I had an opportunity to apply for a really cool job in San Francisco. My mind bounced around in excitement as I envisioned the girls and I living near the city. I knew I probably wasn’t going to get this job. I also knew from recent experiences that I was not excited about the idea of raising the girls by myself in California. But I was still really excited for the opportunity and the experience. So, I compiled my resume, cleaned up my pdf portfolio, and made plans to stop into the company on a spur of the moment trip I took this past weekend. The girls would be with their dad for a few days and I’d found a really cheap flight to go out there by myself.
I missed my initial flight friday morning by seconds. Luckily, I was able to catch the next one. But because of this, I missed my appointment with the company I was applying to work for. It was disappointing but it felt like one of those opportunities where perhaps God was trying to send me a message. I decided I needed to pay attention this weekend to what God wanted me to learn/do/see. I prayed that God would help me to figure out what he wanted me to know and decided I’d focus on following the spirit wherever it led me.
Maybe I wasn’t supposed to work at this company. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to go to SF? Was I supposed to be somewhere else this weekend?
Or maybe I was just dumb for not giving myself more time to get through security.
When I arrived at SFO, I found the Bart and made my way into the city. This was where I felt my first pangs of anxiety over this trip. – What am I doing? Why am I traveling by myself? This feels so foreign and so uncomfortable. – After getting off at Glen Park, I hiked my way up to my friends house on Monterey St. It was a long walk and I had a massive pack on my back. By the time I got there, I was sweating and exhausted. The rest of the day, I walked around the wharf with a friend of mine from college. He’d been living near the city for work and was willing to show me around. It was comfortable and helped me keep my mind off of the strange anxiety I had been feeling earlier.
The rest of the weekend was spent walking around town by myself looking at gorgeous houses and city scenery; or I spent time with the friend I was staying with and her roommates. It was great to be out with adults, doing adult things, having adult conversations, and laughing at adult jokes – instead of my usual crowd, Q & O. But it felt a little empty. It’s a hard feeling to describe but my life this weekend without my children felt like “less”.
This was the first thing I realized I needed to take away from this trip…
It’s easy for me to grow resentful of my situation – raising two girls on my own, working, and going to school, not having any time for myself, not being free to get wild and go on adventures anymore. I used to be so adventurous. I needed reminding this weekend that my life isn’t lacking because I’ve got two little humans that suck up all my free time. My life is FULL because my purpose is greater than self fulfillment. My life right now revolves around my two children. Yes, they are indeed a handful (almost always). But they are THE REASON for my life right now. I’m so grateful for the job that Heavenly Father has entrusted me with, to raise and love these beautiful humans. I think He has great plans for them. I need to do a better job of appreciating them amongst all the chaos they cause.
So how did I recognize this? I started reading a book my dad recommended to me a few months back called “Leadership and Self-Deception”. It’s a well known book but the gist of it is that I need to learn how to view other people as actual people with thoughts and feelings as important as my own, and not as objects that are conveniently or inconveniently in my way. I’ve recognized myself viewing my own children this way. As the author puts it, I’m inside the box. I’m so centered on myself and how I’m feeling, how situations and people affect me. This is the opposite of what Christ wants for us. He teaches us to get outside of the box, to LOVE others and serve them. He teaches us that this is the way to be truly happy. This is the path I need to get on.
My second take-away from this weekend was that I’m absolutely in love with my home.
I thought I’d have a really hard time leaving San Francisco. I thought that I’d fall in love with the city like I usually do and be sad that I’d have to go back to my small town, small home, and wild kids. I feel the complete opposite – thank goodness.
Traveling through San Fran with my best friend, boyfriend, or husband might have been a much better experience, but ultimately San Fran made me sad. Everywhere I looked I saw SO many homeless people, people high on drugs and stuck in addiction, sad people, children living on the street and underdressed for the weather, swearing, sex, smut, crime, and trash. I’m realizing the older I get, the less comfortable I get with sin, the more comfortable I get with staying closer to home and my family. Some might consider this closed-minded. I don’t care anymore. I’m grateful for knowing myself well enough to know where I stand on a handful of moral issues.