Life has had me busy. Like the kind of busy that anything that takes extra effort is just too much. I've neglected a lot of things because of this: Journaling, reading, skyping, keeping up with people who aren't in my day to day life, blogging... the list goes on.
I've just been exhausted. Exhausted because of the busyness of working full time at a job where I'm on my feet all day and I have to get up before 6. Exhausted because, let's face it, I'm an emotional creature, and my emotions have really been draining me lately. I could go on, but you get the idea. It's not that I'm not happy. My job is fine, I have a great family and friends.
It's just that, ever since I got back from the Philippines, it feels like I'm starting over, or fresh... or something like that. It's not easy to find your place. It's hard to find what feels right, and what is actually productive.
I honestly have no idea what I'm doing, or what I really want. It seems like everything comes back to this. Like... what do I even want? What should I be doing right now that will help me build a successful future? Am I just waisting my days away? Am I leaving my mark on those around me, and if so, is it one I should be proud of?
I have a pretty picture of getting married, building a house on the ranch, having kids, writing books about history, spending summers in the Philippines doing ministry, and having a quiet life. I love this day dream. Maybe some of it will even happen, but it says nothing about between now and then.
OK, okay. There are things I want for just me. I want to be known as someone who loves well. I want to be fluent in Tagalog. I want to be well read and spoken. I want to be a truly joyful person. I want to overcome the lies inside my head that say I'm not wanted. There are many things I want, but none of that really tells me much on what I need to *do*. I mean sort of.
So this is me. Messy but forever growing and learning. Even when it doesn't feel that way.
How does one shift their focus?
I've dreamed of marriage since I was a little girl. Now I'm 21 and still dreaming. I'm not inlove with anyone. I don't even have anyone I know well enough to say "yes, I definitely want to date them.". There have been a few guys in which I've been curious about, but that's it.
The thing is, I feel like I'm in a season of just being a friend. Not getting hung up on anyone or dating. Just working on my friendship skills. So, ok. That's fine. My problem is, I dream. I have for as long as I can remember. I dream of what my life will look like, and as much as I try, I can't leave a guy out of the picture. I also can't just dream of an imaginary guy. I mean, my dreams depends upon what type of person he is. Where our likes, passions, and aspersions meet, the dream begins.
So basically, my dreams are not helpful in taking my focus off of my desire to be married.
I honestly don't know what the answer is. I mean, I'm a dreamer. I just am. So do I somehow turn my dreams off? Or is there something else to be done.
When you think about yourself 5,10, 15 years down the road, do you know what you want your life to be like?
I can't say that I do. True enough, I want to be married and have a family. I want to be living my life for God. I want to be happy. But as far as other things? I don't know.
I don't know if I want to live in the area I've always lived, if I was to live in the Philippines, or if I want to live somewhere completely different.
I don't know if I want to have a college degree and be working, have a college degree but be a SAHM, etc. (though I will likely start taking some classes next fall.)
I don't really know what I want from life. I long for travel, but the idea of living far away from my family is hard to swallow.
I have dreams. At least I thought I did. Do I not, just because there's so much that I don't know.
Part of me thinks "well much of this depends on what my husband wants in life." Which is true, but I could still be single in 15 years. I can't and won't press pause on my life until a man comes along.
What is my dream for the right now? Something I need to think about, I suppose.
It's been awhile since I've posted, so I figured it was time for an update!
The day after Labor Day, I started work at a local hospital. I'm working in EVS (Environmental Systems) which is housekeeping. I've been trained to work all over the hospital, but my area is Labor and Delivery. I am really enjoying it.
I'm still living at my parent's ranch, but that will be changing soon. I love my parents and all, but I'm very ready to be out of their home.
I'm in a good place, emotionally and spiritually. I've just recently had a few revealations/ breakthroughs. I won't go into it right now, I'm just thankful for the grace of God and the amazing people He's placed in my life.
This week I had a conversation with an old friend. He was telling me about a scary thing that happened to him, and as a result, he wanted to say "I won't ever do ____ again.", but God Tom him, "No. We don't make fear based decisions."
That shook me to the core. It wasn't the first time I'd heard someone say something like that, but it resignated with something that has already been churning inside me.
So much of my life has been fear based decisions.
