I meant to write this awhile ago. In fact, I'd meant to do a lot of things awhile ago. My last blog post came in the middle of July, when I was feeling helpless and unsure of my future. I wrote about giving up and giving over to what's meant to be. The day after posting that blog, I got an email from a Christian high school looking for someone to teach a course on cultural literacy. It would have been a course designed for students to engage with different social issues based on literature produced during a time within that cultural milieu. During the section on social justice, for example, I could have utilized the writings of Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King Jr. to engage with the topic. It seemed to be an answer to what I wanted at the time.
Part of my passion is to teach within the church context, and equip others with the Gospel. I also got my bachelor's degree in creative writing. Both of those seemed tied up neatly in a box at a job that would be a five minute drive from my house. I had an initial phone interview with the president of the school, which seemed to go well, and she said she would pass my information along to the principal. At the end of the conversation, she said, “once you meet with him, he and I will get together to discuss salary and putting together an offer.” It was a very encouraging moment for me, and one that renewed my faith in the path I was walking down. It was very hard for me to not put hope in this job opportunity.
Though the principal was supposed to get back to me the next week, many weeks passed, and I had yet to hear from him. I emailed the president multiple times, and she said she would tell him to reach out. About a week or two before the start of the school year, I emailed her again saying I assume they had decided to move on with another candidate. In fact, she said there were two other candidates the principal decided to go with based on experience.
Even before this happened, I knew that not getting this job would hurt a lot. I was still working as a barista at Starbucks, and being given unreasonable excuses for why I wasn't being promoted. I hadn't made much progress in the ordination process due to some outside circumstances, and had a general sense of being out of place. I dropped most of my passions and went into a bit of spiral for a few months. I shut a lot of people out, and came up with excuses to justify doing so. I felt alone, betrayed and ultimately, forsaken by God. I had accepted that my life was void, just a thing to slog through until I can reach the end.
I was working on some music projects at the time, and all of that came to a rather abrupt halt. If my life was meaningless, anything I had to say lacked meaning as well. I couldn't bring myself to care about much of anything, or anyone.
These past few months have been filled with these feelings of being outcast and forgotten, something not strange to my life. I have had very few friends in my life that I could trust truly cared about me. It's hard for me to trust that I'm worth caring about in others' eyes. This has caused me to neglect calling others for help, because I wonder inwardly why I should put the burden of me on their shoulders. Any slight was taken as rejection. And at my worst, I spent most of my time lying alone in my room. Any time I did force myself to go out with people, I remained mostly non-engaged and was gone within an hour.
Ultimately, feeling disappointed about missing out on this job opportunity isn't what happened. If I'm honest with myself, my disappointment was in my ever considering something good could happen to me. I have an emotional disposition to assume failure. I assume any good opportunities will fall through; that I will hurt or burden the people around me and miss my chance at finding any fulfillment. It's very hard to stay motivated in the midst of these disappointments.
I'm at a new job now. One that has consistent hours, good co-workers, and that encourages upward mobility. It's not a job I want long-term and is far from my passions. It does give me time to create a schedule around it for my goals. I recorded rough tracks for my music projects as a starting point. It can be hard for me to remember these positives aspects, though. I know where I'm at is not where I want to be, and it's upsetting that it's taken so long. I feel like I've lost ground in pursuing my passions the past few years more than I've gained it.
I still have moments (or days) of feeling that disappointment and apathy. I have in no way been cured. But, I don't want to believe myself. I don't want to be convinced that my life is empty, or that I can't find joy, peace, fulfillment, and love. I can't believe that God has given up on me. I'm broken, inside and out, and I'm reminded of it constantly. I'm not looking for an answer right now, and I'm not writing this for the sympathy posts that always follow things like this. I just know myself well enough that my tendency is toward disappointment. That disappointment can be self-fulfilling and cyclical, and I don't want to ruin myself. I do want to believe that good things can come. I do want to believe that I can have significant relationships. I do want to believe that I can find fulfillment.
But right now, what I really want to believe is that it's okay when I mess up or when these things don't happen.