Prompts for Sunday Scribblings can be found here.
It’s be a long, long time since I’ve done SS. Truth be told, I had completely forgotten about it. Then, browsing through blog categories, I stumbled back upon it. Eureka! I though. Just what I need. I’ve got a lot on my mind and I love these community oriented prompts as a way of sorting through the muck.
**Long, navel-gazing, semi-depressing post ahead.** Feel free to skip this post and go to the next one (a new knitting project!)
Guidance. Yes, yes, this has been on my mind lately. Do you feel, as I do sometimes, that your life moves in orbit? I can go through months of feeling competent, happy, connected, loved. Or, if it’s on the darker side, months of feeling inadequate, perhaps even broken. I wouldn’t call it depression. I can still continue my days, still laugh at jokes, find pleasure in knitting or cooking a good meal. I just feel less capable. I’ve come to view those darker months as growing pains. As I strive for new knowledge or skills I feel, temporarily, less satisfied with my current abilities. I feel awkward, ungainly, unable to competently stand on my own. Usually I muddle through it, reading books, journaling, thinking. But this time it feels different. This time I need help, guidance.
I’m on the darker side of the orbit right now. I’ve reached the half-way point between returning to school and finishing (!!) a degree. But this achievement has brought with it a laundry-list of doubts and worries. What do I do when it’s all over? Have my prospects measurably improved? Or will I still be relegated to working mediocre, dead-end, marginally satisfying jobs? P has, because of my good grades, been encouraging me to pursue an advanced degree. I just want to get back to work and contribute to the household. But then again, we’re doing just fine. Should I just keep going? What are the benefits of continuing on? Is it worth it? I feel like I’m about to set sail into uncharted territory, on to ground I do not understand. Do I have the wherewithal to finish an advanced degree? Am I smart enough? Hardworking enough? Do I love school enough? What if we have kids? Will I be wasting my education? Although none of those questions have straight forward answers, there are plenty of lingering questions that do. How does grad school work? Some of my friends are paid to go to grad school – is that normal? How do my options improve if I do this? Will I have to move? How do I even find a program and apply? The fact that I don’t know the answers to these easy questions makes me wonder if I have the right to even consider this.
And then there’s the even uglier side of things. I started counseling today. Not for any one thing in particular, but simply because my past still clouds my present. I want to close the door and move on. I know the door will always be there, and I know I will occasionally peek in, but I want to be at peace with what’s behind that door. I don’t want to keep a proverbial chair perched under the proverbial doorknob barely keeping the very real anger, resentment, and disappointment at bay. As I debated how to present my needs in the counseling session, the best analogy I had was this: I know the world doesn’t owe me anything, I know that comparatively I’ve had a pretty okay life, I know it sounds childish to wish for a better past. I understand, and accept, all this on an intellectual level. But I’m still angry, sad, and resentful (some days more than others). While I’ve worked through some of the intellectual issues, I still struggle with the emotional ones. I need someone to help me wrangle the emotions and put those demons to rest.
Yes, these days I’m in need of a lot of guidance. And I’m not very good as asking for help. I’m feeling like I’m on the dark side of the orbit, clumsily working my way through growing pains, striving for a better future. Fortunately, there are resources available to me, and part of this growing process is learning how to use them, learning how to reach out, ask for help, be vulnerable. None of this comes easy, but then again, most good things never do.