This post is a very rough draft. But really, it coincides with how my year went, so it seemed inappropriate to change it. Enjoy! :)
Oh, 2012. What a year. I can, with certainty, say that I am very happy this year is coming to a close. 2012 was a year that challenged me and hurt me and stressed me out. I can say, now, in retrospect, how unhealthy I was this year. Not just physically, although I most certainly was, some through no fault of my own. But mentally and definitely spiritually. Sure I got married to the most amazing man in the universe, and sure I made new friends, and yeah both sister in laws had two gorgeous new babies this year. Yeah, I made the decision to move jobs, and I made the very scary decision to write quite possibly for a career. I worked out a bit and ate a little better and read some really good books. I saw some great movies, learned how to be a better friend, and ate at new restaurants. But to be honest, I didn’t like who I was this year. For the majority of this year, I felt angry, stressed beyond belief, and disappointed. Disappointed and stressed because I wasn’t spending my money wisely, I wasn’t writing and I wasn’t being a good friend. I wasn’t eating real food, I was sleeping all the time, and I was reading novels just to distract me from my predicament. I was confused, and sick, and stressed, and did I mention stressed?
The stress played a huge part in my story this year. Since January, I have been sick 10 times. No I did not mean to type 1. I got seriously ill, with the flu, bronchitis, several stomach bugs and sinus infections, and even had high blood pressure. I’m 22! I moved twice, once due to my parents getting a new house, and the second time because I got married. I was promoted to a new job, made the enormously hard decision to suspend my education in college for the time being (which ultimately took away my everyday Pilates class I had enrolled in), planned a wedding, and spent 2 months of the summer running a day camp site with 100+ kids, all of whom could use a good lesson in discipline. A month before we got married, the apartment complex we had been planning on moving into suddenly was “full for the next year” and we had to find a new apartment. That day. We found one, in a less than nice area, but with a washer and dryer, and dishwasher, so we didn’t complain. The wedding came and went, in it’s beautiful way, and we spend that weekend in a charming bed and breakfast not far away from where we live. Then, it was back to the grind. 40+ hour work weeks, and the task of trying to manage our time and money well. I stopped sleeping well, and found myself crying all the time. I called in sick to work countless times, just because the simple thought of going to work made my head feel like it might explode. Just typing this paragraph makes my head hurt. I read novels to distract me, surfed the net to find things to buy, and drank coffee to survive the days. I ate less good food, and more bad “food”. I stopped going to coffee dates, slept in on Sundays way past the time when church was starting, and all the while, I stopped believing that my life would be different. I knew that wasn’t true, but because of the amount of stress and sickness and change I experienced, I literally felt like my life would always be a crazy cycle of excuses, sleep deprivation, tears and worry that shocked me with how strong it was. I wasn’t myself and I wasn’t doing anything to change. I was avoiding everything I could and ignoring anything I couldn't.
Until. I quit my job. I decided, for many different reasons, to leave the place I had worked for four years to find something new. I needed to change my story. I needed something scenically and atmospherically different. I needed new faces, new procedures, new everything. I still loved to work with kids, so I applied to a school 30 minutes away from my house. I sent in my resume at 10 o’ clock on a Monday night, and Tuesday morning at 8 am, I got a call for an interview. I interviewed, they offered the job, I accepted. I gave my two weeks, trained and went to work somewhere else. This may not sound like an amazing decision, but for someone who for so long couldn’t make a decision without at least a month’s thought, this was monumental. I felt free. And excited. And of course very nervous. But very at peace with my decision and what was to come.
Up until this point, my prayer life had been sporadic at best. I was not consistent. I prayed prayers that started with “God, thank you for everything you’ve given me, but….” I forgot how to live my prayers, to talk to God like He was a friend instead of my genie. I asked him to make me feel better, to stop making me crazy and to please just give me future plans so I could stop worrying. I was a mess, angry with Him for making me so stubborn and confused as to why I wasn’t hearing Him. Eventually, after some talks with my amazing husband, a sermon preached by Steven Furtick that talked about gratitude, and a conscious effort at my spiritual well-being, I began to feel a tingling of hope. I began to laugh more, sleep a little better, and talk more about how crazy I had been acting. I began to hang out with friends, and eat better and drink more water. I began to pray.