling of utter abandon, that there is nothing in the world that can stop you from achieving your dreams.

Passion is a beautiful, wonderful, and marvelous part of being human, so be passionate. Be a person beyond one or two things. when your life is flat, your art tends to be the same. So go join that dance class, take that hike, play that game, make a new friend, get a dog. Do something with your life. Don’t let one thing consume you, or you’ll lose what it really means to be passionate about something.

I Took Myself to the Movies

The-Greatest-Showman-HDThis year, my word is “passion”, so in learning to have passion, I am trying to learn who I am outside of other people and structured activities. I’m learning to play and to do things that I didn’t learn when I was a kid due to fear, anxiety, depression, and other factors.

Today, I went to a movie by myself and it was the best choice I could have ever made.

I hurt myself at work this week, my back is killing me, I’m going to the doctor tomorrow, and I needed to do something, anything, to take my mind off of it. What better way to do that than to lose myself in a story? I went and saw The Greatest Showman.

Not only was the movie just phenomenally written and performed, it was really just an all around wonderful experience for me.

With my word for the year being “Passion”, this was the best movie choice I could have made. (I’ll try not to give any spoilers.)

The movie was a bout P.T. Barnum, a showman, and ringmaster that existed in actual history. I don’t know much about Barnum in real life, so I can’t vouch for the historical accuracy and truth of the storyline, but I can vouch for the truth of the movie’s message. it told the story of Barnum’s passion for being a showman, for his  family, and for the world he wanted to see for his family.

It was also a sort of cautionary tale, warning of the dangers of letting your passions consume you so much that you lose sight of what really matters in life, family, friendship, and love.

In a way, though it didn’t directly relate to my faith, I found it to have a tone to it that I could agree with as a Christian. You should not focus on getting more and being more. Your passion for something should not come at the cost of what really matters, and definitely not at the cost of your  soul.

Altogether, the story was a good lesson in passion for me to start the year off with.

Moreover, going by myself was just a good choice for me. I had never been to the movies by myself before this afternoon. I was always told that it was more of a people thing, something you did with someone so you could have more fun. But, the people I always go with (usually family) like to make comments that I don’t care to listen to because I just want to lose myself in the story. Because of this, I tend to also start making comments, which detracts from the story and my ability to lose myself in it.

Before going, my mother and my aunt made sure to let me know that there is no shame in going to the movies with other people, even if it’s because I’m afraid to go somewhere alone where I’m not in complete control of the situation. But, I learned today, that going alone to something you might normally go to with other people, is okay. It lets you absorb something for yourself and determine if you actually enjoyed it, rather than accepting the opinions of others as your own.

I’ll say now, I don’t think I would have loved this movie as much as I do had I gone with other people. I would have listened to comments from them, and picked up their opinions of it before I could fully develop my own opinion. I have a bad habit of deferring to the opinions of others and if they don’t think it was as good as I did, I back off and almost feel ashamed of liking it more, like I’m wrong – even if there is no wrong or right.

Basically, I never get to fan girl because I’m so self-conscious about showing any enjoyment of anything that the people around me don’t enjoy.

I’m really excited now because I have at least a week to develop my own opinion before someone I see on a regular basis forms an opinion. (My aunt is seeing it next Sunday.)

Taking myself to the movies, was the best choice I’ve made so far this year, and it’s only day 7. I can’t wait to see how much more I can grow this year, what I can learn about myself, my faith, and the world I live in.

I’m excited to dream with my eyes wide open. 😉