We're all familiar with the expression "when it rains, it pours" and I think we're also all familiar with how true that expression actually is. It's never just one bad thing that happens, but a whole slew of bad things, one right after another.
I don't think it's been much of a secret that the past six or so months have been filled with a lot more downs than ups for me. It's this pattern that I feel like I've recognized throughout my life--having a streak of good luck, and then all of a sudden . . . not. This time last year I was feeling pretty good. I had a job I liked at a place I loved with amazing coworkers. I'd moved in with my best friend, was just months away from paying off my car, and planning a trip to Prince Edward Island.
Then in July things turned topsy-turvy with the knowledge that I would be losing my job. Fortunately, I was able to keep my job longer than I thought, but with less hours. I applied for jobs, and was turned down for all of them. So I started entertaining the idea of the GRE and graduate school. I looked at programs and found one that I sounded good. I studied hard for a month and took the GRE, then worked hard on getting my application in before the deadline. I even filled out FAFSA to see if I could get any financial help. Then, one week exactly after I got the news of my cousin's death, I received the news that I wasn't accepted in grad school.
That much sadness and rejection from all aspects of my life all within a couple of months is hard to take. I didn't--and still don't--really understand what it was all for. Why did I feel so good about the program I was applying for if I wasn't going to get in? What was the point of studying for the GRE and all the stress that went along with that?
And I've been unsure if editing is even what I want to do anymore. I was 16 when I decided I wanted to be an editor and have been working toward it for the past 10 years, and now I have no idea if it's actually the career path I should go down. But I also have no idea which path to go down if not that one. Or the grad school one.
When I received the e-mail telling me I hadn't been accepted into grad school, I called my mom to tell her and she offered to come up to my place and stay with me. I cried when my roommate came home from school before she went to work and I cried when my mom came and held me. And then I think I shut down. I didn't feel anything either way about it. Then today at church, we had what is called "Musical Testimonies." Basically, you get up and share what you're favorite hymn is, and why, then we all sing a couple verses of the hymn. We sang a few hymns, and I felt tears pricking up behind my eyes, and a little prompting to share one of my favorite hymns--one that feels very apropos to where I am right now:
Lead, kindly Light, amid th'encircling gloom; Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home; Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that thou Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path; but now, Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years.
So long thy pow'r hath blest me, sure it still Will lead me on
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till The night is gone.
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!
After giving my testimony and singing this song, that dam I had built up inside me burst open and I couldn't seem to keep myself from crying. Every hymn seemed to have something in it for me
I feel like I've talked a lot about paths lately, but lately they have been on my mind a lot. Taking one step in the darkness, trusting that Someone is leading you, that takes a lot of faith. And sometimes we are taken down paths that end in a dead-end, and we don't understand why, but we have to turn around and find another path. I have a lot of people telling me that not getting into school/not getting that job, etc., means that there is something "better" for me. I don't know if I believe that's true. I think there is a plan for me, somewhere, and that there is something for me, but something better? I don't know.
I do know that I feel like I'm due something good. :)
The future is so uncertain right now, and I'm trying to keep an eternal perspective on it. And taking it one step at a time.