June 6, 2008
Who I am when I'm not who I thought I would be
So about a year and a half after leaving grad school I'm still trying to figure out who I am and what I'm supposed to be doing with myself. Growing up school and career where the big things. I grew up homeschooled with a stay at home mom, and yet the vast majority of my training was directed at making sure I got a good education and was ready for a career. Since I enjoyed learning that really wasn't a problem. All professions considered I really did think I'd prefer teaching at the college level since it seemed to be an admirably independent and scholarly pursuit. I liked the idea of being able to teach my favorite books to young adults and helping to forge and inform their imaginations. But, unfortunately that dream crashed and burned in the light of academia where the modern shibboleths are even more pronounced than one may imagine. So now here I am in a place unimagined by me some years earlier -without a career, kids, or higher academic attainments. Some days I can still hear my mom saying "and what exactly do you have to show for yourself?" Considering the state of my bedroom.... I've learned so much, but so much of it can't be quantified. I'm having to learn who I am when I'm not being defined by other people. I'm having to learn to do those housewifely things that my mom never really bothered teaching me, and it's not always easy. I'm having to learn to be comfortable in my own skin without surrounding myself with a wall of superficial attainments. It feels pretty naked sometimes. What I did justified who I was. Upon reflection though that's exactly opposite of what Christ teaches us. Apart from Him all our good works are filthy rags without one hope of justifying us. But with Christ and through Christ our works (done in humble obedience to Him) become the natural outworking of our justification. Odd how I never saw that before. It explains a lot though. You have to be who you are before anything you do can really have any value. I suppose that's why it feels like I've been a bit stripped down lately. I'm still slowly learning who I am and what that means to the things that I do. I'm still not sure who I am when I'm not who I thought I would be. I'm not sure of the larger purpose in my life right now. I'm still lacking that overarching goal that drives us beyond today into a sea of tomorrows. In some ways I miss it. I don't want to sit back and get lazy because I'm not sure what to do next. I suppose this is where I start reaching out in different directions -growing until I find the daylight.