I've written several blog posts over the past month of being unemployed. They're all sitting in my drafts box, written, but left open-ended, unpolished and rough because I don't like how they make me look and I can't wrap them up neatly without lying to your faces. It would be really easy to say that I've used this time to reconnect with myself. That I've gotten right with God and discovered the beautiful weight shifting process that is yoga and meditation. I could say that I've rebuilt relationships that fell to the side and transformed my mind to a peaceful, anxiety free paradise, where the only things that run rampant are butterflies and prayers of gratitude.
But as Dwight Schrute would say, "That is false."
There have been a lot of really good days in this past month. I've learned how to lean-in to God and my anxiety is significantly better, even though leaving the apartment to socialize does still take some serious pep talks. I only feel super sick three or four days a week rather than seven, and I have started a great new exercise program. It's not yoga though, in my world, yoga exists only to remind me how little upper body strength I have and how badly I need to take my ADHD medicine. I spend my time running between three or four different windows on my computer all with different job searches, manically clicking apply, apply, apply, like my life depends on it, and then feeling guilty when my strained eyes can't look at a screen anymore. I switch between saying "thank you, God for all of this season!" and "what the heck, Man. It wasn't supposed to be this scary" in the same prayer. I constantly find myself breathing in thinking this is the best thing I've ever done and then by the time I breathe out I'm wondering if I just made the biggest mistake of my life.
I have so many questions that when a friend asked me what they were I didn't even know where to start. I opened my mouth trusting that words would fall out of it but nothing happened. I closed it and tried not to cry while wondering when I would have a clue again. She tried to be encouraging and tell me how awesome this opportunity was, and that I had a chance to really do what I want to do, but her words feel on deaf ears as I stared through watery eyes at a keyword search box on a job board. The longer I stared at that blank rectangle the heavier the possibility felt. I thought these choices and opportunities would be so freeing and exciting but instead they push down on me as they dare me to make a choice. I'm determined to not jump back into the jobs that simultaneously grab my heart with their service roots but make me cringe and feel like I'm going to throw up at the same time.
I'm finding these are the edges. The thin, feeble, crinkly edges of me that with one touch threaten to both burst to life and crumble into dust. It's been interesting to walk all the way to the outskirts and see this uncharted territory of me, where every step reveals something new. Introducing myself to new people without a job title to tell them who I am. Waking up to a clock ticking as our move-in date to our apartment gets closer. Standing in the shadows of the fraud police every time I submit an application that proves my qualifications but feeling differently. Living in an hour by hour cycle of succumbing to and rebuking this spirit of fear. This roller coaster ride of highs and lows, clinging desperately to the edge, surrendering all, and then wearing thin and sprinting back into myself, hiding from the discomfort is exhausting. The edge used to be exhilarating, but as my heart grows tired and hope feels thinner than it did in the beginning, I find it harder and harder to cling to that papery frame.
But when I am able to hold on and look just outside the reach of the edge, it's been really cool to see how God has moved and how he's proving his faithfulness. Even though I feel like he's pulled back and doubt is getting much louder than peace, I know he's still working quietly. I have a constant mantra of "His actual provision is so much better than any idea of provision that I might have for myself" going through my head, and have read the story of Joseph over and over as I fight to stay surrendered to this process. I'm clinging to the end of me and I'm thankful for that because he's proven over and over again the edge is where he starts.