Broken Dreams

I am getting rid of my son’s baby stuff. I kept everything. When my son was a baby I was just sure that a wonderful man would come along, I would get remarried and have more babies. So I kept everything. Clothes, bedding , toys, furniture, accessories of all kinds. As he grew older, I just kept putting the old stuff in storage. My storage unit, which once had plenty of space, slowly filled up. Well my baby is seven now, there is still no man on the horizon and the thought of having another baby has become decidedly less appealing. So I am purging. Everything.

But as I worked in my storage unit. I looked at all the other things, that have been in there for the past 7 years. Tables and chairs, cake pans, special linens, art, all the things to make a house a home. And I thought, at what point do I give up on that dream too? At what point do I give up on ever being able to gather friends around my table that seats 8. At what point do I give up on having a kitchen I can bake cakes in? At what point do I give up on having space to display the things I love?

When I took a Divorce Care class, years ago, they told us to make a list of all the things we had to grieve the loss of. Not just the loss of your spouse, but the loss of the plans and dreams. The thing is, no one told me those losses would continue so far into the future. I have healed. Most of the time I don’t even think about it much. But lately I look around and I see that there is still so much fall out. There are the holes that I wrote about last year. But there is just the everyday drag, and the feeling that none of this should have been like this. It shouldn’t be this hard.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go back. I wouldn’t trade the lessons I have learned and the person I have become for anything. But I just want something to be different. Something to make it a little easier. I want someone to wrap me in their arms and tell ME it is going to be all right. Tell me not to give up on my dreams. Tell me that someday I will be able to sit around my table with friends and celebrate that this chapter is over.

 

 


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Too Long

There is a saying that floats around on the Internet, I am sure you have seen it. It goes something like this: Depression is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of having been too strong, for too long. I used to think it was kind of stupid, because depression after all is a mental illness, a chemical imbalance.

I used to think it was stupid…until about a month ago when I started feeling like it was describing me. I am tired. Tired of always being strong. I can feel the depression creeping in, the apathy and despair and I can feel the hope draining out. And I try to fight. But fighting takes strength, and I am just so tired.

Having to be strong all the time takes its toll. Never having the luxury of falling apart, because there is no one to pick up the pieces. No one to pick up the slack. No one to hold you. No one to help you make the decision. Just you, all the time. It is too much for one person. We weren’t made for this.

I am guessing that most single people feel this way at some point or another. But I guarantee that ALL single moms (and dads) feel this way. Parenting wasn’t designed to be a one-person job. It is hard to constantly pour yourself out for someone, with out someone pouring into you.

There are two more quotes that were shared today by friends as I was thinking about this, and I thought they were rather fitting. The first one I thought was beautiful way of putting it.

“You don’t need another human being to make your life complete, but lets be honest. Having your wounds kissed by someone who doesn’t see them as disasters in your soul, but cracks to put their love into is the most calming thing in this world.” – Emery Allen

The second more in depth

“To be loved but not know is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully know and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” – Timothy Keller

I am tired of being strong alone. I need some kisses on my wounds, I need to be known, I need to be liberated, I need to be humbled, I need to be fortified.

Resolutions

I am not a big fan of New Years Resolutions. Probably because I hate introspection. It is hard to think about what you should do, when you don’t want to think about where you are.

Twenty-thirteen was an interesting year. Full of high hopes and deep disappointments. The best of friends and hollow loneliness. The end of one chapter, but no start to a new one.

I find it hard to resolve to do anything except keep on living and taking life as it comes. The things I want the most aren’t things I can resolve to do. They are things that I have to let come to me. Things I can do nothing to make happen.

I am tempted to resolve to give up hope, so that I will stop being disappointed. But what is life without hope? So I guess I will just resolve to keep doing the next thing and keep hoping.

Sameness

I write when there is something I need to get out. A thought, or an idea that just can’t be kept in, that has to be shared. Something that is real. Something that might help someone else. Not because I have all the answers, but because knowing you are not alone is half the battle.

I have had multiple thoughts and ideas lately, but when I start to think them through, I realize I have already written about them, and I have nothing new to say about them. This seems to be the story of my life right now. Sameness.

I had big plans for this year. I was going to graduate, find the perfect job as an OB nurse, save a little money, and move into a place of my own.  You know with a real kitchen, separate bedrooms, and (dare I dream) a bathtub. I was going to get my things out of storage and decorate for Christmas with ALL my decorations. Then I was going to have all my friends over for a dinner party for my 30th birthday. It was going to be wonderful.

But, as they say, life is what happens when you are busy making plans. I graduated. (YAY!) I got a job as a caregiver for my grandma. And I am still live in my tiny “studio” apartment. I can almost taste the disappointment. I can feel the walls closing in. The apathy of depression seeping in around the edges.

Change can be difficult. Sameness, when you are expecting change may be even more difficult. I am finding it hard to be grateful. I know in my head that I am so blessed with what I have. But in my heart I just want to be somewhere else.

Thanksgiving came and went, and I tried to make my November thankful posts on Facebook. But I only made a few. I know I have lists and lists of things to be thankful for, but I just couldn’t make many heartfelt spontaneous declarations of thankfulness. Now Christmas is upon us, my favorite time of the year, and I am just not feeling joyful. Yes I am aware that joy is a choice, but sometimes feeling it is good too.

My pastor taught on generosity last week, (If you think you have heard every sermon on giving that you ever need to hear, you haven’t.  Listen here. 12/1) and he drove home the point that even the poorest of us here are SO rich. Point taken. Then we started this Advent for Orphans calendar, where you put specified amounts of change in a jar for things such as: # of bibles or games you own, # of eggs in the fridge or cans of food in he pantry, or # of carpeted rooms in your house. I may only have one room, but it is carpeted, and heated. Has lights and running water, hot water even.

Nothing like perspective to make you feel like a ridiculously selfish spoiled brat. Perspective may not immediately change how I FEEL, but changing how I THINK is a start.  I may still want something different, but I can also be content with what I have.

In the midst of all the disappointing sameness I need to remember that there is a comforting sameness. The same God who has gotten me through the last 7 years, is the same God who is going to get me through the next 7 years. I have believed steadfastly that he has a plan for me, that he has the perfect job waiting, that he brings good things to those who wait. He stays the same, even when he doesn’t do things in MY timing. He stays the same.

Through Smoke

This song has been on repeat in my head for the last few days.

“When the answers and the truth take different sides, Will you still find me, Will you still see me, Through smoke…When everything you know seems so untrue. When I am lost in a place I thought I knew….” – NEEDTOBREATHE

‘Lost in a place I thought I knew.’ I read my last post here and realize that it describes me completely. I know exactly where I am and what to do to get out, but I am still wandering around in circles. A dear friend posted a simple quote on Facebook a week ago  “Disappointment kills hope”. And I suddenly had three simple words to describe where I am. I have always been an optimistic, hopeful person. But disappointment has been choking out that person. I don’t even know what to hope FOR anymore.

‘Everything you know seems so untrue.’ What do you do when everything you know, the words you say, and phrases you repeat don’t seem to be true? A song we sang in church today  says, “I sing out and remind my soul” And that is what I need, I need to remind my soul, every.single.day. The service continued on to a sermon tailor made for me. I won’t try to recap in, but it was pretty amazing. (you can listen here WWJT (Pt.2) 4/21/13 ) It was stuff ‘I thought I knew’ but I certainly needed reminding of.

I hope I make it out of this ‘smoke’. Soon. I am tired of being choked up by it.