I am familiar with these feelings. It always happens before there comes a great change in my life. It happened before I went away to college four years ago, it happened last year before I went away and interned all summer at a Young Life camp, and it's happening now before I move away to Los Angeles.
It starts deep in my belly, a little twinge of anxiety and restlessness that grows and grows until it's crawling up my throat and I feel it everyday. The nerves. The stress. The overall feeling of "I just want to sit in this moment right here for a little while longer."
I start to retreat into myself. I reach out to tangible things that create intangible moments and I lose myself in them. As ridiculous as it sounds, the week before I moved away to Lake Champion last summer I holed myself up in my room and watched episode after episode of Criminal Minds. I channeled my fear into that freaking AWESOME show and escaped from the worries I had of moving into a house with people I didn't know, leaving my family for a few months and being thrown into a completely foreign environment.
Okay, and let's be honest, I think Dr. Spencer Reid had something to do with my Criminal Minds phase. I mean, look at him! Nerdy. Smart. Socially awkward. 3 things I love in a man! #justkidding #kindof #ohmygoshstophashtagging
But it's happening now to as it comes closer and closer to August 27th. I'm retreating into books to keep off these feelings of anxiety. I'm avoiding packing, organizing, cleaning...I'm avoiding thinking about reality. It's not okay, I know that and I know it's a way of coping. Like today. I had today all scheduled to clean. And what did I do? Ended up spending hours and hours in the world of Moira Young's first book, "Blood Red Road" in the Dustlands series. It's weird how a book can comfort me so much. It's like that one time I was sitting in the car with Christina, my youngest sister, and she started singing me Regina Spektor's "The Call" from the second Narnia movie and I legit started to bawl, not because of her beautiful singing, but because I was actually sad Narnia didn't exist......
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME PEOPLE?
Actually, don't answer that. But it comes back to this little thought that trails into my mind every now and again: Did you ever feel like you just don't belong? And I'm not talking that angsty, teenage nudge of "No one gets me dude!" But this sincere longing inside of you...like you were actually meant for another world?
I feel that cry in my heart all the time. I love this world but it's also scary and hard and kinda sucky sometimes. I think that's why I fell in love with books so early in life. That escape into another world--characters who became friends, places I was taken by simple words on a page. And that's why I love acting. That's why I went to college to study the art of performance. That's why I love writing, reading and that's why I'm moving in Los Angeles.
I love being moved by the words in a book--I love when I feel so close to a character, when I am at work or in class and all I think about is the next chance I can sneak away to Starbucks or my bed and dive back into that world the author has created.
It also leads me to think bigger than just books and escapism. It makes me think about the Creator of the Universe. And how this world really isn't my home at all...that I was created for something more. And it keeps me in check. Because I know moving to LA won't fix my problems, won't give me what I'm searching for. I know earthly things can't do that. But my relationship with Jesus Christ can. Surrendering everything in my life to God, to something so much bigger than myself, allows me to let go of these earthly desires and realize life is so precious, so fleeting. I struggle with this idea all the time. I always think, "If I just lose FIVE more pounds" or "If I can get THIS job or become friends with THIS person" then everything will just be so much better. But it won't. Those things can't make everything better. I don't care who tells you that. I don't care how many times I hear "Money can't buy you happiness, but it sure as hell makes it easier!" I. Don't. Care. Those things don't matter. What matters is so much bigger than the miniscule temporary feelings of pleasure gained from materialistic things or even relationships with people. Having a boyfriend won't make me feel better about myself. Having a perfect apartment or nice clothes won't give me lasting peace. Moving to LA won't make me feel content or cool. It's not and shouldn't be about that.
It's about listening to that still, quiet voice in God. Letting it lead me. And each day with God...well, that's enough.
I don't really know what I'm trying to say with this post. Gosh, it was all over the place, huh? All I know is I'm nervous, I'm excited, I have so many feelings in my heart right now that I just....I can't really put them into words...but I just had to try anyway. And for now, as I begin to pack up my life to fit into one suitcase, I'm going to smile in the moments when I am surrounded by people I love, the everyday aspects of being loved by God, with a joy so deep it feels me up and I let go of these feelings of anxiety and fear, choosing to dwell instead in a place of adventure (and hair-whipping):
May you all have hair-whipping last days of summer!