Tag Archives: future

The War of 100 Adventures

A late night ramble.

 

They made it sound easy through all the tears and muddled congratulations. Parties were thrown and cards were given telling me all the tales that my life would hold. The world was at my feet they said. Life before me with a merry greeting just waiting to see what I would do next. Gosh it sounded so romantic at the time.

I was 18 and had just graduated high school – I remember what I felt like it was yesterday. The deep hope  and vivid imagination that unpacks brilliance in a series of vibrant daydreams. Slideshows flew through my head of love, foreign countries and legendary adventures. Like life was gonna be one big road trip.

Then I started college. Suddenly I was faced with a million decisions. What was I gonna do? Who would I date? What were the goals and next steps? I went into college as a neuroscience major and left with a degree in political science. If I had no respect for reality, I would still be there racking up degrees. ‘Cause its hard to rule things out. How can I be a modern-day version of Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa’s Smile without an art degree?

But that’s just it. I will never be an art professor. I will never be a lawyer or doctor. Not a historian featured on documentaries. The Food Network will never make a pilot episode for me and medical school? That ship sailed long ago. My life isn’t big enough to hold each single dream the way I see it this side of heaven.

Maybe I can be whatever I want, but I can never be everything I want.

At some point I had to choose.

Telling me that the world is at my feet does me no good if I don’t know how to walk. Opportunity means nothing without vision and purpose that point these little toes in the right direction. Even now I can easily lose track of where it is that I am supposed to be going.

There are hundreds of adventures in life that vie for my time. From dreams to careers to families. Some days I totally sit unsure of what move to make. What if I make the wrong choice. To say “yes” to something requires a “no” to another thing. Juggling all the bits works for a while but then my hands cramp and I let it all fall apart like a teenage romance. Good for a while, but it could never last.

I struggle with what I assume most other millennials do as well. Endless opportunities and options from growing up in an online world. Constantly reinforced with the idea that my destiny is hyper-individualized and my path can lead me anywhere. Except I don’t quite know where to head at times.

Options are like currency for us. The more we have the richer our lives feel.

At the drop of a hat, we could pull out and jump onboard with something better. Switch paths based on the most photogenic for an Instagram post. Our online audience needs us to keep things interesting. No sleep till Brooklyn as they say.

So many adventures call our names. Noble ones with a strong sense of duty behind them. Hilarious escapades that generate countless hashtags of inside jokes. Adventures that seem to fit like a glove for one hand but don’t come with a match for the other. Which are we to follow?

A dreamers dilemma.

A million places I’d like to go, but no certain guidance. That’s the problem with options I suppose. And while I am thankful to have the privilege of so many choices, I have recognized that what I am after isn’t really choices at all.

What I crave is consistency. A sense of mission that follows me through each choice and helps me navigate this war of 100 adventures. ‘Cause they are fighting for my time, attention and committment. Try as I might, I can’t live them all.

I can’t tell you which adventure to choose, which calling to obey, or dream to pursue. I do know that in the noise of the process and the ideas that heckle you when you put them down – I do know that there is a hand we can hold.

The hand of the One who is prompting us to step out in the first place. It’s okay if we slip up and don’t get it right the first time. There is more Grace than we know for the decisions we navigate.

In the war of 100 adventures not all dreams make it out alive. And that is how we live. How we live the things we are meant to. A courage to stop being afraid of missing out, of not picking the attractive thing, or worrying that none are the right fit. We hold the hand of the One who guides us and trust that close to him is where we are to be.

And He will guide us. Like He always has.

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I’m sorry, did you say cancer? And thoughts on “getting over it”

I asked the nurse practitioner what it could be. She replied, “Well, it could be nothing. Or it could be cancer.” And this is what I learned…

get over it real

 

 

I’ve had a myth in my head for far too long. A myth that said when things get hard – unbearable even – you have to just keep moving and eventually it will pass. Head down, hand to the plow…keep moving. Get past this and it will be okay on the other side.

Advice was a lot easier to give when I was in my early 20s.

