This is week six in a six weeks series.
I have listened to ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ so many times that I’m pretty sure I could sing most of the songs in my sleep. It seemed to cover all the basics of love and relationships in its 16 tracks and I can clearly remember hearing it on the campus of Oberlin College during a visit there, in the fall of 1998. One of my favorite songs is ‘When It Hurts So Bad’ which features one of my favorite artists, Mary J. Blige. The song talks about how the worst relationships for us seem to feel the best. It’s a soulful song that I can’t relate too in regards to a man but she says something that can be applied to so many things in our lives –
“…what you want might make you cry
What you need might pass you by
If you don’t catch it (if you don’t catch it)
(if you don’t catch it)
And what you need ironically
Will turn out what you want to be
If you just let it…”
As I finish out these last days of school, and my last days at my current job I’m even more aware of how what I thought I wanted, often made me cry. There were many days I came home from work, exhausted, angry, and done. I would go lay on my bed and wonder why I kept putting myself through the frustration of trying to juggle a very draining job with the magnitude of being a wife and mother. I would then rattle off all of the reasons why – the things I wanted – a nice amount of disposable income, vacations, Starbucks, shopping whenever I wanted to, dining out multiple times a week, etc, etc. etc. Then I would get up and go back the next day. I had convinced myself that the only way to have peace was to have access to whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, no matter the cost to my mental health, physical health, and the health of my family. Then October came and everything I thought I wanted and needed seemed to change.
When I look back over these last eight months, I realize I got exactly what I needed and most of what I wanted. I got peace of mind. I got less stress, and I got more time with my family. In the initial aftermath of finding out I’d be only working part-time with a hefty, and I mean a hefty pay cut, I was determined to find another full-time job. But it didn’t happen. And we haven’t missed a beat.
Right here in this line – And what you need ironically, will turn out what you want to be – shows how God stepped in. We paid off all of our student loans (shout), we did a major remodeling project on our house (shout), our children completed school with top-notch grades (shout), we managed to get everybody to all activities without losing our marbles (shout), and I stop having panic attacks and dreaming about my teeth falling out (shout) and we did it on less money than we have in a very long time but more faith than we thought we could conjure up (shout, shout, shout).
This isn’t a brag. This isn’t a call for anybody to quit their job. This is simply my testimony. When I started this series, I was anxious. I had no idea what was next and I was keeping my foot in one door while longing to leap through another. But now, I’m anxious in a good way, like a woman waiting to see her unborn child. Time to reach out my hand and catch whatever’s coming.
Until next time…