Sunday, August 1, 2010

Balancing blessings and ambition...

My life's gone through some interesting and subtle changes over the last year. I finished grad school, turned 30 and started a martial art (which I've always wanted to do). When I take a step back and look at my life, it makes me smile. I know I'm blessed...I have family that loves me and that I'm growing closer to in a time where families are drifting apart. I have a steady job with growing potential in an environment where people are struggling to survive. My life is financially sound at an age where most people are saddled with loads of educational and consumer debt. I have overall peace in a time when life is becoming more stressful.

Some of these same changes though, have wrinkles of discontent popping up in my head. I finished grad school...I don't know if we're programmed through education to expect grand-change every four or so years, but I feel like something big should be happening now. I feel like I should move. Also, my friends are moving away. My best friend moved away late last year. We didn't hang out a lot (we're both big inside people and talked a lot online), but it made me sad. It was definitely the best choice for her, and she's happier, but I miss her and it still makes me feel a little lonely...which is WAY rare for me. On top of that, another friend is thinking of moving. That just ads fuel to the "I really need to do something!" fire. On top of that, I'm at a point in my Chinese studies where, to become fluent (a big goal of mine), I need to spend some time immersed. I'm at a point in life where I have almost no commitments (aside from a job) and though I'm quite single, I still worry that if I don't go plop myself down in Taiwan right now, I'm going to end up married with children in the blink of an eye, tied down for twenty or so years and unable to explore that option for a very long time. 

On the other side of that coin, I have even more changes that have me wanting to settle down here, where I was raised. I have my "new" church...a great place where I feel I can grow a lot spiritually. This has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. There's also my Brazilian jiu jitsu school. I really love it there and genuinely want to stay with my instructors while I pursue a black belt (we're looking at 10+ years...easily). I'm making new friends, improving myself and for the first time in...maybe my life, I'm excited to see people that I'm not already long time friends with. And then, I have my roots. My family...immediate and extended are here and I'm at the point in life where I'd like to buy a house. Couple that with low mortgage rates and home prices and I feel pressure to move in that area.

Choices are a crazy thing. Mine are great ones to have...freedom and options...but being torn between personal ambitions and God's guidance has left me terrified of making a mistake in either direction. That concern though, I think is a reflection of how I view God. I think it signals that I see him, at least in part, as some great puzzle-master, throwing challenges at me with one choice leading to ultimate disaster and ruin. I know that's not true, but I don't think I believe it yet. 

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