I can't believe that in 7 days I will be half way through my program here at MHGS. There have been moments where my time here has felt as though it were creeping at a painfully slow pace and there have been other moments where I'm spinning around in the wind and chaos of the enormous workload I am somehow able to tackle by the end of each trimester. This season has been excessively chaotic. I began the trimester with a reunion as many friends of Colorado made their way up to the great Northwest, and not too long after that we drove down for my sister's wedding. I feel like I never really had an opportunity to catch up and and rest assured that all was not beyond my reach.
Our 14 hour drive home from California this last Sunday provided me with a great deal of time to ponder upon my anxiety over always feeling like my life is in flux. It seems obvious, perhaps, that I would feel that way in our current situation considering we are sort of in a state of transition in our lives. Believing that we are only here in Seattle temporarily, while I finish my degree, has prevented us from really putting our feet on the ground. And yet, when I really think about it, I wonder if I've ever felt planted at any stage in my life. High school was transitory - I couldn't wait to leave home. Not too long after that I got married and two years later began a family. Both Brian and I have both struggled to land on a specific direction for our individual, yet intricately and intimately connected, lives.
I recognize that we are a part of a larger context - a culture that is always on the move. But lately I've discovered that my continual movement and progression, which some have associated with ambition, is most deeply rooted in a sense of fear. I'm afraid of standing still. I'm afraid that if I stop running toward something I won't know what to do, who to be, or how to be. But I'm tired of running. My marathon of a life has worn me out. And yet, it's how I've learned to cope with the traumas of my life.
The other night in my human development class we were discussing this idea presented by Winnicott (a psychological big shot) referred to as "the fear of breakdown". He suggests that the anxiety that we feel in the present, whereby we think we're afraid of what could happen, is in actuality a result of the trauma that has already occurred. So maybe I haven't really been running toward anything...I've just been running from what I have not been able to work through at this juncture.
For some reason, the season of Advent always beckons me to stop running so fast. I'm sensing that invitation now. A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my closest friend here (whom I've referred to as my security blanket) about mine and Brian's struggle with determining where we should go from here in life and she asked me a poignant question that I can't shake from my mind. She asked what it would look like for us to simply be here where we're at right now. In my own reflecting since that conversation I haven't been able to come up with any concrete answer, but I think it's stirred my desire to figure out how to make this a place we can call home. I'm learning that home isn't really a location, it's a way of being present and in relationship with those in your life at any given point in time.