While many are enjoying a sunny, bright, fun and free-spirited summer, my forecast has been gloomy with a case of depression and anxiety. I mean nail biting in full effect! I am finishing up my masters program and have been struggling to deal with the massive transitions I feel coming head on. Let’s be real, following ALL your passions is all fun and games and totally gives your life meaning, but it doesn’t always pay your bills. I have been working 3-4 jobs while getting my masters and while I will say I absolutely love substituting, tutoring and coaching I have sacrificed insurance, my own place, traveling, saving and anything pretty much beyond the essentials. As my masters program comes to an end, I am faced with HUGE questions about my future and they all challenge my current commitments and comfort zone.
My amazing man, best friends and family threw me a surprise graduation party that stole the last bit of happiness out of me. I hit the top of the mountain and looked down at the rocky, edgy, steep and unstable ground that beckoned me. Anxiety, migraines and a sea of emotions have stole the show and again I questioned myself, am I enough? Beyond obsessing over my synthesis project and if I actually made a difference I began to question my entire life. Looking at everything I didn’t have, questioning if I learned enough the last two years, am I ready to make another career change, etc….. While this is an overall problem I have with myself (self-doubt, not trusting that I am the shit!), it has been a heavy burden the last few weeks. But even in complete chaos, self-doubt and a whirlwind of stress and due dates I managed to stop and listen.
Life gets so busy that we become overwhelmingly distracted, sometimes by our own thoughts. I find it that when we are so close to a blessing or completing a goal, self-doubt heightens and the devil, or negative energy/spirits if you will, try to tear you down. Obviously social media doesn’t help, as it is so easy to compare your journey to someone else’s and American culture teaches us that we have somewhere to be, something to accomplish and more to do (we are never enough, have enough or do enough). We are always on this chaotic, depressing, never-ending pursuit of happiness. When people ask you how you are doing and you struggle to put on the fake smile, or answer with something positive, that is a good indication you need to reset and reflect on your journey (like ME!).
These last few weeks I have struggled to say anything positive about my circumstances because I don’t feel I am where I need to be, my project isn’t done, this non-profit seems so far fetched, I want more, I need more. My last post was about being purposeful and planting seeds which left me in a good place mentally to put in the “hard work” to get up that mountain. But one look over the edge at that steep, rocky downhill road that I knew I needed to travel, and I took five steps backward.
While listening to KLove the other day I heard a message saying: “pour yourself in where ever God has planted you.” I have been so worried about finding the right path to take that the thought of “being” (planted) right where I was supposed to be didn’t even cross my mind. Then God sent me another message, “bloom where you are planted.” Then a few days ago my mom randomly text me, “don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.”
What is all this about flowers, blooming, planting and how is it connected to this rocky, unstable trek I am about to venture on?
One, it meant God had been listening even when I wasn’t asking. I realized that I had been in an emotional downward spiral of doubts and didn’t ask one time to be picked up, encouraged or supported. I have been diligently planting seeds but felt that I wasn’t being nurtured or cared for the way I was towards others. I felt selfish for even thinking this way. I felt dried up and lifeless like a wilted flower. These messages seem straight forward but I had to sit and ask myself what is God trying to tell me?
It finally hit me. I am not only where I am supposed to be and where he has called me to be but I am blossoming and I needed to ENJOY IT! Things are coming full circle and that means that it is even more difficult for me to finish the race. The difficulties come from things I can not control and like I tell my players, “control the controllables.” All it is, is surviving the storm and not all flowers will survive April showers. For me to “survive” this time in my life I need to be grounded in love not just for what I am doing for others but love for myself. I needed something to bring life back into my wilting spirit and it was as simple as stopping and smelling the roses. Well, more like enjoying the rocky downhill trek, laughing at myself when I fall and not being afraid to reach out for a hand to help me back up.
God’s message for me: I AM blossoming into who I set out to become. I keep trying to set myself up to be this woman and haven’t given myself the credit, that I AM HER. Being her doesn’t mean that everything is perfect or that everyone will see her for who she is but nevertheless she IS.
How often are we looking ahead that we can’t see the beauty in the present?
Let us be kind to ourselves. Slow down to listen and appreciate where you are whether that is thorny, budding, or blossomed- it is a beautiful. Enjoy the transformation from beginning to end and try your best to be present enough to stop and smell the roses along the way.