Over the course of the past two and a half weeks, I have had a lot of time, maybe too much time, to reflect on my life in Seattle. Being back home I've seen a lot of old friends and acuquaintances who, now that we've all been out of school for a few years, have either settled into "real jobs" with 9-5 workdays, medical benefits, and two-day weekends, or have happily taken on domesticity, marriage, and even kids. Though it's been nice to reconnect with people, every visit has brought up insecurities, fears, doubts, even shame, about my own employment and relationship statuses. I've shed a lot of tears this break, struggling with how different my life looks from the lives of the people I grew up with and the people I graduated with two and a half years ago.
I've done this my whole life. I am the queen of making myself feel bad about my life because it doesn't compare to someone else's. But in the past few days, it's finally started to occur to me just how blessed, even spoiled, I am.
A friend of mine posted this quote from The Wonder Years to his Tumbleblog last week and it's gotten me thinking.
"When you’re a little kid, you’re a little bit of everything. Artist, scientist, athlete, scholar… Sometimes it seems like growing up is the process of giving those things up. One by one. I guess we all have one thing we regret giving up. One thing we really miss that we gave up because we were too lazy or, we couldn’t stick it out or, because we were afraid."
Here's the thing. I am living the dream. No, I don't have steady employment. Or a normal work schedule. Or a weekend off until March 12 and 13 (who wants to go skiing??). And, yes. I am on food stamps and live on an 800 dollar a month budget. But I don't have student loans. Or car payments. Or credit card debt. Or any mouths but my own to feed.
And because of those blessings, I haven't had to give up what I love yet. I'm not making much, but I am getting paid to work in theater. I act. I direct. I create. I play. I teach kids, teenagers, and grown-ups to be creative and discover imaginary worlds everywhere. My schedule is crazy and confusing... and I'm still not sure how to fit a social life into it... but when all is said and done.. I believe in what I am doing. And I would regret walking away from it right now. I know that someday I might need to get a "real job" at a bank, or a corporation, or a school. But for now, God continues to open doors, and I am so grateful to keep at this crazy life of mine.
So, at the start of this new year, I'm turning the page. I'm done whining about my employment status. I am blessed. And if you hear me say otherwise, call me out on it.
As for complaints about my relationship status. I can't make any promises. But that's a post for another day. My girl Flannery O'Connor put it best: "A good man is hard to find."
Happy New Year, Friends!