The Big Question

27 May

Some of you may remember that I mentioned my husband is getting a promotion. Well, last week he finished his preparatory training and there was a graduation ceremony for him and his classmates that I got to go to. I was swelling with pride the entire night until the thing was over when a complicated kind of sadness settled in.

I’ve written before on how I feel about his military commitment and how it is and isn’t a sacrifice at the same time. On one hand, I’m happy that he feels successful in his career and that it’s for him to accomplish things and gain recognition. I know too well how rare that feeling is outside of the military atmosphere. On the other hand, though, I have a lot of anxiety for not being able to control the direction of my own life. I try my best to be endlessly supportive and I genuinely revel with him in his achievements but there’s always a moment afterward when a little voice inside asks, “when is it your turn?”

Being unemployed and in limbo land with school has been harder on me emotionally than I let on. I struggle all the time with feeling like I’m failing at something and I have to wonder why. Neither thing is within my power to control and both are bound to improve eventually. I remind myself constantly that if I keep at it and have patience, I’m very likely to have success at some point. Still, when things don’t come together as you always planned they would, it’s very common to ask yourself if it’s something you should be bothering with at all. If my first attempt at grad school didn’t go well, is it really meant to be? If I don’t get hired onto a company the first time, is it worth trying again or is it just not in the cards?

They’re not questions anyone else can help you with. No one on earth can answer questions of destiny and as much as I believe prayer helps, sometimes I really think the answers are ours to discover. Not every direction given to us can be a result of divine intervention. A lot of what we choose, I think, comes from following our own loves and passions and just being too stubborn to accept less than utter happiness. The question is how do we choose how to feel in the meantime, when things are still slumpy and gray? So much societal pressure says that our significance lies in what we do for a living and how much money we make. I personally hate that ideology but I have to say that it definitely affects me. It’s been a long road for me to feel unashamed to say that I’m unemployed. I also had to learn to pridefully state that I’m a writer and own my talent as my profession. I’m working on the day job thing, I tell people. But even now, I have to tell you that I have a hard time feeling significant.

So the biggest question is: If not our jobs or our wealth, what makes us significant? What reassures us that we are in line with God’s will or our fate in the universe? How can we feel that we’re doing the right thing when nothing is working out as planned?

For me, the answer is that I keep trying. I find ways to make myself happy by helping others and giving whatever we’re able to give. I contribute art to the world but I also try to love as much as possible. I try to pass on my blessings and accept others as part of my universal family. I move forward, even if blindly, because sitting still and waiting for the answer to come to me definitely feels like the wrong answer. If I can’t know what’s right, I have to try not to do what I know is useless.

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