The Latest and Greatest

I was sitting here looking at my Facebook friends and getting this anxious/resentful/envious feeling coming over me as I peruse their names and profiles. This is slightly concerning because these people are my friends. Or at the very least people I used to know in high school, etc. – in other words people I have warm feelings for. Then it hit me. It’s like they’re all part of this club, and I desperately want to become a member, but it’s not the kind of thing you can just join by wanting to.

Firstly, there is the marriage club. Once you’ve been a member of that you are eligible to join the baby club (You can of course go directly to this club, skipping the entrance level marriage club, but the membership lacks the perks and benefits of those who are first part of the marriage club, so it is ill advised). It’s like when you were in high school, and you wanted to be part of the “cool kids club” but weren’t. It’s not that you didn’t like those people, but for whatever reason you just weren’t part of that social group.

I think the anxiousness comes from the fact that it feels like time is flying by. I’m 28 now! OMG. And to the people who say that’s hardly old, I just want to say that’s a complete load of crap. You were probably all 20-25 when you got married and were having kids by the time you were my age. So please, spare me. I know it’s not REALLY old, but when you see all the people around you joining the various clubs, and you know you’re supposed to be there, there just gets to be this anxiousness.

I don’t really have an epiphany solution to offer (except maybe spend less time on Facebook – it’s a time drain anyway! I am SO preaching to myself right now). I think my default method of coping has been to distract myself – which is a fairly effective method, however ultimately flawed. Distraction will only take you so far, and it does nothing to address the real issues of the heart, which always surface at some point. For me that point seems to be late at night when I finally let myself get in touch with how I’m really doing. And then invariably for the next few days/weeks I can’t really distract myself with work, reading, projects, etc. and I’m just kind of sad. And that sucks. I mean who wants to feel that way; that’s why you go through the whole process of distracting yourself to begin with.

My current predicament is that all my latest distractions aren’t holding my attention and passion. School was a great distraction, but I’m done with that unless I decide to go back for more. When I was growing up I used to lose myself in books. I was such an avid reader. It was totally my escape from reality; it was my safe place. Then after high school something shifted when I went to Master’s Commission, and I didn’t read much fiction anymore – for years. There was so much to be learned in non-fiction, and I don’t think that need for escape was there. But in the last year or so I’ve found myself reading a lot of fiction again. Now I’m not saying that’s bad, but at least for me it’s an indicator of where my heart is. It certainly doesn’t want to be here; it wants to escape.
Back home I was super involved at church, and that was a great distraction. But my current work schedule prohibits that for the most part now, so there’s another dead end. Although, of all the aforementioned distractions I think this really is a good one. When we’re involved serving and giving in some way, it really is good for us – keeps us others focused instead of being so introverted. SO in an effort to get back into that mode, I’m planning on moving up closer to my good friends who are pastoring a church outside of LA.

I keep asking myself why I don’t just move back to CO, and some days I’m totally confident that this is where God wants me for now, and some days I think maybe the reason I keep thinking about going back is because I’m supposed to. I mean, weird things happen to me here in LA – little rabbit trail. Here are my top-3 most memorable getting hit on occasions in the last few months: 1) This guy leaves his card on the table, and it is a headshot of himself with his name and phone number printed on it and “Call me” written on the back (I mean, who gets something like that actually printed up??) 2) This guy comes up to me in grocery store and asks me to recommend a dressing for a salad he’s making for a party in a few weeks. Now I ask you what kind of young guy shops for a salad dressing for a party he’s having in a few weeks? BTW he had no cart or other shopping items. After I have politely recommended one of my favorites he tells me “As a prize (yes exact word) for helping me would you like to come to the party?” And 3) Prepare yourself. I’m at Bed, Bath and Beyond and this guy is just staring at me like he recognizes me. It was kind of uncanny, and my first thought was that he thought I was an actress or something. As I turn the corner he’s still staring at me, creepy but whatever. Then he and the woman he’s with come up to me, and she says, “Excuse me, but we think we know you. Do you attend the Playboy parties?” I laugh a little and reply no. “Really,” she says, “You look just like this girl, Mindy (or whatever her name was) that we met there.” “No, I’m Shannon,” I say still trying to contain the laughter. They exchange introductions, and she says, “Well, would you like to go? We could get you on the list.” “Yeah, you’re really beautiful,” the guy replies. I’m kind of flattered, but rather taken off guard and before I know it she’s giving me her card and asking me for my number, so she can call and tell me about the next party. And why I didn’t just say no thank you I’m not interested I don’t know, but I think the whole experience was just so outside of even my wildest imaginations that I was rendered foolish. So I gave her my number thinking if she ever did call I’d politely decline then. So then later that night I get a text: “Shannon this is Carmen. It was so nice to meet you today at BBB. We were wondering if you’re free tonight if you’d like to hang out?” Yes, people that is exactly what they were thinking. I was totally propositioned. These are the type of things that happen here in LA!!! Which is why sometimes I think I should move back to CO ☺.

