Monday, June 16, 2008

Over my head

Thought it was time to come clean. I'm not a type A personality. I know that for sure. I know what they look like. I've had occasion to cross paths with them, but living that way doesn't suit me at all. When I transferred across state-lines halfway through college, I did so with the distinct purpose of going to a Christian college. However, my academically oriented, driven, employed parents felt--rather strongly--were a bit uncertain about me not getting a degree from an 'actual' university. As a result, I went to 2 colleges at the same time, got two degrees--and considering out of state tuition, for the price of four. It was quite the bargain for my parents.

In high school, I' was a fairly average student. Ok, not average exactly, but average compared to some people I know--namely my siblings, many of my friends, alright, most of my home town that is populated by university professors' kids. I just didn't put any effort into it. Did well enough without. You know how that goes. I didn't care about grades. And worse, I didn't care about learning. That wasn't what school was about. And the first couple of years in college, while I was still in town, I continued that pattern. Same people group, same activities, same ministry preoccupation. School was low on the list. Every grading period of my life I'd hear the same lecture from my dad, "You are underachieving. All I ask is that you do your best, and I don't think you're doing that." I'd dread those sentences. Maybe I wasn't. Maybe I was doing the best I could. Maybe it was all over my head...I'd try to say this, and he'd look at me and say, "I know you. I know you're capable of better than this 3.2 you have this term (or whatever it was)." I hated disappointing him, but before I knew it something would come up that seemed more interesting than studying biology or nutrition (are you kidding me? Everything seemed more interesting than studying those things!).

But then I went away to school. Added classes upon classes. Sometimes up to 24 credits (12 at each school, in order to be fulltime and get the best tuition break), which is impossible, if you know anything about credit loads in college. And I really was over my head. But you know what else happened? I figured out that I couldn't put anything else first. That I had too much to do. I had to make a schedule, stick to it, not waste a moment. I didn't have time to procrastinate. I couldn't wait until the night before a paper was due to write it, because there would likely be two others due that day as well. I had to work early, work steadily, and never let anything get ahead of me, or I'd be lost.

And of course, you know how this story ends. It paid off. My grades improved. My dad was right, I was capable of much better, even when I was over my head. Being over my head was, in fact, the best thing that had ever happened to me. It made me realize who I could be, what I was made of.

I'm feeling over my head again these days. Really over my head. I don't know how to navigate this world in which I find myself. I don't want to navigate it, to tell you the truth. I want to hole up in my life and have things go my way. I don't want my house and life to be invaded the way they have been, not just by a single person, but by the army of social services that feels a right and obligation to every aspect of what I considered sacred territory. In the last few days, I've been downright sick--physically and emotionally--with all of it. And there is no let-up in sight. All of my previous experience, my ability to plan ahead, work at my own pace, do things in a slow, clear manner are not helping. Every day I get up and am at the whim of whatever phone call comes.

I feel like I'm back in college, taking 24 credits. Full-time at two lives at once. And I'm not sure how to make a grid for it all. "Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you." That's it. That's all I got.


cece said...

but you're doing good in a young girl's world... even if she doesn't think so now. later you and your family will be in her cloud of witnesses just as you're in Jessie Barnyards! Simply by being you, you are sharing Christ in a very real way with someone who is hurting. i totally understand, i don't like my world invaded, i like to do things when i want to do them, and sometimes do nothing at all. i've been thinking of you and v and i hope summer is going well. you'd be a pretty cool foster mom to have, she knows that even if she won't say it for a long time. how's the deck? :)

jeskmom said...

Thanks for the encouragement, cece! I appreciate that you're praying for me/us.

The deck...sigh. Thank God it's summer and help is coming!