My Thoughts On a Crisis

The world is going through sudden pandemonium. And apparently none of us saw it coming. Even though we’ve been warned. Even though we’ve been writing books about it and making movies about it and scaring each other with it for years now. Because we never expected it to really happen.

Everything is changing, but I almost feel as if nothing has changed at all. My routines are still the same. I’m still alone all weekend because I don’t have any friends and my husband works weekends. I still do yoga most days. I still take my dog on walks and deal with her anxiety when there’s too much going on outside. I still go to work. I still buy things only in the amounts I need.

But life has still been thrown off kilter. I take public transit to work because it’s cheaper than filling my car up with gas every week. On Friday, I was one of the only people on most of my buses. I’ve been told the freeways feel empty. Everything is being closed or cancelled. And my company’s sales dropped by 50% in two days. Which means they can’t afford to pay all of their employees unless we drop down to four days a week. On Monday we’ll find out if more days need to be cut. Which means I’ll lose money when I’m barely making it as it is. Which means the review and raise my offer letter promised I’d get a month ago most likely aren’t ever going to happen. Which means I’m once again questioning every decision I’ve made in my recent years.

I sometimes wish I’d never moved to Alabama. I was making good money before that move. I was stable. But I was wild. I was going out and drinking and trying things that I once said I’d never try. I was staying out late and getting up early and working two jobs. But I was having fun. I was also in my early 20s. I’m not in my early 20s anymore.
I often wish I’d never quit my job at Starbucks. I had good benefits. I always knew I’d get hours. I had friends at work that I enjoyed talking to and listening to and hanging out with outside of work. I had stability. If this pandemic had hit then, that large corporation would make sure I was taken care of as a valuable employee. But I was depressed. I didn’t feel heard by the other supervisors or by my manager. I tried for months to quit that job. I didn’t have weekends or evenings off. My back always hurt.
I sometimes wish we hadn’t moved home to California. My boyfriend turned fiance turned husband wouldn’t have been screwed over by someone I was friends with in high school. And he wouldn’t have spent six months feeling depressed and isolated because that’s what small, shitty towns do to you if you’re not ready for them. Half my stuff wouldn’t still be in his dad’s basement or in random places in my childhood home. I would still feel like I could make it on my own. But I’d still be dealing with Alabama weather, Alabama wages, Alabama politics and everything that goes with that. I would still be told by old, slow, southern women that I talk too fast and be hated when I apologize and tell them I’m from California. I would still be homesick.
I wish I hadn’t quit my graduate program. I loved that program. I loved the people that came with it. I would be almost done by now if we hadn’t left. I would have a sense of purpose. I would know that I’d be actually stable in the future. Because I chose a program here and went through the process of writing essays and getting more letters of recommendation and getting accepted so I could finish only to be riddled with so much anxiety and stress and depression that I decided it was better to wait longer. Or maybe not go back at all, because I want to be in another program that is actually good where the professors actually care and where I actually know what is going on. I want to be part of program that I’m excited about it. But I’m not excited about much these days.
I quite frequently wish we hadn’t moved to San Diego. We didn’t have the money saved for this move. I feel so sunk in the hole that I’ll probably never get out. I don’t know anyone and I have no friends. Covered CA keeps fucking up my health insurance and has now cancelled it without telling me. I don’t make enough to keep myself afloat. I am struggling worse than I have since my mom died. I 100% don’t know how I’m going to get through this. But I know that I will. And I know that my partner is happy. I know that I did this for him. I know that I have someone to spend my life with and see everyday, and not everyone has that. I know that we’ll take care of each other. For better or for worse. In sickness and in health. We’re going to be okay, eventually.

So our world is sick. Actual insane (most likely white ladies) are buying up every roll of toilet paper, bottle of hand sanitizer, and non perishable food item on the shelves in literally every store. These people actually plan to never go outside again. Sucks for them. But you know what? The world is still turning. Most of us will survive this. We’ll someday get to say “remember when?” And hopefully this will open our nation’s eyes to how much we need healthcare reform.
After days and days of rain, the sun came out today. I got to feel it on my skin and was reminded that very soon it will be warm enough for me to spend hours laying on the beach. Because I only live a mile from the ocean.

Go outside, even if it’s only for a minute. Take a breath of fresh air. And then go read a book, do some yoga, watch a movie, binge some netflix, pet your dog, and kiss your partner. Take this chaotic time and turn it into a time to remember what peace is like. Remember what stillness is like. Remember what it’s like to not feel the need to keep up with everything going on. Take this as a time to hit reset for a little while.
Remember what the sun feels like.

