Monday, September 10, 2012

What to do when you don't know what to do

I'm tired of saying, "I don't know."

To questions like:
"Where will you be living?"
"Where will you work?"
"How will you pay your bills?"
"Do you want to be a teacher?"
"Where will Jeremy work?"
"Will either of you get a Master's degree?"
"Are you still considering teaching English overseas?"
"Do you think you'll have kids?"
"Do you see yourselves staying in Nebraska long-term?"
"Do you think you'll ever move back to Colorado?"

Basically, "What's your plan?"

And this question is asked by kind, well-meaning people simply seeking to make conversation. They've just not been the most confidence-boosting interactions as of late.

And I just want to yell: "I DON'T KNOW! Okay? Yes, I just got married. Yes, I'm 24 years-old and I've graduated from college. But...but..."

Silence. Quiet. Space.

"I don't know."

The problem is that I'm home in Colorado visiting my parents. They own a home. They have health insurance. Spending money. A few toys. Jobs. They've worked really hard for 35 years in several different careers to get what they have. And I think I grew up under the impression that if I worked hard in school and obtained a college degree that, I too, would have what they have: security. Right now. But those things aren't readily available to an undecided college graduate with student loan debt and no job.

This morning, (in the yoga class my mom graciously paid for), I was surprised to re-learn a few much-needed lessons. You see, yoga class allows a certain amount of stress within it's doors. We all bring our own junk to the mat, our financial worries and our family woes, but the postures also intentionally create stress. The Up-Dogs and Down-Dogs, the High-Planks and Low-Planks are enough to work up a good amount of anxiety. Your muscles cry out. Your body aches. You don't think you can handle another Warrior II. And in every moment, you have full permission to walk out of the room and never look back (except to grab your socks).

But you don't, because you know, it's just a dang yoga class: "It's not going to kill me. I can handle 33 more minutes of this because I know that as challenging as it may be, I'm going to walk out of this room, stop by the dry cleaners, and go home. Everything's going to be all right. I can be in this stressful and thrive."

Yoga is a safe and contained practice in handling a sometimes wild and unpredictable life. 

And yoga reminds me that even in this moment with this stress of not knowing what the hell comes next: I can thrive. 

I'll probably cry. More than thrice.
We'll probably live off half of our savings for a few months.
We'll have an ugly spat that we laugh about in few years. And only then.
We'll show-up everyday to jobs we may or may not love.
We'll make a few poor decisions.
We'll eat a lot of beans and rice.
We'll look back on this time years from now and wonder why we were so concerned.

P.S. If you know of any jobs or apartments in the area I speak of, please, please, don't hesitate to call. Because then I can put all this "growing" and "character-building" shenanigans in the closet where it belongs. Oy.


Annie said...

Heather, I just love reading your blog posts as I feel I can relate to them so much in certain ways... and am inspired by the way you express those ways because it builds me up. Just like in Zumba, you build others up! Thank you. :)


Bryan H said...

I have a tenancy to agonize over plans. Past and future.

My father once told me..."Bryan...there's no good or bad decisions - they're just decisions." He then clarified that a decision can be morally bad, of course, but still...we don't necessarily have to find the perfect thing right away. (He also likes to say "perfect is the enemy of good)."

If you can do what you need to do and can do today, and make it to tonight, you'll be ok :)

A couple of books that I have SKIMMED and read chapters of that helped me in times of distress and joblessness are What color is your parachute? (for job hunting) and How to stop worrying and start living (I read only a chapter, but the ideas of that chapter helped me a lot, and I keep it on hand for times when I'll need to read more). I think it's especially hard to trust God in times of such uncertainty...such unpredictability.

Things will be ok....not hopefully!
Best wishes to both of you as you pursue happiness! (Sorry for being so long "winded"...).