Who am I?
That the bright and morning star,
Would choose to light the way,
For my ever wandering heart. (Casting Crowns)
I have this friend that told me about this woman she knew, and her struggles she always had spiritually. She said she always felt like going back and forth in her relationship with God was like hopping on and off a merry-go-round. Every time she got on, she went in circles and wasn't going anywhere, so she's get off but it just made her dizzy and sick to be away from it. She was constantly struggling to be with God, but just couldn't get past the first step of believing and really incorporating it into the rest of her life.
Now, granted I haven't heard this story since high school, so if anyone reads this and remembers the story and I'm telling it wrong, don't mind me. But the point is still truthful for most Christians that love God, but also don't know how to let go of things they love that are "of the world" so-to-speak. I'm pretty guilty of this myself. Which is why I feel the way that I feel sometimes.
Last weekend I went to the Navigators winter conference. I heard stories from speakers about how they partied in college, they had to overcome addictions and their crazy mental states, and how this all led to them having a better relationship with Jesus. Whenever I hear these kinds of stories I think, "Wow, I wish I had a crazy story like THAT." I wanted to feel what they were feeling, and I wanted something extreme to beat me into submission instead of me always being on this merry-go-round and not being able to think straight. I think I may just have that story.
Going to England was the best decision I've ever made. It made me realize that I could make friends and a life for myself without having to act a way that made me hate myself. Last week I realized I simply didn't belong there anymore, and I probably never did. So I quit. The relief I felt when I made that choice was almost as great as the relief I had when I went somewhere new and exciting in the fall that wasn't UMass.
I lived in my sorority house for a year, and during that year my entire attitude had changed. I drank five nights a week (roughly) and made decisions that compromised my emotions and what kind of friend I was. It was the loneliest year of my life, which was surprising because it was also the year that I became really close with Chelsea and I was vice president of Navigators. Teaching a bible study, and slowly going insane, I was two completely different people. My anxiety and depression was so bad, I had migraines three nights a week. When I was at Kent, I had one bad migraine the entire time. Clearly there's a link there. I felt like a floater. The only way to describe someone who is depressed and going through something, is when all you feel is blankness. I can't remember half of my days of junior year, because I would get up, go to class, go to the gym, eat, watch tv, maybe do homework if I felt like it, drink and go to bed. I would drink because I was so blank-minded during the day, that I just wanted to feel something. It stopped becoming recreation, and became my means of trying to find myself lost in a house of 40 girls with only a few friends in the house. I don't know how I could ever breathe because Amherst was suffocating me.
Even now because of all that I've been through, I'm still trying to figure out who the hell I am. I used to think I was meant to be in this club, and it was a part of me, and I tried for years to be the most popular, the prettiest, the best drinker, the one who got the most guys, and now I realize that it didn't mean anything to anyone except me to prove any of that. But maybe my four years at UMass have taught me that it takes a lifetime to figure out who you are. Maybe I'm a better person for trying to do that, even if I risked my sanity in the process.
Winter Conference was a wake-up call, not only because of the talks, but because I realized I had neglected who my real friends were. These people I met at Navigators became my secondary friends and I neglected them, but they never left me and never stopped caring about me. If I could take it all back I would've built better relationships with all of them, but I don't think I would appreciate them as much as I did. All I can do now is try to make up for time lost and keep on keeping on with what's really important in life. Love, friendship, fellowship, family, the really real important things that we forget about when we're trying to gain things that don't matter. Happiness matters. God matters. Being someone you're not only makes you not want to look in the mirror when you wake up in the morning. And why wouldn't this beautiful girl wanna look at herself every morning when she wakes up and say, "yep... you're you and people still love you for it."