Everything Is Hard Sometimes

So, I got engaged 2 months ago. And everything has been a whirlwind. Because I’m getting married in February, and that’s 3 months away and I don’t know what I need help with but I feel like everyone has an opinion. But it’s our wedding. It’s my and Bobby’s wedding. So the only opinion that should matter is our own.

We were only supposed to be here 3 months. But we’ve been here 6. So we’re trying to move. And moving is hard. Finding new jobs is hard. Finding a place to live is hard. And I’m so afraid we can’t do it. I’m so afraid that moving home and all the things since have been a terrible mistake. Even though I love my job. Even though I make enough. There’s never been anything for me here. And there’s definitely nothing here for Bobby. He’s why we’re leaving. Because he gave up everything to move across the country with me. But things have only gone wrong. If I could turn back time, I probably would have done things differently.

I’m depressed and everything feels hard. I’ve been off my meds since the summer, because I couldn’t get health insurance. And apparently my home church has changed so much that I’m not allowed to be depressed here. Because depression obviously means that the love of my life isn’t really the love of my life. Even though he is. And he was there for me when no one else was. What a great way to make me not feel at home in my home.

But mostly, I just miss my mom. I hate planning a wedding without her. I hate that she won’t be there when I marry my best friend. I hate that she’s never met him. And I hate that I can’t even talk about it.

Times They Are a Changin’

I almost never blog anymore, but I always blog in airports, and that’s where I am right now.

Yesterday would have been my mother’s 64th birthday.  It’s been two years since she passed.  She’ll never meet my boyfriend.  She’ll never see me finish my masters or have a real job.  She’ll never visit me in Alabama or Arizona or anywhere else I might end up living.   And my life keeps going on.  I keep moving forward.  Everyday I’m distanced from what she knew me to be.  And I’m hoping that I’m who she would have wanted me to be.

We’re flying to California because my dad is getting married on Saturday.  He’s moving to Southern California.  My brother moved back to our childhood home to keep the house.  Everything’s different, and I’m not even around to notice it.

People keep asking me how I feel about these changes.  My biggest concern is that my dad is happy, so obviously I’m fine with it.  And honestly, being across the country, I don’t even notice the changes.  My life is still the same.  I go the same job.  I have the same friends.  The only difference is that I’m in school, so I have class and homework.

So yeah.  I’m happy.  Or relatively.  Blending my family is not the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I’ll try to have more thoughts next time.

Leader

Husband as leader
Really bothers me
Husband as head
Must have been cultural
Because today, women are strong
Today, women are equal
Today, women are independent

I want to live my own life
And let his supplement mine
And vice versa

He is not my leader
Nor am I his
Equals
Partners
In love and in life

Not with two heads
But with no head
Shoulders above all of this
Part of the body

Lacking Creativity

Lacking creativity, I sit here at my keyboard, searching for the right words to put down.  It seems that there should be so much to say, and that I should have so much to reflect on, but I’d rather spin fiction than share the trivial thoughts that are on my mind.  Yet, I don’t write at all.  I have characters that need developing, but it’s almost as if I’ve fallen out of love with them.  However, I realize that maybe characters are like any other person, and that if we don’t spend time enough time with them, we forget what once was so powerfully drawing us toward them.  And I realize further that this is what God is like.  Until this week, it had been months since I had sat down and spent significant amounts of intentional time with Him.  And it’s still not enough.  I want to fall in love with Him again.  I want to fall in love.  That’s it.

See, most would expect me to mention that I graduated from college more than a week ago.  And as that was such a big moment in my life, I find it pales in comparison to what it would be if I had gotten my degree in something that I actually plan on using.  I want to be a writer, although I have been writing so much less than I should if I wish to actually call myself a writer.  Yet I digress.  If I had gotten my degree in journalism or literature or creative writing I would probably be freaking out and loudly announcing that I had surely walked across a stage and received a diploma for a degree that I was passionate about.

God’s funny like that, isn’t He?  As a fifteen year old girl I was certain that I had a heart for youth, assuming that meant being a youth pastor.  God audibly called me to attend Life Pacific College.  Soon after beginning my college career I realized that I don’t want to be in vocational ministry in any form at all, and soon after that I found my passion as a writer.  God told me to write, and I still haven’t finished anything to be proud of.  I tried to leave school, but I knew that LIFE was where I was meant to stay.  After four years of perseverance, I have finished and I have my Bachelors, and now I have even less certainty about my future than I did a year ago.  I know what I’m doing with my summer.  I know I plan to move to Portland in August.  But how easily can everything change?  So I still wonder why God called me to LPC at all?

