Thursday, July 22, 2010

Peeing On My Own Hydrant

When I first decided to go to St. Ben's, I was excited beyond words. And why? Because I was FINALLY being given an opportunity to make my OWN decision for my life... I could make my OWN mark on the world... I didn't have to follow in my sister's footsteps any longer. I was finally able to pee on my OWN hydrant. Mark my OWN territory. Take something new, and make it mine. I was thrilled at the idea of a clean slate, a new adventure... something I can call my own. I've always had a bit of an adventurous spirit, in this sense.

And now that I've graduated... I'm finding that I'm falling back into my past insecurities. I'm relying too heavily on my parent's approval. I don't know what I want... I don't even know who I am anymore. My Mom wants me to keep a bus driving job in the school district over any other job offer I may or may not receive, because I can join the union and get health care and other benefits with it. She doesn't want me to work in the church, necessarily, because of this. My Dad doesn't want me to start grad school because he doesn't think that I should tack on more loans to my already impossible-to-pay-back amount of undergrad loans. Shoot, I really did want to study writing and I really did love the writing and publishing program at DePaul, but even my motivation for doing that is questionable. I wanted to be home, I wanted that safe feeling of knowing that I will be going back to school in the fall, I wanted to be with a guy who I still have feelings for even though they aren't reciprocated anymore (which *still* boggles my mind, and it worries me that I can't shake it). He was the one who kept pushing DePaul on me. I mean I did a healthy dose of pushing it on me myself, don't worry, but he was the one who made the option sound more appealing than volunteering, and for that, I'm mad at myself. My sister and parents are both telling me to live at home until I can find a job, and then buy a car, and then move out on my own, in that order. My friends from a retreat I work on told me that I should be a spiritual director for the new college-level retreat we are planning... so I am. The people I send my resumes and cover letters off to all tell me that I'm not good enough for that particular position... so I believe it. Tomorrow, I'm going for a youth ministry interview at my parish that I want, but I'm not even sure if I want, all at the same time.

I'm confused and I have no idea what I want from life anymore. I haven't been able to make my own decisions and I have to ask for permission to do things that I should really have control over by now. I mean shoot, what if I do want to move back to Minnesota? What if I want to look for jobs where I can actually *find* them, no matter what state they are in? What if I want to pursue a relationship with the only person I've ever felt so deeply connected with that we think the same thoughts and understand each other where words fail? What if I want to give it another shot... give it some time to see if there *is* a real connection or if we *should* just be friends? What if I don't *want* to be the spiritual director for this retreat next year? What if I *want* to do grad school next year? What if I don't *want* to drive a bus and go through that entire process of getting an Illinois CDL? Why hasn't anyone asked me? Why can't I have any control over the things I do or do not do? Why do I have to listen to what people tell me to do? Why haven't I stood up for myself?

I don't know what I'm good for. Honestly. I know it's something. I know it's something special. But is it youth ministry? Do I seriously have those gifts necessary to be a good youth minister? Do I have the passion? Do I have the drive? I don't know. I like the idea of it. I liked doing it in high school and in college. But do I want to do it forever? Do I want to go to church every day for at least 4 or 5 hours to work on youth ministry things? Do I want to deal with church politics? Do I want to work with a youth minister I never thought was genuine, even as a high schooler?

You know what I would *really* like? I would really like a year long sabbatical. I would like to just take the time off, get my loans deffered again somehow. I'd like to take that $5000 I'm told I have from my grandpa, get a cheap car with good gas mileage, and go on a road trip all around the US. Shit, I'd like to do something extremely crazy and possibly stupid, like hop on a plane and travel around Europe relying entirely on the good will of the people I encounter for food and housing. I'd like to live in Alaska and go golfing at three o'clock in the morning, because the sun will still be shining. I'd like to learn how to golf so that I can golf in Alaska at three o'clock in the morning.

And I know I can't really do those things, because I do not have the means of doing it. So I think of what I really want out of my life, and do you know what I want? I want to get married and I want to have a family. And then I think of how completely lame that is, and how completely not helpful it is when it comes to choosing a career, because I don't want to be protected and told what to do for the rest of my life, and I've always been taught to be independent and able to fully rely on myself instead of a man. I need to contribute to the family I eventually have. I need to meet a man. And then I realize that I seriously did think that I was going to have something special this summer with someone special... I seriously trusted God when those feelings during the year grew beyond my control... and those feelings haven't gone away and there's nothing I can do about it... because he can somehow decide over the course of 4 hours that I'm not worth risking a good friendship over... because life isn't all rainbows and fairy shit all the time... that falling in love isn't like falling in love in the movies... and seriously? I think I was falling in love with him... or something as close to love as I've felt. Lame. Totally lame. I have no idea what I'm talking about. I have no idea what I want.

What do I want to *do* with my life? I have no clue. I need a break. Do I have to have this all figured out right now? What if I don't even *want* to be a youth minister. What if I'm no *good* at it? What if I'm missing my calling. What if I have no calling. I feel so completely clueless right now. What if I hated every second of studying theology... or almost every second, at least. What if I don't feel like I earned my degree? What if I looked in the mirror today and couldn't recognize the person staring back at me? I don't know what to do. I don't know what I want. I don't know what I'm good at.

This quickly spiraled out of control. Please help me. Please tell me what I'm good at. I have no clue. I don't know where to go. I don't know what I want. Right now all I want to do is go somewhere I can't go. How can I be so excited for an interview one day and so terrified the next? How can I keep swaying from feeling so completely great about myself to so completely useless? How did I ever get on this crazy spinny upside-downy ride, and where can I get off?

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