What does life look like post graduation from graduate school? I am about to find out!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm Not Gonna Lie!!

I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I sometimes really miss living by myself.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I'm starting to feel really drained by being here.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I'm getting really frustrated and angry with God more than I should be.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I really wish I were in Texas or New York this weekend, especially Sunday!
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . Living in intentional Christian community is quite possibly the hardest thing I have ever done.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I am kinda ready for August 12th to hurry up and get here.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I'm ready for Spring
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . Life here is so much tougher than I ever imagined.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I really wish I had heard back from Seminaries by now.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . It's really hard for me to constantly be "on" and never have time to be "off".
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I've been kinda depressed the last couple days for no apparent reason.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . This year is not at all what I signed up for.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . My Type A personality is really struggling.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I still don't feel entirely safe when walking down the street.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I really wish I had more money.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I'm still glad I did this even though I question my decision all the time.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . Deciding to be a YAV was the best decision I have ever made.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I'm starting to wonder if I am misinterpreting God in some way.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . Yoga has helped so much with my outlook on life.
I'm Not Gonna Lie . . . I really love Chicago, even if I am not planning to stay here!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Halfway There!!

Well, folks, today officially marks the halfway point of my time here in Chicago. Six months from today, I will be on a plane headed back to Texas and while I don't yet know how long I will be at home, the fact remains that I will be back for an as yet undetermined length of time. As I reflect on this fact, it shocks me to think that I am just six months away from returning to my old life. I will come back a changed person, though, that's for sure. I just hope I am able to maintain the changes even after I return home. I worry that I will slip right back into being the same person that I was before I left. Not saying that I was a bad person or anything, just that the person I have become since I left is so much better and I would hate to see all the progress I have made be erased.
I've grown to really love Chicago. However, I have also realized within the last few weeks that as much as I love it, it's not really my city. I can't really put my finger on why I feel that way but I just personally feel like this city isn't the right one for me and that I can't thrive here. It's an important revelation to have and indicates that I definitely need to look at other cities to relocate to when my time here is done. I had really hoped that Chicago would be the place for me and I am sad to realize that it is not. Like I stated earlier, I can't really put my finger on why just that it has become clear to me that this place and these people will never truly be mine. I need to find my own space and my own sense of direction. Chicago has been a blessing to me in so many ways and I don't for one second regret coming here. It helped me grow and change in so many fundamental and important ways and so for that alone, I am grateful to this city. However, I'm not meant to settle here and I know that now. I'm glad I had this experience and I will always look back on it fondly but when push comes to shove, I'm gonna be ready to say goodbye August 12th because I will know that I am meant to be thriving someplace else.
This doesn't in any way mean that I am counting down the days I have left or am anxiously awaiting my last day. No, far from it in fact. I am definitely not ready to say goodbye to this city or the friends I have made here. I plan to enjoy every minute of the second half of my journey and have no intention of looking at it in a negative light. Just that I am able to recognize that my time here is meant to be temporary and that I am not putting down roots here. It pains me to say that as I had really hoped to make Chicago my new home and everything but that just means that God has something else in mind for me. Maybe I'm too young to "settle down" as it were. I guess I need to travel and live other places before I can say for sure where I am supposed to land. I've always had wanderlust so that could be a big factor in my decision.
So, in conclusion, I guess you could say that I am once again a man without a country, as it were. No place to call home anymore and no idea what comes next. Here's hoping that over the next six months, God will help me find where I should head next regardless of whether or not that new place becomes home for me. I've made peace with this decision and have accepted that Chicago and I aren't meant to become permanent partners but rather just a temporary fling on my journey through life. Here's hoping wherever I land next will be somewhat closer to what I am looking for. Until then, here's hoping the next six months go smoothly and I can leave Chicago with a clear conscience and no regrets.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sick Days and Snow Days

Hello, everyone. I haven't really felt compelled to blog the last few weeks so that's why I haven't. It gets harder and harder for me to find topics to blog about as I get further and further into my year. Today, I want to talk about what's been going on in my world for the last few days.
You may have heard on the news but Chicago has just experienced its worst snowstorm in over 40 years. The blizzard arrived Tuesday afternoon and so far has managed to drop 20 inches of snow on the ground, causing the city to experience massive closures and delays all over the place. Chicago Public Schools were closed for the first time in 12 years and many motorists found themselves stranded on the highway for hours on end. Meanwhile, as for us YAVS, we have found ourselves with something unexpected: snow days!! Definitely never thought that I would ever get a snow day up here but so far I have had two and it's very odd as it has been so long since I have had one that I have kinda forgotten what one does on a snow day. We are all starting to suffer from cabin fever, though, as too much time cooped up indoors will do that to a person. All in all, it's been an unexpected treat but I think we are all ready to get back to work just so we have an excuse to get out of the house.
I, however, have been cooped up in the house for reasons unrelated to the weather. Sometime last weekend, I seem to have caught the flu bug and woke up Monday morning feeling miserable so have spent the last three days in bed literally only getting up to go to the bathroom. I am just now starting to feel better finally and am ready to go back to work tomorrow night. I'm glad for the snow days because they meant I didn't have to call in sick too much. We get unlimited sick days which is nice but anyone who knows me knows that I loathe calling in sick or taking sick days and so this marked the first time in three years that I actually did it. Fortunately, right after I did it the storm hit so the past two days have been snow days and now I feel well enough that I shouldn't have to call in sick anymore. I've never liked being sick as I don't like the general feeling of helplessness that it entails and the amount of time you have to spend in bed doing nothing bothers me. Once again, my Type A personality just doesn't gibe with being sick and especially considering that this marked the first time in over a year that I had actually gotten sick, it meant that I have spent the last few days feeling absolutely miserable. I can't even begin to tell you how good it feels to finally be feeling a little better. At least if I had to get sick, it was during the Snowpocalypse so I didn't have to feel as guilty about missing work and having other people take on my responsibilities. That much, at least, is a blessing.
Without a doubt, this has been one of the hardest weeks I have had here so far. Fighting off the flu while watching the city you've grown to love completely shut down has definitely been difficult. It's like God is trying to test my patience and seeing just how many different things he can throw at me all at once. I hope I passed his test. This week really tested my resolve as thanks to the weather (and our less than adequate insurance) I couldn't get out of the house to go see a doctor so had to rely on some old-fashioned remedies to cure myself. I do hope that this is the last time that I will get sick between now and August. I don't think I could handle another bout. It will be a few days until both the City and myself fully recover but once we do, just watch out!!