I went to a wedding yesterday.  It was by far the best wedding I had ever attended.  I even regained the courage I had in high school, if only temporarily, and talked to a cute guy.  Yet I still don’t feel compelled to write so many words about it.  I often say that I don’t believe in soulmates, but I know that Erica and Robbie are truly meant for each other.  It makes me wonder if maybe some people do have soulmates.  It makes me wonder if I have a soulmate, if people will one day say, “they’re meant for each other,” about me and some man.

Does anyone have any creativity they’d like to send my way?  Do you have any extra motivation?

Realizations

Today was a hard day.  Parts of yesterday were hard also, but that’s besides the point.  This will probably be short, but these are some things that I have realized over the past couple of days.

  1. If I were an animal, I would be a cat.  I don’t particularly like cats, but I’ve been compared to one recently, more than once, and I’m beginning to see why.  Cats tend to wander, but spend time alone.  I wander and go to find people when I feel lonely or that I need people.  Then I leave when I feel ignored.  If I feel annoyed or uncomfortable in a situation, I leave.  I kinda chase things around like a cat.  Example: when I attempt the steal the basketball from my friend Sal.  When I walk up to my friends, I hit them with my head, the way a cat would when they want attention.  I’m not really sure why I do these things, I’ve always been more of a dog person.
  2. I don’t currently have any friends that I can rely on except for maybe these two guys I know.  They are good.  There are people that I’ve depended on lately, but I can’t rely on them.  In fact, today I realized that I go to find people, I search them out, but no one will do that for me.  None of my “good friends” search me out.  They swear that they’ll freak out or be changed forever if I was gone, but I’m sure they wouldn’t notice for a while.  Like at least a week.  Today I took one of the few chick friends I thought I could rely on to the store with me and I told her how I felt.  I told her that it hurts that no one asks me to hang out and that I am almost to the point of giving up.  Do you know what she said?  You make us feel guilty when you tell us that we never hang out anymore, so we feel bad and don’t want to hang out.  Does that sound as illogical to you as it did to me?  IF YOU FEEL GUILTY ABOUT SOMETHING, YOU DON’T FREAKIN’ KEEP DOING IT.  So yeah, basically that hurts.  And I feel like dying.
  3. I don’t want a boyfriend.  I don’t even have a desire to really get married or anything.  But I am fighting off feelings for someone that I really don’t want a relationship with.  However, today I realized that our friendship is so great, that he knows how messed up I am, so he’ll never have feelings for me.  This makes me so happy, because it means that I don’t have to worry about falling into a relationship that will probably end up failing.

Not everything about today was bad though.  I went to talk to the head of Res Life in her apartment for a while.  I’ve been asking God for a mentor.  I may have found one.  I may ask her to mentor me or something.  I don’t know.
Right now my head hurts and I’m tired.
Sara OUT.

Fixing Myself

Well, I’ve heard constantly that I can’t fix myself.  But then people get on my case for giving and not making an effort to be fixed.  So which is it?  Is it up to me to be okay, to be fixed, or is it God who is going to fix me?  I mean, I know that God is going to fix me, but I have to let Him.  I keep hearing two different answers.

What I do is for myself.  Some praise me for being so honest for what I’m going through, and others condemn me for saying what I say.  I say what is on my mind; I write what is in my heart.  I don’t make my decisions based on others and I don’t do things in order to get a reaction.  That would be a stupid way to live.  Sure, I do value people’s opinions, but I’m also sometimes terrified to reveal my own opinion.  I feel that I hurt people by disagreeing with them, which is stupid of me.  I’m so stupid sometimes.

I’ve been spending more time with God lately, though I still have a long way to go.  I’m up on a lovely mountain retreat, away from my home and my family for a while.  This is what I feel that I needed, but my life has still been abused.  I’m staying with people whose opinion matters more to me than most.  But they are telling me how to live my life.  I can’t live my life differently than I am.  Life Pacific is where I am supposed to be, it’s where I feel safest.  I can’t stay here forever, and I can’t go anywhere else.  There’s nowhere else for me to go and I can’t afford a different life.

I’m trying to get a handle on my life.  Yes, God does need to be in control, but I have to be able to control myself.  Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit, am I right?  (I am).  I’m realizing that I’m terrified to grow up.  I’m terrified of being alone and doing everything myself.  I don’t know how to do that.  I don’t know how to be independent.  I feel silly admitting this, but it’s true.  I still wish I could just give up and let go, but I’m not allowed.  I’d be letting too many people down.  I’m going to be okay.  Even in my ramblings.