Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Jumble of Thoughts

I’ve never been one of those bloggers whose been afraid to write about how I really feel, in fear I’ll lose followers or not receive comments. I’m not someone who likes to sugarcoat the truth, even when it means other people will have tons to say about it. I like reading blogs where people really get personal about their feelings and let it all hang loose. Life is not one big, giant pile of happiness. It’s messy, tough, and hard. This is a post that I’m writing more for me than anyone else. Because, quite honestly, I feel like my life is in shambles right now.

I don’t know when I started to realize that I’m not living my life to its fullest potential. Maybe it happened a few months ago, maybe it happened during last semester but I was too busy keeping my head above water to notice, maybe it’s been an ongoing process for years. The truth is, it fills me with deep regret and bitterness. I want so much out of life, but I feel like I’m so unwilling to do what I need to do to reach it.

My relationship with God is basically non-existent. I go to church on Sundays and I cannot help but feel completely at home there. I could listen to praise and worship music for hours. I love the atmosphere, the preaching, and the people. I leave there determined to get serious about my faith, even if it means leaving behind life as I know it. Yet I come home and fall back into the same old patterns of laziness. I haven’t had a consistent quiet time period since I spent a year on campus in 2006-2007. Back then, I felt so lost and alone. It was the first time I realized that I needed Jesus and I clung to Him. It was such a horrible time in my life, but such an awesome time in my faith. Since then, I’ve been a lazy believer.

I cannot even tell you the amount of times I doubt my faith. It’s really scary, because I know the truth. I know what I believe in. Yet the world is throwing all these different ideas and morals my way that it causes me to wonder what’s right and what’s wrong. I know what’s right, but I want to do what’s wrong, even when all it does is fill me with guilt.

I thought once I was done with my semester, I would be happier. My stress levels would be so much lower, I would have more time for work and exercise. I would be more well-rested. And I would have more time for me. That has been the case. I have had so much me time, it’s insane. But I find myself going to work, going through the motions of the day, coming home and napping for three hours. I’ll wake up so disorientated I won’t even know what day it is, or even if it’s daytime or nighttime. I’ll lay around for about an hour, then hit the gym. Throw in a few hours to read blogs and watch TV, then crawling back into bed at 11 PM, only to do it all over the next day. It’s such a boring way to live. There’s no excitement, no challenges. Life is seemingly passing me by and I’m just watching it with wistfulness in my gaze.

When I get home from work, I have hours with which to do amazing things. I can write more, connect with the online community, take a class at a local rec center, volunteer, take my dog on long walks, help out more around the house, cook complicated recipes, learn more about the area in which I live. Yet I choose to take a nap. I choose to be lazy and non-committal. I choose a mundane life.

I feel like my family unit is falling apart. Things are great between my mother and my brother and I. My nephew is a delight. But then there are other issues looming between other family members that just tears at my soul. I’m not going to dive into them because it’s not fair to them for me to do that but suffice it to say that we are entering a time where we need to pull together even more, and it seems like we’re all dividing. Am I to blame for some of the dividing? You bet! I’ll be the first to admit. But it eats at me that everything has come to this. I want to do something to change it, but I’m scared to take the first step. I’m so damn scared to hold out my hand and offer to help because all I think I’ll get is a dirty look.

I’ve never been one who has wanted to live the life of a normal twentysomething. On most days, I’m happy with the fact that I live a fairly homebody lifestyle where my mom is my best friends. Yet there are times when I wish I were different. I wish I had a close knit of girlfriends with whom to spend weekend nights, having hilarious jokes with, and go on crazy adventures with. I don’t have that. I’ve never had that. I barely know anybody personally that’s my age (and doesn’t want to spend weekend nights at the bars, getting drunk and kissing random guys). Yet again, I’m scared to take the first step. I’m scared to ask someone to hang with me, even if we’re not the best of friends. How does a fairly shy and quiet 22-year-old go about making a brand-new circle of friends? Is that even possible?!

