the process of becoming

a blog for twenty-somethings trying to navigate the world and follow your dreams

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I’m not going to apologize for being “crazy”

This post is for the woman.

The woman who was brought up to be guarded, dare I even mention the word “submissive,” and proper.

The woman who felt then—and still does—SO. MANY. EMOTIONS. Who just wanted to be heard, noticed, appreciated. Acknowledged that having those emotions was, and is, perfectly okay. Whether that’s being really really happy, a little (or lot) depressed, or just plain moody.

Whether you were raised in the church to always “guard your heart,” whether your parents or relatives were good at discipline and children had to be “seen not heard,” or whether there was a boy who just couldn’t “handle” your tears, I’m here to tell you not to change.

I’m not going to apologize for being emotional, for feeling everything, for “being crazy.” And neither should you.

You are either 1) not crazy, so stop thinking/saying/feeling that you are, or 2) that “crazy” is the beautiful hot mess that is you—goofiness, wonder, passion, interests—all bursting out during moments of energy. I love it. Keep it up, okay?!

I had a rough time in high school where I couldn’t decide whether sharing my emotions was going to turn people off from being my friend. I was moody, dark, somewhat depressed, and I wore black a LOT (long live the band T-shirts). I knew that I had a lot of empathy for basically everything under the sun, but I didn’t know about anxiety disorders back then or the chemical cause of depression. I thought having a boyfriend meant that he’d take you as you are, emotions and crying episodes and all. I didn’t know how not to feel.

And I remember feeling inadequate when I was rejected for showing my feelings. For being “crazy.”

And then, halfway through college, I realized that I didn’t need to apologize anymore.

I don’t need to apologize to my now husband for bursting into tears unexpectedly. I don’t need to apologize to the world for not feeling well enough to venture into another crowd. For being too anxious to pick up the phone. For feeling depressed.

Men, this doesn’t just apply to women, obviously.

I’m simply referring to the generations before us who taught us that women “shouldn’t” you-fill-in-the-blank.

I’ve slowly and gradually learned that there’s only so much you can do to “self-improve.” Find where that stops and celebrate who you actually are.

There’s no stopping my emotion train, but there is therapy or medication for anxiety disorders for those who need them. And then there’s just really emotional people, and sensitive people, and artsy people. And poets. (I could go on)

And I am so so blessed to have a husband who recognizes me and my emotions for who we are and lets me be me. I’ve stopped apologizing and spent more time bursting into laughter over emotional breakdowns now.

Women, stop being sorry. You are beautiful for all the neurons and brainwaves and things you feel. KEEP FEELING THEM. Don’t apologize.


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it’s okay, you don’t have to know

And we’re back! I couldn’t tell you how many problems I’ve been having with my laptop, my internet at home, and lastly Google Chrome itself! After so much troubleshooting, sometimes I just need to have a literary sit down for 30+ minutes to recharge. Anyone else have this problem?

Thus, I’ve been keeping busy reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (the latter courtesy of my wonderful mother lending such a popular book to me).

I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking in regards to my career. As a recent graduate and a twenty-something, I so often get asked what job I am currently working. I’m sure you can relate! But when I admit that it’s not what I spent thousands of dollars on my degree for, they ask me where I’d rather be and what I want to pursue.

The problem?

I’m not sure yet.

See, I find myself getting anxious when the pressure gets put on. I’m young, the whole world is ahead of me (okay, minus undergrad, so I can’t really change that), I have so many options. Also, I get the sense from others that, since I went to school for 3.5 years already and graduated with honors, I should know what I want to do. College should have given me the magical answer.

But there is no magical answer. As a naive, PSEO-ed freshman, I thought there was. I thought I would be adored for my high grades, intern up the wazoo, and graduate with a full-time job lined up. But life – and college – doesn’t always turn out the way you hope. It wasn’t that I didn’t try. I just filled those 3.5 years up with so, so much that by the time I was nearing graduation, I was running out of steam. I wore myself thin trying to be great and ended up in a post-graduate funk complete with depression and a feeling of helplessness. I got distracted by my emotionally-taxing job and ran out of the energy that gets me out of my comfort zone.

Now, I’m ready to get out of the funk. I’m learning to take care of my mental state and narrow down what I want from this life. Because my problem in college was that so many things sounded good to me. Can’t I do it all?