Now where was I before that rather comical aside…ah yes, God’s will. I’m listening to Ingrid Michaelson’s “Keep Breathing” at this very moment, and it captures what I’m feeling very well: “All that I know is I’m breathing. All I can do is keep breathing.” I really have no idea what I want to do aside from getting married and starting a family. (Another aside, I never was in any big hurry to have kids before, in fact I’ve always been very firm on the I will not have kids for at least 5 years after I’m married, but lately with so many of my friends pregnant and many more with kids I totally am getting excited about having kids. I mean, don’t get me wrong I don’t want them tomorrow, and I still want to wait awhile after I’m married, but I’m actually excited about it now! This new awakening, however maternally great, is doing nothing to help me in my current singleness.) I don’t really know what I want to do with my fashion degree; my passion for it has kind of fizzled out when I got a taste of what it’s really like. And even if it hadn’t there really isn’t much to be had by way of jobs in the industry in the current economy. I’ve been waiting tables for almost 3 years now, and while I’m grateful  to have a job and for the way God has used it to provide for me during school, it’s not exactly a career path if you know what I mean. I’m already slightly mortified that I could very well be attending my 10-year high school reunion this fall like this: “Oh what do you do now? Are you married?” “No, I’m not. I’m a server at a seafood restaurant.” LAME.

See the problem is that I grew up hearing I can do anything, and being told what an amazing destiny I have and in a general atmosphere of “Be a world changer!” which I love, btw. However, it kind of makes you wonder when you’re in your Adulum cave if maybe you missed a turn somewhere on the way to the crown. I’m pretty sure I haven’t –and if you’re reading this and think I have, do tell. I think it’s just one of those seasons, a desert season. Which reminds me of another song that is totally where I’m at right now: Hillsong United’s “Desert Song”. Listen to it; it’s awesome.

So yeah, that’s where I’m at right now. I’m trying to continue to see the humor in life ☺ even when I think it sucks, but I really am also trying to figure out what the next step is. It would probably help if I would be spending a lot more time with the Lord…I’m going to. It’s one of those things where I’m not always consciously aware of it, but I think I’ve been pretty pissed at Him because I just don’t understand what He’s doing with my life. So I haven’t really wanted to spend time with Him. But that can only last for so long before you just have to suck it up and do what’s right – what’s good for you – what you need, even if you have no feelings about it. The feelings come. Till next time…

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~ by Shannon on May 30, 2009.

2 Responses to “The Latest and Greatest”

  1. I remember when I was living at home in the same “desert” place that you are…all I really wanted was to move back to Santa Barbara. I wasn’t sure where I should be but thought that might be the answer. Once I finally started trying to make arrangements to move out there…NOTHING went right. God made it so obvious I was supposed to stay put!! I hope you know soon in your heart where God wants you!! As always…I feel your pain!! UGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

  2. My sweet friend. As always, I love getting a glimpse into your heart and hearing where you’re REALLY at. I so appreciate transparency, for it is rare. So many people have even fooled themselves. I hear your pain friend, and I’m so sorry you’re hurting. I can relate to a lot of what you shared, you know that. I commend you for being honest with yourself and with God; it seems most people are not. Even most Christians. Although serving in some capacity is good, it makes me wonder what people would do if they were all alone on some island, just them and God. I am guilty of distracting myself from the pain of my heart in every way you described. And, sadly, most Christians do the same thing. They hide from their pain in serving God. They avoid pain, but in doing so they avoid God. When God brings storms in our lives, we either embrace Him or run from Him. I pray you embrace Him. I know it is hard at times; I so get not wanting to. Again, you know that. I learn every day just how much we need Him and are dependent on Him. And, as you said, we cannot escape the pain; all we can do is run or embrace Him. I love you. No matter what you DO, dear friend, you ARE an amazing woman of God. Your heart is His and He has great things in store for you. I hope I don’t sound preachy; I just wanted to share my heart and speak Truth. I know I need my friends to help me with Truth and perspective at times. Love you…

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