I feel like every blog post lately (let’s be real, there hasn’t actually been any blog posts lately…) has been me starting out with the phrase “it’s been a while!”. But honestly, it has been a while. Like a-four-month “it’s been a while” kind of a break. Basically, my whole first semester of senior year, gone; and a new 2015 looming ahead. And to be frank, I couldn’t be any more excited to say goodbye to 2014 and my first semester of senior year and to just start fresh.
I don’t even want to look back at this past semester because it’s just that hard. I think all of social networking from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even blogging is somewhat an untrue, fabricated, and inaccurately beautiful picture put together of what we want others to see of our lives. From fancy 5-course dinners with countless likes on Instagram to new relationship statuses up on Facebook, we love to showcase our lives and try to one-up each other by posting more extravagant and more envy-provoking pictures, statuses, tweets, entries, and whatever else social networking does these days (I can’t keep up).
Don’t get me wrong, I am a total consumer of all of this social network showcase performance, and I love it when I receive more likes than I imagined, when I get comments like “you’re so lucky”, “you look beautiful”, “i’m so happy for you”, and any other positive comments, because who wouldn’t like that? And there’s nothing wrong with sharing these moments publicly! Sometimes it’s necessary to share these joyous moments and celebrate with friends and loved ones, but that doesn’t mean that what we put on these sites is a complete picture of what actually goes in our lives. I think that’s where we start to spiral downwards. We look on our newsfeed, feeling worthless and comparing ourselves to other people asking “why aren’t we doing what they’re doing?”, “they look so happy what’s wrong with my life?”. This, this is when we need to tell ourselves: there’s more to people than what they post online.
I guess that’s what I’m here to do today. Me being real. Living authentically, and showing all of the world (haha, the very select few people who actually read this far) what I’m all about. My insecurities, my struggles, fears, and me being vulnerable.
I guess the main reason I didn’t want to blog this past semester, was basically what I had shared above, there wasn’t too many great things to share! It was a rough semester where I felt trapped in this cycle of shame, disappointment, failure, and depression. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all that bad (there were really good happy memories and moments here and there!), but it would probably have to be the hardest semesters so far in college (let’s hope for a better one this upcoming spring!). It was a semester of a lot of change: having a car on campus, living in an apartment, student teaching, and being a coleader for my church small group. And I, being the harsh critic I am, really felt that I had failed in every single area of my life this semester.
Let me share some examples:
Here’s a big one, October 22nd, 2014. I thought it would be just another normal day of student teaching. Actually, it was more than normal, it was the day my supervisor was going to come in and observe a lesson I was going to teach at exactly 10:05am. Little did I know that about 3 minutes after getting into my 2-year-old beautiful white Hyundai Elantra that my parents gave to me as a birthday present, I would make a stupid left turn that I shouldn’t have made and crush up and total my baby. Yes, a pretty bad car accident, my first actually! Got t-boned right into my driver side. But thankfully, came out with only a scratch (I really am thankful for that).
It’s actually hard, looking back now, I understand why I stayed away from blogging, Facebook, and even from my friends and family. I just wanted to get away from everything. I didn’t want people to ask me what happened and I didn’t want people’s pity. I just wanted to forget about it and start new. I didn’t want to reflect and I wanted to push it aside. And even writing about it now, it’s strange and brings back scary flashbacks of the car hitting me and the constant ringing and pounding in my ears.
I know that was a really big thing that happened to me this semester, but there are so many others from my dad moving away from home for work in Florida, leaving my little brother and my mom to live in Illinois by themselves, my loss of passion for teaching after being in such a rough classroom of third graders with a cooperating teacher that just didn’t support me the way I wanted, then came my feelings of inadequacies of being a first-time co-leader for my small group and not living up to my expectations and standards, and even my eating patterns (I know, it sounds crazy that even the most simple thing for survival, eating, I was having trouble with) yo-yo dieting from restricting everything I ate always resulted in a relapse of bingeing and guilt which resulted in a series of fasting, over-exercising, and whatever else you could think of; all resulting in a extra 10 pounds of unnecessary body weight. Just a bad cycle of disappointment, depression, and failure.
So there’s my sad little story of how hard my life was the past 4 months, and I didn’t intend for this post to be all this depressing, but with these sad stories there should always come a light at the end of the tunnel. A hopeful message, something that keeps us going. Because in life you have a choice to make: you can choose to wallow in your depression and stay secluded in your bedroom with the curtains shut out, or you can choose to make change and fight back and get back on track. I’m not saying it’s easy, it requires courage, discipline, and hope. Hope that we could improve ourselves, hope that gives us the encouragement to know that this isn’t it, that we’re not defeated just yet. And also, grace. Something I need to start showing myself this year; it’s okay to be imperfect and failure is part of life. I may not live up to my own standards and I may not see myself as a perfect person, but I need to preach to myself that Someone does, and that I am worthy of being loved and cherished by the One True God who sees me as His perfect and beautiful daughter. And with that I leave you with this verse; a verse I’ve been dwelling on:
18 “Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.