Call me crazy, (and trust me, I feel a little uncertain writing what I’m about to discuss), but doesn’t heartache feel good sometimes? Have you ever heard athletes refer to their sore muscles by using the phrase “it hurts so good”…? Well, I’m not going to say that the heartache I’m facing right now actually feels good, but in a way it’s encouraging.
Before I explain too much, let me start from where this all stemmed from. I’m usually pretty good about handling disappointment… and I can’t tell if it’s because I let people walk all over me, because I expect the worst in situations, or if I’m naturally forgiving and capable of adjusting to unexpected changes easily. I’ve always seen this as a good thing – I just roll with the punches, and take what comes my way and learn to adjust. In some, or maybe even most situations, this IS a good thing. However, one thing I’ve learned about myself just recently that has really left me feeling a bit distraught is summed up in these lyrics by Ellery:
The best things are the hardest sell,
We mostly love, then run like hell.
It’s easier to let it go -
To leave before you’re left alone.
Translation: I typically keep myself at a far enough distance from people so that I don’t get hurt. Part of me is just an independent person who isn’t afraid to step away from the everyday and pursue the extraordinary (and thus not staying in one place for too long), But the other part of me loves people just enough to get the warm, fuzzy feeling of friendship… yet I am terrified to put my heart on the line. A lot of this is probably because there have been a few times I have tried to take that next step and it’s blown up in my face. I’ve had my fair share of experience of getting left or mistreated by people I was once close friends with. I'm not saying this because I'm bitter... I have forgiven all of those people and have no grudges again them. Everyone makes mistakes and I'm sure I have hurt people in the past without realizing it. I simply point out those experiences to say that they may have played a big part in how I handle relationships with people now. I’m actually thrilled to say that for the first time in a long time, I have many very healthy and encouraging friendships… and that is such a blessing. But, there is still this issue of how past experiences have shaped the way I handle things today. I’ve struggled to allow myself to care deeply about someone or something, for fear of being left, being hurt, or being embarrassed. Some people care too much about everything and their heart gets trampled on every day…. I, on the other hand, forgot what it felt like to feel heartache altogether.
When I flew out to California for the job interview, for the first time in a long time I was incredibly excited for something and was putting my whole heart into it. I put so much time into preparing for that interview and could hardly contain my excitement. It was like I finally found a dream to pursue that made every fiber of my being shake with anticipation. And then… I didn’t get the job. Not only did I not get the job, but I didn’t even get the 2nd interview. I was crushed. I still am. And, on top of that, my heart has been longing to be in California for a while now – I have made great connections and friends out there – and so getting on the plane to fly back to Indiana once again made my heart feel like it was getting torn into pieces. Now that I’m back in Indiana, I’m still struggling… a lot. Sure, I’m trying to keep my mind off of it… I’m back to leading worship at church, which I love… and I am now going to be leading the high school girls’ Bible study at church, which is going to be a new, exciting, and challenging experience. I’ll be playing volleyball on Tuesday nights again, and having my lunch dates with friends when possible. Of course, I'll be practicing guitar, piano, saxophone and working on writing some new songs, as well as trying to collaborate with other musicians around the US, and yes, even around the world (I'm currently collaborating on a project based out of Malaysia!). I’ve found a routine that helps me to “survive” through this heartache… but my heart DOES ache. Every day. I don’t feel content – I feel like my heart is elsewhere… that only my body and mind are here in Indiana. For the first time in a long time, I actually feel somewhat miserable and desperately want things to change.
Here’s the up-side to all of this. I’m feeling the heartache. My heart is longing, very much, for something… for someone… for some place… for some experience. I’ve found things I care deeply for, and I put myself on the line for them, and I don’t regret it. I am so glad that I know this feeling again. I am still left longing after many things that I don’t have right now…. Friendships, a job I love, opportunities to perform & write music regularly with other musicians, a special someone, my own apartment, a new vehicle... My own life. I still feel stuck where I’ve always been. The home I grew up in, in the same town, a lack of music opportunities, a lot of the same people, and therefore all the same expectations of me. It’s making me claustrophobic, and it’s driving me crazy. But, for the first time in a long time, my heart is actually yearning for something, so much so that it hurts. I want to use my abilities, my passions, and my faith and make a difference in people’s lives. I want to give and to receive love… and I want it to come so naturally that I know I’m in the right profession, with the right person, and in the right place. When I was in California, I really felt like that was the place…. Like it is a place I could call home, at least for a couple years. I've placed some roots there... now I'm just waiting to see if God is going to water them and allow them to grow into something more.
I don’t know where God will lead in the upcoming months or years… but one thing I am certain of is that this struggle I am going through is making me absolutely miserable and yet filled with so much hope for what is to come.
Heartache… how I’ve missed you.