dear august, please be good to me.

I woke up this morning and apparently it’s August.  Instead of wondering how that is possible, I have to admit that I’m just glad that July is over.  This past month was a rough one for me with many bad days and few good ones.  As the saying goes, you have to put up the rain in order to enjoy the rainbowso August, you better be bringing me a lot of sunshine and rainbows.  I think I’ve earned it with all of the rain I’ve put up with these past few weeks.

In the past three hours, after a much-needed Yoga session, I have two wonderful, pick-me-up conversations: one with my mom and one with my brother.  Tonight made me even more anxious for our family vacation in 2 weeks.  Stone Harbor, New Jersey, here we come!  Vacation is one of the reasons why I’m anticipating August to be much better than July was for me.  A week at the beach with the three people I love more than anything.  Three people who I can be as vulnerable as I need to be and they’ll still love me just the same.  On that note, while I don’t want to rush through my week at the beach, I get to see the fourth person that I deeply adore, Darlene.  I cannot wait to finally meet her!!

In twenty days I’ll be on a flight back to Pittsburgh, but that leaves me with twenty days to get through.  Thankfully two of those days will be accompanied by Carrie & Ben here in Chicago (August 7-8), as well as a few of those days spent volunteering.  Maybe another day spent with Stef hearing about JAMAICA and others spinning away my anxieties.  God, I hope I feel better soon and if not, I trust that the beach will bring me some serenity. 

I started a conversation with my mom today about the thoughts running through my mind surrounding my future as a Child Life Specialist.  I think the conversation began with me saying, “I don’t want to talk about this now, but I definitely need your guidance during one of our walks at the beach.”  See last year my mom and I used to wake up at 7 am every morning and walk through the streets, usually hitting the (only) coffee shop downtown with a treats for the still-asleep boys as well before heading back for breakfast.  It was during one of those walks when I decided that Child Life is the career for me.  Here I am one year later and still wondering what to do next.  While I’m a little more ahead of the game with my 10 prerequisite courses and 2 noteworthy volunteer opportunities underway, I still feel…stuck.  Confused.  Unsure what to do about, well, everything.

And then there’s the conversation with my brother.  I love him so much!  I can talk about anything with him and always feel better.  Just seeing his name on my caller ID made me feel better.  He started off by telling me that he went out this weekend for the first time in a while only to realize that he isn’t missing anything.  He even went as far as to say, “How did I do that for so long?  I’d rather be home on a Saturday night.”  And I could only respond by saying, “Wow, my little brother has grown up.” 

This morning a thought entered my mind as I was getting ready to pop my daily anti-anxiety pill: Maybe I’m supposed to feel this way.  I’m a single twenty-six year old, why shouldn’t I feel lost?  Confused?  Unsure of who I am and what I want? 

Up and through our high school years, we are experiencing many different forms of growing pains but typically confined to remain the person that people identify us as being.  In other words, we are misled to believe that it’s better to fit in than to stand out.  We go through those years not knowing who we are, struggling to hide our true self in order to fit in.  We hold ourselves back.  We hold others back from knowing who we really are.  We graduate into the big bad world of college with the opportunity to spread our wings and fly. 

Some fly, while others never leave the ground.  College opens doors for us to explore new horizons and uncover (new) layers of themselves- if they want to.  It lets us learn new interests, new hobbies, new likes, new dislikes.  They learn who they are and who they want to be.  While others get lost in the never-ending temptations of sex, drugs, and alcohol.  In the end some graduate college knowing what’s next, while others feel more lost than when did their first beer bong.  I, myself, fell somewhere in the middle as I gave in to some of the temptations to find myself lost with a diploma.  To be honest, I don’t know too many people who don’t graduate a little lost.  However, I went to OU and while some say it’s “Harvard on the Hocking”, we all know that it’s party school reputation separates the two just a bit.

Even with three cities and three post-college jobs under my belt, I’m still pretty lost.  Less than I was four years ago, thank goodness.  But as much as I open up about my frustrations and anxieties, I’ll tell you one thing: I’ll never give up.  I wish there were easy answers to the questions running around in my head.  I know that I’ll get there, I’m just not sure when nor how.  But I promise you, and I promise myself that I will.

I’ve this song in my head all day, hearing it by a female singer (for some reason).  Have a Little Faith in Me (by Jewel)  I need to have more faith in the people who love and support me.  I need to have more faith that everything happens for a reason.  And most importantly, I need to have more faith in myself.  Afterall I didn’t get this purple heart tattoo for nothing. 

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