Tagged perspective

Needing My Space…Or Not

long hair meI’ve been evaluating my goals/progress on my word of the year for this year, and as is usual for me, I am failing miserably with most of it. The sad part is my goals and word of the year, on the surface, seem very simple. Attendance. Just show up to things. Be a willing participant and open to new experiences. That doesn’t seem hard to do. But it is. So. HARD. 

There have been far too many days where I’ve called out sick to life. If life were a job, I’d probably be fired. If life were school, I’d have missed too many days to pass the classes I have. I fail at getting up early enough to study, pray and write before getting ready for work like I used to. I fail at making time to exercise, cook instead of eat out, and spend time with friends. Though I’ve had some successes, they are a drop in the bucket compared to all the times I’ve dropped the ball.

If I haven’t exactly been rocking the attendance goals, I’ve found that I’ve been learning and growing in other areas. Growth is good, right? Growth is necessary for life. I should be doing cartwheels over all the growth I’ve been experiencing. Here’s the thing, though: growth sucks. Nobody really likes growth. Growth is that nagging, pain in the butt, fault finding, always pointing out the room for improvement mean girl that no one wants to sit with at lunch but we do anyway because she can make our lives miserable if we don’t. Growth is the reason that vegetables don’t take like sugary, buttery awesomeness that we wouldn’t mind eating. She’s that friend that can’t compliment you forwards, only backwards and in a backhanded way. She is the bane of my existence, but you have to tolerate her life family. If I were her, I’d pack my raggedy duffle bag and leave instead of staying where I’m merely tolerated, but she doesn’t even blink. Rude.

What looks like growth for me on a sunny September day? Growth is moving, twice, each time parring down the number of your worldly possessions and making hard decisions about what you want to keep. Growth is also moving offices twice at work, getting used to the rhythms and preferences of different office mates. It’s changing job responsibilities and dealing with uncertainty with a smile on my face. It’s taking classes to learn things I already thought I knew and humbling myself enough to accept that maybe I don’t have a clue as to what I’m doing here at this stage of life. It’s figuring out that the reason people aren’t supporting some of the things I’m doing the way I want them to is because this isn’t the stage of the process where other people are involved. It’s spending most of my time realizing I need to get my crap together, and the rest of the time realizing I’m not the one who does the getting together.

Reading book

 

Which brings me back to that pesky attendance goal. I have to show up where God told me to go and wait for Him to lead me. I’m in a place where many of the things I think I need to really be present and focused before God just aren’t there. I no longer have a writing nook to sit and write my books (see: moving/downsizing), a home I live in alone in which I can let the dishes pile up for days while I seek the Lord on this or that. I have much less physical space. I can’t spread out with Bibles, notebooks, commentaries and etc on every surface and work feverishly through the first draft of this book. I don’t have the luxury of hiring a cover designer or using a free trial period of software to format the new book. I have no outline of how this book should be organized. I don’t know what to do with my websites. Every time I peruse other sites, I’m assaulted by all the things my sight doesn’t have to make it look as nice or function as well. I don’t have the money or resources to put into this. I don’t even have a metaphorical ride to this place God is calling me to…and yet, He’s still expecting me to meet Him in the same place He told me to meet Him. So I have to get there.

I don’t know if any of my ramblings actually have a point, but if they do, it would be that perhaps we don’t need all of the things we think we need in order to do what God wants us to do. Maybe we don’t know how we’re going to do it. Maybe we don’t know where the help is going to come from. Perhaps we will have to give up some things before we are given others. I have to believe that all of this has a purpose. It can’t escape my notice that while none of this is what I planned for when I set the goal of attendance at the beginning of the year, it all leads me back to that very goal. It says, pay attention. Be here. Participate in this. Live in this moment–right here and right now. 

something different

 

Altered Sig

 

 

 

Your two cents: Is there something in your life pulling on your shirt sleeves and trying to get your attention? How do you plan to attend to it?

 

dad and I

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to 30…

A friend of mine "accidentally" tagged me to this on FB.
A friend of mine “accidentally” tagged me to this on FB.

I spent most of my life pre-30 dreaming and drifting. I knew what I wanted to be and do, the type of impact I wanted to make on those around me, the kind of life I wanted to live, but I just couldn’t figure out how to get there. I was writing when I felt inspired, which wasn’t very consistently. I would get into cycles of reading my Bible and really getting into the word and then looking up Sundays and realizing I hadn’t picked up my Bible since Wednesday night Bible class. I went through cycles where I was really productive and times I was overwhelmed. I had a few days where I felt like I looked “fierce and fabulous,” but many more where I just felt fat and flabby. My mood swung like a pendulum between hopeful and depressed. I was in a relationship that didn’t seem to be going anywhere, at a job that wasn’t going anywhere, living a life that wasn’t going anywhere. There was so much on the inside of me that I wanted to get out, but I just couldn’t figure out how to start “walking in my purpose,” as people say. And not living out my calling was making me a less desirable person, even to myself.

