Tuesday, August 20, 2013

9 years ..... expanded

This is the post I started writing for my 9-year blog anniversary....but then it started to get long and I wasn't ready to hit "publish" so I saved it for later....

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I never really knew what would come out when I claimed this little corner of cyberspace as my own.  Over the past few years, I feel like I've kinda lost my blogging mojo.  In the world of Facebook and Twitter where life is reduced to much smaller snippets, I somehow have lost the desire to ramble on about anything and nothing.  So, I just pop in with photos of events or an occasional book review. I'm not even sure who reads my writing any more.....

However, I've been feeling introspective lately, so I'm going to try and get on "paper" what is happening in my heart and head and life.  If for no other reason than to document for posterity so I will remember.


For the past several years, I have been feeling discontent with my life.  Yes, my job in Dallas was good - I enjoyed what I was doing, who I was doing it with and they paid me well.  Church was pretty much ok, but there were some changes and evolutions that I didn't really love.  What was really starting to get to me, though, was that I didn't really feel that I had anyone to "do life" with. Most of my friends had moved, gotten married, started having kids, etc. And those changes created distance in our relationships -- not that we weren't friends anymore, but our day-to-day interaction was definitely changing.  I felt that I didn't have a close community that really was invested in the ups and downs of the daily mess of living - and that translated into me being pretty lonely. 

About 3 years ago, my sister and her family bought Bogie's (a lunch spot in downtown Abilene).  At the time, my oldest niece Emily was 2 years old and Anna was on the way..... and I started wishing and dreaming about moving back to Abilene. For a while I just thought "I'd love to move back when I'm married to raise a family." I didn't think Abilene would be a good place for me to be single, still trying to wait and pray for my future husband.  

But because Abilene is home, I frequently made trips back from Dallas to visit for ACU events, holidays, birthdays, etc. Once Anna was born in December 2010, those visits increased even more -- and the weekly video chats just weren't cutting it in my desire to be a hands-on auntie. Adding fuel to the fire, each time I got in my car to head back to Dallas, I felt that I was leaving my heart behind in Abilene. So in October of 2011, I finally thought "I'd move back to Abilene for the right job - even if I am still single." {in all my plans for my life, I never, never, NEVER thought I would still be single and approaching age 40}

I began to put out feelers with connections in Abilene who might be able to help me find a job and asking for prayers.  When speaking with a couple of elders at my Dallas church, it was suggested that perhaps I see if my boss at the job that I loved would let me work remotely from Abilene.  Sounded like a win-win to me.....keep the job I loved, but be physically located in Abilene with my family.

I thought through all facets of my job and it seemed like it might work, so I talked with my boss in the spring of 2012 and she was willing to give it a go. {prayer answer=yes} We talked with the president of my company and he was on board. {another yes} We talked with corporate IT to ensure that the technology was in place and that they were willing to do this. Turns out that they were actually pretty excited to have me as a test subject for some virtual environments we were moving towards. {answer=yes}

Then it was time to really start putting the plan in place. In June of 2012, I put my house on the market. In 6 days I had a good clean offer which quickly translated into a signed contract. {answer=yes} At this point, I started getting really excited about the move, interviewed and scheduled movers, etc.

My family went on our annual summer vacation in late July 2012. We had a wonderful time in Angel Fire, NM and spent a fair amount of time talking and planning for how things would change very shortly when I relocated to Abilene. However, when I returned to the office on July 31, I discovered that EVERYthing had fallen apart. {SCREECHING HALT! answer=no?!}  Our corporate group over-ruled the decisions that had been made and I was no longer going to be able to work remotely from Abilene. I could choose to stay in Dallas and in my job (but would have to find a new home), or I could choose to proceed with the move to Abilene and find new employment. I was pretty devastated and did everything within my power to change the decision that had been made. {answer=?!?!}

In the end, even as upset that I was about the way things were working out, I felt that the answers to my prayers had thus far been "yes" and the pull to Abilene was so much stronger than the desire to stay with the known of my job, so I decided to jump.

I moved to Abilene in late August 2012 and, though technically still employed until Oct 31, I started looking for a new job. One contact led me to a possibility and right after Thanksgiving 2012, I started my new job. In December 2012 I found a great new house to buy and spent my first night in the house on my 37th birthday, March 1, 2013.

Fast forward to now....August 2013. So many things that I thought would be "fixed" by moving home to be with family....haven't really been fixed. Even with good friends living in Abilene and knowing lots and lots of people, I'm still the single gal who only ever wanted to be a wife/mom nearing age 40 while the vast majority of my friends have families of their own. I'm still the only one in my family that has to manage everything in a life/home by herself. I'm still the one that has no one to talk to at the end of the day. That translates into quite a disconnect in so many ways that are hard to even verbalize. Though I have plugged into a bible class and {potentially} a small group, I still don't feel that I have quite found a place to fit in my church. I still hope and long and pray for my own family - for a husband and children to pour my life into. I have my family (parents, sis/bro-in-law/nieces) to "do life" with in so many ways that I didn't have a year ago, but I still go home to my quiet, empty house most every day after work.

