Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Panic at the Disco

Because I panicked.
And because the title is an allusion, which probably violates some copyright law.
And because a picture grabs attention better than a long paragraph of words.
But in all actuality, this is not going to be a show of pictures, but a paragraph (or two) of words. Please do not give up yet, I have faith in your attention span. Your life is busy, frustrating, scary and exciting, just like mine. So take a break, just for a couple of minutes, to glean from what I have learned. And if you make it all the way to the end, maybe there will be another picture...

A week ago, I panicked.

I looked at my bank account, which I probably shouldn't have done, but I did, and I realized that I would not have enough money to do all that I would like to do this semester. And by like to do I mean pay my parents back for the tuition, purchase the chemicals and rather expensive supplies to print my senior show, and travel somewhere for spring break to take pictures for my show. And afford little things in between like books and going out on my birthday. Because there are more people working in the photo lab this semester, and because I am voluntarily teaching film photography at the high school once a week, I am down to five hours a week working in the photo lab. That just won't do.

I made a quick schedule to see how I could fit in working at Baldwin again, with my six classes and responsibilities. I mean, the time works, but then I would not have much time to work on my show and my homework. I also wouldn't have time to continue building relationships before I graduate, which is one of the main reasons I quit Baldwin in the first place. I cannot go back if that means I am going to continue to hide from people.

What to do, what to do? I felt like my whole world was crashing in around me. I literally did not have the money to pay for what I needed, and I could not get that in my current situation. I talked to so many people in the few hours between realizing this, running to class, running to the registrar's office, the prayer chapel, and Baldwin. One of my friends convinced me to drop the poetry class, whether I went back to Baldwin or not, because that was just a ridiculous amount of work that I did not need.

But the big thing is, going back to work in Baldwin. I quit. Ok, so I went in to work extra hours a lot last semester. People make fun of me for being the worst at quitting, because I did still go to work sometimes. Now they make fun of me for quitting quitting. But to quote Murney in The Pacifier, "everybody knows that quitters...quit."

Are you still with me? Or did you give up after you realized how pathetic my panic attack was?

See here is the point that is worth sharing:
Most of us go through life praying a little, planning a little, jockeying for position, hoping but never being quite certain of anything, and always secretly afraid that we will miss the way (Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy).

When I went back to Baldwin, this is how I felt. God got me out of this place, and now I've gone and dragged myself back in. Am I missing "the way?" How can I live this life God has for me, if I'm just constantly trying to figure out what it is he wants from me? I feel worthless, and I call myself an idiot. But then I remember something I read in a book by Pete Ward, Learning My Name. While I am busy telling myself what an idiot I am, God quietly responds, "I do not call you idiot."

And to remember what I learned and blogged about after I quit Baldwin last semester, I need to get over feeling sorry for myself. I can worship God wherever I am. Whether I am broke or working in Baldwin, God has called me to worship him. And yes, I believe that it was the best thing for me last semester to leave Baldwin. But I also believe that it is ok for me to be back there now. And most importantly, I believe that despite the circumstances, I can worship God. And as I have embraced that attitude, an overwhelming joy is flooding my soul that nothing, not homework, nor bills, nor the dish room can inhibit.

When we focus on God rather than on circumstances, there is peace and joy that can fill our lives. And I think realizing that is worth taking some time out of your day to do.

So here is the extra picture I promised:
It's a brownie cheesecake crepe from the new restaurant in town, Crepe Crazy!

And don't worry, there are more recipes of the week coming soon!

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