When I turned 28, I was really struggling to get it together. Going into 28, I suffered some big disappointments and setbacks.

One of my setbacks in 2013
One of my setbacks in 2013

The first quarter of 2013 nearly wiped out all the progress I’d made up to that point, and it felt like my heart had been ripped wide open. When I tell you 28 tried it, I kid you not. But losing so much in so short a timespan allowed me to have so much clarity. It was like I’d removed a line of trees that was blocking my view of the horizon, and now I could see a path to it. So I stepped onto that path in faith.

 

 

 

 

In the next two years, I completed my first novel, found critique buddies, and did the million and one things it took to get Altered before the Altar and the Devotional study guide out into the world. I planned and executed my first book launch party:

 

Book Release table
The book table at my book release party

There were times I felt out of my depth and in over my head with all of this, but there’s always been help where I’ve needed it, even if that help was me covering everything in prayer as I tried to do it myself. I’m still far from truly living the life I know God has for me. I still have a long way to go before I can give up the day job, pay off my student loans, or write/speak full time. But I’m finding my way, learning a little more, doing a little better each time.

I’ve had a few events since I last wrote. I’ve been somewhere selling Altered every month of this year so far. I’ve sold books at teas, women’s conferences, a march for marriage event, my dad’s appreciation banquet, and ladies’ days here in Florida. The women that I’ve encountered have been gracious and supportive of my efforts to get my book in the hands of as many young women as possible. There are still more conferences and events I hope to get to this year, and hopefully I’ll be invited to speak more as I prepare to release my next book.

march for marriage table
My vendor table at the March for Marriage event, March 2015

This week, from Thursday June 11th to Sunday June 14th, I’ll be a vendor at the Southside Church of Christ’s Message, Mingle and Masquerade Singles’ Conference. This weekend promises to be a weekend of firsts for me. It will be my first singles conference, my first singles’ conference as a vendor, and my first solo vending gig. Usually Mr. Perfect (my boyfriend) or ladies from my home congregation are around to help me, but this time, it’s just me.

I’m doing things differently this time around, adding signage, offering a giveaway, and doing a few other things that will (hopefully) take my presentation to the next level and get the word out about Altered before the Altar.

Brunswick Table
My table at the Facing Your Giant Women’s Conference in Brunswick, GA February 2015

 

It’s been my plan to add new voices and content to this site for a while now. So far, those new voices haven’t worked out. But I’m ever faithful that God will provide the right people to help me revamp this site and make it a place where single Christian women can come together in fellowship & share the trials and triumphs in their lives, as well as fashion tips and pop culture and everything else being a single Christian in today’s society entails. If you’re interested in working with me to create quality content for single Christian women, comment below or send me an email at: mz.zeyzey2@gmail.com (mz[dot]zeyzey2[at]gmail[dot]com). Stay tuned to see how it all unfolds.

Hope to meet many of you at the conference!

~Erica

dad and I
My Dad and I at his Appreciation, April 2015

 

Why I’m Sick on My Birthday

I’ve been fighting getting sick for a few days now, but it’s official: I’m sick.

It’s also my 30th birthday. Yes, I know, I don’t look thirty. Until I got sick I didn’t feel thirty, either.

As I coughed up most of a lung this morning, I made a realization: I am sick right now because it’s the first time I’ve had time to be sick in a while. That sounds weird, but hang in there with me. I spent all last week in a frenzy at work, trying to get everything done before I took a week’s vacation. I felt more tired than usual, coughed a couple times, or had a scratchy throat in the mornings, but I rebuked them. “I don’t have time to be sick!” I told myself. I have to do eighty million things before I go on vacation. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Well, this week, I have time. No that I intended to have time. No, I had a full agenda. I was going to catch up with these people, write these things, run on this trail, and go out of town here for a long weekend getaway. I ran all over the place all weekend, meeting up with my dad to deliver books to him for his church, going to morning service, the congregational meeting, and evening service, all in an effort to get things done so I can focus on getting other things done. When I’m supposed to be resting, like when I’m sick, I’m not resting. I’m cleaning, following up with people, writing, reading–doing. I’m not altogether sure I understand the concept of rest.

One thing about being sick and on vacation, though, is that is forces you to slow down. I’m finally able, for the first time in a long time, to really look at my life with something other than blind panic about what I haven’t managed to get done yet. There are things that aren’t working right now, and instead of panicking, I have time to say, how can I change this? What new strategies can I try?

Since I’m out for a whole week, someone else is going to be taking over my responsibilities this week. I don’t have to worry about coming back to a mountain of work and feeling like I’m never going to get caught up–or at least, that’s the hope. So I don’t have to borrow worry from the future about what’s coming down the road. So, instead of trying to build Rome today, I’m going to rest a bit. My rest will probably include writing, reading, getting out in the fresh air, meeting up with a friend or two and a little cleaning, but it will be rest. The turn down this week is going to be so real.

XOXO,

Erica

P.S. If you’re looking for a more introspective post, you may want to try my Indigo Moods blog. That’s for the experienced swimmers in the existential crisis pool