And let’s not forget about my dad. Let’s not forget about the fact that the one man who is supposed to love and support me, unconditionally, does not. Throughout my entire life, I’ve lived in fear of him. I’ve never been able to tell him how I feel, truly feel. He has a terrible temper on him and it’s scary when it’s unleashed on you. When I was five, he yelled at me and reduced me to tears because I couldn’t tie my shoes. When I was ten, he yelled at me when I was sick with the flu and he had to clean up my mess. It’s been so hard for me to truly believe people could like me for me. I haven’t even been able to have a successful relationship with a guy because fear has taken hold of my heart. If my own father couldn’t love me, what makes me think some random guy could? has been a constant thought circulating throughout my head. It took me 22 years to be able to finally tell him how I feel. And I had to tell him this through e-mail. I’m still not sure I could tell him this to his face. His return e-mail was mean and nasty, full of hatred. I didn’t read it, although my mom and brother did. I need a clean break from him. I need to move on. I need to learn how to forgive him. Right now, I’m so caught up in bitterness and hatred that it’s hard to see past that. And it’s been doing a number on my emotions, as of late.

I need a plan. Writing this blog post has helped me see areas in my life that I want to work on. And now I need to figure out how to change my life to reflect the person I want to become.


On a completely unrelated note, I’m guest-posting over at Krysten’s blog today with her “Where I Live Wednesdays” feature. Check it out!


  1. Girl, I'm 27 and feel the same way. I just try to find one area at a time to work on, it's not as overwhelming that way. So pick what is most important to you and focus on that for awhile, when you think you've got that under control, the move on to another area. You can do it!

  2. I think you're really good at critiquing yourself. I am, too; in fact it's one of my favorite past times. But how are you with being gentle and kind to yourself? It's easy to be overcome with feelings of inadequacy and have that actually keep you in the place where you want to move from.

    Let me get theological for a moment. "It is for freedom that Christ set us free." That means freedom from all types of enslavement, including that which we create for ourselves. Yes, you have areas in which you'd like to change and grow. This is part of life. But you also must see where you have come from. The fact that you could confront your dad in whatever form is a sign of great inner strength, and is something to be honored.

    I grew up in a very evangelical area of the country, and I didn't realize until later that the perpetuation of self-hatred that the church can preach is wrong and does not honor God or the person whom God created me to be. I encourage you to practice the love that I'm sure you show others with yourself. Speak kindly to yourself. This doesn't mean you have to overlook the areas that you want to change, but it does mean you don't need to beat yourself up for being human.

    That was quite a long comment. Guess I have strong feelings about this! Much love and hugs to you, sister.

  3. A few things:

    1. Thank you for linking to me. These kinds of posts are HARD to write, but often the blog community will come out in throves to support you when you do write them.

    2. When you talk about this "lazy and mundane lifestyle you choose to live" I just want to tell you to not be so hard on yourself. First, when you get into the habit of sleeping/napping all the time, all you want to do is nap/sleep MORE. So it's hard to make yourself do something else. So don't be too hard on yourself. Maybe start slow, try being productive 2-3 days a week and still have 2 lazy days, and then go from there.

    3. I recognize what you're in as kind of a funk because I've felt the same way before in my own life. Maybe try a new hobby? Something you can throw yourself into and distract you and pick up your spirits again. What about joining some sort of youth group or book club? That way you could meet people AND have something to keep you busy/get you out of the house.

    4. Let me know if you ever need to talk! I'm sure this post was hard to write but I think that it's what you needed to do! XO

  4. Thank you so much for the linkback sweetie, and for being so honest. I'm exactly the same way - never sugarcoating things, and though I DO worry I'll lose readers for blatant honesty sometimes, the blogosphere usually proves otherwise and will stand behind you wholeheartedly. <3

    "I want so much out of life, but I feel like I’m so unwilling to do what I need to do to reach it."

    This is HUGE - it's a self realization that there's a discrepancy between where you are and where you want to be, and that's the KEY factor in pushing you to change things!

    Just remember you have full control over how you react and how you shape your life - there have been times when I've wished for a close knit group of girlfriends, too, but when I stopped trying so hard and just accepted the way things were, people started to crop up. And just because we are thousands of miles away doesn't make a friendship any less real :)

    You've recognized the discrepancy, and the exciting thing about all of this is that means the next step is taking action. I'm excited for you and what's to come!!

  5. A lot of what you said parallels what my life is currently like, so you're not alone in how you feel. (If that is any comfort to you!)

