Why is everything so heavy?” – Linkin Park, “Heavy”
I read back through my posts lately and thought why is everything so heavy? This is where I come to wrestle with my demons and reconcile the past with the present. Sometimes it’s heavy stuff but I have entire weeks and months of uneventful moments that would bore you to tears to read about. It’s time to lighten things up a bit.
I quit my job!
One of my jobs, at least. I’ve mentioned before that my husband and I have a business in an industry that can be fickle and turbulent. My Achilles heel is not feeling safe financially so I thought that if I went to work outside the industry, I’d help create stability for my family during the down times. I found an amazing job that was everything I prayed for and more.
Until it wasn’t. I hate when that happens because I really, really like to get things right the first time. You would think that after all these years of NEVER getting anything right the first time that I’d be used to it, but no. I still strive for things to work out in a way that perfectly matches my expectations.
Expectations are like watching a tree’s leaves fall and trying to predict where each and every one is going to land. That’s really good. I’m going to quote myself.
“Expectations are like watching a tree’s leaves fall and trying to predict where each and every one is going to land.” – me
You can substitute expectations with trying to predict your business’s cash flow, watching your kid navigate through school, driving in rush hour or any other situation where we think we should be in control of the outcome.
I wanted this job to be the “the one” and when I realized it wasn’t, I automatically went into scarcity mode.
What if this is the last great thing that will ever happen to me? What if God gives up on me? What if, what if, what if…
2016 kicked me in the teeth. So many things tested me, challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone. In hindsight, I can see that for a period of 3 or 4 months last year I was seriously depressed and I probably should’ve seen a doctor but I didn’t recognize what was happening. I get mad, I get sad, I fill to the brim with anxiety but I never get depressed. The last time I remember being truly depressed was over 25 years ago in college.
What’s sobering for me when I look back is how isolated I had become. I wrote in my journal, “I can’t tell if how I feel is reasonable or out of proportion to the situation. And I can’t tell anyone about it.”
That is a dangerous place to be. I was honestly scared of some of my thoughts. I may not have known I was depressed but at that moment, I knew that I had to force myself to ask for help. I started with God and little by little, my heart was opened to possibilities and hope. People came into my life and I took the risk to let them in. I can almost pinpoint the exact day when the depression lifted and I could see with clarity what I had been going through. I created a file titled Remember and I filled it with quotes, songs, blog posts, articles and anything else that would remind me that if I started to feel depressed again, I absolutely should not try to handle it alone. Depression is nothing to mess with.
We live near a cactus farm (yeah, that’s a real thing) and one day while perusing the cacti and succulents, I fell in love with a plant known as a Desert Rose (Adenium obesum). It’s a dramatic plant and it reminds me of the Weirwood heart tree in Game of Thrones. You almost expect to see a face carved in trunk.
I felt an instant spiritual connection to it and my husband surprised me with one for my birthday. It loves heat and thrives in our hot summers but it has to be brought indoors for the winter (even the mild winter in Tucson). It’s in the oleander family and I’ve read that its sap is poisonous. Some people might find it high maintenance but it fits me perfectly. Stark and lush, hardy and delicate.
I learned some things about myself during this season in my life. I can trust in my resiliency. I can trust in the tools I’ve gathered along the way but that they need to be cared for and honed. I can trust that God will never, ever give up on me and that He dreams bigger than I do. I’ve learned that if something doesn’t feel right, no matter how much I want to resist the feeling, I can trust my heart and do something about it.
This post is dedicated to anyone who has ever felt like giving up. Please don’t. The world needs each and every light.