mothers and brothers

lone duck

I have to warn you, dear reader–this post may make you a little uncomfortable. It sure wasn’t easy for me to press the ‘publish’ button on this one, my friends. I’m going to be real with you  me in this post, because I’ve had an epiphany and I need to call myself out on some BS. I’m being this transparent in the hopes that in revealing my struggle, someone may be liberated from theirs as well. So here we go…

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I am currently pursuing higher education by means of a graduate program. You’ve read all about my fears of not fitting in this new city (why I would want to fit in, I have no idea), about adjusting to life on the east coast, and about how I’ve questioned the institution of academia as a whole. Oh, if I had a million dollars for the number of times I’ve wanted to quit school since being here. Well, if I’m completely honest, since before even coming here.

At the wake of my most recent wave of “oh-my-gosh-i-don’t-know-what-i’m-doing-and-i-cant-do-this-anymore”-ness, I found myself in a light and loving conversation with my mom.

Part of our conversation on the phone went like this:

Mom: *addressing my teenage brother* Your sister didn’t know that school is hard until now. Tell her what you think about that.

Brother: I am slapping you through the phone.

It’s true, though. That figurative slap awoke me in quite the same way a literal one would. For years school has always just come to me, and for that reason I never thought it should be hard, because it never really was for me. School, which had once been my greatest joy, has become a source of deep sadness and my biggest struggle. Sure I suffered a lot through one of my undergraduate majors, but that was because I wasn’t a good fit for it. I love what I’m studying now, so what is going on?

Maybe I’m burned out and maybe I really, really need a break. But maybe I’m being refined and made aware to the fact that my old beliefs and habits about school aren’t working anymore and I need to be doing things differently. Clearly, God isn’t finished with me yet. He taught me this yesterday, as I watched with amazement at how our apartment somehow became a lot more furnished all at once. In the midst of uncertainty about my future in DC, I felt the sense of permanence that comes from moving furniture into a living space. He turned our apartment from a well-intentioned space of much love but much emptiness, to, well to put it frankly, a home. It feels a lot cozier now. As I watched our apartment transform before my eyes I realized that my life will transform too. That I will transform.

I want to beat myself up for taking the time to write this post, instead of to finish another assignment. But then I realize that I wouldn’t be able to move forward without fully processing this.

and I am so overwhelmingly thankful for friends who not only notice when I’ve fallen apart, but who stand by me and pick up the pieces one by one. They are patient, loving, and kind. They are not afraid of my darkness but embrace it and tell me to get the hell on with it, because they see the light ahead even when I can’t, no matter what decision I make, and they know this will pass. They don’t leave when they’ve put me back together because they love me all the same, then, too. Writing about them makes me cry because I was truly touched to be shown just how loved I am.

Wednesdays are typically hard for me, but mothers and brothers are the best. And friends and sisters too.

If you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of this very long, very transparent post, I want to thank you. Thank you for being the audience that makes the mumbles of my lips a voice.