In my first post this year from China, I wanted to update anybody that cares to follow this journey on the first couple weeks of my time during this life transition. Me changing everything about the physical surroundings in my life does nothing to the overall posture I am trying to hold myself to in being truly transparent, and that certainly won’t stop here.
It’s been a weird week and a half-ish.
As most of you that know me well or have the misfortune of following my life on social media knows, it’s been a really hard year and a half for me. My struggle with severe depression alongside the deconstruction and subsequent attempted reconstruction of my spirituality left me pretty beaten down by this point of my life’s journey. While I definitely consider myself being on the upswing, my internal life is still suffering from those wounds and those growing pains. Despite this state of being, and the fact that I would be uprooting myself from the few people that anchored me during the darkest part of my life, I was/am truly excited for this next chapter of my life.
I was/am excited to escape my growing disillusionment and, at the risk of sounding over-dramatic and pseudo-philosophical, my genuine existential despair. But the thing is, you really don’t escape that. You can’t outrun it. Borders mean nothing to that sort of thought — it’s takes an internal battle waged daily. It’s extremely hard and taxing work, and it leaves you vulnerable to the little struggles of the day. And those struggles made themselves apparent from day one.
As I was making my rounds of “goodbye for now,” a lot of people said something to me along the sentimental lines of “I am so happy that you are living out your biggest dream.” Although I definitely understand the place of love and joy those words were coming from, I couldn’t help but being set on edge by them. For me, this next chapter isn’t the culmination of some dewey-eyed dream I’ve had since childhood — it’s a genuine battle for my identity and my sanity. It’s a fire I’m willingly stepping into because I feel I don’t have anywhere else to walk.
It really isn’t easy for me.
To be honest, I feel really unprepared and unqualified for this season. I am already extremely busy and have a lot of real responsibility on my shoulders — the type of responsibility that affects others in a very real way. I’m still battling so much of my own darkness, and sometimes just putting on the appearance of strength in the hopes that strength actually shows itself can leave you so much more exhausted and less able to truly be strong.
That being said, something is different this time around. I have better tools. Tools in the form of memories, both good and bad, and tools in the form of practice. The weight of what I’m feeling right now would have probably killed me a year or so ago, but right now, I have a firm resolve (albeit a tiny one) to dig my heels in and fight whatever this is head on. I truly feel loved by the only people I need to feel loved from, and I’m learning to de-escalate feelings and tensions in my mind.
To be honest, I’m in tears writing this. I’m listening to John Mark McMillan’s brand new record Mercury & Lightning, and in the song “No Country” John croons out the line:
I never saw it coming, never thought I’d wake up
With no place to call my country
I got no place to call my country
No place to call my home
I feel those words. I feel it hard.
Now, to end this post with hope.
I felt those words hard today, yes, but I also felt resolve today. I felt resolve that I will not fall the same way I did last time. I truly believe there are great things that lie ahead this year; that, while, I don’t know where to call home, whether physically or deep within my soul, I can say to myself that I am here right now.
I may have no country, but I do have some hope.