Transition, even when moving towards something new and exciting, brings challenges along the way. And many of those hindrances, I am finding, are mental and emotional.
As I think about uprooting and establishing a new life, there exists the irony of something so daunting in the midst of known or fairly certain great opportunity. I am sensing a deep excitement about what lies ahead, and simultaneously, a daunting emotion that comes with being overwhelmed with a multitude of comparatively small tasks required to grab the next monkey bar, so to speak. And in order to grab the next bar, I must let go of the one behind.
In the midst of this changeover, I find myself thinking about everything all at once – past, present, future all in one pot. There are the bittersweet memories of a soul mate turned oppressor. There is pride for the things I have overcome in this process to get where I’m headed. I also think about the friends I’ve met along the way who will, if I have anything to do with it, remain part of my life as I move forward (and I will remain a Spurs fan, in the territory of Miami Heat – “Race for Seis” to continue in 2017!).
Besides all of these things, I also consider the doubts I have about what lies before me. I’ve come this close. I am at the edge, about to jump. Should I do a 180 and bail? I know the lifestyle of a medical scientist is not easy. What if I just turned around, now that I know I made the cut at least, and pursued a family, with a perhaps much more mundane job. But then I think about how far I’ve come and all the years of hard work I have put in. I think about experiencing one of the deepest heartaches of my life that also happened to encompass core elements of my desired future in academics…and then dragging myself out of bed for the next two years until life seemed more normal again, less of a fog. I think about how God has taken me this far, in preparation for this opportunity which two years ago I considered to be out of my reach and but a dream. If He got me this far, surely He will see the rest of the way. In the words of Lauren Daigle, “God’s not a God of risks. He just says, ‘Trust me,’ because He has it all under control” (article here, and might I also strongly suggest Lauren’s YouTube channel).
This concept of trust versus risk has a few implications, as my choice to further my education in Florida was not the “logical” choice of those that presented themselves particularly as I reviewed the financial pros and cons of each offer. Yet Florida was where I sensed peace. The turmoil I experienced at my other option precluded my ability to further consider it, though it was/is a wonderful program with great people as well, and despite the fact that its monetary benefits trumped the offer that I ended up taking. Regardless of how many people I spoke with for advice or how many prayers for wisdom, I did not, in fact, receive a lightning bolt from the sky indicating what decision was best. So I had to go where I felt at peace. And I am confident in this decision, despite its seeming contrast to what most would consider financially optimal. Just ask my mom.
OK, so what about avocados?
After a day of internal struggles – yes, ALL day, and in the mind of a woman that is literally ALL day with NO “nothing” space for my thoughts, I ended with a phenomenal workout which is my Tuesday night BodyPump class. I had an avocado ready to go with my post-workout meal and this part concerned me, as I find avocados particularly difficult to choose at the grocery store. Come to find out, the moment of truth had proven that it was indeed a properly ripe avocado – and still good after 2 days! I had a happy “adulting” moment, which I shared with a friend who also unbeknownst to me was having a rough day. At this point, I realized that some days in this defiant life that I strive to live, I must cling to the little things, the simple successes, in order to maintain a certain element of positive self-worth. And so with the excessive endorphins from a great workout along with the beauty of finding joy in something simple, my day ended well despite the turmoil inside.