Post-Trip Regroup

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have returned from my two-month road trip, and am currently staying at my stepdad’s for the rest of the month, and probably the next, while I get the next step figured out.

I have vowed not to think about (or make any effort toward) deciding where to move, for one whole week. I arrived on Sunday, so I’m going to start the research/thinking/writing/praying on Monday. There are a few contenders for locations, but nothing is hopping up and down going, “Pick me, pick me!”

As I also mentioned in a past post, a lot of this trip has been disappointing. Don’t get me wrong–it was an incredible experience that I am grateful I had. As you can see from the photos, it wasn’t a total loss, and I saw some amazing things. It was an adventure. Just not the adventure I was expecting.

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Obviously, Nebraska was a wild ride from start to finish…

Part of the trouble is that I’m not 100% sure what I was expecting. I guess I did think that something was going to pop out and say “Pick me!” I was hoping for writing inspiration, because right now I need (NEED) a new writing project, but I think my muse died of dysentery on the Oregon Trail. I was hoping for some spiritual time with God that was all sweet-and-lovely like in the cheesiest of worship songs, but my faith has been stretched to the limits–and sometimes beyond them. Not that I haven’t experienced God’s goodness–the fact that I drove across the country and back, putting 6,000+ miles on my car, all without a lick of trouble, is testament enough to that. Nothing that I was afraid of happening, happened–but also, a lot of things I hoped for and even expected, also didn’t happen. Little activities here and there didn’t work out. Also I was not expecting a depression flare-up, least of all one of such length and intensity. Every time I think it’s over, the dragon raises his head again and lets out another blast of fire. My armor is charred, and my heart hurts.

One of the parts of my road trip that I was most looking forward to was actually one of the most difficult and least enjoyable. This past weekend, a group of my college friends gathered at a mutual friend’s in Indiana to visit and catch up and have fun. We try to do this together a couple times a year, and inevitably there are those who can’t make it, so we try to Skype them in. I was really excited, because it seemed like the perfect finale to the two months, so of course it didn’t really turn out well for me.

First of all, last week my insomnia decided to be a bigger arsehole than usual. For several nights in a row, I was averaging 4 hours of sleep each. That already put my emotional state in a pretty precarious position. Then, the weekend turned out to be a two-day seminar of “Everyone Is Better Than You.”

When everyone was gathered together, taking turns on their updates, it was so much more difficult than I expected to hear about someone’s husband or boyfriend, or new baby, or new house, or potential new house, or new/changing/potential jobs, or loving and supportive families and churches. Meanwhile, I just sat there, because that’s all I was–there. Sure, I had my road trip, but everyone knew about it from Facebook and this blog, so I had nothing left to say for myself.

That’s not to say that I’m not happy for everyone else, and absolutely no one was deliberately trying to make me feel inferior–it was all on me, which makes it even more frustrating. I kept thinking how I’m closing in on being 30 and I have essentially moved back in with one of my parents because I don’t know what I’m doing with my life, how I have no church community, how my job is also just kind of there right now, and how I shouldn’t be in this place at this point. I should have a house with a family by now, or at least in my own place with a supportive church family, or working on my second or even third novel. Instead, I feel utterly expendable, completely useless and confused, and absolutely terrified.

So I have a lot of praying and thinking to do. Not exactly how I’d hoped to ring in the next year of my life.

3 thoughts on “Post-Trip Regroup

  1. Don’t be scared; I believe you’ll get to where you want to be eventually. It’s so hard when you see other people’s lives and compare your own to theirs.

    Maybe part of the secret to life is figuring out this answer to this question: What makes you happy? REALLY happy? Start with that.

    One thing I’ve learned is that my life has affected more people than I realized. In good ways. I bet yours did too.

    Just my two cents’ worth. Good luck. *sends virtual hug*

  2. I know you want and need something to do and I hope you find something that you love to do as well as a lovely place in which to do it, but your value is in who you are. This trip — the good, the bad, the ugly, and the sad — will add something to your being even if has not given you a big clue to your doing. You are loved and valued.

  3. “I shouldn’t be in this place at this point.” you probably already know this, but that statement comes from the Enemy. Perhaps you are exactly where God wants you to be right now.

    One of the hardest things I find about being a Christian is surrendering my ideas of what my life should be. It’s hard, but God knows what I need and what I should be so much better than I do, that it isn’t even funny. Sometimes, what we want when we want it, even if the what is a good thing of itself, would mean death.

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