nov. vii, mmxvi

life goes on

I woke up to the sound of a ceiling fan whirring at full speed, a crack of sunlight peering between the curtains and the faint smell of coffee brewing slowly. I had a slight headache, one I’d come to realize was from consuming a tad too much alcohol the night that had ended only five hours prior. As I sat up and freed my eyes of the itch they held, I realized that I had zero responsibilities, plans and duties for next 30 or so hours. 

I reminded myself that this weekend was set aside specifically to spend time with great friends and rejuvenate my drained body. I ventured down to Milledgeville, Georgia, for a weekend getaway with a few friends from the KSU Sentinel photo staff, and one of the staff member’s parents own a lake house on Lake Sinclair about 45 minutes away from the GCSU campus and downtown Milledgeville. We planned to go to the lake house and simply have a fun weekend of much-needed relaxation.

The past four months of my life have been much more intense than a whirlwind of emotions, activities, responsibilities, jobs, talks, classes and meetings. Since the summer concluded, and junior year of college began, I have enlisted four jobs, six classes, continue to live on my own and manage to squeeze in about five to six hours of sleep per night. If I’m completely honest, I’ve become numb to this lifestyle. I’ve accepted the fact that a life as an aspiring photojournalist will not cease to be this way until I’m six feet under. I’ve accepted the fact that I may have to miss important events in the lives of my family members and friends due to commitments that require my attention. But even with the craziness that my life has come to be, I won’t forget about the One who has a better handle on it than I do.

It’s been an awkward journey at times. I don’t currently have a home church. I don’t attend church every Sunday anymore. Part of the reason for that is because I’ve been hurt by a church I’ve called home for a very long time. Another, possibly deeper reason why this new trend has occurred, is because of the way I see our current American church culture. I pray that the Lord would mend my bitter and broken heart and restore my love for the church as an institution. I wish I did have a church home because a lot of times during these past fourth months, I’ve felt isolated by the struggles I’ve endured. I have a community, but because of my own busyness, I can’t devote adequate time to it. 

Part of me hates what my life has become. First of all, I’ve become easily distracted by anything that switches my focus, and this has, in turn, spilled into my relationship with my Father because I cannot devote time to Him. The other aspect of life that I somewhat hold disdain for is the relational side. I feel broken because of the relationships I’ve destroyed. I am scared of commitment. I am scared of breaking more hearts. I am scared to attempt to let someone so deep into my life. Also, who would want to date a guy that is so wrapped up in his work as a journalist, and eventually (hopefully) an international conflict/humanitarian photojournalist? I may be getting weird and mushy and whiny here, but I know all college-aged people endure this thought process in some way.

With that said, I’m not going to allow my joy to be stolen, nor will I allow the excitement and passion for the things I do to be taken from my life. Sure all of those sad and not great things I just listed can seem like that is all my life is currently about, but I remind myself of how abundant my life is right now. I’m loved by the Most High God! I’m in college! I have amazing roommates and friends! I have jobs! I am healthy! I am loving what I’m doing! I cannot put into words how amazing life has been these past few months. If I could make up a word to describe it, it’d probably be, ”Super-awesome-amazingly-beautiful-and-fun-joy-fillied-days-with-a-sprinkle-of-multicolored-sprinkles-on-top.” That’s accurate. 

So yes, I have had a fourth-month hiatus. Yes, as I’ve told so many people I care about, I am sorry I have been so busy. But you know what, I wouldn’t change a single damn thing. Life goes on, and I can’t wait to see where the Lord takes me next because where He’s taken me so far has been pretty freakin' awesome.