This picture was taken back during my fall semester senior year of college–also back when I had my long hair.
I remember that I took that picture because I was starting to fret about an unknown future, but things weren’t necessarily coming to end just yet. I just knew that in time, there would be changes. Within the picture, I was simply recognizing and accepting that this would eventually happen. That coming May, I would graduate and hopefully attend a Graduate program somewhere to get my Masters in Social Work starting August. I thought my life was leading itself into a path of companionship with the one I loved and that would bring my life more happiness.
But this picture was also taken in a moment where I always found the most clarity, the most peace in the times of utmost chaos–FINAL EXAMS. Since freshman year, I remember that I always found this unexplainable tranquility that filled me even as I had restless, sleepless nights. I had this profound trust in God that they would give me the kind of strength and perseverance to continue with whatever annoying task I needed to get done. Many times, I was stressed all throughout the semester, but come final exams, I knew things would be okay–I would present well, I would write well, I would pass the classes, and in the end, I would find rest in finishing my exams.
Those days where I found myself cooped up in Espresso News or in the new part of the Student Union when E-News was overflowing with people, I had this unshakable confidence. Things would be okay. I just knew it. The hard part of studying, reading, preparing, not sleeping would soon pass. I would literally have a month of break to do whatever I wanted, recompose myself, and reflect.
Three years later, I don’t have this known sense of relief because that chapter of my life is done. Because I chose to not go for my Ph.D just yet, I have had a rough time knowing that the future isn’t as known as it was before, like going back to school. This time around, I didn’t have this tranquility or peace at finishing my projects or papers. I was stressing over everything that would come post-MSW-graduation.
I am still “stressing,” but maybe I have reached my main point of ‘internal chaos’ here in Chile. Once that internal chaos point is reached, I find that is when I just begin to throw my hands up in the air [like Imma true playyyerr]. Ha. But really, right now I know I need to have faith in my God that I believe in. I know I need to have faith in myself, in my strengths, my capabilities, and in the ways I view the world. I have always felt a little out of place when I try to explain how I feel about many things–of the world, of my convictions, of people, and of all the emotions/thoughts I have that I often sense no one else is able to understand. But there’s always God, and it has been to my own ignorance that I mentally set God aside. It’s not that I’ve wanted to. I’ve mentally thanked God for all I’ve been given, but I haven’t reached out to this being like I use to.
Maybe that’s been where I’ve been off. I know not everyone finds a sense of relief or peace in God, as the idea of God can be anything for that matter. I just believe there is a greater power that for some reason or another, loves humanity and honestly challenges our belief of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ every single day. With all the horrendous things that occur in our world–violence, discrimination, corruption, poverty–one may think, “How can a God that claims himself to be loving permit these atrocities to occur every day?” It makes it hard on anyone, believe me I know. But, then I think of all the good I have been witness to. I think of all the small demonstrations of kindness and love that were done secretly or in hopes that no one else would notice (integrity at its best). When I think of all those little instances in my life, I am reminded of why I continue to believe in my God. I see where my effort and quiet faith has led me. I have seen how the hardships and mistakes brought me to this very moment with my Masters degree, with my family here in Chile, with a greater appreciation of true friendships, and a greater idea to take risks that scare the living shit out of me.
In having all of these things, I know I am blessed beyond words and I wholeheartedly believe it to be so. I just need to find that greater sense of peace in God like I use to whenever I felt things were hectic and impossible. Though the situation is different, the feelings of being lost and flustered are the same. My feelings of nervousness are useless and they have accompanied me for far too long.
I am all the good things I think I am not.
I am worthy and I will find purpose in what I do. I will do my best to live through my curiosities and through the interests that make me squeal with quirky-like happiness. I don’t want to work to live. I want to be as closely in love with all the opportunities/people/environments I bring into my life, especially my job, that way I’ll just love what I do and live happily.
(December 3, 2013)
Is it possible that God lets you become lost only so that you can go back to Him and let Him lead you from that point? Yeah. That’s probably the answer because I feel extremely lost despite everything I show. I can’t let the bad things always get me down. I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason–it’s usually for the better and a blessing without warning. There are better things coming, I just have to believe it.