When life gives you lemons

I wish I had some profound truth about life to share with you right now. Something that was incredibly wise and relatable that would help you make sense of whatever experience you’re having that is hard or confusing or frustrating or all of the above.

I don’t, is the thing.

I am currently immersed in a hard, confusing, frustrating situation that I can’t make sense of and am coming up blank when it comes to helpful/wise advice.

I moved here nine months ago almost exactly. I came because I was asked if I would come to write for what appeared to be an incredible mission, while being well-paid for it.

Of course my response was a resounding ‘yes,’ followed by a nine hour drive to a different part of the country where I began the arduous process of starting from scratch in a new place. This included getting lost more often than not, many, many, many introductions followed by cheery small talk, and much more alone time than I was used to.

But I adjusted. I made my apartment relatively homey, I found my way around (generally speaking), and I made some truly incredible friends.

And then I lost my job.

The job that I came here for, the company that sought me out, laid off a quarter of the company, proclaiming a ‘reorganization’ and asked us to clear out our offices by 3:15.

Ah, the joys of adulthood.

Honestly, the job part is kind of whatever to me at this point. Although I do feel awful for those who have families to support.

It became apparent after only a few months that this wasn’t the ‘dream job’ I had imagined. It didn’t take long for me to realize I couldn’t be really happy there. ‘But it’s a job’, I told myself sternly, a comfortable one—and I had just started, I wasn’t going to quit just because things weren’t as rosy as the picture that had been painted.

I honestly didn’t imagine that this would happen, not so soon. Not after they asked me to move across the country to work for them.

In any case, as I said, the job part isn’t what most concerns me. Financially, I know I’ll figure it out.

Days after the layoffs took place I found a job working at a bookshop, and since then I’ve started with a couple of tutoring students, too.

To me, the bigger, more pressing, and kind of terrifying question is that of, ‘what now?’

You see, any plans I have made thus far have turned out laughably, and I’ve realized that more than another plan that will inevitably fall flat and leave my reeling, what I really want is a mission.

I want a purpose. I want to know why I’m here and what I’m meant to do with this precious and entirely unpredictable thing we call life.

I don’t have to control, I don’t need to call the shots, I just want to know what my marching orders are.

Because the things I thought would give my life meaning, I thought would reveal my purpose, didn’t.

And now I’m back to square one, except it doesn’t even feel like I’m on square one, it feels like I’m floating in outer space wondering which galaxy the squares are even on.

And friends and family—as much as they want and try to—they can’t fix it for me. They can’t possibly provide the answer I’m looking for, they don’t have it.

I don’t know. I don’t understand. But I’m also not despairing. I think it’s just a time of in-between-ness, a time of waiting, and a time of hope. I don’t know how things will work out, I don’t understand where I am or where I’m going, I’m just here. But I think somehow they will. And I think that sometimes not knowing is okay, it’s part of our creatureliness. I think that ‘Aslan is on the move’, even when we can’t see or hear or even feel Him. I think there’s something important happening even at this very instant. That growth is taking place in this very time and place. That somewhere down the road this will make sense.

This isn’t it. I know that much.

I’m going to try. I really am trying to make the best of this. I’m not happy about it, this isn’t what I wanted, this was not part of the plan. But I don’t think it’s for nothing, just because I can’t see the purpose doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Every moment of life is a gift and I’m really going to try to live it that way.

When life gives you lemons you revel in how bright and yellow they are, right?

But anyway, what’s new with you?

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