Monday, March 19, 2012


After almost six miserable months of no direction, the needle on my compass has finally found its way back to North. I've been barely surviving these past few months: living at my parents' house, just got a job last month at Walmart, singing a little, reading, and wasting time online. I wasn't working towards anything and didn't even know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. If asked where I saw myself in 5 or 10 years, the honest answer was, "no idea." The future was a huge hole. Rather than a light at the end of a tunnel, I felt like I was on a train hurdling faster and faster into a cave with no other end. And then my "fever broke."

I was in a meeting with my counselor on Wednesday when I gave her one of the "missing puzzle pieces" which I thought she had known all along. With that information, she helped me make sense of connections and priorities between my main goals/dreams in life. By the end of the session, I had a plan of action (somewhat) and something to work towards. Later that day, I was able to understand a decision I had made a few months ago. I knew that the decision was somehow logical, but until I saw the connection, I had no idea how or why it made sense. I get it now. And, with changes I'll be making in my life, the decision will probably be reversed in time.

In the short-term, my plans are still being worked out. There are a number of different paths I can take but at least now I know where they are leading.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Reality sucks

During my year in Budapest, every few days I would have "pinch me" moments. Those moments where it hit me again: I actually am in Budapest. I'm living in my favorite city in the world. Being in Europe is my "normal." I'm not 4000+ miles away from my favorite ice cream and pastry shops. I have a full-time job with benefits and can afford life.

After being back in the States for a few months, I'm having those "pinch me" moments again. Only this time I want the pinch to wake me from a bad dream even though I know this is reality. Make all of the statements above negative and that's pretty much what these moments strike me with.

And, it's even bigger than that. I swore when I started college that I was never moving back to Steubenville. Now, my options are live here with my parents or be homeless. That's not much of a choice. On top of being back in the States, being stuck in Steubenville is like adding insult to injury. Unless you go to the university, there is very little of interest or value in this town. I don't know when I've ever felt so trapped. There are simply no opportunities here. I finally have a job (part time in a walmart bakery) but still don't have a car and pretty much anything meaningful requires a trip to Pittsburgh which requires use of a car, gas money, and large amounts of time.

If I was still in a city, I think things would be better but, as it is, I'm not. I keep getting information about auditions for all kinds of choirs and shows in Pittsburgh but, if I'm honest with myself, I'm just too far away for that to really be feasible. Which means I'm stuck with VERY minimal musical opportunities and little chance to improve them. Church choir, while good, only goes so far. The one community group which I've joined is disbanding after the next concert and, even if it wasn't, I wouldn't stay with them because the director's rehearsal and conducting skills, or COMPLETE lack thereof, make me want to walk out every week. I *am* splurging and driving into Pittsburgh every other week or so for voice lessons with a new teacher. Unfortunately, while they are going as well as they can, we have to go painfully slowly as we work to correct years of bad (or not ideal or something) technique that I had drilled into me. I wish God would give me a new dream based on the way this one is falling apart but that doesn't seem to be happening.

To make an already bad situation even worse, my depression is at the worst that it's been in years if not ever. I have no interest in doing much of anything and find plodding through the day about the most I can handle. It's as if, rather than seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, I'm realizing that I've driven into a cave. My doctor isn't helping as it takes four months to get an appointment (I wish I was exaggerating). Since it's easier to see the nurse practitioner, I'm going tomorrow but since she hasn't been treating me since the beginning I'm worried that it will be harder to move forward compared to my doc who knows all the different meds I've already tried. I'm furious with my ex for nagging me into stopping my meds and myself for caving to his radical views. There is so much rage bottled up inside toward him that some days I almost want to write a nasty email telling him just how badly he screwed me up mentally and emotionally. I know he didn't "mean" to but it doesn't change the facts.

As for God, I know He's out there. And I guess I believe He cares. Maybe. I'm just spiritually dead. Oh, sure, I'm going through the motions: reading my Bible, working through a spiritual book, going to daily Mass most of the time, praying before meals, etc. but mostly because I have time and I feel like I "should" go. I love the new translations of the Mass except for one in the prayer after the Our Father --
"Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ" the priest prays.
I can't help but give a silent, morbid chuckle every time I hear it. If the prayer is asking (as it appears) to be kept safe from distress then either God's not listening or He and I have very different opinions of what constitutes distress. I'm not saying that things couldn't be worse (which, with my luck, they probably will become) or trying to imply that no one has ever dealt with more crap than all this, but I'm not exactly walking through a field of daisies.