I Have No Idea What I’m Doing – And That No Longer Terrifies Me (as much)

First of all, I’m really glad this blog is anonymous, otherwise I would never have the courage to say the following:

I am definitely due for my period.

Like, in the next three days at the most.

How can I tell?

I’m twitching. At everything. And I’ve been lazy all day.

The first reason I’m twitching is because I’m not at work due to the holiday, which I don’t even celebrate (no time to get into that theological and mathematical discussion just now…). This is making me short-tempered because I actually enjoy being at work, and I left in the middle of designing a poster for a fundraiser and I really want to get back to it.

I have discovered that I get high off of filing paperwork. Alphabetizing is my weakness.

The second reason I’m as nervous as a squirrel is due to my day in general, with its laziness and clutter and the culmination of me sitting at my dad’s desk, trying to blog when WordPress will barely load, while my sister’s dog sits in the corner whining at an impossibly high pitch even though he just went out.

Jo and I have decided we are desperate to move out.

I honestly believe it’s biological. I think it’s somewhat unnatural for people to live with their parents well into their adulthood. I don’t think we were meant to do it. I feel really bad at the thought of abandoning my parents to a house empty of all but Gram and the cats, but at the same time I long for my own place, where the only dishes are my own, no one else’s underwear gets mixed up with mine in the laundry, and my sister’s dog doesn’t sit in the corner whining at impossibly high pitches.

And the cat isn’t prowling the house in a mess of hormones. That alone would make the rest of it almost bearable.

(I think I started this post with a “First of all”, which 1) would have made my know-it-all 8th grade grammar teacher glad for the chance to mark up my paper in bright red, and 2) apparently is not going to be followed by a “secondly”.)

I sat down to write another “things I wish I could say” post, because those are really cathartic, and it would have been addressed to my family (and I’m not concerned by Jo reading it because she agrees with me or is strong enough to take or ignore what I dish out at her discretion). But I think this is going a slightly different route. I’ll save the pouring-out-of-frustration for next week. Once my hormone levels have settled a little.

I don’t just want to move out because it will mean I don’t have to do anyone else’s chores and can let the house go messy without feeling guilty about other people having to suffer with it. I will admit I like to be in control (no, duh?), and being in control of your own home, even if you rent, is one of the surest ways to feign control over your life. Especially if you can choose paint colors you actually like and which you have scientifically chosen based on the studies about colors and how the affect our moods.

My living room will be indigo, my bathroom in green and blue, and my kitchen in poppy red.

Lord, I cannot concentrate. And I’m recovering from a head cold which I’m beginning to suspect is seriously messing with my olfactory senses. Is it possible to have scent-related hallucinations?

Hem.

For years I’ve been in denial about adulthood. I can’t possibly be an adult. I still enjoy naps, blanket forts, coloring, puddle-jumping, and summer ice cream cone runs. I prefer children’s and young adult books to books targeted to any other age group. I’ve never been to college and I’ve never dated. And just the other day I caught myself searching for Ravenclaw jewelry on Google. (Can I help it if I’m buying into the fandom? This necklace is quirky and a rather subtle nod to my designated house.)

But then I announced to my 1st and 2nd graders, with ill-concealed pleasure, that my new job was working at a front desk where I filed paperwork and answered calls all day long.

A uniform look of horror passed across each of their faces. Instantly I felt the need to justify my horrendous choice of a career.

And that settled it: I am an adult, for better or worse, even though I still have no idea what I’m doing. My only consolation is that “I have no idea what I’m doing” seems to be the general consensus among my peers. I suppose I should be thankful I’m not the only one who got weary trying to maintain an illusion to the contrary.

I read an article recently saying people are taking longer and longer to mature mentally and emotionally. Compared to 100 years ago, I’m inclined to agree. Of course, I read that article and paused to consider how it applied to me. Sometimes I worry that I’m immature for my age. (Take as proof the fact that, when a coworker asked me to order replacement ink, I accidentally ordered a whole printer. How does that happen?)

But for comparison consider this: I hold a full-time, decently-paying job and I don’t buy into the ridiculous notion that in the real world you have to hate your job; I own my own car (the second one since I graduated), for which I pay a portion of the insurance; I pay my own phone bill and include rent to my parents; I buy my own clothes, cover all of the costs incurred with the care and upkeep of a dog, and do most of my own grocery shopping. (Which is more than I can say for a lot of my peers.) I run a class on Sunday mornings. I have a bloody 5-Year Plan (mostly). I am now CPR certified.

History and social studies would suggest that the natural progression from here would be to move out. (Traditionally, and in my childhood dreams, the cause would be marriage. Clearly that isn’t happening any time soon, which makes me feel even more like a daring adventurer.) While the aforementioned plan includes me moving out, and while I say almost daily now how desperate I am to do so, the notion is still daunting.

But again, it isn’t just so I can stop washing all of the pizza pans from Nina’s pizza roll habit. No, this actually plays a little into that accursed question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

While my vague answer is “In five years I hope to be more like Det. Baker from Blue Bloods“, I am starting to develop a more concrete plan. It still is less where I physically want to be and more the kind of person I hope to grow into.

While I don’t feel called to be a full-time missionary, I love meeting new people and learning about new ministries. I am a teacher, a storyteller, and a minister-type. I get satisfaction in being useful, in helping people and knowing I was able to play a part in their growth. And I want to travel. Part of my plan is to spend some time overseas with missionaries who are supported by my church, in order to get a closer look at their ministries so I can share their work with people around me. I’ve also considered short-term internships.

A key verse to this plan is “Mine eye affecteth mine heart”. (Lam. 3:51a) I believe I have been giving my gifts of writing and communication, of being able to see things from unconventional points-of-view, so I can help other people learn about the world and the people in it.

However, my biggest pet dream of late is a little closer to home. For years my family’s house has developed into a safe place for friends who are struggling and need somewhere to unwind (even amidst the dirty dishes accumulated over the weekend). I know this is largely due to my mom and sisters and their natural counseling abilities.

I want to have a place I can offer as a haven for people who need somewhere to rest. I’m not the best counselor, but I have years of experience in cooking meals for large groups and I’m getting better at listening when people need to unload. I have also been working to develop relationships with the girls in our youth group, especially because our awesome youth activities coordinator, Deb, is preparing to head off on a new adventure and our girls will be losing a friend and a safe place to hang out.

Through the years I’ve benefited from activities offered by ladies in our church, which included afternoons spent developing housekeeping, gardening, and crafting skills;  movie nights; and girls’ and young ladies’ Bible studies. All of those things came in handy in different ways and I don’t want the girls under my watch missing out on every opportunity to grow. I also think it would be fun to get some of my own chickens, maybe some bees or goats, and a garden and offer those as ways to connect.

This is one of my long-term goals. Obviously I lack the funds and resources at present to buy a house, set it up with some spare beds, cozy couches, and other furniture, provide delicious food, and possibly get another dog (because who can say dogs are not good for therapy?). However, this year is all about gaining resources and getting myself established, both in life and in my relationships. I know my dreams can’t happen overnight, but will take years of cultivation to be realized. And I’m no longer terrified by that, but excited.

There. As anticipated, writing helped me collect myself. I love how that works. I just have to wonder if I am ever actually going to use this blog to relate anecdotes, or if it will all be deep thoughts and musings about the future and “things I wish I could say”.

We shall see….

P.S. I’m not having olfactory hallucinations. My dad kicked off his socks and they got stuffed under the desk. I cannot find them, but I know they’re there.

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