“You’ve just got to get over it.”  That was usually my advice. Maybe because I thought time was supposed to heal everything just like the Hallmark cards prophesied. Skimming past a situation with your fingers crossed that it won’t be too tragic is a solution. Get over it. Skip it and pray it never catches up to you.

As I’ve gotten older I have realized the faultiness of my advice. It seems life’s arm has gotten stronger and the curveballs it throws are harder and leave bigger marks. There are some things we can’t just get over.

Last week I started having unusual symptoms. I went to the doctor who was equally concerned. Tests were scheduled for this week. I was told that it could be cancer. Maybe other things were said, but that was pretty much all I heard.

For the next five days I had to try and live life as usual until test results came back in. I realize that for many people dealing with illnesses waiting five days isn’t too bad, but for me it was almost unbearable. Waiting to find out if you have a tumor or not hangs over each minute no matter how hard you try not to think about it.

By the time Saturday morning rolled around I discovered that I had two choices. I could go on, pushing through my days acting like everything was okay. Ignore the problem and it will go away. Ignore the thought patterns and eventually they will blur into everyday thoughts. I could wait until the situation changed and then my fear would subside.

I could learn how to cope like this. I could “get over it”. 

Or I could walk through it. Acknowledge the moments my heart started to panic and resist the urge to drown myself with aimless distractions. Stop hiding from the distress that surfaced with every quiet moment. Ask the hard questions. Throw punches at Jesus for bringing me to a place that didn’t feel safe.

I wrestled with myself, my imagination and the beliefs I desperately wanted to cling to. In the end I had a deep internal peace. Whatever the lab results told me, I was going to be okay. Tumor or no tumor, I decided I wouldn’t let fear dictate how I lived.

On Tuesday I got the tests back. It was not cancer.

There could have been another outcome. I could have just “gotten over it”. Shoved all the flaring emotions under the bed. Taking a deep breath when the news came in that I was fine. Then resume business as usual, keeping the debris of my heart hidden beneath the bed. Hoping it doesn’t slide out when the next hurdle in life comes.

And that is what happens when we try to get over it. It is out of sight but never quite gone. Slowly making its way back into the middle of our lives when we aren’t looking. Jumping at us whenever the next situation triggers it.

This is the myth so many of us believe when it comes to moving past our pain and weakness.

We stuff every moment with business or mind-numbing media. Some choose to fill their glasses with elixirs to make them forget and others laugh on cue – God forbid anyone see them cry. We work like puppets praying that someday – hopefully soon – we will wake up and it will be gone. All the pain, fear and insecurity.

Maybe one day we will wake up to realize we are no longer being hunted by the shadows of our past. But it has been my experience that things are rarely “gotten over”. They are ignored and avoided, but never conquered.

Sometimes the best way to get over something, is to just go through it. —> click to tweet

I wonder what would happen if we chose to just walk straight through our fires. If we quit trying to tame our pain into bitesize pieces that we have to digest for the rest of our lives. Sometimes our mountains we face just can’t be ignored anymore. We’ve got to cross those cliffs and walk through the forests. Cause there is no getting over something like this.

There is no getting over your breakup, your loss, your abuse, your addiction, your diagnosis or your shame.

There is just getting through it.

Acknowledging instead of ignoring. Looking at the photos, feeling the pain. Laying on the cold tile ’cause there is no easy recovery from a blow like this. Crying the tears and writing out the words your heart utters silently inside. Letting ourselves grieve the things we have lost or the fear of what may be. Going there bravely when everything in us screams to run away.

We don’t sit down or give up. We don’t walk around it. We simply walk through it – asking God to carry us when we are past the point of our own strength.

Look around you, friend. I’m not sure where your feet are standing at the moment. I don’t know what you are needing to walk through right now.

But you are destined for good places. Beautiful things are ahead for you – the kind that take your breath away for all the right reasons. Take heart friends. You can get through this.

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Blogging Is A Team Sport

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May 5, 2014 · 12:09 am