Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The curse of too many options

I sat beside Mel in the car, driving home from the Bollywood movie, thoughts parading their way through my brain. It seemed as though the thoughts were superficial and fleeting, quickly leading to the next thought, and the next, until the train of connection was entirely forgotten, broken. Like rocketships, they shot into the sky of my mind, speedily heading towards space, leaving the atmosphere immediately.

Suddenly, a revelation of why I have been in a funk all day today: tomorrow I am going to meet with my old boss to discuss being reemployed by Liberty Mutual in exactly my old position. I never thought this would happen - my old position is a highly coveted one that rarely becomes available. I instead thought I’d be working in an office, doing a new type of work for the same old company, fighting new battles instead of old. This was exhilarating at first - the job comes with great pay, compensation for the gas I spend or a company car, the freedom of my own schedule, and working from home - however, it quickly turned into a concern that I wasn’t able to vocalize, dread and emotions that I didn’t then realize were related to this circumstance.

I feel trapped.

Acceptance of this job is akin to running on a parallel line to my Orlando past, and it looks so similar that I am frightened of returning to that person I was as well. It was my biggest fear in leaving Australia - that all of the lessons I’ve learned would be forgotten, the battles and enemies reengaged, and the insecurities I kicked out would resurface.

And so,

I sit, hearing many talk of leaving Orlando these days, and I already see the shadows, ghosts of those who made their way beyond the horizon before my own return. And as each one plans his or her escape, I find myself volunteering to go with that person. My heart is looking for that escape, that adventure, the thrill of departure. Vegas, San Francisco, Italy, India, heck, even LA, and I’m sucked into a mental withdrawal of sorts.

I don’t like commitment these days, after living such a carefree life. But much of life requires just that: inescapable commitment. I don’t remember ever fearing such attachments before, but lately the idea of escapism can truly overwhelm me.

I came back to Orlando for a very specific reason, to be with very specific people, and to fulfill very specific purposes. I am incredibly happy to see old friends and be loved and love people back and rejoin a community that I love dearly, which loves me in return. But there are minutes, hours, and even whole days that it feels like a constant sacrifice, a consistent selflessness, a reoccurring focus onto God’s purpose for my life at this specific point in time. It’s not the time that I spend with people - that is the easy, beautiful, blessed part - but instead the surroundings, and sometimes, the American way.

"Turn from ourselves, look beyond/There is so much more than this.”

These lyrics from Tear Down the Walls reverberated throughout the car, throughout my head as I reminded myself to focus on anyone else. Selflessness usually results in a better understanding of the world, and sometimes even yourself.

I want to be here. I want to want to love commitment. I want to wholly give my heart and my mind to my current life, my PRESENT. I pray for that desire frequently.

But often, running away seems far simpler.

I am convinced that it is a curse of too many options.

Eph 1:11-12:
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.


C. said...

I was thinking about having too many options as well after the movie last night, and I think you're right, it can be somewhat of a curse at times. Then again, the grass is always greener on the other side -- what if we had no options? What if we were stuck w/ our lot in life?

Thinking about the flip side makes me a lot more grateful to have choices. Yes, they can sometimes be overwhelming, but in all they can be a great blessing. Like you choosing to come home :)

DarlingKate said...

"I see nothing else on the horizon at the present moment."

Oswald Chambers- which you should be reading every day- says that our faith is made real not in the mountain tops of joy or the valleys of despair, but the road of everyday drudgery. That is where the saints fall by the way side. He says to have 'extraordinary ways in ordinary days'. We can all help each other to have these.

Alecia Stephens said...

Orlando will not be the same experience for you because you are a different person than when you left 5 months ago. There are people who are not the same people as they were 5 months ago, (well some are.) I am not the same person I was 5 months ago. (Thank God) Kate via Chambers is right. This is what makes or breaks us. Do we settle into our old lives and routines as if nothing has changed? Or do we take what has changed inside of us and make something new out of what seems routine and dull. Think of it as Kate or Jamie taking on old dress they find at a thrift store and change it into something new.

It's interesting about how you are perceiving going back to your old job 9-5ish job. For me, getting a regular 9-5 was a huge blessing because it allows me to start preparing for my future, which hopefully includes grad school and traveling (with you I hope at some point :) ).

I think these are called growing pains. They suck, but are necessary. Love you.

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I live amongst the dragons and the warriors of the 21st century. I surround myself with both the peasants, the aristocrats; the knights and the maidens. For a long time (now quite in the past), I wove the structure of my life around the mold others saw for me. I've since learned to live for God and myself. Freedom comes and goes as I remember this lesson of mine. But my life is MY life: a series of events and remembering such. And this, this beautiful montage, is why I wake up every morning. God willing.