Stream of Unconscious

Often I wake in the middle of the night with thoughts and visions that must be written. A lot of it may seem like mere rambling, but I am a born writer; I need to see what happens to my words once they stare back at me from the pages of my computer screen. Since I am ususally more than half-asleep when this happens, I jokingly entitled the original document: "Stream of Unconscious." Now that I am finally starting to publish in a blog (as so many people have suggested I should do!), I thought the title remained appropriate.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Edge of Greatness

I've only got a few hours left of my 3-day weekend, and I am sad to see it go. Tomorrow I start back into the normal routine of the life I don't enjoy; the 8-5 daily grind of the job I ought to be grateful for, but have somehow lost the strength to be.

It's been a good weekend. I've just done normal weekend stuff, but with an extra day to rest and get my thoughts together. I took a walk this morning, and it snowed a little, and I just feel a sense of... I guess "peace" is too cliche... but I feel like I see life a little more clearly right now. For the first time in awhile I feel okay. And I wish, so much, that I felt this way more often.

I am on a search for a new life right now. I have grown deeply unsatisfied with what I have currently, and I am working to change it in healthy ways. As much as I don't typically like change, I would change almost everything right now if I could. I still like this city and I have great friends, but other than that... new job, new scenery, new attitude, new everything else would be awesome.

I am trying to do my part. I am making efforts to get in shape and go through all my stuff and only take what I really need into the new house. I am about to update my resume and try to find something more suited to me, and hopefully better pay as well. And even though I'm not really looking for someone, I wouldn't mind getting to the point where I at least felt date-able. Right now I feel like such a mess that I wouldn't dare getting someone else involved with me, unless they really knew what they were getting into. But maybe soon, with a little emotional construction work, I could be closer to ready for that relationship...

And God... I definitely do not feel close to God right now. I know all I need to know, but like I am constantly telling a close friend of mine: "It doesn't matter what you know, it's what you actually believe and live that makes the difference when it comes to eternity..." And I am a little mixed up about what I believe right now, if I am being honest with myself.

I told a girlfriend recently that I feel like a piece of artwork that didn't turn out right, and so got stuffed into the back of God's closet. I mean, at least He kept it. But it's not like He hung it on His wall, where it makes Him smile every day...

Of course I know this isn't truth, it is just my fragile attempt to explain my current emotional state and outlook.

I definitely feel stuck, and I definitely don't feel like I'm a valued member of God's kingdom at the moment. The financial strain and lack of creative necessity in my job has finally caught up with me. I am tired of being poor, tired of paying the minimum amount on my debts, tired of being unhappy, and tired of being, or at least feeling, like second place when it comes to God's daughters. I must find a way to change my perspective. I just wish I knew how already.

Someone I deeply respect told me just this weekend that I am not drowning, as I assumed I was, but that I am right on the edge of greatness. When she said it, it brought to memory my brief moments at the Grand Canyon, peering breathless into something infinitely bigger than I, that I wanted so much to be a part of. I picked up a few rocks, but couldn't grasp it all with just my hand, and I wanted the adventure, but knew I could not survive in the belly of it... in reality, I could only drink in with my eyes and lose myself in wonder...

Can it be? Can it really be that this isn't the end at all, that this isn't the part where I stumble, and fall, and never make it back up... but where I learn that there is something more than I have yet imagined? Am I simply staring at the wall in Plato's cave, wearily watching the same old shapes, with no knowledge of the world that is just beyond my sight? Am I about to turn around and discover light for the first time? Or is hope just another heartache waiting to happen...?

And now, another daylight is fading away, and on to another day that is so like so many before it, and yet different, and new. I do not know what to say, so I merely say a prayer, and go to bed, wishing deep down that I would wake up to another reality... and God knows this well. What he does with that desire, I suppose, is completely up to him.

Here's hoping that at what feels like the end of my rope, I find myself on the edge of greatness instead.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I don't do New Years resolutions. Let's be honest... how often do people actually succeed at them? I guilt myself enough, so setting some unrealistic resolution would only be another recipe for failure in my life.

And yet... a new year brings about a certain thoughtfulness of what we're leaving behind and what we're hoping to head for. I suppose that's why people do it... because we have no other way of expressing the past and future we are faced with. It is like, for one day, the two aspects of time collide and leave us in wonder, with the hope of change.

I have felt stuck, lately, in my own skin and my own little world. I grow restless sometimes and want to just leave everything behind, go somewhere else and try a new life for awhile. Who doesn't, though? I just... fear, and hope, that corporate America isn't the end of the road for me. But what will change that? What could be the difference between me and the people that have been at my job for 10 or more years, still doing the same thing I've done this past year? Not knowing the answer to that question makes me give in to the haunting fears that float through my consciousness. Perhaps I am no different at all. I can't remember, even, what made me think that I was...

I've said that I'm going through a quarter life crisis. Call it what you will, but this year I looked around at my life and said: "This isn't what I really wanted... why is this it??" I thought I was supposed to be a published writer. I thought I was supposed to be married, with kids, or at least well on my way. I thought I was supposed to be making a positive difference in people's lives, being the voice for those who have none. And the desire is certainly still there... the willingness, even... so why am I going to a dead-end job every day, barely making ends meet, where one day bleeds into another, then another... and nothing is ever really accomplished or changed? If I am not who I was, but not yet who I hope to be, then who am I?

Only one year at this job, and it has already taken its toll. I have stopped reading, stopped showing up to places, stopped cleaning my apartment, and stopped looking for miracles. To some degree, I have even stopped hoping for things to change. I know I am falling back into one of my depressions; the curse of the artistic spirit. It happened exactly this time last year as well. It is, perhaps, merely a seasonal thing. I'm sure I could take some pills to numb the questions, or simply wait it out until the sun's warmth and light remind me of truth.

But right now, I am faced with the frightening reality of the question: what's the point? Why should I keep believing things are going to change, or get better, or that somehow I will motivate myself to do something different in the near future? It feels like nothing has changed in a long time. And I'll not try to hide the fact that part of me has simply given up. Not the viewpoint a Christian is supposed to have, I am sure. But I can't even live up to my own standards, so what's to make me think I will ever live up to God's?

I do not feel so sad as I may sound. In reality, I feel only numb and cynical, and like I am disappointing everyone. Perhaps I only ebb and flow with the tide of seasons, and my heart will thaw out as the sun creates longer days and warmer realities. It never fails that, at some point, something touches me from the inside out and I am inspired to a brighter outlook. I think I am about due for one...

The good news for me is that God is a God of details. If he notices the sparrow's fall, then he has noticed my heart sinking, my dreams losing their color, my motivation to stay positive waning. He notices that I am drowning in my own mind's oceans, and that a badly-lit cubicle is no place for the wild creativity of my heart to flourish. He is, no doubt, leading me to higher ground, as he has so many times before. I just have to do my best to see it.

"I lift my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121

Welcome, 2009, and whatever it is that you bring...