Originally Published: August 8, 2016
To sum up what I’m about to say, this is a little rant about how I feel about life right now.
I do, in fact, realize the ridiculousness of posting something personal when no one really cares. But I have this theory. About why authors share their work when it can be so personal: sometimes, the writing itself is not gratifying, but it’s the concept that you believe in what you wrote so much that you have to share it, and that’s what’s appeasing. Because when you share your work with others, you can finally let it go because whatever you thought needed to be said was finally said.
So, like my theory of why authors publish books, I too felt I needed to share this. Whether or not it is read in its entirety, perhaps sharing this will finally let me be able to let it go.
I’ve been struggling a lot recently. Hence the subsequent rant. So, this post is my attempt to figure out the source of my troubles.
Before I begin, it is not a constant struggle, but these waves of sadness and anxiety. It is well said as, “I fall in and out of sadness like the moon falls from the sky each night to let the sun come in each morning.”
So, here goes nothing as I tackle the immense question of why.
I’m moving into college in one and a half short weeks, and it is coming so fast. Of course, I’m excited, but I am also terrified.
I’m not sure what scares me more: letting go of what I’m familiar with or confronting whatever’s in my future. I am so petrified of both. No matter how good it sounds, or how excited I am, I get this overwhelming anxiety that nothing is how it’s supposed to be. I fear that what has spurred my anxiety is that I don’t know how it’s supposed to be. I can’t correct anything because I don’t know what the right answer is, and I don’t know who I am. Sometimes, I feel like this whole time I’ve been pretending to be so many people that I’m not, and I just don’t know which one is me anymore. I’m not sure I ever knew which one was me. Perhaps, I’ve spent so much time desperately seeking everyone’s approval that I never earned my own. I never fully chose who I was.
Everything has just been so confusing, and I don’t want to ask anyone for help because it’s my life, and I need to figure out what to do with it. Even if I wanted to, I can’t stop and ask for directions because everyone has different maps, and they don’t know anything about my map. And, I’m quite afraid to admit that I’ve always been terrible with directions. Perhaps, that’s why I’m so lost.
It doesn’t help that I’ve also had a lot of trouble trying to find myself religiously.
So, if I can paint this picture for you:
Here I am. With this fucked up map. And I’m probably holding it upside down to begin with. But, its scale might also be in like kilometers or some shit. But, I don’t really know because at this point, I’m just the fucking idiot with her map upside down. Or maybe, I’m looking at the wrong map altogether. And everyone else is looking at their maps, and no one has time to stop and help me with my map because they’ve all got to figure out their own maps and get to the places they need to go.
So, ya know, a lot of people look to God to guide them to their destinations. But, I’m completely alone because I have this disconnect with God, and no matter how hard I try, I just can’t feel Him guiding me. No matter how much I want Him in my life, I feel like He’s not here. So, I’m alone.
I have tried some things to get closer to Him. Small things. But, they are things that I gave up when I didn’t get the results that I expected. However, that is a separate problem that I won’t elaborate on. Instead, there is one instance that I do want to share:
The closest I’ve ever felt to Him is when I read about this organization called Adventures in Missions. I started reading participant’s blogs about taking a gap year and their stories about these mission trips. I found time and time again heart-warming stories of people all getting closer to each other and to God and learning about love and grace.
I have never felt a greater calling in my life. I felt like I could feel God in these people’s stories.
But, it’s not like I could abandon my “plan” and college and scholarship on a whim just because I felt like it. And besides, they were no longer taking applications for the year.
The problem is that this isn’t just with religion, but in life, in general, I’ve felt this constant pull between what I’m supposed to do and what I want to do, and I swear, some day, it’s going to split me right in half until I become two completely different people.
But, even if I’m unable to complete my own mission trip, perhaps God just wanted me to learn from these people. So, I want to share what I’ve learned from them, like they’ve shared what they learned with me.
“It is not our job on this earth to judge people, it is our job to love them.”
That is what I’ve learned from these people who find their homes in helping others. Lives as such not only bring us together but bring us closer to God.
I do not know much about God. Or even if I entirely believe that He is who everyone believes He is.
But, what I do know is that love has the power to heal. So, I’ve been trying my hardest to love people. Not to ignore their flaws, but to allow their light to outweigh their darkness.
This story, however, does not necessarily have a happy ending. Remember, I am struggling.
I am still that same lost girl holding her map upside down. I have yet to be saved by His grace. Perhaps, that is the closest I will ever get. Although religion has been the majority of what I’ve shared so far, it has been just one contribution to my mass of confusion.
After thinking of what I’ve written, I realize that all of this may sound like I’m simply struggling because I don’t know what I want to do with my life. Like I want God to make a decision for me so that I don’t have to. Like I want anyoneto make a decision for me so that I don’t have to.
But, it is so much more than that.
My struggle is about finding meaning in this mess of myself.
It’s about understanding why I get the overwhelming feeling that I’m falling apart.
It’s about comprehending love and hope and grief.
It’s about how we live and why we live.
It’s about if I’ll ever be the same as I was a year ago. Or if I’ll ever be the same as I was a month ago. Or a day ago. Or a second.
It’s about if we ever really were who we thought we were.
It’s about understanding friendships.
It’s about how we communicate.
It’s about how people say they miss you, but you can never really know how much they mean it. Or if they mean it at all.
It’s about not knowing what to believe. Who to believe.
It’s about how even if you say you’re friends with someone, you can’t possibly be close unless both people open up.
It’s about not knowing when to hold on and when to let go.
It’s about all the mistakes I’ve made and all the mistakes you’ve made and all the mistakes we’ve made and how those mistakes make me, me and you, you and us, us.
It’s about how we heal.
It’s about falling apart and not understanding how to fall back together. Not understanding how to pick up the pieces. And, once you pick them up, not understanding how to put them back.
It’s about how you could never talk to someone about this because they would never know what to say back.
I am still learning how to get through this.
With all of these unanswered questions, all I can hold onto is this:
“It ends or it doesn’t.”
That is how I’m getting through it.
The pain ends, or I learn to live with it. When people leave, I learn that I could survive without them all along. They answer or they don’t, but I don’t stop asking questions. It ends or it doesn’t. I don’t stop living; I don’t stop breathing.
I am still the girl with her map upside down. Lost. Confused. Probably in the middle of nowhere. And, to keep the picture going, why not throw a thunderstorm in there too?
But, you know what?
When the rain never goes away, I’ll learn to enjoy it.
And, maybe my maps not upside down. Maybe I’m holding it just the right way to hold it to see what I need to see. I just haven’t found it yet. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up.
It ends or it doesn’t.
That’s how I’m getting through this.
I can’t tell you how my story ends, but that’s how my story goes.