“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”
The swelling has finally gone down in my knuckles but now I have a void of eyelashes on about half of my upper right eyelid. Cracking my knuckles and pulling out my eyelashes are nervous ticks for me, I suppose. I never really analyzed why they come on, but if I were to guess I’d say stress. Stress is a natural part of my daily diet. In fact, I can’t picture the reality of a stress-free life. But there are times when it overwhelms. Times like now. Times that occur more often than I’d like to admit.
I got into a car accident 9 days ago. This is my second auto incident in less than six months. The traffic here is just one of the many reasons I hate this metro area. I was at fault – for both accidents. But this one wasn’t just a minor fender bender. I wrecked my car. Not totaled, but it hasn’t been driven since … just sitting in our little carport as a painful reminder. The airbags deployed and cracked the windshield, blew up in my face. Replaying that part over in my head feels so unreal. The scariest parts were the seconds right before impact – when you know there’s nothing you can do to avoid the crash – and then the sound of the metal hitting metal.
Luckily no one was hurt. But financially, there’s the ticket and the cost of damages to my vehicle — because I pay so much for everything else, I didn’t want to add collision coverage to my insurance package. I haven’t even had the proper time to take care of everything. I was right back to work the next day and every day since (with the exception of weekends) not only because of the fact that my job doesn’t give me paid time off (not even sick days) but also because the twins lost their job earlier that week.
It’d be one thing if they were let go because of something out of their control. But … I feel like they were at fault for this setback. Maybe the final straw that broke the camel’s back in the eyes of their employer was something they think to be beyond their control but they really could have handled things differently. They did not take it seriously. They did not fight for the opportunity to work there or to get their jobs back. It can be hard to get a job in this economy and yet they didn’t care. I don’t like my job either but I damn sure don’t take the fact I’m employed lightly. So now I’m the only one in my household working while two 32 (almost 33) year old men stay at home sleeping all day and then staying up all night blasting music, playing video games, watching tv, smoking and drinking. I live in a frat house with bachelors — and one of them is the man I’m supposedly engaged to.
I’m aware relationships have their ups and downs. Whenever we’re going through a rough patch, I remind myself that this is just a phase, just one season to get through. I keep the bigger picture in mind of how much I love him. But I’d be holding back if I didn’t say that often I feel like it shouldn’t be this hard. Sure, we can’t control outside forces, but I feel like what we can control is how we treat each other, how we communicate, our actions, our priorities. Lately I’ve been looking internally to see how I can improve myself as a future wife. Be more trusting, give him the space he asked for, try to take an interest in his interests, do more around the house. But how I perceive some of his actions and priorities have been a disappointment to me. It’s been a struggle and that’s before the other incidents piled on top of things.
Lately I feel like God has been giving me clear messages about the path I’m supposed to follow. I’m to run towards writing and family. Each path has its difficulties. I am a writer by profession. Writing has literally been the way I’ve earned my living for the past three years. I have a degree in journalism and that’s the field in which I’m employed – and I hate it. Now there are definitely some good takeaways, don’t get me wrong. I get to talk to a lot of interesting people and learn a little about a lot. I consistently meet and beat challenges I wouldn’t have otherwise. But I have just been miserable and unfulfilled with each journalism job I’ve had – from interning to being on staff at publications to even freelancing. In fact, the job I was the most happy with in over 10 years of being on somebody’s payroll has been waitressing in a movie theater. ::Sigh::
I wake up and go to bed thinking about ideas for novels I want to write — that’s even what I daydream about throughout the day. I feel like writing books is perhaps what I was put on earth to do. But I haven’t given myself the opportunity. I’m too preoccupied with other people’s dreams and expectations of me.
