2005 and What Follows

2005 was a major turning point in my life. A year out of college, I was still batting the same battles I was at school: Take #4 of getting back together with the college sweetheart failed spectacularly, yet I should have seen that one coming. My friend with benefits probably wasn’t going to magically show up with an orchestra and profess his undying love for me, but I held out hope. My anxiety and depression ruled over me, keeping me from enjoying and experiencing life. I was carving out a career in the middle of no where and I was miserable. I had a pretty good idea of who I was and what I wanted, yet I was still very much a work in progress. Sick of waiting for “the right time,” which never actually came, a mental breakdown in late 2004 spurred me on: 2005 was going to be different because I was going to make it different. The cycle was breaking now.

And it broke.

I began with getting back to God: despite my church attendance, I was really slacking in the spiritual department. I woke up early and had tea with sugar, a candle burning, and I read through the Bible; another thing I hadn’t done before. This rhythm became a daily event that helped center me and give me pause to reflect through the lens of Him.

I sought medical treatment for my anxiety and depression in the form of medication. I had a false start with some bad side effects but eventually found something that worked for me. I could finally heal.

I decided the college boyfriend wasn’t worth a 5th chance and cut him off entirely. A weekend at a fancy hotel was the epilogue of my friend with benefits. I decided if he wanted to call me and make this romance official, I was game. He didn’t call me and I didn’t call him for two months. He wasn’t interested in a real relationship with me.

I did date a guy I met on match.com and we were completely wrong for each other overall and there was only one thing positive about the relationship that’s too stupid and shallow to even write here, let alone build a partnership on. We lasted four months before he broke it off and I was completely okay with it.

I went to Europe with friends and while the trip was challenging, it gave me the courage to leave Illinois and I interviewed for a gig that eventually allowed me to move to North Carolina at the beginning of 2006.

It was a year of refining change that was desperately needed.

And with 2020 nearly here, I find myself in the same place.

The front has changed, but I’m fighting the same battles I was fighting in 2015 and I am tired, so very tired. Spiritually, I feel I need more rubber on the road; a technical writing church project will keep me busy around Christmas. And while I profess to follow Jesus, am I really living out His mission in my daily life? What would that look like? My husband and I keep hitting potholes and it’s apparent I need a wheel alignment, but I’m more interested in getting the road fixed, although my tires are wearing unevenly. Unlike 2005, I don’t have a clear path forward. I’m not sure how to adjust the sliders and knobs to get better sound quality; the mics feeding back have frayed my last nerve.

In addition to my contemplative prayer app, starting in December, I decided to read a book of the bible every month, and spend the entire month in that book. I want to savor verses. I want to read over passages that make me roll my eyes, shake my head, question, and really push through them. I want to use verses as a prayer, like a hard candy melting in my mouth.

I don’t know what 2020 and the decade ahead holds, but all I know is it can’t be a second verse to this song that’s been on repeat.

2017: This year I purpose to….

As someone who did not make any new year’s resolutions last year, as I was fighting for emotional survival, this year I wanted to be more purposeful.  In the past, I had always done my one word, which I think is a great tool – I loved the simplicity about it.  But this year, I feel I need to do something deeper and with stronger guides than the past.  I stumbled upon this blog and decided to make it my year-long project for 2017.  Each month I will chose a phrase to make my focus.  Here’s what it looks like:

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My goals for 2017 look inward and outward, and most of all, reflect the Light of the Lord.  It  took me awhile to come up with these – I kept changing the wording on some – others popped into my head, as I felt a nudging from the Lord.  I know what I want these statements to become in my life, but the Lord usually turns that on its head, so this should make for an interesting year, especially the one about growing grapes.  I’ll probably grow something else entirely.

It’s already looking interesting: we’re getting a nationalist in the White House.  How will the US play on the world stage with this regime change?  How is Europe going to change?  We booked a reconnaissance meeting with a realtor: our 2100 sq ft house is big for just the 2 of us – we’re been floating the idea of downsizing to a smaller house and paying it off within a few years.  Our huge house comes with a lot of property too – it is a lot to maintain.  We’re not selling out of desperation: we are selling because we choose to change our lifestyle, possibly careers – who knows what will become of it.  In my own little world, my loved one who was silently struggling with alcohol addiction decided to stop drinking and seek the help of a professional counselor.  I am overjoyed, but guarded: these things are not fixed overnight or guaranteed.  Nonetheless, I am so thankful and happy that this sordid chapter may come to a close.  I’d like a new job, but in the past year, I’ve been rejected 4 times and currently have no prospects.  There’s a family-sized hole in my heart.  How will the Lord fill that?  I’m taking on a project at church that is out of my realm of expertise.  So many questions, so much potential.

What better phrase to start January with than this:

Learn to move forward.

  • Stop dwelling on what was or what could have been
  • Do something new
  • Don’t get hung up on worry
  • Acknowledge mistakes and then let them go

Moving forward.