Monday, August 21, 2006

Quarter-Life Crisis

The other day I turned 25. You can read my other blog (Blowin out the Candles) to get a little more insight. This is a two-parter though they can be read in any order.

I am currently undergoing a little quarter-life crisis. I know that there are some folks on here that are older than me who have been through it or are still dealing with some of the issues I am going to share but just because you went through it, doesnt make it any easier on me.

I have been going to school straight for 19 years now from kindergarten through my second, and last year of grad school. I have not had time to slow down. K-12 I was forced to go. But shortly after becoming a Christian, God laid my purpose before me and I have been gunning for it ever since. I will hopefully be done in December with my MA in Counseling. 19 ½ years of school will be complete and I dont anticipate going for my PhD in the near future. It has been a long tough road and many, many sacrifices have been made a long the way. But the end is site. However, issues now arise as to what I do when I get done. Do I take a break? Do I move? What is out there for me?

I am also not spiritually where I would like to be. I suppose I will always desire to be in deeper relationship with Jesus. But I dont get to my Bible as often as I desire to. I dont memorize Scripture verses very well. I often feel stuck in my prayer and devotional life. And I have an all around desire to serve God with my gifts more that I have been. I wish that I can be a better witness.

As I spoke in my other blog, I have been missing out on good community for a good little while and I am craving to get it back in my life. But I am kind of stuck. There are people along the way that I have met who are good people but I am not going to trust them with my core which I believe to be essential for good community. They have said or done things that have sent up red flags all over the place that make me not want to share a lot of personal stuff with them because they either are gossipers, or they only give advice, or the worst being those who in more-or-less words tell me that I shouldnt be feeling what I am feeling or completely negate my feelings (a. screw them, b. hopefully you are not them). So I shoot myself in the foot and dont develop community.

Another big (actually huge) issue is my relationship with women, or lack there of. My friends know the back story and consequently my excuses. I am not going to broadcast them out there but know that they are there and if you are interested you can ask me at anytime. Like I said, I am an open book. Friends that know about everything and havent been in touch for a while, it would be worth getting an update as reflection night brought on some new revelations.

As I approached 25 I could feel the dread coming on knowing that there were so many things I wanted to do and had not yet done. And yet I still could not find a way to get to them. I swear if I am at the same place at 30 I am joining a monastery or shooting myself. I suppose part of the dilemma is that I imagined myself being at a very different place by 25. I thought I would be more successful in what I was doing, married, thinner, and in a better groove. Instead my body is battered with one injury after another, my mind is shot from all the reading I have done and still have to do, I am single (see the above paragraph), I have been in school so not earning great income, and my emotions are neglected.

There is so much more that I could add but I am getting drained. I think I need to temper my expectations in a lot of areas so that I will not be as disappointed at 30 as I am at 25. God has blessed me so much and often times I feel as if I take His blessings and never use them.

Blowin’ out the Candles

The other day I turned 25. The problem with this blog is that I don't know where to go from here because there is so much to say at once. I have to divide it up into two blogs.

Since my move to Charlotte I think I have been missing the community I had in college. I crave community. I was talking to my best friend the other day and he knows and understands my hurt. I have been living here two years now and do not have anyone I could call a close confidant or friend. I have friends (and for my Charlotte friends, know I love you deeply) but I doubt if polled any of them could say that they truly know me intimately like my college brothers did in half the time. Perhaps part of that is a failing on my part. Perhaps I haven't pressed people as much as I should have to get to know them or perhaps because I am working on counseling, every time I have tried to get to know someone they feel like they are getting psychoanalyzed (trust me, I much too lazy for that) and distance themselves. But ask my friends, I am an open book. Ask and I share.

This lack of community became apparent as I celebrated my 25th birthday in a Caribou, by myself, with a school book and then went home and sat on my porch for reflection as I stared at the woods behind my apartment. I am not a big flash and dance guy and long ago gave up on the importance of my birthday passing my 16th, 18th, and 21st with little more than a check from Grandma to remind me. It became so unimportant that I actually did forget my birthday one year until my mom reminded me that night. It has become just another typical day. The past two years I have gone to work, come home, done some things around the apartment or read and then went to bed. I want to stop my harping for a minute and thank everyone who sent me a myspace or facebook message and hope that I individually thanked each one of you. I think my biggest issue is that when I already feel like I am missing out on community and craving it, the depths of my despair becomes amplified by the silent phone and the stillness of the woods as I was reflecting. That is in addition to my quarter-life crisis (see Quarter-Life Crisis blog). I think sometimes it is nice to feel celebrated and because I try not to be a selfish person, my birthday is the only day I would even see it as appropriate for me.

I hope after reading this you (as the reader) are not feeling like I am angry or that you should feel pity. That is not what I am trying to evoke. Sure it saddens me. But I am not angry. I suppose more than anything, I want to be bare before you and let know a little bit more of me. And here is the beautiful part, the redeeming factor in this blog. As alone as I felt last week, I was not alone at all. Jesus Christ loves me. And I do not say that passively or go through some sort of verbal yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean I really know that He loves me and though life may not turn out as I would wish it too, He has spared me from so much additional hurt and sorrow and has filled my life abundantly. He puts people in just the right spot at just the right time. My joy rests in Him even when I feel down or unimportant. I hope that if He is not at your center that you will make Him so. Live for and crave this joy in Him. If you are unsure of how, please talk with me or a group of committed believers who will love you while they talk to you.

It is in His Grace and Peace and Love I hope you reside.