Back in November, I went on a trip with some of our very best friends and it may have been one of the sweetest and most unique experiences of my adult life thus far. Although there are moments amongst the bills & the responsibilities that can feel less than awesome, I still forget that 1) I am an adult and 2) we are old enough to go on tropical cruises with 4 of our best friends just because. Feel free to disagree with me all you wish, but adult-life still equals the best life in my mind.
This particular group of friends I was with was made up of three of my closest girlfriends, all of whom were in lines of work that were creative, energizing & challenging. One afternoon while laying on the back deck, a conversation broke out with one friend who was launching into the world of small business & entrepreneurship receiving really awesome tangible advice from the other two seasoned (ha! remember, still all 25/26) young professionals. The conversation was exciting, and they were challenging each other on how to take their business to the next level and to utilize social marketing & good practices for customer service. I was drawn in immediately but also felt starkly out of place.
I had nothing to contribute. And worse — nothing to take away. At the time I was in a really tough place with work and was in a job that felt draining & stagnant. I didn’t feel motivated to learn. I wasn’t energized to grow. I wanted to quit. And being on the outside of this conversation made me all the more aware of how unhappy I was.
“Maybe I’m just not made to work,” I later stated when it was just Nathan and me behind the closed door of our cabin room. I proceeded to verbally vomit all of the thoughts & feelings I’d been building up throughout the afternoon of “work talk” on the deck.
“Maybe I’m just meant to show up & fulfill my tasks to financially contribute until I don’t have to work anymore. I’m clearly not good at it. And obviously, if I was made for that type of work, God would have put me there.”
*Insert my own eye roll at self, here — to be fair, no one has ever once accused me of not having a flair for dramatics.*
Here’s the point of all of this —
Yes, I was miserable. Truth. Yes, every single one of my best girlfriends on my home team was already in jobs that they love & feel fired up about. Also, truth. But because I wasn’t where they were didn’t mean that it was just never going to happen. That was a lie. A big lie that I had chosen to grasp ahold of so tightly that I couldn’t hold it far enough away from my face to see it for what it really was: FALSE.
I was focusing my eyes on everyone else’s lane around me, completely disregarding my own. I wasn’t looking ahead with anticipation or hope. I was seeing that I hadn’t reached a place that they had and assumed it was because it wasn’t on my roadmap at all.
I know I’m not alone in this. Whether it’s marriage or babies or a home or a luxurious vacation or whatever it may be that you are hoping for that other people around you may have — friend! Let me get real close to your face and say to you — eyes forward, sister. I want to get to so close to your face that these words are sitting right between you and the lie you’re holding way so close to you.
The reality is, I was able to celebrate with those friends & feel so sad for myself. And I was so tempted to accept that as reality. To forever be the encouraging champion of those fabulous forward-thinkers and entrepreneurial minds and accept defeat for my own calling of work. But with the encouragement of my precious husband and the innate (sometimes unfortunate) wiring inside me that just can’t quit, I was able to pull my eyes off the side-lanes for just long enough to be reminded that I still had a LOT of lane left of my own to keep moving forward in.
And you know what? December & January came and with them a number of circumstances that put me right where I needed to be to get to where I am today. At a different job that is so perfect, I could cry you all. I wake up every morning feeling energized, empowered & encouraged to learn & grown. I’ve been reminded that I WAS MADE FOR THIS.
I was made to use this brain the Lord gave me and to critically think and to lead a team. I was made to do good, hard, purposeful work. But I would have never made it here had I kept my eyes on everyone else’s lanes but my own. If I had never brought my eyes back to my own lane and decided to not quit, but push forward with hope, trust & expectancy of what the Lord had in store further on down my lane, just out of my sight.