24 Jul 2014

Taking Control

So over the last few weeks I have been feeling a bit like:

"Argh I am just coasting through life, am I wasting my time?!"
"Should I be doing something different because this is not what I imagined I would be doing?"
"How am I already 26 and I still don't know what God wants to use me for?"

So I decided that I would make a few little changes to feel like I am more in control of what is going on. The biggest one being that I shaved the back of my head...

I have been wanting to do something a little crazy for a while. My thinking was either, tattoo (which lasts forever), facial piercings (which can scar/get infected) or something hair related. 
Originally I was thinking something like this:

However, I spoke to a lot of people and the consensus was that I probably couldn't pull it off. Plus it would take A LOT of maintenance and work in the mornings. 

So I decided to go with something that essentially is SUPER safe and yet quite a big thing. I mean I have shaved the back of my head! It feels amazing. Like I spend a lot of time stroking my head. And in this heat it is wonderful to have a breeze on the back of your head. 

The benefits are that from the front and when my hair is down you can't tell anything! So if I have any official engagements I can look vaguely respectable. 

The down sides are that not everyone likes it - my brother's comment was "Nai that looks horrible!" Ha - innocent, harsh truth. 

But to be honest I think part of this is me getting over what people think. Too much I have not done things because I'm worried about what people will think of me. If I'm going to make the most of this life I need to get over that.

I love this quote from George Eliot - it encourages me to not give up already.

Taking control a little bit at a time.

23 Jul 2014


The last few posts I have written have been pretty depressing and just re-reading them now you would be forgiven for thinking that I was wallowing in a pit of despair. However, I'm not! My mum asked me why I put my thoughts/feelings out here for the world to read, she was worrying that I was exposing too much of myself. I guess to some extent I am exposing myself - I am saying what's really going on. But I do that because I don't want people to have some unrealistic expectation of who I actually am. I'm not someone who has everything worked out and who is able to be happy all the time. I'm someone who is just trying to work out what I was created to do/be. I guess I am trying to show that if you are feeling down sometimes, you aren't on your own.

Saying that, these last few weeks I have been feeling a whole lot better. Having a bit more of a work life balance is helping. Seeing people who are good for me is definitely helping and knowing myself and how I tick is opening my eyes as to why I think the way I do. 

I have been reading the book of Proverbs in the Bible and was struck by part of a verse:

My translation reads: "What a person desires is unfailing love..." and it struck me because it is so true. One of the reasons I was getting frustrated is because I want people who put me first, who don't cancel on me, who ring me up and meet up for dinner with me. I want people who speak good things to me and about me. 

Whilst I do know a number of people who do a pretty good job of loving me - upon reflection I was just really aware of how, as people, our love does fail. We desire unfailing love but we are unable to give it. I cannot be 100% unselfish 100% of the time. I mess up. I say and do things that I don't mean and later regret. I don't think of others all the time. Even when I'm really trying I don't get it right. 

But I guess it made me all the more aware of how our desire for unfailing love is met in Jesus. His love for us truly does not fail. Like even when we feel at our lowest or farthest, his love is still readily there. I desire to be loved unconditionally and God does that. I love the verse in Romans where it says "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). God didn't wait for me to love him before he loved me - God has always and will always love me. His love is unfailing. 

Most of the time I cannot get my head around that. I base my understanding on what I know of the world, and lets me honest if you annoy someone and don't listen to them there is a limit to how much love they will have for you. But God isn't like anything I know. A lot of the time I feel totally unworthy that God would love me - despite knowing all of the stuff I have done and continue to do, he still loves me. But the fact that he does means that I can trust him. And that helps a lot when I feel alone. I desire unfailing love, and I have a God who is able to satisfy that desire.

1 Jul 2014

Moving forward...very slowly

Just want to say thanks to people who got in touch after the last post - really felt the love and it helped in not feeling so alone, knowing that other people get it. 

Since that post a number of things have happened:
  • I've had quite a few conversations with people about how I've been feeling. This has helped quite a bit as I am an external processor and part of the issue was that I was struggling to find people to talk to who would help me work out what I was thinking.
  • I've had some time to think. Admittedly not loads, but I've been able to think and think a bit more rationally. I am someone who generally over thinks and has an overactive imagination, so I think through a lot of "what-ifs" even though in reality some of them are ridiculous.
  • I've had some people be brutally honest (in love) with me about how I cannot be as selfish as I currently am. Other people's lives do not revolve around me. Obviously I wish they did - if I'm honest I wish that people did take my feelings into account before making decisions and life choices. But that is unrealistic and unreasonable to expect. 
  • I've been able to connect with people who are in similar places in life and chat through the fear element of being left behind.

Coming out of all that I've had some thoughts about how I want to move forward. This isn't at all to say I've got it nailed down, and even this evening I've had a little cry because of feeling excluded, but I do not want to stay in this sad, lonely, unsure place. It sucks and it steals all of my joy and I don't like it. Here are some ideas:

  1. Remembering what it is that God has said a) about me, and b) to me. God doesn't think I'm a loser, or that there is stuff wrong with me. He says I am wonderfully made and precious to him. He has also said he has a plan for my life, and while I really wish I knew what that was, I can trust that he knows and he knows best.
  2. Remembering that people value me for me. I don't have to keep up and do what everyone else is doing. Hopefully my friends like me for who I am - no matter what stage of life I'm in.
  3. Things change. They just do. And yea it sucks. I have always struggle with the idea of change because I have had issues making real friends. All through growing up and into adulthood I have had a lot of people I would consider to be friends, but barely any who I actually consider to be close and who I can be totally honest with. So it sucks when those few then aren't as available as before. It does make me feel replaced and like I don't matter. But people don't have to base their lives on my feelings. I know that this is a season and that I will make new friends and get close to other people. Does it make this season any easier, no. Does it give me hope that I won't feel like this forever, yes.
  4. Talking is better than not talking. I think part of me is programmed to not want to look like I struggle. I'm a manager, a youth worker, an independent woman, and a lot of the time I want to look like I've got it together. I don't want to be vulnerable with people because it's risky. What happens if they don't get it? But the more I talk the more I realise other people have been there and can help. Other people are sometimes in it and are looking for people to help them through. Not talking isolates, whereas talking tends to open things up.
  5. Crying isn't bad. I have cried so flipping much these last few weeks. I hate it because it makes me feel out of control. Like I don't have a handle on how people see me. I think I have put a pressure on myself to always be ok. I can have bad days, but I should be fine because that's what people expect. At the moment I am not fine. The tears remind me. And it's ok. Not going to lie I am defo not enjoying this. But actually coming to terms with where I am at is positive and recognising that it's alright to not be ok and need other people is not a weakness. We have been created for community and too often I try to do life as a Lone Ranger. Crying reminds me that it's ok to be in this place.
From reading this I hope you don't think I'm messed up. I blog a lot of the time because I find it helpful to articulate feelings so I can process where I'm at. My hope is that the process resonates with others and helps us all to feel like we're not on our own.