What is life, and what do I want from it?

Do you ever feel that you are just ‘plodding’ on in life? That things are ok … nothing to complain about… that you’re “happy enough, I guess” but you feel that you are lacking the ‘WOW’ factor ? That’s how I’ve felt for a while. Quite a while, actually.

I can’t see the path that I’m on and I have no idea what I am “doing” with my life. I know that I’m not ‘entitled’ to see the path that God has for me… that He makes the plans, not me. I know that God’s plan is better than any plan I would ever make. I just wish He’d give me a hint once in a while, and let me know what way to go.

Many-Paths-To-Take

I’ve really been seeking in this lately. I had a long talk with my discipler a few weeks ago, and we thought about why I feel so aimless. I think partly it’s because my life now doesn’t match up to the expectations that I had for myself when I was younger, and in comparison with others around my age, I feel a bit inadequate.

I turn 28 in 2 months. (2 months minus 2 days actually)  If you had asked me 10 years ago, aged almost 18, where I would be now, in April 2017, here’s what I’d have said:

qualified social worker, happy in my job, owning my own home, married, probably with at least one child

Well…I have one of those things ticked off, since I qualified as a social worker almost 7 years ago. I’m still pretty pleased with my accomplishment, although 7 years post-qualified doesn’t feel all that much progression from 1 year post-qualified, and doesn’t get any more recognition from my current employer

It’s clear to me that life now is not what I thought it would be.

Job: I’m *ok* with my job but it would be hard to say I’m happy. I had a bad few weeks in March and spontaneously applied for another job…in Plymouth. When the interview offer came, I realised I didn’t want to move back home, but I am open to looking for another job where I might feel more stretched, or challenged, or at least valued – which I don’t always. Don’t get me wrong, compared to my old job I’m positively ecstatic and I’m in no way dismissing the great gift that God gave me by rescuing me from my old place and moving me here… but over the past few months it all seems ‘samey’ and I don’t like ‘samey’. I like challenge and new and feeling that I am making a difference.

  • I am doing something about this though (this is not purely a moany post, don’t worry) I am waiting on a date with our Head of training and development to talk about further training options that I can take up, since I’m a big geek and like to learn and pass on what I’ve learned

Home: I love my home. I have a very lovely housemate. I have almost abandoned the hope of owning my own place. I am a working professional with a steady job, but house prices are so high that even with a very healthy savings account there is no way I will be able to afford to buy. Even if I were to scrimp and save even more (I save the equivalent of my monthly rent and utilities bills every month, but still have plenty of money left for treats and luxuries and holidays etc…for point of reference) it would probably still not be enough since house prices just keep going up!

I feel content with this, now. I realised that I was working towards owning my own home because that’s what people my age do. The main difference was that either most people my age, who were buying houses, were married (therefore 2 incomes, therefore less financial strain and slightly better chance at affording local houses) or had parents who could help with deposits (or sometimes both)

Since I’m single, and since I don’t have any wealthy (or even ‘well off’) relatives waiting in the wings to give me all their money, and since actually I don’t want the responsibility of having to pay for boiler services and roof leaks and broken pipes and blah blah blah, I have decided that it is actually completely practical and completely acceptable to be renting……. although it took a long time to decide that since it’s not what people my age do!

Marriage and children: … no ring on this finger…no current prospect of one. Does that mean I’m a failure?! Um. NO. It doesn’t mean that I’m putting my life on hold and sitting like a Disney Princess waiting for my Prince to come, and it doesn’t mean I’m out there on every dating website and desperate for a man (nothing against dating sites, just not for me)

I’m living life as it is…and open to a relationship if I meet the right person…but it hasn’t happened yet and comparing my singleness with friends who were married, with one or more kids, when they were my age, is not helpful.

comparison-is-the-thief-of-joy-black-and-white-watercolor-canvas

So, going back to my original point. Life is OK. I have a busy life and activities all over the place … dance class and choir on Mondays, Pilates on Tuesdays, Yoga on Wednesdays, Small Group on Thursdays, Yoga on Fridays, rest on Saturdays, and church on Sundays. Also, I crochet, I binge-watch Netflix, I read, I am exploring my family history, I help my friends in their garden renovation project, I practice self care and get regular massages, I go for brunch and afternoon tea, and I go to the cinema with friends (we loved Beauty and the Beast).

