when the finish line is close but so far away and your eyes are tired and the teapot is empty

IMG_2261The questions are inevitable, with less than a semester left until I finish grad school, people I encounter want to know what’s next. Well, that’s a really great question. I’m not even annoyed by it. I get why some people might be… sometimes there is weird pressure and this thing of proving yourself to all of those that have been watching, and I certainly have been wrestling with some of that. But really, I think if someone cares about you and watches you take out thousands of dollars in student loans, it’s really fair to wonder out loud about what the next part of the journey will look like.

Tonight, I’m feeling the weight of that wonder. The weight is much more self-imposed than anything else. I am wondering what the next steps look like. My current job 25 hour a week job isn’t going to work out when there are more bills to pay and journeys to be lived. Also, I really want to do something with what I’m learning. I really really do.

Today though, the answer is just that I have no idea what is next. No idea.
Honestly, life could look like a zillion different things and I’d probably be okay with it.
I just don’t know what even one of those zillion things are yet.

Grad school makes me tired. Actually, maybe just life makes me tired and grad school is a major player in life right now. Over the past year and a half I’ve spent my days and nights re-figuring out all the things I thought I already understood about myself and God and everything in between. Sometimes before work, I just sit in my car and listen to music in Spanish that I’m trying to learn, but instead I just stare at this one tree that always blows around in the wind that I always park in front of and I wonder about how I ended up working at an alternative high school in the most random job of my life.

And I wonder how I ended up getting married to the most gracious woman ever.
I wonder how I’ve lived in Portland for almost two years and haven’t gotten a tattoo yet.
I wonder how God can be good in the midst of so much brokenness.
I wonder if all the dreams that Lacey and I have and had will ever come into real life.
I wonder how Donald Trump is a serious contender for the president of the United States.
I wonder how people still believe that racism is over and then I wonder what role I play in creating and adding to racist systems that seem to be thriving in my own city.
I wonder if our student loans will ever be paid off.
I wonder how grace can be real.
I wonder if I’ll ever be able to drink coffee again.
I wonder if all that I hope for and hope in is at good as it seems in my head and my heart.

I wonder if my back acne will ever go away.
I wonder if I’ll be able to get a new highs score on the one game I play on my phone.
I wonder if I’ll ever be able to live like I was made to live. If I’ll be able to understand the eternity that’s been set in my heart.
Just average things.

And then I finish up my morning yogurt and go into the school I work at where I feel totally out of place and like I’m in WAY over my head most days.

And some nights I go to class until 8 or 9 o’clock. And some nights I go to counseling because I need help at loving myself and Jesus and my wife and everyone that’s everywhere in-between. And some nights I stare at the pages and turn them before realizing that I’m too tired to take it all in.

But then some nights, Lacey and I eat cake and ice cream together for no particular reason while we watch some kind of movie. Lately, while attempting to be romantic, we’ve watched movies about genocide, alzheimer’s, and abductions. We’re fairly cute, to say the least.

Sometimes it’s good for the soul to write a bunch of stuff down while drinking tea.

I guess I just know that so many people I know are trying to figure this stuff out too (not sure about the back acne…but a lot of the other stuff) and I think I want to be better at being in community and I’m not so good at it sometimes. Not authentically and consistently anyway. I want to celebrate more. I want to wrestle with big ideas with people more.

I’m not sure where I’ll be vocationally in the next year, but I know that I never want to stop living a life full of wonder and full of good people.

Here’s to entering a season of lent remembering that we already know the end. We already know that death loses…but sometimes we have to stumble around in the dark before we get to live in all of the light. I like that Jesus is in all of it. I like that Easter is not all that far away- in so many ways I know that new, redeemed, meaningful life is coming for us all.

What a deal. What a freaking good deal.


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