Written by Abi Humber Tuesday, 08 June 2010 17:14
The other day at lunch, I was talking with my mama about this column. We acknowledged that I haven’t written anything particularly light or humorous lately, and I sort of don’t like that. As we talked, though, I realized this is where I am in my life.
I’m walking (well, limping) through a valley. I am trying to stay positive, but it’s hard to write about cheery, sunshiny things when my heart and mind just aren’t there.
I recently started a blog just like everyone else on the planet, but it’s been good for me. Only a few of my close friends know about it, so it’s a place for me to be brutally honest in my writing (like a diary, sometimes).?But since I’m publishing it, my thoughts are more refined, focused and organized. My few entries have been cathartic and I’m quite proud of myself for processing some hard things.
I want to share my latest entry with you, because this is just where I am. It’s hard for me to write about anything else right now. I promise I’m not trying to complain about my life…and if you read to the end I am a bit more positive!
“June 4, 2010— ‘I can never read all the books I want. I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience in life. And I am horribly limited.’ —Sylvia Plath
“A friend of mine posted this quote as his Facebook status sometime today, and immediately upon reading it I copied and pasted it onto a computer stickie (go Macs, go) to save for later. And then I remembered! I have a blog now. So here it is.
‘This stuck out to me for several reasons, I think. Mostly, during this season of my life, I’m trying to figure out what the heck is going on. What am I about? What am I doing at home this summer? What is God teaching/working on within me? Is He even doing anything? What am I good at? What is my ‘thing’? Blaaaaarghghghhggh. I spent most of high school wondering these same things. I wonder if I’ve made any progress at all.
“This quote caught my eye because it epitomizes the rush of thoughts within my mind right now. I don’t know what I want, or what I want to do, or what I was made to do.
“Am I really a writer? Am I musical? Do I sing? Am I well read? Can I paint? Can I ‘feel’ art into existence? Do I have an eye for photography? Do I have the brains to absorb and process revolutionary information? Could athletics ever be part of who I am, again? What things do I care for enough to speak forwardly about? Am I a voice that could stand out? Am I a spiritual leader? Am I even on the spiritual map? Where do I find the very core of ‘me’?
“I feel like I can look at other people and pick out specific things that they are incredibly and beautifully skilled at. And then I look at myself and see that I am so-so at quite a few things, but exceptionally great in none. Nothing sets me apart, nothing makes me worth mentioning. Part of me knows this isn’t completely true, but I don’t know how to find the truth that counters that lie.
“I just want something that makes me, me. I want to live and experience life in a very real way; I want to feel, to be alive. I want a skill or a characteristic, something that I can nurture and practice and present to the world as a representation of myself. Something to be proud of, something that I am really passionate about, and something that I know matters. But I know that I can’t do everything.
“So many things I ‘enjoy’ until I realize that I possess nothing special. Self-doubt then consumes me and I am paralyzed, discouraged, self-conscious...
“And I am horribly limited.”
Today I met with a counselor. I was incredibly skeptical going in, came out feeling OK, then found real meaning in what he had said as I talked with my mom on the way home.
The main thing I learned was through this cup analogy: God intends for me to be full, overflowing, exuding joy; Satan wants me to feel empty and abandoned (see blog for examples of such emotions), so he “pokes holes” in my cup.
I can try as hard as I want to keep it full—reading the Word, praying, serving, sharing my heart with friends. But until I learn to identify Satan’s voice in my thoughts and fight his lies, I am never going to get anywhere. I can desperately pour water into that cup, but until I “cork the holes,” Satan will keep stealing my joy.
See? I’m not THAT teen-angsty. There is hope. This is a journey, and I’m learning the best I can.