I have also come to realize just how spoiled I was in my job and working environment in Dallas. For the most part I liked and respected my co-workers, felt good about the job I had and was generously paid for what service I provided. In a lot of ways, I had no idea how good I had it before. The job I am in now does not measure up in any respect. It is with a long-standing business in the community, but said business is owned by a huge corporate machine headquartered elsewhere. The focus is SO much more on how much money we make (or save) for the corporate machine and far less on the value we provide to the community or local employees. I've only been there for about 9 months and have already determined that it is not a long-term job solution for me.  So, networking opportunities are being explored and I'm prayerfully seeking what possibilities might be out there for the future.

There are days that I question the decisions I made. I wonder how things would be if I had decided to stay in Dallas. There have been management changes in my old company, so I have no idea if it would still be the good place to work that it once was. I know some things have settled in at my old church which would probably be for the better - but would I still be content to be there? I don't know.  The devil sure does a good job at trying to make me second guess the decision I made to move.

There are absolutely good things that have come from this move....an unexpected change in a health situation for me due to a different philosophy from a new doctor; numerous opportunities to spend with my sweet nieces, Emily & Anna and to be with them in their day-to-day, week-to-week growing up; a return to my home church - and the good/bad/ugly of that.

Overall, I can't say that the decisions made one year ago were wrong or should have been done differently. However, things are certainly not where I expected them to be and I have to fight against the second-guessing and wondering "what if?"

I still feel very caught in the waiting period.....between the "now" and the "not yet"......and I will confess to being very tired of waiting. I know that joy comes in the morning, but the nights are still so long and dark right now in so many different parts of my life....much more than I ever really acknowledged or felt in the past.  Almost like I'm in EVEN MORE of a holding pattern than before I moved.

I can't wrap all this up in a neat conclusion.....I really wish that I could.  I guess I'm just pitching this out there to ask for continued prayers for the waiting and comfort and peace in the now.




 

13 comments:

the Whitelaws said...

Praying for you friend. Love you so much! He sees you and loves you. I'm longing, too to see how this all works out.

the Whitelaws said...

Oh, and I'd love for you to blog more.

Jim said...

Love you and continue to pray for the right fit for all.

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

I'm still reading :) It is VERY hard not to second guess yourself. I learned through our move that just because it's hard doesn't mean it's not the right decision. God's blessing does not have to come in the form of easy and every single door wide open. Sometimes God's blessing comes from sticking with the hard stuff. And the Whitelaws are right, HE does see you and love you.

Becky Campbell said...

Very touched by your honest and open post. Thanks for sharing your heart.

Heather said...

Love you!

Lela Thorne said...

Hey Jenni! It sounds like you've made good (although hard) decisions and that you're staying in a place of dependence. That's a good place to be, but I know it's often no fun. It was good to see you a few months ago!

That Girl said...

You know that I love you. Immediately after reading this post, I read another one that made me think of you.

http://www.the-generous-wife.com/2013/08/22/the-wedding-dress-story-aka-plan-q/

Donna G said...

There are so many disappointments in life and we all second guess ourselves....

I find myself being so discontent even when things look so good for me from the outside. I have no words of wisdom other than enjoy what is unique about your life... many who have what you dream of, dream of a life like yours... we all have abundant blessings we fail to count (I am talking to me more than you) but count them, revel in them, enjoy them. Life passes whether we find joy in it or not....find the joy!!

Lisa said...

Hi Jenni, I used to read your blog regularly and somewhere along the way (computer change, perhaps) I lost your blog address, so was glad to stumble on it again. We share so many similarities, particularly in the nearing 40 (I'm 39) and still single vein. Like you, I always thought I'd be married with children by this stage of my life, so it's challenging to try to navigate this life that it is so different than what I dreamed and hoped it would be by now.

I have also, for quite some time now, contemplated moving to another city. More and more I feel ready to start a new life elsewhere, but the thought of getting my house ready to put on the market, actually selling it, finding a new place to live, a new job, making new friends, etc. is rather overwhelming at times. Still, I know that if it's meant to happen that God will open those doors at the right time. It's not something I've been praying for consistently as I should, so thank you for sharing your story and reminding me that I need to fervently and consistently seek God's counsel and guidance in this and to not be afraid to take a (or several) leap(s) of faith.

Looking forward to reading more now that I've found your blog again!

Sarah B said...

Hey Friend. Just now finding blogs again after transferring them to feedly (had to go back to your emails to even remember what I did!!! :) I think you'll be glad you took the time to document this past year of your life. I wish I could offer easy fixes or solutions. As I've said before, in your waiting, focus on the good. Be thankful for what is present. We're not even promised any tomorrows, much less the ones we want! But in that, we can find the joy of today. And when you're in a quiet house, remember the telephone works with voices, too :) Call anytime. Love you.

Linda said...

Thanks for writing.

Jana said...

Jenni, I know it must be hard at times being in a "potential" ;) small group with a bunch of us married-w/kids-folk, but I am SO glad you are. Thanks for being so open about your present heartache. Love you.