Here’s the thing nobody tells you about post-grad life: it sucks. Maybe someone did try to tell me, but I was too busy dreaming about my perfectly envisioned life as a pediatric nurse to pay them any attention. In summary: I got turned down from my dream job, I’m studying to take the NCLEX, and 90% of the time I feel like running away. Sometimes my inner Pocahontas spirit gets a little to strong – you know, “she goes wherever the wind takes her” and I start researching on what it would look like for me to move to Northern Ireland.
I’m calling this phase of life my “transition phase”. It’s been one of many. One thing I learned in my Women’s Health rotation is that the “transition” phase of labor is the hardest phase of labor. The woman feels that she can’t go on, the pain is simply too unbearable. But here’s the thing about labor: it is a necessary work. You cannot experience the birth of a new human without immense pain (well, modern medicine has changed that a little, but it’s pretty impossible not to feel the famed “ring of fire”. And now every male reading this blog has thrown up in their mouths a little and sworn to never return to this page. Sorrynotsorry). Likewise, I think the transition phases in life are the hardest. And this phase? Where I’m blogging from my stuffy one bedroom apartment at midnight with no direction? It’s hard. Really hard.
I’ve been feeling adrift and achy and longing for the future that came so close to being mine. I feel stretched a million different ways at once, stretched thin and taunt and pained. I feel restless and fidgety, waiting on God (ot) to show up and say something. I go to Target at 10pm and buy a box of red hair dye, convinced that I’m going to wake up tomorrow looking like Amy Pond, just to feel different, to feel a change. And yet, on these sweltering summer nights of my life, with my faintly ammonia-scented hair sticking to my sweaty neck, I can feel that cool ocean breeze of the Spirit, stirring, moving, breathing. And I’m waiting. A little impatiently. A little restlessly. But I’m waiting. Because I know the pain won’t last, and this labor of the spirit that is hard work, messy work, will bring about something that will make me want to stack some stones in the wilderness and say “God met me there”.
I’ve made some hard choices. I’ve chosen to anchor myself where I am, with the strange people of my Church who have nestled their way into my skeptic soul. I’ve chosen to remain in the stuffy one bedroom. Because here’s the other thing about labor? A change happens in the transition when the woman leans into the pain, lets it engulf her. A determination arises, and soon enough, new life is born. So I’m leaning into my transition phase, sweating and ungracefully complaining the whole way, but I’m anchoring myself here, letting myself be restless a while more.
This morning, I cracked open the spine of Common Prayer after too long a hiatus. And it’s like I’ve been given permission to breathe again, like the rhythm of the liturgy is the oxygen my soul didn’t know it needed. I still feel indescribably restless, but it’s a restless anticipation that I’m learning to be okay with. Actually, Switchfoot’s song “Restless” has made it okay for me (I’ll link it below. Trust me, it’s some kind of beautiful). I think I’m meeting the Spirit in this new way of wrestling transitions.
Thanks for putting up with my rambling restlessness. I’m forever grateful for this little space of the internet.