Something Has Gotta Give

It’s after 2 a.m. on a Monday night and as dead tired as I am, I can’t seem to sleep.  Ever have one of those nights where your heart is racing a million miles an hour and your head is full of jumbled thoughts, fears, to-do lists, worries, and revelations?  I know you have.   I am actually one of the lucky ones.  Normally sleep comes very easily for me…it’s actually one of my best skills–sleeping.  I could compete with the best of them if there was ever some sort of sleep competition.  But I ramble…

Traditionally, I stray away from using blogging as a form of journaling–putting my private thoughts on public display is not generally my idea of good time. However, I am learning a lot about being honest with myself and others and understanding that with vulnerability comes great reward and great release.  Today I need to vent a bit.  It’s been building the past few days…a growing sense of anxiety and sinking feeling that resembles depression. No, not clinical, just that hopeless, down-and-out feeling when you realize that there is no good solution to the monumental problem(s) in your life.

Here is my problem. I love my job. I love my community, but something’s gotta give. I am exhausted (I know this is magnified right now due to a bad cold that has me sniffling and sneezing and thinking only of sleep) but it’s more than just doing “too much.”  It’s a deep understanding that I may, in fact, be totally crazy–totally insane for choosing this life. I am wondering, have I made a grave mistake in returning to St. Stephen?  I have taken a job that totally consumes my life because I believe in what I am doing so strongly. I believe in SSU and the education that is given here. I also believe that western culture has it wrong in so many ways and I don’t want to live the life that I see so many of my peers living. I want my life to count for something more than a job title, more than my name on a piece of property…I want to make people a priority and get back to a more simplistic lifestyle. I want to actually LIVE OUT a faith that I believe with my whole heart. That is part of the reason I chose to return to this tiny town in southern New Brunswick, and entirely the reason that I have stayed for 3 years now.  I have amazing friends, adopted family, a great social life, a job I love, and a masters degree in the works…and yet there is one thing so obviously missing.

I went to a wedding this past weekend. It was beautiful, simple and so perfectly painful to realize that, in fact, I cannot have my cake and eat it too. Something has to give if I want the whole marriage-and-family bit of life. And the truth is, I do. I absolutely do. I don’t think I could have confidently said that just a year ago.  And so now I wonder with dread if I have to give up something I love in pursuit of something I want.  The truth is I can’t ever imagine meeting anyone who is crazy enough to want this life with me.  To walk beside me though my continuing education while I work at a terribly underpaid and demanding job only to turn around and pour back into a broken town in one of the poorest places in Canada…oh yes, all the while living miles away from family (because this place is miles away from everywhere), job opportunities, suburbia, and box stores. Now there’s an offer!!

I wonder at what cost have I chosen this life. I am not looking for someone to rescue me from it. I am looking for someone to love me through what can only be described as pure insanity. But not only love me…they must love this place, these people, this God that i so desperately love.

Now do you see why I feel so depressed?  I can’t ask that of someone, and soon I need to decide what I can really ask of myself. Can I continue to give and give and give only to return to a lonely home day after day (well, I do have a great roommate but you know what i mean…)?  Do a hundred good friends make up for lack of romantic connection? I know what it is to feel alone. I also know what it is to push through that feeling and find that I am stronger and more capable than I ever imagined and for that I am so thankful.  It really is not a matter of need. It is not even a matter of faith (I am not one of those people who thinks God has a perfect person for everyone…I am far too practical), it is honestly and truly a matter of want. I know it sounds selfish, but it is getting harder and harder to convince myself that what I have given up is really worth it.  My “simple” life has become incredibly complicated, and my passion for learning to love and live well is causing me to spread myself so thin that I give inadequately to everyone, including myself.

And I am tired. So very very tired. And I think I am too young to feel this way.

So what do I do?

I have no answer…just a growing sense of dread that something’s gotta give.