I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt – and still often feels – this way. But no, you cannot do it all. In fact, you should be able to narrow it down to a healthy focus on where you want to end up in life.

I can’t help feeling that this is too optimistic even for someone a year out of college. As an early twenty-something, I don’t have to know exactly what I want to do forever. I’m actually enjoying still discovering the possibilities of all that the world could hold for me and my Writing & Lit degree.

So I want to encourage you post-grads, college students, and twenty-somethings out there: you don’t need to know right now. What matters right now is figuring out when to say “yes” and when to say “no.”

I am finding the value in saying “yes” to opportunities like interning at a pro-life non-profit for 4 months, being on a church planting launch team in Northeast Minneapolis for 2 years, and submitting applications for more internships and volunteer work in the writing fields I am still thinking and learning about.

I am finding the value in saying “no” to trying too many things at once. Finding the value in not taking pride in how busy I can be. I am finding time to relax with coffee, laugh with friends, and read good books. To take care of my mental health.

Opportunities can be either good or bad. Say “yes” to the ones that matter and are important to you. It could save you time by showing you something you don’t like or fit with, or it could further reinforce what you want to pursue. Just don’t say “yes” to them all! (: Soon the future will become clearer.

Tomorrow I will talk about what I’m doing to try to narrow down my career path.

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remembering, and coming back to… where?

Whoa. Hey. I’m back.

But the question I ask myself is… where, exactly? This blog name is temporary, this post will only be seen by few before even I forget about it, my apartment lease is only for 12 months, I won’t even be a STUDENT anymore come mid-December… oh my gosh, nothing is permanent.

Nothing is permanent.

I will graduate, have to find a new job and a new apartment, write stuff (?), maybe change my marital status, do ministry, expand my family, live in other countries, make a difference….? Such lofty dreams for a 21 year old who feels as fragile as papyrus.

Nothing is permanent except Christ and His glory. That I can take faith in. He promises He won’t change, and He is just – yesterday, tomorrow, today.

Yet I rarely take real and true (as in … tangible, that prevents me from stressing) comfort in the promises of the Bible these days. Now, I don’t know if it’s because I am undergoing so much change, and my limbs are flailing out towards a grip in the midst of foaming rapids, or because I just feel… dry these days, but I’ve been facing a lot of lies. And I really need something to hold on to. My faith is still there, even if I still forget, still worry if my next paycheck will cut it, still worry about the rubble of student loans awaiting me in a few months, still doubt myself to the point of tears on random nights where I should instead be rejoicing.

Life is hard. It’s more than we can handle.

I watched footage of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers today, in remembrance of September 11th, 2001.

My nine-year-old self slept in that day, until right around 9 am. Shortly after finding breakfast, I walked to the downstairs of our small Minnesota-suburb home to start on my schoolwork for that day (this was shortly after my parents started homeschooling me).  I picked up a grammar book (Dad taught grammar and English in the morning before switching with my mom and going to work) just as my dad ran down the stairs and flipped on the TV in front of the couch. And for two hours we did nothing but stare at the screen.

I don’t really remember what emotions were going through my head. I wish I could find my journal entry (I was an avid writer even back then), but I can only see the screen. Falling debris. Ebony smoke rippling into the sky. Ash everywhere. People running. I didn’t understand…

Years later, I can’t remember exactly, the Christian radio station my mom listened to constantly in the car played an audio drama of one man’s phone call to his wife and children from one of the top floors of one of the towers. Mom cried. I cried. I think it wasn’t until then that I felt like I was in the shoes of those who were impacted. I had felt affected before, but that moment stands out in my mind more. I pray for those who lost family members and friends, and I still feel like I’m nine and I’m watching it for the first time. I shocks me every time.

I just finished the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which made me want to start writing fiction again.

Slowly but surely I am realizing who I am and why and how experiences shape me into this person. But I am also learning about who I want to be. I don’t want to be someone who casually shrugs off what’s happening in this world, but I also can’t be the other extreme of crying over the little things (not spilled milk, but like… similar things. I am such a girl).

Anywho, my heart is heavy today as I write this, for more than the reasons listed, but I have this strange hope I haven’t felt in a long time… like God is answering my prayer to get me out of this desert and make me into a sturdy book instead of a fragile thin sheet. I will wait on Him for as long as it takes… which means my whole life.

This is worth it.

More later. My thoughts are a little scattered right now. But hey… I’m back. To here, at least.