    Moving to Charleston with my husband changed a lot of things in my life, and I feel a little lost. I quit my job and I left my circle of friends, and I've yet to gain any of those things back. I'm still not working (and don't know if I even will because Leo is supposed to be getting orders to move early in 2011), I can't seem to find any freelancing opportunities (maybe I'm not trying hard enough?), and I haven't met any girls my age that I click with. Honestly, I spend a lot of my time at home, alone, with only the dog as company. I try to get out and do things, but it's still the same things, day after day.

    It's really disheartening sometimes, and when there are so many things in your life that you want to change, it can be overwhelming. You don't know where to start, so nothing gets done. I don't really nap during the day, but I got into this annoying habit of staying up really late and sleeping in. It makes me feel like I'm wasting away my day, since I wake up and it's already mid-morning and too hot outside to take my dog for a walk or run.

    I think now that you've realized the things you want to change, start small. Make it as easy on yourself as possible. Make gradual changes (like shortening your naps or not napping at all for a day or two out of the week) or pick just one thing to focus on at a time. You CAN do it, just as I know I can. It just takes the discipline to kick yourself into action.

  6. How can it be that 2 girls in completely different areas and different beliefs be feeling the SAME way?

    I've been following your blog for months now and I love it. I love it b/c I read your struggles and realize I'm not alone in my struggles.

    I'm struggling in the same way. Except, I want to stop going out to bars and making out with random guys. I'm moving towards a more homebody lifestyle and I'm loving it.

    If you ever need to talk, let me know. Leave a comment on my blog. (I'm creating an email address specifically for the blog.)

  7. The first step was writing this out, wasn't it? The next step is physically doing something. When you wanna take that nap, set your alarm for an hour nap ONLY, then dedicate your next hours to something you WANT do...volunteer, write, etc. I think planning can do a lot for everyone.

    But you don't always have to plan. I find that when I am in the house too much, I tend to think more negatively. Take a drive somewhere random...let the day take you where you are naturally supposed to go. Go write in a coffee shop, people watch...dress up a little for fun and feel alive! It all helps.

    And about the God time...yes, this is hard! But you know as well as I do that your day goes better if you have some time with the Word. Let it be the FIRST thing you do in the morning. When God is the first thing to enter your mind in the morning, you walk into the day with a new perspective. This has ALWAYS been the best thing for me...and I feel lacking when I don't do it. This is about discipline. You gotta train yourself to be dedicated to this!

    Alright! This is my advice...I'll say a little prayer for you :)

  8. Stephany, I know I've never talked a lot about this on my blog, but I was raised really religiously and when I was a little younger than you, I was in a similar place. I felt like I always had to be proving my faith, meeting certain goals/quiet time allotments, etc. I think that sometimes hearing about other faiths and beliefs is okay and it's okay to think and consider and use that to grow and change. I'm not saying I think you should abandon your faith, just that you shouldn't beat yourself up.

    Secondly, when it comes to social stuff, I often see you write about how you're not sure how to find girls who aren't always out getting drunk, hooking up, etc. I was a pretty tame 21-year-old and am still a pretty tame 27-year-old. Have you looked at things like Sometimes, they have crafting circles or trivia nights---places to meet girls who are into things you like. I've made friends at yoga, the gym, through the program mentor with, etc. I always think that you'll find like-minded people doing the things you really love.

    I know these things are hard. Set small goals, do your best and then just enjoy being you.

  9. I know I am a little late to this post.. But expect an email from me lady... I am workng on it.


    Hannah Katy

  10. Thanks for being so honest. Sorry I haven't been a good blogger friend lately. I try to work on a few things at time so I don't get overwhelmed by the the plethora of things I want to accomplish. Maybe take baby steps until you get your feet wet? I hope things are getting better. We all get in our own "ruts" from time to time. At least you're trying to get out of yours! Have a good week :)

  11. There is a lot in this post that I could've written myself -- namely, about my faith and my relationship with God. It's like, I KNOW how great it feels to spend time with him daily, and to be seeking His will every day, but somehow it just isn't happening. I'm lazy and afraid and selfish and stubborn. What's UP with that?

    Thank you for sharing this honest and open post with everyone! I love it when people make me really think about stuff. :-P

  12. This post just made me want to hug you. I understand how you feel. It's so important to feel fulfilled in life. The worst/greatest part is when you realize there is so much to see out there. Just make the best of everyday. If you wake up every day & do something that makes you truly happy, then think of it as a good day. :)

    PS: why don't we live in the same country? We'd have awesome hang out parties!!


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