Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bloom

What would happen if we "bloomed where we are planted?" 

This sentiment is difficult for me to take hold of because I haven't really ever been planted anywhere. I lived in the same house for the majority of my childhood, but it was quite tumultuous and chaotic. It didn't feel safe to plant myself there--physically, mentally, and emotionally. I always had a yearning to move, a yearning for adventure. I even graduated high school a semester early so I could begin my adventure, which began in England.

England was amazing. I was in a supportive community and in a beautiful place full of history and charm. My initial intent was to just stay for one semester, but I fell in love with the place. I thought I would have a semester of fun and adventure, and then come back to "regular" college. At some point I decided that it wasn't acceptable to just study the Bible and live a simple life surrounded by wonderful, accepting people. I thought that I had to do more, to be more. 

When it came time for me to leave England I was incredibly torn. Part of me wanted to pursue a traditional academic pathway, and the other part of me ached to stay in the beautiful, ancient city that I had come to love over four months.

I had to return to the States because of my visa, but the longing to come back was so strong that I remember weeping on the train back to London to catch my flight. I had a long conversation with God about what to do. I remember a still, small voice telling me that it was acceptable to return to England and continue the life I was living there. He said that I had wrapped up my worth in academics and becoming something important. I was only concerned about the security of a professional career where I was successful and made an obvious mark on the world. 

But on the two hour train ride I felt peace like never before. I knew that people, especially family, would disapprove of me if I made the decision to return to England. I knew that I had no money to make the trip back in three months. I also knew that I had a substantial amount of money waiting for me if I did decide to go to university. There was a trust in my heart that He would provide. There was trust that He would continue to accept me and love me even if people thought of foolish or that I was "not living up to my potential."

In the end, I ended up not returning to England. Something in me broke. I didn't even last one full semester at college. The last seven years have been a continual uprooting...most of it my own choice. I haven't been confident in my own gifts. I haven't been content in the jobs I've had. I've had the opportunity to live in some mighty beautiful places(Santa Cruz, Catalina Island, Montana), but at some point in all of these places I got scared that I wasn't doing enough, being enough.

These years still have been rich and I have learned a lot about myself(I'm obviously still learning. Isn't it a lifelong process?). But I still feel this yearning, like I'm ignoring my needs and my loves. I'm still trying to fit into this "ideal" person that has been created by me and family.

It's scary to break out of this "ideal person cage." The things I want to do are unconventional, perhaps risky, but they are things that feed my soul. I love people and stories. I also love being creative, making things.

All these unrealistic expectations have dampened my passions and left me discontent and confused. 

I'm ready to unlock the cage I've been trapped in for so long. I'm excited for new beginnings. I'm excited for open doors and open hearts.