Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dancing Through Life

Tonight my younger sisters had their annual ballet recital. They all danced beautifully and afterward all of their friends and their families came over to the house for a reception. Everything was lovely. It was nice to see all of my family enjoying time with their friends. I didn't really have any close friends over so I ended up entertaining five-year-olds and watching everyone have a good time.

The night left me feeling a bit melancholy. There was a time in my life when I saw all of my friends on a regular basis and they were integrated into my daily life while my family was also with me and part of my daily life. Now it seems that I am presented with a difficult "either" "or" scenario. I can either have a life at school, where I see most of my friends every day, but hardly see my family, or I can have a life at home where jobs and schedule conflicts keep my friends away, but I am with my family, to the extent that their schedules allow. I feel a bit out of place.

I love my family very much, but when I'm home I find myself often out of my element looking to whatever the future might hold. When I'm away from home, with my friends, I feel more like an adult and I definitely like the sense of direction and independence that spending time with my awesome peers allows, but I'm not home. I'm not as easily able to keep up with what's going on in the lives of my siblings and parents.

These last two weeks have been very busy for my family. Life at my home has always been like that. People never stop coming and going and rushing about. My life at school isn't like that. If I'm busy with something, it's school, but I feel that I have a very nice balance between work and rest and my free time isn't frantically divided between this party, this recital, this wedding, this youth group meeting, this rehearsal, this parish function, this family event, and that mission trip. At school there are three categories: work, social, and school. Work happens twice a week or less and only lasts for three hours at a time. School is time in class and time preparing for tests and other graded work. Social is with the same people and usually on campus so it usually amounts to staying home, only with friends.

At home, it isn't like that. I can go a whole week and have only spent a hour or two in the presence of any given family member. I haven't had a ton of places to go, but everyone else does and we are almost never here at the same time. If I want to have a heart to heart with one of my siblings it usually ends up being at around one in the morning. I've been home from school for two weeks and, even though I live in the same house as my family, I miss them. At home there are no categories for time. There is always something to do. There are always dishes to be washed, clothes to be folded, errands to run, kids to chauffeur, guests to entertain, etc. Don't get my wrong, I love my family and my home. I'm just not in the rhythm of my family's life.

As I look at the projected pattern for the summer schedule and think about throwing a summer job in the mix, I feel kind of sad. I just wish I could slow things down, not a great deal, just enough to take in the moments. I feel like everything is just flying past me. I guess that I get this way every summer. That's probably because there isn't a regular schedule in the summer and everything is a bit less organized.

I don't really expect that any one will feel much sympathy for me. I fully understand that this is a pretty small trouble. My family has a lot more going on right now than disorganized schedules, though, and so I've been working on keeping this to myself. (Let's see how long I can hold out. ^_^) Sometimes I feel like this blog is my own free therapy session. I can talk about whatever is on my mind, without adding to anyone else's trouble.

After having written this, I feel better. I really don't even think that I should post this one, but since I've already written and short novel, I'll ignore my impulses and go through with this. Well, life moves along and hopefully I'll just keep moving right along with it. Thanks for your prayers, whoever reads these and prays for me. =) G'night.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Today is the second day of finals week at my school. I haven't had a test yet, but I'm pretty anxious about one in particular. It's amazing how one thing can be the focus of so much worry and anxiety.

This week I have been reflecting a lot on the sources of my anxieties. This was mainly to discover what the sources are and - God willing - eliminate them. During my reflections I became aware that at some point in the last year or so, I began to shut God out. Not in the sense of discontinuing daily prayers or regular Confession, but in the sense of ceasing to rely on God for all things. At some point I started to rely on myself instead. I became so caught up in the things around me that I decided that I just didn't have time to surrender my troubles to God. After all, I reasoned, I could handle this, so why trouble God about it? How foolish I have been!

The most astounding thing is that I didn't even realize that I was doing it. It didn't become clear to me until yesterday, when I was feeling particularly down about something, I tried to turn to God about it through writing in my journal and I realized that I hardly knew how to tell Him about all that was going on in my heart. Of course, I know that he already knows everything that goes on in my heart, but at some point I just let that be enough and stopped working at talking to God about what I was going through.

I was asking for graces, praising His name, requesting favors, praying for friends, and that sort of thing, but I was no longer talking to Him as the lover of my soul and my friend. I let myself become distant and I wasn't letting Him fully into my heart. So now I know that I have a lot of work to do, or rather, a lot of catching up to do.

The thing is, I miss it. I didn't realize it until I tried it yesterday, but I really miss pouring my heart out to Christ and just letting Him love and care for me. I don't know how I ever let myself move away from it. His love is so amazing. When I contemplate all that I know of God, I am awestruck. Even I, who always has so much to say, am speechless when faced with His awesome love.

I have many things on my heart right now. Some are very exciting, some are a bit terrifying, and some are sad. Please pray that I will know what to do will all of them and that I may lean on God unceasingly.