Almost exactly a month ago my pastor taught a message entitled "Standing in Your Happy" and I was supposed to return then, to tell y'all how profound it was because of the very relevant and relatable points he made. But sometime between then and today, and all the other little fires that started eveywhere in my life, I took a detour before I made it to "Remember that blog you used to Write?" boulevard.
For most of the month of November, I have been unofficially fasting from Instagram. I pop in from time to time but I have been intentionally not posting on my feed, and posting almost never on my story. I have replaced my Instragram doom scrolling with reading "Upon Waking" JackieHill Perry's sixty-day devotional, reading a "bible in a year" plan on the YouVersion Bible app, and listening to podcasts. I really only listen to/watch two: With the Perrys and The R&B Money Podcast, because...balance. I have loved listening to Jackie and Preston's wise and edifying conversations since circa 2020. As for R&B Money, its only existed for about a year, but listening to the interviews feed the soul of the music historian within me.
And speaking of entertainment...I had the great pleasure of being off work the entire week of Thanksgiving, so I got to catch up on a few years worth of TV. I binged both seasons of Abbot Elementary. Joined the millions of US who watched Maxine's Baby. And I finally...finally watched season five of Insecure. And while Tyler Perry made me feel both melancholy and jubilee, I think I was most excited about the future potential of Eddie and Janine in Abbot Elemtary. And though, I was glad to reach the finish line of Insecure, I'm less proud of Issa Dee for spinning the block on Lawernce yet again! I was rooting for Nathan! (Just me???)
I'll use this time to segway back into my pastor's message. Here are some notes I took:
Discontentment erodes relationships.
Discontentment causes love to turn into manipulation...because you work to change the other person.
Discontentment clouds your judgement.
Discontentment gives you the wrong view of God.
Manintain contentment by:
Contentment is not predicated on your wants.
It hinges on what's happening inside of you not outside of you.
I believe this resonated with me because I can look at my dating life 22-23 and find an example of my own discontentment. I was ultimately not at peace with myself or perhaps not at peace with God alone so I looked to dating to be fulfilled. And maybe its just human nature, but I now see that I keep trying to use things, or look to people to be fulfilled rather that seeking true, secure satisfaction in God.
If I don't remind myself to seek God daily in some way, I find that little by little my attention can easily be turned in another direction. And if I ingore the small tug of God's voice again and again, it just gets easier to forget about Him. But the more I make room for Him, the easier it is to hear His voice and stay grounded in my faith.
This morning I read In Genesis about Jacob. Jacob wrestled with a man (who we eventually learned was a form of God) from the night into daybreak. Jacob said, "I will not let you go until you bless me." This afternoon, when I was rushing around during my lunch break, feeling overwhelmed, that scripture popped in my head. I feel like my life is in mild disarry right now. Anything could go right now. I'm single. No kids. Ready for some major change.
New Job? Bring it on! New State? Please! New continent? I'm not even opposed.
I surrender all. I give myself away. I'm available to you. All the gospel songs about letting God have his way are me right now. Cause quit frankly I know nothing. And that's a scary yet freeing place to be.
And speaking of free, I'm about to free myself of the chains of education like Kanye West did and become a college dropout...grad school dropout. I was doing my math homework on Sunday and it just dawned on me...I'm wasting me time. Maybe. Likely. Let me back up a bit... After 90 days of being a Kindergarten/First Grade instructional assistant, I have realized that being a teacher is not sustainable for me for a few reasons: Teaching today is 80% reprimanding and 20% teaching. I want a job with more flexibility in my schedule. I don't love teaching enough to get paid ten cents a minute. I also remember that my desire to get another degree was mainly inspired by being hurt in my dating life. Now I'm over Prince Akeem so I'm over getting a degree too.
And in other news, I just finished my second therapy session this month. I'm so happy to have someone objective to talk to again. So far my therapist has encouraged me to do some self-worth excersises and challenged me to create a post-work routine to help me cope with stress. Unforetunately, I get free therapy through my university, so when I stop taking classes I will no longer have access to the services. But I will be looking into seeing if my insurance covers mental health services or local community service boards.
In the meantime, I will be considering other career options that don't involve children. I will also begin the process of writing my first novel. Instagram knew first, but I was super inspired by Maame by Jessica George to write a novel loosely based on the last few years of my life. Family. Dating. Work. It should be a...interesting time.
Happy early birthday to me and happy holidays! Until I write again...