-my hatred of motercycles, because of losing someone close to me due to a crash.
- the fact that I'm much more reserved and quiet, and less likely to do something new, when I'm with people I don't know well.
- the fact that I won't drive a 4wheeler or jet ski. Only go along for the ride.
The list goes on. I'm afraid. Afraid of getting hurt. Or someone else will get hurt. Or someone will think less of me... You get the idea.
My life is fear based decisions. Do you know that a person misses out on a lot in life when they let fear be part of the decision making process.
Just something I'm thinking about/working on.
I'm reading a book called The Art of Work by Jeff Goins, and I had a revelation about myself and something I really want to do.
The chapter I read was talking about people who have passions/things they love to do, but they think that means that their passion should come easy.
I love music. I have been a singer since I was a baby, and worship is part of who I am as a person. That said, I don't know how to play any instruments or even harmonize. I've "tried" to learn before, but have never really stuck with it. That's silly, right?
I think, because I've spent my life doing hard things I didn't want to do, I want the things I love, to come easy.
Growing up on a ranch, I worked hard. I never really wanted the ranch life, but I didn't have a choice.
It seems to me, that my way of controlling fun things in my life, is to ensure that the fun things are easy.
Even aside from the music things, there are many things that I truly enjoy, but I'm not very good at, because I quit trying when things get hard. (My one exception would probably be my relationships with people. I put a lot of myself and work into those.) I don't really have anything that I excel in.
This is a change I really want to make.
I can't even tell you how many times I've sat down to write a post, and have not been able to get the words out. I'll have deep, personal things swirling inside me, and I want so badly to share, because this is my journey. I often have even thought through it before hand, pouring my heart out intricately, but when it comes to typing it out, sometimes I just can't.
I'm a bit of a conundrum. As y'all know, I'm introverted, but I'm also an incredibly open person.
I was raised, surrounded by people older than me. People who wanted to share their wisdom and opinion on things in my life. Most of these were unsolicited. I am still surrounded by people like that. It can be super annoying, but it taught me something valuable.
It taught me to be open with people. True, I tend to be a bit too trusting, but in many cases, my openness and willingness to trust has been helpful.
I strongly value mentor type people. I'm not even talking about someone who takes on the role of being your full time mentor. I'm talking about people who have wisdom and life experience. People who care enough to listen for a minute and help how they can.
I always seem to have something I'm dealing with, so I'm always on the look out for someone who has authority in that area. Someone I can open up to, and hopefully get a little piece of wisdom to help me grow.
In turn, I love to be the one listening and giving wisdom. I'm young, but I do carry wisdom, and because I've been taught to receive wisdom, I've also been taught the value of pouring it out.
That's really just the long way of me explaining why I love blogging. When I share my struggles, sometimes people speak wisdom into me. And when I share what I've learned in something, it's my way of giving wisdom out.
I had a unique opportunity of tasting mothering, this month. A few weeks ago, Becky's cornea was scratched by her 2 yr old, Briah. I took Becky to the eye doctor, helped with the girls, and made dinner for her.
The next day, Briah broke out into a high fever. Becky being injured, needed extra help. I even watched Briah alone one morning, experiencing for the first time, what sick baby cuddles felt like, and how heart-wrenching and helpless it feels.
I got to play mom/homemaker. I had a moment of emotional pain that it wasn't my life. Not that I literally wanted to be living my sister's life, but that I so badly wanted my own version of that life.
I've always known that I wanted to be a homemaker/wife/mom, but the desire had never been so real before. It's what I was made to be. It's my calling.
Five things I'm passionate about
- Singing. I love it. It's one thing that I really can't not do.
- Helping people. I can be incredibly selfish in this area, and only help when I want to, but I'm slowly uncovering the "why" behind that. Because especially when it comes to the family kind of way of helping, I really love it.
- Laughing. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a very easy sense of humor. I find humor, and thus a way to laugh, in most everything.
- Relationship. I love deep relationships. The kind where I can 100% be me with the person and it's just deep and safe.
- God. He effects greatly how I live my life. He is my stability and my peace. He breathed new life into my lungs. He made me His saint.
