“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”
– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.
On Monday I moved most of my belongings out of the house and into the new apartment. I’m excited about the apartment. While I wasn’t far from the church before, now I’m literally next door. I’m looking forward to the opportunity this provides to be active on a daily basis at the church while also able to retreat into the safety of my apartment (aka, fort of the introvert).
I have a 1995 Mazda Protege. It is a sea-sick green color, 151k miles, and my mechanic tells me the exhaust has been patched so many times its hard to tell what is what…but the cost of replacing the exhaust whole is nearly what the car is worth – so we continue to patch it, piece by piece. The Protege is me. It is my favorite car out of all the ones I’ve owned – more than the Suzuki Samurai and even more than the Chevy Aveo. Why? I don’t know. In some way I feel like it reflects who I am…I don’t care a lot about fancy things, I like what is practical, and lest you or I forget, I come from the middle of nowhere where cars that look like this are the norm instead of the exception.
I have a similar feeling about the apartment. We’ll have to see as I settle in – but already I get the feel of it being me…and at this juncture I haven’t brought any of the furniture over – my books are in stacks against the wall, my LCD monitors are on the floor in a corner, and my food, dishes, and silverware are overflowing the table. This is good, it is good when something feels like you before you’ve even made it your own.
About this, about the church – I feel good.
On the other hand, last week and this week have been no picnic in the park. Charity moved out on Saturday and I soon after. Throughout these days I’ve been followed by a constant ache in my head – really nothing to complain about – but annoying and ever-present. I thought at first I was coming down with something – but it hasn’t morphed into anything more – it just hangs there, placing slight pressure on the back of my eyes, trying to bump them out of their sockets.
There is a heavy weight inside me that cannot be quantified. It is a void and as I peer in I can discern nothing. What are you? Why are you here? What will it take to make you go away? I know, I know – time will make you leave my door – I must be patient.
The weight makes my stomach churn. It pulls down on my shoulders and at the corners of my mouth – it lulls my eyelids to sleep. It places weights upon my arms and legs – why are you so heavy today arms? Why do you move so slow today legs?
It feels a lot like it did before…but the anger isn’t there nor is the hopelessness. It is just the confusion, the sadness, the grief. I’m nervous as I walk through a store – the thoughts inside my head want to burst out of my eyes in streams of water. I don’t ever want to be that person – the one who breaks down in the middle of a store. I never expected to be the one who broke down in the middle of my church family.
Responsibilities I dread weigh upon me. Getting the house ready for renters. Talking to the township and securing the necessary code review. Securing landlord insurance. Deciding whether to use a property management company. Convincing my mortgage company that renting is a good idea. Giving away the cats.
These pile on top of those other responsibilities that I dread – and yet await my full attention…demanding it with ever increasing intensity. Taxes. Health Insurance. Bills…
Yet, I am hopeful, I am optimistic. When the anxiety of all that I have to do rolls over me I remind myself that Christ told me to worry only about today – the future will take care of itself. Then I practice deciding what I really want to accomplish today and tell my OCD to go kill itself when it begins asking me why I haven’t done x, y, and z yet. “That isn’t for today. Today I will do a, b, c. Tomorrow I will decide what to do – maybe x, y, z, maybe something else. But that is for tomorrow. Don’t think or worry about it today.”