On the family side — I moved to Georgia to be closer to family and I’m still questioning this decision. I feel down in the dumps when the cousin who basically recruited me here can’t make any time to spend with me. I’ve become closer to my younger cousin in the last few weeks, but it’s challenging finding a balance in being a role model and a friend. Plus she, like most of us, has been down on her luck financially and I want to be able to treat her when we go out but at the same time I know I can’t afford that. I want to be on her side when she vents her struggles to me, but at the same time I know she might need the tough love, that she might need to make some choices that feel hard for her now but may be better for her in the long run. My issues with Justin have cut into my Sunday quality time with the grandparents routine because sometimes I’m so stirred up with stress and emotion that I can’t seem to stay over there feigning to be perfectly ok. Some weeks I can’t even bring myself to go over there at all, and I know it disappoints them. There’s 3 grandkids who grew up here and 4 more of us that moved here in the last year or two and out of the 7, I’m the only one they actually rely on to see regularly, because I make it my effort to be consistent.
At the same time, there’s half my family up north that I feel like I neglect. I’ve always been closer to my dad’s side of my family than my mom’s but that doesn’t mean I love them any less. Yet I haven’t been to Jersey in two years. Meaning that’s the last time I’ve seen my other grandmother, my aunts, my cousin and his family. I’ve seen my parents, sister and brother (who live in Jersey, NYC and Philly) but only because they make the trip down south to see me. I need to get myself up there for a visit. My grandma’s health has not been so great either. She’s in a nursing home after being in a hospital and an another medical facility for weeks. I know I have to make the trip up to see her soon. I haven’t seen my godsisters and their family in what seems like forever. Haven’t been to South Jersey – where I grew up – in three years cuz my last trip up to NJ was just in North Jersey for my sister’s college graduation. My one first cousin who lives up north — I don’t even know his family. He had a baby and then got married and I met them once at Carin’s graduation party but it was brief and I have no connection to them and don’t even really try. I made a comment a while back about how I only was present at my cousin’s first wedding. My sister made it seem like I was throwing shade but in my reality they are who I knew as his family – his first wife and stepson, not his current wife and new stepson and the beautiful daughter they have together. I don’t know … families can be complicated.
Speaking of complications, my period came on today. Not to be unexpected – this is the same time of the month that I started my cycle in March. It’s just that — and I know this sound ridiculous but — I had been repeating affirmations that this time I was pregnant. And I’m not. The disappointment doesn’t sting any less each time. Lately women around me have been talking about how hard a job motherhood is. I was thinking the other day about simple things I can’t find the time or energy to do after a long day at work, and I try to convince myself to thinking maybe I should be grateful not to have children now. When my fiance was driving me back home after the car accident and I was crying about how bad of a driver I must be, the thought hit me — what if I were to have had a child in the car?? Still, who am I kidding? I want to be a mom more than anything and that’s always in my subconscious, no matter what I try to trick myself into thinking. It’s not just me getting older. I wanted to have a baby since before I started having sex. I’m crushed that there is something that seems to be complicating this process. And I think … what if my body just can’t conceive or bear a child? I know there are plenty of women with stories of fertility problems – some that ended up getting pregnant somehow and some which never have been able to conceive naturally. I know there are other options: drugs, treatments, artificial insemination, surrogacy, adoption. And I could be happy just being a stepmother to that wonderful little girl. But the stubborn chick in me craves to feel my baby inside me while experiencing the joys and pains of pregnancy. I want to nurse my baby from my breasts and be able to pick out all the physical features we share. Each month when my cycle comes, it’s like a knife has stabbed straight through my heart and that is why I’m bleeding out. For the most part I keep it to myself because no one in my life really understands that pain. Social media kills me because every time I log into Facebook, someone’s announcing their pregnancy or the birth of their baby, or they’re posting pictures of their sonogram or baby bump or their kid’s first birthday. I even feel envious of strangers when I pass someone at the grocery store who’s pregnant or carrying a baby stroller. I question my entire future if I’m not able to be a mother. I’m not one of those women who doesn’t really care much one way or the other or who thinks it’d be great to have a baby someday when the time is right. I care STRONGLY about this.
I know God has plans for me and that there is a season for everything. So with weak knuckles and bare eyelids, I will continue to pray about it ALL.
“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint.”