I’ll be the first to admit it. I am absolutely terrible when it comes to admitting my faults. I hate admitting when I’ve messed up, or admitting when I’m in the wrong (just ask my husband…he’s had to deal with this nonsense since the day he met me). Admitting I’m wrong means admitting that I’m not perfect. Now, don’t get me wrong – in no way, shape, or form, do I think I’m perfect. But for so long, I have felt a weight-crushing pressure to be perfect. And admitting fault means admitting that I’ve got more work to do on myself.
Last year, when Colin and I moved to Texas, the time and energy that our work schedules demanded from us tripled in value. I’m talking transitioning from a 40 hour work week to a 55+ hour work week, every week. Who said being a teacher & a coach wasn’t fun?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my job.
I love teaching high schoolers. I love coaching cheerleading (yep, you read that right – I’ve moved from coaching gymnastics to soccer to tennis to golf to cheerleading).
But working 55 hour weeks is exhausting.
Like, just ran a marathon every day for a month exhausting.
Working 55 hour weeks in one of the most academically and athletically competitive schools in Texas is next-level exhausting.
And somewhere along the way, that exhaustion turned into anxiety.
You know what I’m talking about. The laying in bed at 11 P.M. dreading the next day because of the nagging feeling in the back of your brain that you’re forgetting something important.
If you can’t relate to the above sentence – to you, “I say both congratulations and you suck” (Marina Keegan…10 bonus points if you get that reference).
But really. No matter how much I love my job, it’s exhausting.
Now, add on top of that day job the other special extras in my life that need attention: my husband, our dog, friends and family, side passions (blogging, photography, traveling, Instagramming, trying new restaurants, going to see new movies, shopping), etc.
I’m not saying my life is anything special that deserves an award for the amount of anxiety or pressure I felt, because trust me, I don’t want it. But if there’s anyone else out there feeling like I felt – I’m with ya, sister.
The pressure and anxiety I felt this past year has, at some times, felt insurmountable. No matter how much help my husband gave me and continues to give me (through our wedding planning process & just life in general), I still always felt like that mountain of work would never shrink.
And then I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
And wow, did things change.
I’m not trying to be cliche when I say this, but trusting in Him has opened so many doors for me.
Like, my anxiety shrinks daily.
I feel more in control of my feelings.
I know that no matter what I encounter, He will always be there to love and support us.
Last night, Colin and I moved our mattress from our bedroom out to the living room to have a movie night. We stayed up late binging the 4th season of Friday Night Lights (still mad at Netflix for dropping it). And this morning, we went to the late service at church. On our way there, I opened the Bible app on my phone to read the daily verse.
From the New Living Translation: Proverbs 16:9 “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
Do you ever just read something that hits you on such a personal level that you want to scream it so that everyone else understands, too? That’s where I was at today when I read this.
The past few weeks have left me feeling a little bit unsure in my career. I love my job, but it’s exhausting. Teaching is fun and rewarding and working with kids is literally the best ever, but giving 100% of myself to this job is hard. Lately, I’ve felt so torn about whether or not I can continue for much longer in this career path and still hold on to my mental health. Do I pursue writing full time? Do I pursue my masters? Do I quit teaching to pursue another career that isn’t as mentally and emotionally taxing, even though I know I’m really good at what I do?
Today, I spent 5 (read it: FIVE!) hours working on my blog. One short stack of pancakes, two coffees, frantic texts to a blogger friend (s/o to you, Emme) and $200 later (sorry if you’re reading this dad, but it was necessary!!), I was able to re-brand my blog. All of my old posts are gone, and I have never felt so clean.
I’ve felt so lost and confused lately about which direction my work life should take. Do I continue teaching? Do I pursue writing? Which avenue of writing should I go towards with my blog? Fashion? Travel? Food? All of it? Do I go for my Masters?
My questions were endless.
And then, I read that verse up there from Proverbs. We can make our plans, but HE determines our steps.
Excuse me while I pick my jaw up from the floor.
God is SO good. Like, bacon and pancakes good.
I can sit around and try to figure out where my career is headed. But at the end of the day, He will determine the steps.
And I can live with that, because I have finally figured out one of the first hacks to being a twenty something who is totally unsure of her career: trust in HIM.