Last night I got home from a five day stay-cation, if you will, at my parents house. And it was amazing. I got up each morning and drank coffee and crocheted out in the pavilion with my dogs until it got too hot outside, and I spent time with my parents hanging out and catching up. On Friday Nick and Gena drove up as well, and we had a weekend of family memories, both past and present, as we spent time with my grandparents and helped my Mom clean out some of our house.
One of the big projects we tackled was cleaning and organizing my old bedroom (now a storage area) and the front room downstairs. It was nice and cathartic to bring order to chaos and purge some unwanted and forgotten relics from our familial past. We found school photos and high school diplomas, old art work and classroom and baseball awards, my costume from Shakespeare Day, Kristen’s old teddy bear. It was nice to take this little trip down memory lane, which honestly, started the second I passed the Welcome to Lowellville sign.
When I was in college I used to think that the only times I was truly myself were when I was at home. I felt like when I left that place and the support and love it provided, I lost a part of myself, and, quite frankly, a good chunk of courage on my way out of town. When I was home this past week, nostalgia was everywhere, and I wished deep down that I could go back. That I could take my dogs and move back from Columbus and just be there and young and me. I seriously considered this prospect for about the first three days until I realized that going back would be exactly that: going back. It would be completely anti-growth. Yes, it does afford me the opportunity to shirk my grown up responsibilities and live more simply and with fewer worries, but the truth is that I’ve worked very hard to come to the point that I am at now. And although I do often wish I had a partner in this, I am stronger than most for not having had one. It has been tough, but I can’t help but feel like the reasoning for this aloneness is important to me and who I am or will be. There’s a reason I needed to be stronger than most, even though I so very often feel like a spineless failure.
Which brings us up to date with the whole ‘what next’ question. Okay so science has already been established, and school of some kind (which, by the way, I can’t pay for), so what now? I have been looking for jobs at schools. Maybe if I can get one they’ll let me take classes for cheap or free. So far, not much luck. But I press on. And during my pressing on, I doubt like crazy. Is it too late to go back to school? Did I make the right choice in quitting? Was it stupid and rash and will I regret it? Do my friends and the people I care about think I was irresponsible? Was it all a big and irreversible mistake? And I know that this train of thought is coming because I have made my choice and am trying to map out a worthwhile future, and even in that knowledge I cannot shake it. Maybe I am being stupid. Maybe I will fail. Maybe I’m not as good as my high school awards and trophies and my parents and grandparents expectations have painted me to be, as I’ve painted me to be.
I’m good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.
I’ve been trying to earn extra money by selling stuff on eBay. I also opened my own Etsy shop with things I crocheted called Soggy Doggie Designs and have been looking into doing some pet sitting now that it’s vacation season, and I have all this time on my hands. Things are going okay, but not great. I’m getting discouraged. Prayers would be appreciated.
Today I was talking with a friend and, in a roundabout way, hinting at this discouragement I’ve been dealing with, and she said this to me. “I have complete faith in you and your talent. I still will place an order [on Soggy Doggie]. Not because you need it, but because I love the things you create.” She really has no idea how much I needed that right there.