Time to Process

My life is in transition right now.

Well, actually, my life is in turmoil. 

Yesterday, when I was on the treadmill at the gym, I started working through all the emotions that have been stewing in my subconscious for the past few weeks. 

Recently, I defended my thesis.  It was a significant accomplishment, and I’m proud of my success.  But I was surprised by the lengthy let-down I’ve been experiencing.  Months of research, writing, editing, revising, discussing, practicing, polishing, working and re-working and then–it was over.  It required so much mental energy that it consumed my thought life, and now my mind feels hollow.  At times, I’m lost in the land of “what now?”.  I’m relieved that my workload has lightened, but I’m sad to be closing the door on that part of my life for now.  I miss going to class.  I miss stimulating conversation with colleagues.  It sounds weird, but I miss homework.  It’s tough to get motivated to read Foucault and Butler and Ong without the pressure of an assignment, but those readings yield rich mental rewards. 

I’m also grieving leaving ECA.  I’ve been here for 6 years and have developed close relationships with my students.  I’m used to moving, cutting ties and starting over–I’m a military brat, so that feels normal to me.  What’s different about this move is that I’m leaving behind an investment.  These are young men and young women for whom I’ve provided moral, spiritual, and intellectual guidance.  I care about what happens to them, and I want to see them succeed. 

The move itself is the source of a lot of stress and anxiety for me right now.  What will we do with our house?  Renting would be helpful financially, selling would get it off of our hands.  There are logistics on the other side of the move as well.  Will I be able to find a job easily?  Where will we live? How much worse will the cost of living be in California?

All of these emotions need to be processed simultaneously and constructively.  And I think the best way I can do that is by looking at truth.

Truth is, I’ve been really blessed to participate in classes and conferences that have grown me as a scholar over the past couple of years.  I’m excited for my husband to experience the same thing when he goes to seminary.  He has supported me faithfully and selflessly as I’ve gone after my dream.  Now it’s my turn to do the same for him.  That’s a privilege and a joy.

Truth is, there will never be a more fitting time to leave ECA.  I will always end up attached to my current group students and caring about their futures.  They will all be leaving ECA relatively soon as they graduate and move on to college.  Truth is, I will love my students in California just as much. 

The truth of the whole thing is that God has been incredibly good to us.  To dwell in negative emotions, especially fears for the future, would be to ignore the myriad ways that he has been gracious and to fail to trust him.  He’s not just in control; he’s also loving. 

Truth is, even if everything were to fall apart, God would still be good.

 

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3 thoughts on “Time to Process

  1. Yes, I felt that same hollowness when I completed my university studies. I recall spending that evening alone listening to the music of my favorite musical, Fiddler on the Roof.

    In these days of the Internet and the Social Network, you will be able to remain in contact with your students at ECA. If they so wish.

    Big life changes are unsettling. There are fears and uncertainties. God’s presence in your life will be your only certainty. Hold on to Him and everything will work out as it should, even when everything seems to fall apart around you.

    All the best with your move to California.

  2. Hi Emily. If it doesn’t hurt then it was not worth it. That is my mantra. Your situation would be far worse if you were jumping for joy at the end of this journey. Hurting and feeling these painful emotions is actually a great thing. Embrace it and know that it will only get better from here. Thanks for your kind words yesterday. Freshly pressed is overwhelming! Happy we can connect. Head up.

    • Thanks for the reminder, Lindsay! “No pain no gain” is just as true for yoga as it is for a Master’s degree. I appreciate your taking time to stop by my blog!

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