The subtitle of my blog, "living a life of beautiful chaos" used to be very meaningful for me. My life was chaotic, but it was delicious. I was busy taking a million opportunities that I'd never had before. I attended class full time, worked part time, volunteered on campus, nurtured my roommates, flirted to my heart's content, magnified my calling, maintained a positive relationship with my family, and made new friends on an almost daily basis.
Can I just say - WOW. I am so impressed with myself. I had no idea I was capable of so much, or could have so much fun and fulfillment doing it. It was, indeed, a life of beautiful chaos.
After a while, though, the bustle began to wear me down. And down. And down. Before long, I was operating at a high level on the outside, and a very low level inside. I was, in so many ways, exhausted. My beautiful-chaos-life turned into metaphorically snarfing donuts 3 meals a day. I had scurvy of the soul, and a spiritual sugar-coma to match.
Dark days indeed.
It took months to really "detox". I spent a lot of time belaboring the point that I am a worthwhile person regardless of how much I get done in a given day, or how many prestigious positions I hold. I insisted I wasn't just a "professional;" I am also an artist, a learner, a lover. Yes, putting forth a lot of effort comes pretty naturally to me. However, some of the wisest advice I was ever given in college was "You can do anything you want to do. You just can't do everything you want to do."
It's high time I stopped trying to do everything - and I am trying, though it feels a little like rehab. I just know that there's a limited number of things that will fit into my life, so I am working on fitting in only the very best.
However, I think it was my experience with "a life of beautiful chaos" that taught me what the very best is. I found out that I have a talent for sharing truths and insights, whether in class or (you may have guessed) in writing. I love service and learning. I am fun-loving, a little dramatic, and driven. And I love - LOVE - the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Knowing these things, I more easily pick and choose the activities and people that fill my life. I am a teacher - I will go to grad school and someday (hopefully) teach at a university. I am a chainbreaker - I will do everything I can to make my home an ideal place to be, so that my children have the best start in life possible. Even if that means I wait for marriage for a long time.
With that in mind, "beautiful chaos" means something different these days. My days are simple: I work, I come home, I go to a church function or find a way to pass the evening at home. The chaos is on the inside, as I cope with the frustration of unrealized potential and unfulfilled dreams.
Nonetheless, it is beautiful. Even these times of burden have meaning. Heavenly Father is perfecting me, one difficult day at a time, and somehow, I choose to be grateful for that. Or, at least, I will try.