An existential crisis and other things.

 I might like Evanescence…who knew?

Well, I got a job at last. Yay!

My performance anxiety is still kicking in over whether I can maintain this one, it’s pretty hard to mess it up, the first day went mostly smoothly, but I lost my last job because I dusted a bookcase wrong, so I realized anew how temperamental people can be. That’s unusually picky, but still…

Especially in childcare, it’s hard.

Oh yeah, so I am working as a Nanny. I prefer that word to babysitter, since technically, the parents are still at home (mostly the case right now) but a lot of people need extra help.

It’s funny to me because I was homeschooled by a stay-at-home Mom, and we rarely got a babysitter. My dad never taught us, and rarely was home with us alone, so My mom didn’t get a break very often, somehow she stayed sane and manged to cook us dinner.

Now, some things got let slide, I can’t say we were very neat kids, and we’d go through phases of fighting a lot. There’s three of us girls.

But even so, it wasn’t bad. We were always well behaved kids, usually, in public. Of course, our parents believed in spanking.

Now, it’s weird for me to go to work for other families, and no one spanks, many people have only one child, and don’t leave their kids alone ever. My mom used to let us play for hours outside or in our room unsupervised, she knew we wouldn’t try to do anything stupid.

Now even if parents are in the house, they want someone to watch their kids while they work. I guess I can understand that, my mom didn’t work, and now she works out of home, not the same thing. Though she did lots of volunteer stuff with us there, and she never found us distracting. Heck, she taught me to help out the adults and she didn’t mind if other people were watching us more than her. I never supposed that was unusual until I got older and found out it’s rare. Rare in my culture anyway, in some parts of the country that might be fairly standard.

I admit in the American West, it’s seen as good parenting to be constantly around your child, involved, attentive to their emotions, etc. In the Midwest or East, it can be more about the child becoming independent and sensible early on, not needing to be carried through life.

There’s something to be said for both, I’ve heard that in cultures where kids are coddled and held more, stress levels are lower later in life; but what comes with that is also a lack of independence from other people, free thinking, or willingness to break from your community even when it’s going the wrong way.

America’s emphasis on independence drove its citizens to become stronger on their own, if the community is less strong than in other countries, we always felt it was wroth it to be free and preserve our Moral Integrity. That’s going away, but it’s not bringing unity. We now have a belief in independence without the reasons independence was ever important.

In the end, the American Dream was originally that if you had to leave your family to follow your beliefs, you could, and the early Pilgrims recognized that Religion has to come over all else, if it’s going to be real. It’s part of Christian Doctrine not to love anything more than God.

I won’t say that’s a less stressful life, but God has never promised us a less stressful life, and stress is not always bad. It can be, but the right kind of pressure makes us into better people, more than anything else can.

I was thinking today how lately it’s hard for me to know what to say when someone asks me “How are you?”

How can I put “I think I’m good, but I don’t really know how I am one day to another, and I’m confused, and I’m up and down, and I’m great, and I’ve never been so strange to myself” into a glib response that someone will accept? 

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I feel like I’m having an existential crisis… and yet I’m not.

It’s funny, I’ve been questioning what does make my life worth it. I guess when you have intrusive thoughts about suicide, and you choose not to follow them, to reject that as being what you are, then the next logical step is to wonder why. What’s driving you? What’s making you different from thousands of people worldwide? What do you have that they don’t? Is it arrogant to think you can conquer a problem so many people fail to beat?

I know I can’t be the only one who feels that way. I remember when I read “Soul Surfer” Bethany Hamilton described wondering why it was her, but not in an angry way, just like she wanted to know the grander purpose of what happened to her. And it was weird to many people that she wasn’t more devastated.

What if your feelings just don’t make any sense?

Even my therapist can’t figure me out every time.

I remember one of the recent episodes of Fruits Basket (I will probably review that show once season 2 ends) had a moment where two characters met each other, and the curse of their family took hold. They felt “Beloved, Hated, Drawn, Repulsed” at the same time.

That’s so accurate to the life of a victim of abuse. Both toward your abuser and to the rest of life, you feel drawn and repelled at the same time. You love them, you hate them. You want more, you want nothing.

