When It’s Difficult to Trust the Process

In this age of social media, we often see the accomplishment but not the process. Beautiful posts of highlights about career advances, graduations, relationship milestones, and vacations may decorate our newsfeeds. It can seem inevitable to measure ourselves against these accessible snippets of others’ experiences. Yet, what if the heavy feeling of comparison could weigh less with the perspective of trusting our own process?

To illustrate, I will share some of my own story.

Since graduating from college three years ago, there have been two areas of my life that I’ve worried about most: finances and people.

Most recently, I have lost some sleep due to uncertainty about affording graduate school next year. By faith, I applied to a Master of Social Work program that feels purposeful and exciting. Now, following through on that faith and trusting that everything will work out, financially and otherwise, is a challenge. It is also my opportunity for amazing growth!

Consistently since college, too, I have prayed to have a loving support system in Detroit in addition to my family. Though this area of my life is still in development, God has blessed me with some great people already. I’m choosing to believe that seeds are being planted and will blossom eventually. In the meantime, I will strive to embody the kindness, vulnerability, and uplift that I seek to receive.

It is vital for me to remember that none of my ambitions and heartfelt dreams will manifest on their own. They come along with a process that is often times hidden from public view, difficult, uncertain, and seemingly delayed. Yet, every step counts.

When I believe in the process of my own journey, I mourn my losses, learn some lessons, and celebrate all wins. I am better able to honor others’ victories because I know that they are also living through their own steps. There is a much bigger, beautiful picture incapable of being fully shared on our profiles.

Day 21: Moving Forward

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Being encouraged doesn’t come automatically. It requires a real push of intentionality. Thank you so much for joining this journey with me. ❤

Day 20: I Can Do This

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Today, I am nervous about what’s on my to-do list. To get out of bed, I had to tell myself that things are going to work out. “I can do this.” ❤

Day 19: I Will Be Present

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I can spend so much time in my head, imagining and over thinking. I want to be more intentional about living in the present moment: being attentive to the beauty and intricacies of my surroundings, actively listening to others, meaningfully doing one thing at a time rather than trying to do everything at once, and the list continues. I want to focus on being here today rather than dwelling on the past and worrying about tomorrow. I am present most often when I’m doing something enjoyable, like eating ice cream (of course) or laughing like no one is watching. Yet, I am striving to also show up fully for myself in moments besides happiness. When I have a discouraging thought, for example, I want to validate what I am experiencing. Yet, I want to remember, too, that just because it’s invading my mind doesn’t mean that it is true. This process won’t come easy, surely. Still, knowing myself, I realize that it’s worth it.

Day 18: Gifted and Talented

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While waiting for seating in a crowded restaurant, I talked to a friend about my dormant talent. Poetry. It seems like I haven’t written a poem in forever. Though it was an activity that once brought me joy, it’s been to put to rest in the past. So it seems. I’ve blamed writer’s block, not having the time anymore, and just wondering if my talent isn’t there. Yet, I think I’ve been operating out of fear that it’s too late to craft new material and that what I produce won’t be good enough. I automatically fast forward to a worst case scenario: performing my poetry and the audience not getting or embracing my words. What if I wrote, though, just out of enjoyment, passion, and bravery for myself? What if I disciplined myself to strengthen my talent just like I tend to current priorities? I don’t want to one day reflect and realize that I failed to maximize my gifts and talents. Instead, I want to cultivate and embody them, not out of a desire to please people, but to live and love fully with all I have been uniquely given.

Day 17: Celebrating Rest

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Sometimes, I feel uneasy when few or no commitments are on my agenda for the day. I wonder, “Could I be doing more? Is my life not exciting enough?” There is this tugging pressure I feel to maintain activity and be “productive”. Yet, when I don’t make time for rest, I don’t feel like my best self. I’m not recharged. I don’t have the energy to pursue my goals wholeheartedly. My emotions can even become fogged.

Conveniently enough, my car is down and out this weekend. I will have plenty of time to chill as a result. Maybe, I’ll watch reruns of The Office, finally finish reading Harry Potter book #5, and take amazing naps. Hopefully, I will rest without feeling guilty and remember that relaxing, too, is purposeful.

Day 16: A Note on Knowledge

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Growing up, I was a Nerd. I loved learning, thoughtfully and accurately completing my homework, and getting all the right answers on a test. Even though I was never the popular kid, I had “smart cred” 😆. I was one of the kids that people went to for help on assignments. I’m not proud of it, but I even cried the 3 times I got B’s in high school. (I am still mad at my gym and Algebra 2 teachers to this day! Jk)

With this context, you might understand that it’s hard for me to experience imperfection and uncertainty. I based a major part of my identity on knowing as much as I can. As I get older though, I learn more about myself and realize that there is SO MUCH that I don’t know. Rather than pretending like I have all the answers, I just straight up say, “I don’t know” when I’m uncertain. I push myself to learn what I can from life experience, people, and other knowledge sources. I ask a lot of questions when I talk to friends, mentors, and people who are just different than me. I share when I can, and I choose to live by faith daily when I don’t understand all the details.