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

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

All for the Best??

"Don't forget that when you get to heaven, you'll be blessed. Yes, it's all for the best."
"God is a sadistic prick. Worship me and I'll treat you like shit."
-Rabbit Hole

So, here is a blog post that I was hoping never to have to write although I had it prepared in my mind for the past few weeks just in case. I've blogged on here before about how I was finally feeling called by God to head to seminary. I was really excited about finally having some sense of direction and some sort of purpose in my life finally. I was so looking forward to starting seminary in the fall and couldn't wait to finally be back in academia. Well, I sadly have some bad news to report on that front. Apparently, God decided to play yet another trick on me. I found out end of last week that both the seminaries I applied to rejected my application for admission for the fall. When I first got the letters, I have to admit I felt completely dejected and saddened by the news. I cried for a good 20 minutes and still find myself on the verge of tears sometimes over it. You better believe I said some very harsh things to God and may have even called him some very offensive names in the process. However, all that is over with. I've finished crying all my tears and I am now trying to see the good in this situation.
Perhaps God determined that I just wasn't ready for seminary. Maybe I still have too much self-loathing and haven't done enough growing up to adequately prepare me for the ministry. Maybe I'll be ready for it next year. Maybe in ten or twenty years, I will be ready. Maybe I'm not meant to go and I have been misinterpreting God's call. Maybe I wasn't meant to go to the schools I applied to. Maybe God has an odd sense of humor and thinks screwing around with me like this is some idea of a colossal joke. He does seem to have a sick sense of humor after all. I admit to having no idea why God has put this obstacle in front of me.
As I always do, I took the rejections pretty personal and blamed myself for them. As in, if I had just written better essays or had a better transcript or chosen different references or applied to more schools or the list goes on and on. Yes, I'm very angry at God right now. I think I have every right to be. I mean, I finally think I've figured out what he wants me to do next with my life and then He has the audacity to say no!! What gives??!! I'm ashamed to admit this but there was a brief moment when I contemplated suicide. I know, I'm so ashamed of myself for even thinking those thoughts as I really thought I was past that stage of my life. Apparently not, which really upsets me. However, I was so emotionally distraught that night I got the second rejection letter that my thoughts were so full of hurt and pain and anger. It's hard not to see it as a personal rejection. It's hard not to read those letters and see it as them saying, "We're sorry but you are simply too fat, ugly, stupid and gross to come to our school so please go away and don't ever come back". It's like I'm the kid on the playground once again being picked last or told I couldn't play with the cool kids. I know I shouldn't see it that way but I can't help how I feel. I'm just so tired of being rejected from things. It hurts.
Anyway, I've had a few days to process everything. I'm now able to see it more as their loss than mine. If they don't want me, then they don't even know what they're missing. I've started exploring other options for next year but would prefer to keep a lid on them until I have more to report. Let's just say I always end up having to implement Plan B and I am getting really tired of it. Trying to stay positive and optimistic and realize that God doesn't close a door without opening a window. While I am still very, very bitter and angry at Him, I am having to learn how to continue to rely on Him for guidance and assurance. I know that He will lead me down the path that is best for me but I just wish that path was the one I want to take for once!! I've joked with friends over the last couple of days that I'm going to change my name to Job as that really is how I feel sometimes. I know that everything will work out for the best but I just hate that I always have to hit my lowest point emotionally before that can happen. Prayers for me during this time would be greatly appreciated as I try to once again discern where God is leading me next. Hopefully, I will have an answer to that question soon but I'm learning to wait on God's time, not mine!!
"It's all ok in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"There's No Place Like Home" . . . well, maybe??

You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your stuff, that idea of home is gone. It just sort of happens one day and it's gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It's like you feel homesick for a place that doesn't even exist. Maybe it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I don't know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.
- Garden State
They say home is where the heart is. If the exception proves the rule, I guess that's true.
- Dixie Chicks
I want to preface this blog post by stating that some of what I am going to say here might be construed as insulting or offensive by some people. Please know that I do not intend anything I post here to be harmful or mean-spirited in any way toward anybody. However, I made a promise that when I started this blog, I would be completely honest about my feelings and such on it. I refuse to compromise or otherwise be anything other than completely myself on here. This blog is meant to be a catharsis for me so I need to be completely myself on here for that reason. If you find anything I say on here hurtful or insulting or offensive in any way, please know that it is not meant to be taken that way. That being said, we now return you to our regularly scheduled blog post.
I wanted to take some time now to talk about the concept of home. What does that word even mean? Home. It's a word that is full of meaning but also ambiguity. For many people, home is where their family lives. But that's not the entire definition of the word, is it? After all, what about people who don't have any family or who hate their family or are estranged from their family? What do they consider home? Is it where they live now? Is the entire concept of home a myth that we've created to make us feel better about ourselves?
All of this is to say that for me, home is a word full of contradictions. While Texas will always be a part of me in some way, I have to be honest and admit that it really doesn't feel like home anymore. It hasn't for a very long time, actually. Even through college, Texas started to feel less and less like home. I just personally don't feel that deep sense of connection to my home state (or hometown) anymore. While I want to quickly emphasize here that I do deeply miss my family and friends there, there's really nothing left for me back in Texas. I think I've gotten out of it everything I could. There's really no further growth I could do there. In fact, in many ways, moving back there would be a mistake because I could potentially start to regress and lose all the progress I have made. Moving away from "home" (as it were) was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make but looking back on it, it was also a necessity. I needed to branch out and get outside my comfort zone. That's the biggest thing that Texas represents to me right now, safety and convenience. Those are both great things and I am not trying to under-emphasize them but for myself I need to be out of that environment because it doesn't allow room for growth and change. Life isn't about being safe or convenient. Life involves risk and taking chances and not knowing what the next adventure will bring but doing it anyway.
I've already posted on here about my past and the abuse and hurt I suffered for so many years. Texas, for me, will always represent that in some ways. It's hard for me to think of the place and not be confronted with those painful memories that I would rather not think about. Plus, I don't think it's any great secret that I don't exactly share the views or opinion of a lot of the people in that state. Let's be completely honest here and just state for the record that Texas has become downright hateful and discriminatory toward so many others. I don't really want to live in that environment anymore, quite frankly. I realize there are many there who would disagree with those statements and I am also aware that not everybody feels that way. However, you definitely won't find me in the pro-Texas camp. Of course, I realize that by openly bashing the great state of Texas, I am probably going to get lots of hate mail, death threats and probably even a few angry villagers with pitchforks! I don't hate Texas, let me just emphasize that right here and right now. I just have realized that for me, it was not the best place for me to live and so while it may be "home", it's not really "home". It's a place where I keep a lot of my stuff and where many people that I care deeply about are. However, for myself, that's all it is anymore. There's nothing else the state can do for me at this point in time.
So, what exactly does all this rambling mean as it relates to me? Well, since Chicago doesn't feel like home and probably won't be since I will be leaving it in a few months, it means that I am essentially a displaced citizen ie without a home to belong to. Maybe that's how I should feel at this point in my life. Maybe I won't really find a home again until I settle down somewhere and possibly have a family. Maybe God will make that place Texas as some sort of colossal joke (He does like to do those kinds of things to me)!! Maybe I'm just meant to be a wandering drifter never really settling down or finding a home somewhere. I'm actually ok with that idea, by the way. I don't by any means feel bad about this fact. It just gives me an exciting opportunity to re-discover home and what it is. Until then, I guess I shall be a wandering drifter, just passing through in search of a mythical place called "Home".