In A Rut…
When I was 30, I had been teaching for nearly a decade (and loving it), was single (divorced), and unhappy. I didn’t realize it but I was in a rut.
I had a career I loved, was exploring acting – which for a university Drama Grad was typical but also belated, because I had focused on directing as an undergrad – and dealing with personal and family issues which would never really go away. In spite of the family issues, I had two fabulous cats, a super best friend and several other very good ones, and had much to be thankful for.
But I was literally in the shower one evening and told myself, “I’m not really happy.” I wondered, “What should I do? What would make me happy?”
I reasoned that what would make me happy would be to go to New York and study acting. And so I began a process that would change my life forever.
As a born again Christian, I prayed about this idea. Given that I’d never been a radical sort of person and this was making a fairly radical change to my life, I told the Lord I would move forward on this until May, when I’d have to give notice at my job in order to be granted a sabbatical. If circumstances suggested “You’re clear to go,” I’d go, and if they weren’t by then, then I would stay where I was and continue living as I was living.
By May I’d been offered a place at Neighbourhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City, and my current job was being shifted from a school whose drama programme I’d developed to another school. I took the former as encouragement to take the risk and go to New York, and the latter likewise.
So I gave notice, gave my rented apartment over to a good friend, and left.
Life would never be the same. I ended up in London, England after that year in New York, where I married a wonderful man and remained for two decades, eventually re-settling – surprisingly – near the same town in Ontario that I’d left.
Now I’m in Spain. And I think I’m in a rut.
How could anyone get into a rut who has lived on 3 continents (briefly including Asia where hubby and I spend some months while he was on secondment), had several careers, given birth at age 45, delighted in the intimacy of the Holy Spirit, and befriended folks from all over the world (New York and London are hugely international cities)?
Currently, I feel as though I’m stagnating.
I love what I do, which is to write, write, write – when I’m not raising my son and standing in support of my husband. I pray daily, that God would show me the pathway I am meant to tread, and engage with the people I’m meant to engage with. I spend hours on the computer (and my eyesight suffers for it), sharing with others on blogs and diving into imaginary people’s experiences through fiction. And yet, I’m not living.
What is the problem this time? Whereas the first time I was in a rut was because there were more people to meet and more things to do in the big wide world than I could do locally, now having done all that, I realize it all boils down to community.
Community is vital to one’s emotional fulfilment (see final written blog post at Revelation TV under presenter’s blogs). And I haven’t got much of it in this foreign country of wonderful people, sights and features of art.
It isn’t really a rut… it’s more like a crater. I’m stuck inside an empty space where only people – real life relationships beyond family – can fill.
I’m feeling a whole lot better now than I did a week or a month ago. That’s because I’ve engaged with a few people, face-to-face, on some level of heart-to-heart, and that has made all the difference.
At the end of the day, whether you find yourself stagnating – in a rut, or in a crater – good friendship is probably the cure. If “Home is where the heart is” then surely the heart can only be where there are people in your life with whom you can connect, and feel you make a difference in their lives as they do in yours.
Thanks to those who’ve rescued me this week.
Now I wonder who needs a rescue? Who can I reach out the right hand of fellowship to, and make a tiny difference to their lives today?
Blessings… It’s good to be back at A Life Examined (formerly: http://www.sarahtunexaminelife.blogspot.com and now http://laruspress.com/category/larusblog/a-life-examined-continues )