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11 Responses to “Something Has Gotta Give”


  1. 1 shannon-may September 23, 2008 at 6:50 am

    shell,

    i have some thoughts and would love to discuss them with you….we should chat soon!

    love you sweetie,
    shannon-may

  2. 2 gbecks September 23, 2008 at 7:51 am

    Dude. These are heavy thoughts, especially for sick and late at night. Maybe you need a break. You have an incredibly demanding life, mentally, emotionally and all inbetween. It may be that something DOES have to give, and maybe the best way to see what gives is to look over your life from a little distance. Give yourself a break and re-evaluate… everything. And when I say “break” I mean travel somewhere cheap for a few weeks (maybe the winter break or next summer)and try NOT to think about what is waiting for you at home. Then, at the end, look it all over. You might be surprised at what you find…

  3. 3 Tim September 28, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Hey Shelley…I understand.

  4. 4 Lindsay September 29, 2008 at 3:09 am

    Shell,
    Praying that you get a break soon and come to a conclusion about what needs to give. Usually when you feel like you’re doing too much… you’re really doing to much!
    Hope you’re feeling better 😉 Lots of love to you from the island.

  5. 5 Melly September 30, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Oh Shell…know I am thinking of you as you try to sort through your life. There is no easy answer for sure. I love you, and wish you peace. Hope your cold is gone, and you get some much needed time off for yourself.
    All my love my beautiful friend.

  6. 6 shelleyperry October 1, 2008 at 3:15 am

    see…I am definitely not lying when I say I have the best friends ever. Gosh…so supportive and loving! And yes, I am feeling better. The problem isn’t gone and I think this whole year is going to be about evaluation, but coping skills are back now that I am not sick and I have gotten some rest. 🙂

  7. 7 shirah October 1, 2008 at 8:32 am

    hey. i know those thoughts well, although with different details.
    you are not asking too much. but what your answer is, i don’t know.
    you’ll find out though, i know that.

  8. 8 sweetlybroken October 1, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Hmmm, so much to say but what to say?
    I’ve learned albeit slowly, that the things that come easy in life also come with little reward/satisfaction or that could just be my life 😀

    Never let go of what you want and it will never let go of you, some folk call that “passion”.

    Sending you blessings girl, see you back here on the little red rock soon.

  9. 9 shannonmay October 6, 2008 at 7:30 am

    I like gbecks’ advice to you…to take a break and step away. I know of a great little cottage you could call home for a few weeks. All you need is airfare and grocery money.

  10. 10 Iris October 7, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Hey Sweetness:
    Mel and I had dinner last night and she mentioned these notey bloggy spots and I thought I would take a gander.
    First off colds, well to quote my dinner companion of last night, suck, nasty pieces of work to keep immunity down and sometimes our thought patterns as well. ( I am speaking from real life here 2 colds in 20 days one from Scotland and one from this side of the ocean)
    Evaluation is really not a bad thing to set up for a spell. It does much to help clear the mental clutter that tends to take up space in our brain, it is what you do after you think on your life for a spell that is far more the issue. 2 a.m. times are not the enemy if we have something at the end of it. Some of our best thinking can happen when most of the world sleeps and we can think things through in a fuller richer way without the call of work or facebook or people. God speaks with less competition at 2 a.m.
    It does however mean you have to function at a differnt level for some of the day if you can’t make up the sleep missed.
    You are a wonderful lady and have done much right, you have a unique call on your life right now, and I can understand why lonliness wants to torment you, why it would be nice to have some one with skin on to be there for you at times like this post was written at. By the same token some one with skin on may make more demands on you than you could fufill right now and you would be going down a similar path but with a different sense of hopelessness attached to it. People with skin on are hard task masters sometimes if they do not share the same passions for what you do, and when you are well you have a passion for what you do.
    You have a wonderful way with people and you have many friends who love you dearly,I didn’t come on here to offer solutions, you are a smart cookie…I just came onto tell you I think you are doing great and the God I know you have chosen to serve is happy with His red headed girl. You do much right. You are special.
    You are loved.
    Huggs
    Me

  11. 11 dowhatyoulove January 3, 2009 at 4:33 am

    I have just found your blog, so I really dont have a history of reading your entries to have a great feel for your life. But my first suggestion would be to take a little break, a breather. And sometimes just getting a little different perspective on things helps. I highly recomend the book “The Law of Attraction” by Ester and Jerry Hicks. It is a little different for some people, but once you get into it, it has some beautifully simple messages that really help!
    I know it is frustrating when you come to such a point, but always know, this too shall pass.


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Good Advice

"Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things"

Currently reading…

"'Tis" by Frank McCourt

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