There are times when my life just bounces along smoothly. Questions arise and I can bat them away like a self-confident badass. I know exactly what to do with every dilemma that comes up, without a moment's debate. And then there are the times when a question knocks me over and I analyze it for hours. When I can't find the answer no matter how hard I try. Nothing feels right. And this feeling drives me CRAZY! I hate not knowing the answer. So when I had a big question I was sitting with a few weeks ago, it drove me up a wall. I felt twitchy, like I had swallowed ants.
The other day, my son asked for my help finding a video online (parental confession number 1 for this post: my kids watch too many videos on YouTube. I'm okay with it. It prevents Mommy from spiking her coffee). I explained I would be happy to help him, but it might take a little patience. He looks thoughtful and says "That's okay, maybe Dad can do it", to which I insisted "I can do it! I can be patient! I swear!" He considers this for a moment and then replies "You know what, maybe I'll just do it." He's pretty smart, that one.
One day, many years ago, a family member sat me down and told me her story of sexual assault. Her story was meant to be a warning. She did not want me to become prey to the same predator who assaulted her. Telling her story was very scary for her, but she summoned the courage to do it because she knew she could not sit on her knowledge any longer. There are times when the need to speak the truth is more important than the fear.
I have a tattoo on my lower abdomen. It's the word "faith" encircled with an infinity symbol. I got it because I wanted a reminder to always have faith. I got it on my lower abdomen because I figured in times of needing faith, I would lower my head in sadness or despair, and I would see my tattoo, or at least the spot where the tattoo is. I don't generally walk around with my lower abdomen uncovered. I've given birth to three children. Nuff said. But you get what I mean. That tattoo is always there when I need it. But the actual faith itself? No so much. See, faith means trust. They are intrinsically linked. You can't have one without the other. And trust is not an area where I excel.
A couple weeks ago, I made a huge decision. I decided to slow down on my graduate work and take one class at a time instead of two. For some people, looking at my very full life, this would be simply the logical choice. In fact, many people would have stayed at one class at a time from the very beginning. But for me, it took a year of high stress and more than a few panic attacks for me to realize that putting that much on myself was not only unnecessary, it was unkind.
Recently, I went on a trip to Dallas, Texas, as part of my master's degree program. I arrived the day before the event started. I was worried about the travel and being away from my family for that long. But it wasn't until I arrived and was standing in my hotel room, realizing that I now had 30 hours of time completely on my own, with nothing to do, in a large and unfamiliar city, that reality really sunk in.
Hello, my friends! It's been awhile. I know. I have been focusing hardcore on my family, my job, and my studies. I've also been putting lots of thought into a new project that I've had in the back of my head for a long time. It's near and dear to my heart, and I'm so happy to finally bring it to life.
Perfection. We want it. We admire it. We aspire to it. If we purchase something that is broken, we return it. If something we already have breaks, we fix it or throw it out. And according to some social media profiles, some of us appear to have achieved perfect lives. Everywhere we look, there is the assumption that if something is flawed, it is unworthy. So what does that say about us? If we are not perfect, are we unworthy?
I've been thinking a lot lately about the person I used to be. Back when I was much younger, and just out of high school. It was my first time out on my own, away from everyone who knew me. When I was growing up, I basically lived in a fishbowl. As the child of a pastor, there were always eyes on me. An entire congregation watching me, making judgements, and placing expectations on me. I don't remember ever feeling that I could just relax and not worry about fitting into a particular role. Some pastor kids live up to that expectation, and try to be perfect. Others run from that role and rebel, making every opposing choice they possibly can in a desperate attempt to not be forced into a mold. I didn't do that. I went for the perfection route.
My husband told me something one day that completely changed my perspective. I was going through a challenging time, and I told him I felt like no one was supporting me. He told me that since I am normally so strong, and work so hard on making it look like I have it all under control, that he forgets that sometimes I don't actually have it all under control. That I'm actually having a really hard time, and I'm just not showing it. The implication was clear--for me to get the support I need, I have to be honest about the fact that I need support.
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. This is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty, authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.