Growing Up is Weird
It was a throwaway line last night – one of those where you’ve shared too much and wound up far more emotional than you thought you’d be. You suddenly feel overly exposed and just want to finish this share so everyone will stop staring at you crying, but you can’t just trail off into nothing so you throw out the first thing that comes to mind to sum up your feelings. “Growing up is weird.” Boy howdy! I don’t know precisely what sort of AFGO my friend is going through that has prompted this emotional share, but I can so relate.
I’ve been experiencing my own heavy stuff lately and I’ve found myself in a very weird place, indeed. Right now, my husband and I are living through the precise fears we voiced at the beginning of summer… and there’s no end in sight. Yes, things are finally starting to move a bit, but there’s no telling when or how we will make it to the other side or what our lives are going to look like when we get there. Meanwhile, I’ve got a whole heap of awesome stuff happening in another direction entirely and we’ve introduced a completely different challenge/risk/blessing into our little world. It’s kind of simultaneously the worst and best and riskiest period of my life. Like I said, weird.
One of those AA sayings has stuck in my head since I walked through the doors: “being comfortable in the uncomfortable.” It probably speaks to me because when I am really honest with myself, I am scared to death to step outside my comfort zone. Please don’t tell my teenaged self, she would be appalled. Today, though, I am joyfully doing swan dives off the high board into shark-infested waters. (Figuratively, of course.) On paper, absolutely nothing makes sense. I am back to school full time and therefore not working. My husband (save some crazy-ass, unknowable turn of events) has lost his career, is currently physically unable to work and may wind up needing back surgery to put him back into proper order. One would think we’ve got enough on our plate, but no, somehow when I got the call that one of my sponsees had relapsed & OD’ed my husband & I said, “Hey, why don’t we let her come live with us?!”
Yes, I know that it sounds like we want to be her saviors to compensate for our feelings of powerlessness over our own lives… and that’s why we didn’t do it when it was initially laid on our hearts a few weeks prior. We each examined our motives & talked to our respective sponsors before walking into this situation. They both gave us the yellow light – proceed with caution – which was actually quite surprising to me. I’ve always been told, “If you’re afraid to ask your sponsor, that’s a pretty good indication that it’s not something you should be doing.” And this was one of those things that I just knew was going to elicit a “What the hell are you thinking?” We got the go-ahead from our sponsors, but ultimately decided against it because I was really afraid it throw a weird power shift into our sponsor/sponsee relationship. We had a good thing going & I didn’t want to screw that up. When I got the call that morning, though, my first thought was, “Crap. I really do have to do this, don’t I?” But I’m glad we did.
Sometimes it takes a completely unrelated radical move to get you unstuck. There are great things going on right now. I have finally found an amazing professor that I am really comfortable talking to who has agreed to work with me on the research I want to start – research that should easily carry me all the way through post-grad. I’ve finally found an advisor who actually has her head outside of her ass, which is apparently much more rare than expected. She has given me some fantastic advice about my next steps and pointed me into a much more valuable direction – one that I hadn’t even seen available. I am working with one of the counselors at school to help organize a Students for Recovery group. There are a whole lot of kinks to be worked out (You think your group conscious is bad, try having a business meeting with alcoholics and addicts who are also college students with questionable levels of sobriety and coming from different recovery programs. It’s like herding cats blindfolded.), but we’ve got some folks in active recovery and some more just starting on their journey. My grades are fantastic. My kids are happy. We’re eating healthier because we are being forced to cook instead of eating out all the time. My husband has had time to nurture some friendships that had fallen into disrepair and we, too, have been able to address some communication issues in our own relationship. I’ve been able to recognize all these blessings, but they’ve come with that “if only” attached. Yeah, this is all great, if only had some sort of income right now I could actually enjoy it.
Well, why can’t I enjoy it anyway? Sure, there’s a whole lot of uncertainty, stress and “fear of economic insecurity” going on right now, but there’s not a whole lot I can do about that. I just have to let go and do what I need to do. There is so much more to life than one aspect… even if it’s a pretty important one. I would certainly love it if God would finally decide I have finally learned all there is to know about financial insecurity and maybe begin to work on how too much wealth can be a problem, but for now I’ll appreciate the opportunities for growth I have been given and I will focus on what I can do to grow in new, healthier ways… regardless of how weird it feels.