Desire boils within us to excel at something

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.