Down and out

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re not where you should be by this point in life? If I think about what would make me happy at this point it would be to have already reached my goals. It has been five years since I’ve finished the main part of my Bachelors. I was hoping to have my debt paid off in two years (dream on right?). I was hoping to have finished a Masters by now. I dreamed that I would be in my career and maybe somewhere on the mission field. Maybe even be married.

Reality is I graduated later in 2011, worked fast food for a year and a half, retail for a year, and job hunted for some way to use my degree like crazy to no avail. Deferment of my loans became commonplace as I couldn’t afford the payments, putting me further behind. This year I started a new career that I never saw myself doing, and frankly still see it as temporary. I feel like I keep getting more and more behind as the years tick by and I still haven’t felt like I’m where I want to be. It can wear on a person, and even feel like these years are a waste because they aren’t doing much to help reach my goals. I’d much rather be working on my masters. Instead, I live far from the school where I’d like to get my degree and no idea when I’ll be able to afford the degree and move there. Most dishearteningly, I lack the tools to do what I love – helping/counseling people.

So amidst all that frustration, what keeps me from going nuts? In all of it, it’s constantly remembering who is in control of my life. God certainly is, but I also am. I am responsible for every decision I make from now until I die. If I feel defeated and frustrated now, what will keep that pattern from continuing later on in my life? As of this moment, I have the choice and ability to handle whatever is thrown at me with grace and patience. I saw my 20s as a time to learn about the career I would launch into. Instead, they have been a time of learning about myself before I go into my career. I’m not where I want to be, but I am where I need to be. The best thing is, I can make the best of it now. I can glean lessons from the mud that covers everything in the spring thaw and from the beauty of winter that preceded it.

Learning isn’t bound solely into the classroom, training seminar, or a special program. If you’re feeling down about where you are now, I challenge you to do what you can today. Don’t live apathetically biding your time until you can begin your ‘real’ purpose. Your purpose is immediate, carpe diem.

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