Scarred, but hopeful

John Lennon
John Lennon (Photo credit: KelseyyBarbara)

Today my rector introduced the idea of waiting to live vs. living in wait. It sounds like the two concepts are opposites, like the pessimist and the optimist, but they’re not– at least, not to me. I’ve asked myself many times how long do I need to wait for my next career position to connect with me, all the while wondering if I’m waiting to live. If I’m waiting to live, then what am I doing to my husband and children? Someone once said that life is what happens while you’re making plans (John Lennon, I think), and I’m consciously reminding myself to live and to encourage my family to do the same while we all wait for the opportunity to present itself.

Then I started thinking about the people I know who live awaiting the winning lottery ticket, the loss of a few pounds, the right man or woman to find them, or to finish their schooling and start a new career. That’s about 90% of all people I know. Birds of a feather, as they say.

Another aspect of waiting is the hope and belief that what you await can and will happen. Consider that thought for a moment: the belief that what you await CAN and WILL happen.

I watch my younger daughter, who fervently wants a specific American Girl doll for Christmas. Every day, she tells me how much she wants it and how she imagines holding her and sleeping next to her in the nightgown that comes with the doll. She absolutely believes that Santa will bring her wish.

I wish I could recapture that childlike belief in some aspects of my life.

Right now, as I mentioned in my blog a little while back, I am at a point where I need to move forward in my career. I have been through many, many interviews. Each time I get to the final round, I start dreaming about what life would be like in that job and in that geographic area. Each time, I have come in second place, which equals failure in my world, although my counselor tells me it’s not that I’ve failed– just that the opportunity was not quite right for me in some way.

Within the last few days, a close friend of mine asked if I had applied for a job for which she thinks I would be perfect (and I agree). I had applied, and I reached out to the hiring manager personally at my friend’s insistence. I happened to see this friend today, and she said that the pay was only a certain amount, which to her might have seemed low, but it at least twice what I’m making right now. She was so surprised that I would be willing to take that amount, but when I told her what I’m currently making, which I consider demeaningly low, she was completely appalled at my situation. As I remember this conversation, I remember how her concern almost brought me to tears then, and it’s doing the same now.

I HATE feeling like the object of someone’s concern. I’m the one who’s supposed to take care of others, not the other way around. I’m the strong one who cares for my children, husband, and parents. But I’m also the one who is under enough pressure and duress with my job situation that both my counselor and my daughter’s psychologist are concerned about my mental state. Again, I despise being an object of concern for anyone. That makes me weak and dependent, and I don’t consider myself to be either of those things.

Each time I have had a job turn-down or financial setback or serious health issue, I have sealed some hopes and dreams I had away and released them. And each time, the part of me that is capable of hope sustains a wound that eventually heals to a scar. As I consider my friend’s advocacy of this position for me, I hope for the best — but that hope is covered in a fairly thick layer of emotional scar tissue.

As it stands, I have a tiny, tiny flicker of hope inside me right now. My interview suit is waiting and is beautiful, although the coat is getting a little big on me due to my weight loss (yes, it’s deliberate). I’ve been using yoga and my spiritual practice to ease the scarring, and at least I still can hope. The scars are signs that I have lived and hoped.

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