Dream Job and Why
Ever since I can remember, I've wanted to be a stay at home wife/mom. I've never gotten excited about going to college and becoming a career woman. That just isn't who I am. I get excited about taking care of my home and my kids.
As to why? I don't have a straight answer for that. It's something that's built into me. I fully believe that it's what I am called to be. I want to spend my days caring for my kids and keeping house. Obviously I would do other things as well, such as ministry, but my "life's work" would be my family, and I'm totally okay with that.
The unfortunate part is I have to wait for it to be time for that. I'm not at that point in my life yet. I have to figure out what to do with my time until then.
The Hardest Thing I've Ever Experienced
I've had a pretty easy life. I've never been abused, my parents are still married, I even grew up in a family who had enough money to get me my needs *and* wants. I consider myself blessed. I have experienced a few truly hear wrenching times, though.
I would have to say, leaving the Philippines was the hardest thing I've ever done. Now I don't know if it truly is, or if it's simply the freshest, but never the less, it's how I feel.
For three months I threw myself into the Filipino culture. I ate their food, attempted to speak their language, and really just did my best to be "one of them". During that time, I built friendships and created bonds. I "adopted" many little brothers and sisters. I went to the Philippines already being in love with it from my prior visit, but those three months made that country, those people, part of me.
|Ate Sha (Sharon)|
|El, Ervin, and Agaton|
It's as if someone branded my heart. There isn't a day that goes by, that I don't think about the Philippines. Whether it be that I'm thinking about someone I love who is Filipino, reminiscing about the amazing times I had, or even dreaming about what kind of role the Philippines plays in my future, it crosses (and often stays for awhile) my mind everyday. I miss that beautiful place. I miss the smiling faces and the constant music.
Sometimes I feel lonely in America. I sometimes miss my "me" time always being in public places, surrounded by people who would stop and stare at me because of my white skin. I miss the surprised look I always got when I said a word or two in Tagalog. I miss being called "Ate" everywhere I go.
|Donna Grace <3|
Leaving the Philippines ripped a part of my heart. It was almost more than I could bare. Being away is almost more than I can bare some days. Hard doesn't even begin to explain it.
The 5 things that make me most happy rightnow:
- Spending time with my nieces and nephews. I love to hear them laugh and see them smile.
- Being part of leading worship at Church. Worship has been so anointed, and so much fun.
- Just getting to hangout with my friends and talk about life.
- Spending time with my Daddy God and dreaming about the future.
- Playing cards with my family. I don't think that's ever not been fun. Our games are always filled with laughter.
10 Things I would tell my 16 year old self
- That heart break and bitterness you're feeling? It won't always consume you. I promise you'll heal.
- Don't focus so much on having a guy. There are bigger things in life.
- Find a way to learn Tagalog for your foreign language, and become fluent in it. You'll be thankful later.
- Be a better friend. I know life isn't super easy for you right now, but you"ll learn a lot from pouring out love on others even when you're hurting.
- Get your dang license. Seriously. And don't let mom and Papa skimp on the lessons of driving in the city.
- Confide in Kt and Becky. They seriously care and they give really good advice.
- Get a job, and start saving your money. The work experience will be great, and you"ll be thankful for the money stowed away.
- Take an interest in cooking. It'll get you to eat healthier and make your life easier in the future.
- Discover the love of your heavenly father, and allow that to kennel a passionate love for Him.
- When you do Willy Wonka in a year? Don't pay any attention to Wes, but make friends with his girlfriend, you'll be glad you did on both accounts.
"Describe your relationship with your parents"
I feel my relationship with my parents is pretty typical. Everyone has a parent they're closer to, mine would be my mom. This is true for various reasons.
One would be that we share the same faith, making it easier for me to talk about what is going on with me.
Another would be the fact that I was homeschooled. Growing up I was with my mom all day every day.
I don't have the kind of relationship with my mom that I pour out my heart and soul, but we talk about things and I do open up to her. When I was in the Philippines, it was hard not being able to talk to her just whenever. We talked at least once a week, and sometimes she would call me more, but I really did miss just being with her whenever I wanted.
My dad (Papa) and I aren't close like that. It's not that we don't get along at all or anything like that, we just don't have a very deep relationship. Again, there are various reasons for this.
Papa and I do not share the same faith. Because of this I find it difficult to talk about things which are important to me.
