Well, last night all that thinking was thrown out the window as I unexpectedly found myself drowning in a pile of tears, a fistful of used tissues in one hand and an iPhone in the other. I was talking to my sister and having what I can only describe as a full-on breakdown.
After the call and a much-needed episode of Freaks and Geeks, I drifted to sleep with an old Mae song running on repeat through my mind.
Oh, I’m waiting for the breakdown
Well nothing feels good being under the gun
Oh, I’m waiting for the breakdown
Is it ever going to come?
As far as I can tell, this song is about a boy waiting for his girlfriend to break up with him. I’ve listened to it on repeat all day today and I can’t actually make out if it’s a happy song or a sad song. All I know is that my episode last night triggered a Mae reunion concert in my mind. Because yours truly had a breakdown all her own.
- What triggered it? A conversation about this blog.
- Where did it lead? To me expressing my frustration with God.
Yep, I said it. I feel both guilty about it and relieved at the same time. Just admitting it lifted a weight off my shoulders, though — let’s face it — nothing has really been resolved.
Let me start at the beginning. I love this blog. I’ve been writing here for nearly two years. It’s been a journey with lots of peaks and valleys, but the overall experience has been positive. Then last night I hit a wall. I hit it hard, propelled by the inevitable question that haunts every freelance writer:
“How long should I write this before I quit?”
If I’m being honest, I set very specific goals for myself at the onset of this blogging adventure. Many of those goals have been achieved. But I still don’t have that book deal I’ve been working toward attaining. And, speaking to goals outside-of-yet-still-connected to this blog, I definitely don’t have that boyfriend or husband I’ve been working toward finding.
At some point — and this is precisely when the first tear fell — it all just gets terribly embarrassing.
Because I feel like a joke.
Because I feel like the bearded lady at the circus, fingers pointed at me backed by laughter and ridicule.
Then all of these doubts and insecurities somehow turn my eyes upward, to the giver of all good things. And that’s when the frustration sets in.
I’m sure you’ve been asked the question: If you could know the exact moment you were going to die, would you want to know? I’ve always answered that question with a resounding no. I don’t want to live my life like Wile E. Coyote, constantly watching a fuse burn out. I want to live my life to the fullest, in the moment — regardless of when my last breath might be.
But as a frustrated blogger, discouraged writer, and disheartened single, that question morphs into another one for me: If you could know whether or not you’d ever get married, would you want to know? My answer, I’m afraid, is yes. I do want to know. And I’m — gulp — prepared for the fallout. Because, apart from last night’s breakdown, I’m a happy single! I promise! I have fun with my loving family and a great group of friends! I love my church and my job! Life is good!
If I’m meant to be single forever, I want to make the most of it. Instead of sitting around blogging about how I’d love to meet a great man, I can blog about how I’m going to be the next Apostle Paul or Mother Theresa, the next Sir Isaac Newton or Emily Dickinson — taking on the world without a piece of gold weighing down my left hand. I can set new life goals. I can adjust my dreams. I can move on.
A few years ago, I was having lunch in Austin, Texas, with a newly-engaged male friend, and he asked me about my dating life. I gave him the lowdown of the moment, and he replied with a statement I’ll never forget:
“I see you as someone who could be totally fine with being single forever.”
At the time I didn’t know whether to take that as a compliment or a curse, but now I wonder about it. I’m sure I could be happy with any lot in life. I think it’s just the unknown that’s the hard part. So perhaps I’m waiting for an even greater breakdown than the one I had last night. I’m waiting for the breakdown — the play-by-play, the explanation of whether or not this whole thing is going to happen or not.
I’m fine either way, God. I promise. I just want to know.
And sorry I got mad at you yesterday. I didn’t mean it. It’s just hard sometimes.
What about you? Would you want to know?