I’m busy and happy…but I still feel a bit purposeless…and it feels that I’m often just finding activities that fill my time up so that a) I’m not bored and b) to exhaust me so that I don’t get attacked by my insomnia [but that’s a post for another day]

Recently I asked my small group to pray for me, about this feeling of purposeless…and one person had a picture of me carrying a tablecloth, all bundled up, with lots of things in it… like this I think:

hobostick4

(who knew this was called a ‘hobo stick’?! Not me, but it seems appropriate)

Anyway, he had a picture of me carrying a bundle full of things I wanted…and felt God was encouraging me to lay the bundle down, spread the tablecloth out, and take up only what I wanted from the things carried inside.

I’ve been praying about that every since, trying to identify the things I’m carrying, hoping for, wanting, and filter out whether these are things that I really want for myself, or whether I want them just because I feel I should (see above about buying a house)

Since that time though, I feel almost more purposeless because there are several things I think I want and I don’t know which of them is right. I feel like a compass with all these different things, or opportunities, in different directions and there’s no arrow pointing me to the right one!

I know that I’m not lost. Not really. There’s a poem by JRR Tolkein which goes;

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring

There’s a lot of hope in that, and in knowing that God’s plans for me are completely known to Him –

Jer-29.11-e1363787816786

Being patient and waiting for Him to lead me though….. that’s another matter!

 

 

 

-x-

 

 

 

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I am bored of myself

My housemate has been away since July 23rd, so essentially I have been living by myself for almost two weeks and

I AM SO BORED OF MYSELF!

There is a reason that I don’t live alone, full-time. I just don’t like long expanses of time when I’m by myself. With the weekend stretching out ahead of me I’m already making plans so that the time where I’m alone is limited.

It’s strange really, because when I lived in a student house with three other girls, I absolutely craved my own time and couldn’t wait to have the house to myself for a night or an afternoon – but that was a rare occurrence just because there were more of us in the house. It felt like a luxury.

Now that I have a flat to myself, that luxury is now actually more of a drain.

It’s not all bad, of course it’s not; I’ve had friends around and been out to see people some evenings, but on the nights where I haven’t got plans and have only the TV and internet for company from 6pm til bedtime, it’s just a bit too much.

This week I’ve been to the gym four times, just to get out of the house and see some actual humans in the flesh! One of the trainers said “you again?” when I swiped my card this evening. Maybe she thinks the Olympics are inspiring me…but in reality I just want to delay going back to the flat by another hour.

(A benefit of this is that I’ve lost a few pounds and I’m well on the way to a flat tummy…but that’s besides the point)

Another downside is that I have much less motivation to eat, and am having to actually force myself to get off the sofa and cook a meal rather than just eating cereal for dinner. I’ve discovered the best way to do it is to set the table and grab a book … but then the sight of a table laid for one is quite depressing.

If my table looked like this I might be more interested?

Oh I don’t know.  There’s that stupid saying that only boring people get bored…I really don’t think I’m a boring person. It’s not like I want to go out clubbing, or bungee jumping or even do anything, really.  I just think that I need the socialisation of having another person around, so that when weird things happen like they have this week, I can voice it instead of twirling it round in my head and getting even more confused. I need a sounding board sometimes, and as much as I love my little garden balcony…my baby plants don’t talk back and give advice. Boo.

I also have discovered that I don’t sleep very well in an empty flat. Even though I feel completely safe here, I’ve only had two good nights sleep since Tasha has been away and one of those was the first night back after my holiday when I was so tired it hurt and I probably could have slept through a pneumatic drill outside my room. The other nights though…I just can’t get to sleep, and then I can’t stay asleep because my brain is over-stimulated from lack of proper conversation!

This blog post is far too long and pointless now…thanks, blogosphere, for putting up with me!

-x-

New furniture is on its way!

I just bought a new wardrobe 🙂 Yay! Ever since I rearranged my bedroom furniture I’ve been very frustrated with my wardrobe…it leans, so that the doors don’t shut and the drawers won’t open (tricky situation) and I have no motivation to put my clothes away. (I’m not just lazy when it comes to laundry…really).

New bedroom furniture has been on my “list” since we moved in, because I knew it would eventually drive me nuts that nothing in my room matches…I didn’t really appreciate how soon that would be. Currently the next item on the list is a chest of drawers, since the bottoms of the drawers of the one I was given are falling out…not good, because it means the drawers stick. However, I’m hoping that since the new wardrobe is a four-door one (huge, I know!!) there will be space to hang up all my t-shirts etc so I can get out of the awful habit of just chucking them into the drawer.

Maybe now I’ll actually wear more than just 15% of my wardrobe!

This hasn’t been the most exciting post I’ve ever written. It’s been a really long weekend, but I’ll post about that later. Right now I have to go into town and hi