Real or Not Real?

Now that I've reached beyond the two year mark on my Big Move, I've been looking back at the past two years a lot. Truthfully? It's been rough. (It has seemed exceptionally hard.) I knew, deep inside, that moving wouldn't be easy. I knew that I don't handle change very well. But I never realized exactly how hard it would be! In thinking about it, and in talking with some dear friends about it, I've come to realize that what I'm really doing at the moment is trying to find myself.

Who am I?

I thought I knew. But the past couple years have taught me that I didn't. I had this thought the other day that I think for the past several years I was in a very comfortable rut. I had my comfort zone and there was nothing pushing me out of it. I was content. I was floating and bobbing along, no huge worries, no major plot twists. Life was pretty good. Even though I had concerns for my mother, she was 3000 miles away, so it was incredibly easy to distract myself and not think about it. In fact? I think I was truly excelling at that. Not thinking about things. Which made it easy to just be. To not worry overmuch about who I was or what I wanted. Oh, I did think about it occasionally. But those happened few and far between.

Then I moved.

I shook up my pleasant little world. Every. Single. Entire. Bit of my life was shaken. There was no part left unchanged. All of a sudden, my comfy little rut had completely disappeared. I had new people to work with who demanded different things than I was used to. I had family depending on me for certain things. Things I hadn't had to think about on a daily basis for 11 years. 11 years is a long time to be in a rut! No wonder I miss it. It was a habit and I wanted it back, but had no idea how to even begin to do that.

So I drew in. Like a little turtle, I built my shell home and surrounded myself with things that made me happy in the past (books mainly) and I drew my head inside and there I stayed as much as possible. It has become my coping mechanism. Being solitary. Spending time alone. Crowds of people I know have come to intimidate me even more than it used to.

How crazy is that? That I tend to be more comfortable in a crowd of strangers than I do in a crowd of people I know? Because in the crowd of strangers, I can be alone but not alone. I'm with people, but don't have to actually interact with them unless I choose to. But in a crowd of people I know, I'm constantly self-conscious of what they think. I feel like it's a requirement that I talk with them. I worry that they'll judge me for not coming over to their group and saying hello. That they'll think I'm odd. That they'll find out exactly how bad I am at small talk. (I'm bad at it. Really bad.) On and on my mind whirls until I reach the desperation point and decide to just go home.

I'm getting slightly better at holding off that desperation point, but I still find myself there at times.

And yet!

For all the confusion and wondering I've done, God has been SO, so good to me. With a different job, that I love. With choosing to realize that the Enemy has been on my tail and I need to show him Who's Boss. With friends, new and old, who have made their love and concern known. With my niece accepting Jesus and making a whole new life change! (That one is extra special nice! :) And with these words of comfort from a favorite movie:

"I'm not perfect. But through it all, I have learned how to hold firm in a storm. Not by holding on to whatever I can find for as long as I can. But by trusting that the one thing that matters in this world will never let go of me. And Shane...that's what love is. Perfect love casts out all that pain, all that fear, and replaces it with hope." ~ Signed, Sealed, Delivered For Christmas


That's real.