Abuse is perhaps the most contradictory kind of brokenness in the human experience, because the nature of it is to be contradictory, to combine love and hate in an unholy way that never should exist.

I love my Dad still, a lot, and don’t want him to suffer, yet I want him to feel the weight of what he did to me, even if it hurts him, and I don’t want to see him, or talk to him. What do you make of those feelings?

I want to live, but I don’t want to live the same way I always have. I do many things, but I don’t know why I’m really doing them anymore, I don’t know if I believe they matter to anyone in the long run. 

“Vanity, vanity, all is vanity” Ecclesiastes says.

I am a student, I am a blogger. I have a YouTube channel. I read, I write on average 10 pages a day by hand, I knit, I watch kids, I go to Church. I dance. I sing.

I have goals and dreams and things I want to do, and I wonder why I want to do them. Won’t the end be I’ll feel the same as I did before? Are they just escapes? Isn’t everyday life the only real experience I will ever have.

One of my favorite things about the Bible is how much it lacks false sentimentality. You won’t read the fairytale , wishful thinking mindset in the Bible. None of this “escape” stuff.

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When the Bible has heights, it claims those as fully real, as normal as the lows. When things are dull, the Bible records them as faithfully as when things are exciting. We have whole books of Laws, Numbers, and History. We have books of Spiritual Revelation. We have a book about sex that beats any porn crap, both pure and passionate. (Did you know the Bible had a book about sex? A lot of people don’t know that.)

The Bible sees everything as important, it treats life as a journey, I picked up that attitude and I’ve always been less discouraged in my life because of that.

I guess right now, I’ve just had doubts about whether the Bible is right. Is my life a journey? Or it is dull. Don’t thousands lives never go anywhere? (At least in our eyes).

You have to really learn that you can’t know everything, if you want to make it through life sane.

I recently reread Ecclesiastes all the way through, I noticed that what that book is about is how the World’s pleasures, and man’s own pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, do not satisfy us. They don’t make us happy. Indeed, the end sum of wisdom is realizing everything is empty. That’s why Eastern religions have their goal as to be removed from the world and other people, they have reached the pinnacle of man’s wisdom.

Yet it’s strange that the Preacher in Ecclesiastes says to still do our work, because it is what God has given us to do, even if there is no point in it, because good things happen to both the good and the wicked person, and so do bad things, and we can take nothing with us.

It wasn’t until Jesus, the only man wiser than Solomon, that we got the answer s to why God would have us still spend time on earthly things. Jesus told us that we could lay up treasure in heaven for ourselves by our faith and works here.

The Bible does not teach that we are saved by works, but that we are rewarded for them. We can be saved even if our works are empty, but it shows our faithfulness to God is they were of value. 

And of course, human beings are not earthly things, strictly speaking, and we need to be concerned about each other.

Still, there are times I feel I am failing even at that, that I’ve hit a dry place in my life where I have nothing to give, and no one would appreciate anything I have to say. Like I’m just using other people for life support, but am myself a vegetable, emotionally or spiritually speaking.

I don’t know how true that is, but I suppose even if it was, everyone has seasons like that.

What I think God wants of me is to decide that even if I see no point in anything I’m doing, I will trust him, because I know He does have a plan. And that’s all I need to know, I don’t need to know what it is.

And even if I am not doing any other thing worth doing, if I Love God, and He Loves Me, then life is still worthwhile. Like the end of “Groundhog Day” when every day is the same, he realizes, the only thing with lasting meaning is Love. Love isn’t bound by time, or repetition, or memory.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is groundhog_day.jpg

Like with Mary of Bethany, it is better to sit at God’s feet and worship, then to be busy doing everything for Him, but nothing with Him.

It’s easy to write that, easy to tell people to do that, it is not easy at all to do it.

It is amazing how it can take the most strength to be still.

Again, all the most true things are the ones we’ve heard so many times and just never understood the meaning of.

Maybe it was good for me to realize all this now. Rather than chase these things for decades of my life only to understand at the very end why they didn’t matter without God’s purpose.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

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