Growing up, and even now, Papa traveled a lot for work. Sometimes he was around and other times not. There was a lot of day to day stuff he often wasn't around for.
Honestly I think one of the reasons is that we're both very stubborn, yet we see the world differently in many ways. Because we love each other and want to keep the peace when possible, it's easier not to delve into deeper matters very often.
Papa and I have more of a fun and silly relationship. We have always gone to the movies together. Growing up, we would sing songs in the barn while we did chores. We have an on-going "poking" game.
Both of my parents have played such a huge role in my life that I wouldn't be who I am without them. Because of them I strive to help others, work hard, am not afraid to act silly, ect.
I love them.
On day two, I'm supposed to talk about three legitimate fears and how they became fears, but I think I'm going to hone in on one specifically that I don't talk about very much.
Social anxiety. Now I'm not going to say that I suffer from social anxiety to the extreme of some people. As far as I know, I've never had a panic attack. I can choose to just breathe through my anxiety and do what I'm scared of, anyways, but it's definitely a thing for me.
My anxiety comes from a place of being afraid that people don't want me around. I struggle with this fear even with my family and closest friends, sometimes.
I'm an introvert, so of course I need my time alone to recharge, but I love people. I love spending time with people. Often before I do something with someone, though, I fight back anxiety and sometimes even the desire to just stay home.
This ranges from small to huge things. I hate making phone calls for this reason.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon and night with my best friend for the 4th, but I had a lot of anxiety before and some even while I was there. I had a blast. I loved being with her and everyone else, but I still dealt with anxiety.
A few months ago, I went to visit a good friend of mine who lives out of state. I spent the weekend hanging out with him. Again, serious anxiety leading up.
Those are both examples with people whom I know really well and trust. It only gets worse with strangers. I really struggle in settings where I don't know anyone (or even if I just know one or two). It's not that I'm not friendly and don't talk to people, but I struggle to be myself at all because I'm so scared that I'm boring or annoying the people around me. I'm scared that they're wishing I wasn't there.
I struggle to truly share my opinion and views on something, when someone else has already voiced theirs. I get uncomfortable and anxious. Partially because I don't want conflict, and because I don't want my differing opinion to scare them away.
Again, I know I have it really good compared to a lot of people, but that doesn't make my anxiety any less real.
I decided to kick off my new blog, I'd do 30 days of blogging. Day 1 is 20 random facts about myself.
- I will literally hum anything. My brain doesn't discriminate.
- I don't understand people who treat animals as if they are humans.
- I procrastinate easily.
- Stargate sg1 began my love for Sci/Fi shows, even though technically I was raised on Star Trek.
- I'm a super cuddly person, but I hide that part of myself from most people, because typically it's not accepted to lean on or be that close to people who aren't you s/o.
- When I'm stressed or upset, I don't want to be touched by anyone except for those I trust most. It's the one time that I have a bubble.
- I'm introverted, so if I don't get time to be alone and recharge, I get really grumpy and stressed.
- Growing up on a ranch, I've seen many animals die. Only a few of those have made me seriously sad.
- While I was in the Philippines, "my" dog back home died. I was glad I was alone when I found out, because I sobbed.
- When I was five I got a big stuffed animal frog for Christmas. Her name is nurse froggy and I still take her with me whenever I move somewhere new.
- I tend to feel more comfortable around people 10 years older than me, than people my own age.
- I'm not shy, I just have a hard time around new people because I'm always fighting the fear that people don't want me around.
- I'm a texture person. It's likely if I don't like a food, it's because of the texture.
- Going for a walk in open space is the best way for me to clear my head. I'll have music blasting in my ears, but I'm also probably talking it out... like out loud, but to myself.
- When I was a kid, I always had stories of life going on in my head. I don't do it constantly anymore, but I still do it a lot.
- I get defensive really quickly. Therefore I struggle to explain myself.
- It takes very little to get me emotional.
- Being the youngest by so many years, I hate when people look at me as if I'm a little kid. It's important for me to feel like I'm seen as a person who actually has something to bring to a conversation.
- I almost always have something swirling in my heart and mind that I want to talk/write about. I just don't always know how to form it into words.
- I miss the Philippines and my friends there everyday.