Disclaimer: I wrote this piece two months ago. (So a couple things have changed – mainly, I don’t work at the job I wrote about anymore, and through that I’ve found a little more peace.) I wasn’t going to post it at all, because I know my family reads my blog. But, this here is the Rah RAW Diaries. I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t post the nitty-gritty details of my life. I mean, family is what causes us so much therapy in life anyway, and writing – well, it’s free therapy for me. So after ignoring this post for two months, I’ve decided it’s worthy of being shared. Who knows? Maybe it’ll serve its purpose, and help someone along the way.
If I don’t find my happiness in food, what will I find my happiness in?
I found myself thinking this the other day, after a fun-filled weekend celebrating with family. Towards the end of my “Sober October” journey, I managed to make it through the festivities with included temptations of wine, delicious options at a brewhouse, and mixed drinks at home with only a taste of a Rhubarb Old Fashioned. Considering I had family members on all sides egging me on to break my fast, I think I did pretty well. I was thoroughly tempted, especially by the presence of bourbon, and a Chipotle Stout that the brewhouse offered. Though I’ll admit, there were some kind souls who encouraged me to make my own decisions. Which of course, in the end, I did.
I don’t know about you, but I always struggle on the weekends when I get to hang out with family. I think it gets better with time, but somehow at the end of each reunion, I find myself feeling frustrated, and each time, slightly less… Me. Between my mother treating me like “her baby” always standing up for me, or making sure everyone hears my sides of the stories (Which I’m totally capable of doing myself, ahem) and well-intentioned rellies telling me how I should feel or things I should be grateful for, I find my stellar personality and inner strength dwindling. Phrases linger in the air as relatives confirm how they think I am like, “Now that you’re home, things must be going well,” or “Do you feel much better now that you have a job?” Then through the chit-chatter of everyone discussing their partners, people drop fun phrases like, “You’re lucky you’re single because _____,” or “Be thankful you don’t have to worry about _____,” and I’ll admit, I am lucky and I am grateful, but it’s not for the reasons you think. Also I don’t feel at home here yet, and I cry weekly, because I miss Kentucky so FREAKIN’ much.
Visiting with my step-uncle, I realized something… He was sharing with me about his new job, and how doing something that he was made to do epically changed his ability to enjoy life. Mentioning that even though he had good and bad days in his new employment position, it was like riding a wave two levels above where he used to be. I’m not there yet, was the first thought that went through my mind as he was gesturing the levels to me.
Perhaps I sound like a crybaby complaining when I should be grateful for my new job, but I’ve found it incredibly hard to celebrate anything since I’ve been “Home”. (Well, except for that one, amazingly fantastic day at McCarthy Beach in early July – I felt all the joyful feels that day.) “Change your perspective,” or “Fake it til you make it,” you say, and I’ll tell ya, I’m trying, I really am. That’s why I smile when you make comments, or speak for me thinking that I somehow need help sharing my story. I’ll smile and nod my head when you ask leading questions that assume that Minnesota is now my home again, when really IT’S NOT, or that I love my new job, when really I DON’T (well, not yet, at least).
Recently, Southland Christian Church in Lexington (one of the churches I attended in Kentucky) shared a message that included this key statement, “Love is not sentimental, it’s sacrificial.” This statement hit home for me. Life has always pulled me in one of two directions: 1. The places I want to be or go, and 2. The place where the majority of people I love, live. Well stated from my favorite book (The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks), “Love always requires sacrifice.” I am not home because of the gooey-gooey feelings that it brings to me. I still hate the cold weather, and the terrible travel conditions that its winter snows bring. The gray clouds that coat the skies for the the majority of the months actually depresses me. I am not here because Minnesota and I love each other, which honestly the past several months prove else-wise, I’m here because 1. God lead me here, and 2. The people I love live here. Being home for me is not sentimental, it’s sacrificial.
Next month, I journey back into the Trim Healthy Mama habits, as I let go of some of my comfort foods to find my way back to the healthier side of me, starting out as “No-Junk November” and hopefully leading through to the next year. This past month I have been eating terribly, because on the inside I have been feeling terribly. Low on money – eating what is cheap… I have a new job and I should celebrate, and though I feel a weight lifted, I’m not necessarily excited – ice cream… Enjoyed a weekend with the family as everyone else enjoys Old Fashions – carbo-load. It’s my first week of work, I’m in over my head and I will be for the next 3 YEARS (?) – pizza and breadsticks. And what do you know, I’m back to feeling like a blob on the couch. It’s like I’ve been hit by a car and broken all over again. But let me tell you, I’m so much better at dealing with physical pain than I am at this emotional stuff. It’s easier – people don’t judge you when you’re locked up on the couch with fractured ribs and a cracked sternum… However, when your heart simply hurts, because life is not at all like you hoped it would be, (as you settle into binging the lives of fictional characters) then people think it’s time to suck it up and move on, or get some fresh air.
I guess what I’m learning is nothing new. I need a job to survive, so that’s what I’ll do, and I’ll do it damn well too (because I strive to be good at my craft). But finding out I was employed was just a band-aid to my gaping wound. And what is my gaping wound you ask? God has placed a word on my heart for the past several months, and that word is home. Home is the word that sparked my first blog (Home is where the heart is) revealing that, to me, home means love. God has been reminding me to be-loved by Him, by showing me pieces that in HIS TIMING He will place into my gaping wound. He will not be using job, food, or social-media—shaped bandaids to mask the pain, but intricately-crafted pieces of love that in due time will allow me to to feel at home, finally.
home is not sentimental, it is sacrificial
What, who, or where makes you feel “at home”? And, how did God bring those things to life for you?
If you feel a bit adrift, like me, seek out God to find the ways that He is loving on you, and creating the pieces that fit perfectly in the puzzle of your life and heart.