A rough week. I am still a few assignments away from having the official midterm-y type stuff behind me. This week saw me react heavily in frustration over the amount of stress involved with having to prepare for a public-speaking kind of exercise and write a paper in the same class. The appeal of abandoning this venture to return to the regular working world has waned considerably, but so has this venture. Suddenly, I find myself in the throes of realization that I have really stopped following God, and have been charging ahead blindly, listening to my own self.
This could have been an afternoon taking yet another call from a hiring manager or recruiter about possibly going to work for their company, and I cancelled it. It could have included a meeting with the Student Affairs office about changing my degree program to be more PhD focused, and I cancelled it. It should have consisted of me studying for a test on Monday and preparing for a preparation on Wednesday but I didn’t do either of these things.
Yesterday, I caught a couple of reactions from individuals that let me know I was probably out of my mind, in terms of connecting properly with the outside world. I decided to take a nap that would last as long as it decided to last, to rejuvinate me, knit me back together again, calm me back down, etc.
I remember only a little part of a dream–I was the leader of a newly formed group of states that consisted of the US states roughly west of the Appalachians and east of the Rockies, minus Texas, and the southern states. There were earthquakes going off all the time, and we were holed up in an old hotel somewhere near Denver. People seemed to be okay with relaxing in the pool even as large boulders potentially came crashing down around them. My group was supposed to be a more practical version of the group in The Stand, and our enemy neighbors to the West in Vegas were probably meant to be just another government holding territory that we speculated about conquering. It was unclear who held Texas, the South and the Eastern seaboard.
I woke up and it was raining pretty heavily. It was far from being time to go get my son, so I had some lunch and just decided to sit for awhile and recollect.
Whatever I decide to do will end up being in the best interest of my family, but what that looks like, I don’t know. After having been rejected by several prospective employers over the past few weeks, I am beginning to see that the bridges I’d burned are probably burned for good. The old life has gone away, and the new life is yet to manifest itself. While I really do find the idea of being able to have extra money for travel and fun and spending quality moments with my son that make extra special memories for him–like at theme parks and zoos and dinosaur parks and museums and Disney–I realize that this isn’t everything, either.
There is a much quieter voice trying to remind me about why seminary and getting back into the church appealed to me so much in the first place. It wasn’t about being a part of this or that denomination, nor was it necessarily a fully realized career goal that I was supposed to march toward unflinchingly. Rather, it was meant to be the opportunity to let the Spirit continue to guide me back to a more right and true place that I’d abandoned long ago in my quest to be seen as relevant among other people.
Maybe the old life really is gone for good. There is one last prospective employer that I am holding for, and then I will cease my searching for now. I am in a place where I can comfortably get a Master’s Degree and then consider where to go from there. So much of the stress and frustration has gone away. I know that I am incredibly privileged to take naps and contemplate about life while my wife works and my son sits in daycare. I also realize that if my wife decided in any single minute that this arrangement was entirely unacceptable, I would hard charge my way back into the sales and marketing world.
I also think that simply constantly charging ahead, and cramming more info into you for the next test or quiz or paper, is a recipe for disaster. I would rather get a few more Bs and Cs from here on out than feel like I took a few more years off of my life to keep getting As.