Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Golden Sloggy Slough

They say that "these days are the golden days."

This causes one to think that while you're in your 20's, in school, figuring out your life's calling, making new friendships, and generally in a place of instability, it is also the most pleasantly memorable.

My take on this, up to this moment in my life, has not exactly been all that "pleasantly memorable," to be quite honest with you. The past several years have been tough for me. I feel like I lost several of my closest friends once we finished college, either due to moves or marriage. I graduated from a good music program, but was beaten down in my time there, now that I look back, and I suffered from very low self-esteem/confidence in my ability/calling to be a singer. I decided to take a year off before applying to grad school, and began 4 different teaching jobs to make one full-time pay-check. I was very lonely, and perhaps a little on the depressed side, although I don't know that I knew that at the time. Almost all of my friends my age are in serious relationships or married and starting families and I can't relate to that lifestyle yet. So it was 2 years of hard work, and little else. At least my bank account flourished. And on top of that, I recently took the biggest step in my adult life, of moving half-way across the country to a city that is unfamiliar, filled with people I don't know, to attend a prestigious school that was going to either kill me, or push me to live up to it's name.

I'm almost done with my first semester, and living by myself has given me a lot of thinking time to think about the above paragraph. And here's what I've concluded:

I am so blessed.

Beyond anything I am worthy of, and until it hurts my heart to think on it.

Sometimes I don't stop myself from complaining about my little hardships here and there, but my time in Maryland has been greatly rewarding and I have to much to be truly thankful for.

I have a wonderful family. They are so good to me, and I love them so dearly. Our lives of hardship have made us so close- they are my best friends and I can't go more than 3 days without major withdrawal if I haven't spoken to one of them.

I have been given some really wonderful friends here. We're such an unlikely little group, too, and I get pleasure out of thinking about how God has brought us to be in the same place, if only for a small while. My new friends are from Philly, Alabama, Ireland, Florida, California, and Germany, and I'm so grateful for every one of them. I've never really been in the circumstance where I had a "family" outside from my real one, but we're a little family here. At least, they are my family, whether they know it or not. And sure we're different, and perhaps we don't agree on every single little thing, but we're ok with that, and God has used them in my life to daily remind me of how good He is to me.

My school is phenomenal. I'm challenged, and each day I grow more in self-confidence and drive. I still don't know my future, but I'm confident that God is going to be going each step of the way with me, and that encourages me all the time.

I still get lonely. Life-decisions and moves are difficult. But I think that I am, be it ever so slowly, really learning how to see God's hand in the little things, and also learning to trust Him. But I think that, more than anything, I'm really learning and taking the opportunity to be so very, very thankful. I've been more aware of how sweet to my soul is a one-line text from a friend, a shared joke, having someone to dance in the snow with, how lucky I am to have siblings that would give me their Christmas tree so that I could have a happy, Christmas-y apartment, listening to my teachers talk about their relationships with world-reknown artists, feeling outside of my comfort zone which gives the change to trust in Him, the privilege of being inspired and challenged to better myself, and the reminders to hold on to my heart beliefs even when it's hard and annoying.

And so I disagree with the statement that "these are my golden days," and have coined my own phrase:

"These are the days of my Golden Sloggy Slough"

For starters, the words Sloggy Slough are the most fun to say, and they present a picture of a giant muddy mess. And I think that most of my life will probably feel like that, sometimes uncertain and always changing. And that's ok, because the little blessings along the way make it golden and worthwhile. And isn't it so much more fun to picture you dragging yourself through a Sloggly Slough when that Sloggy Slough is Golden and beautiful?! I do think so.

I'm just glad I have a really cute pair of galoshes.



  1. I think this is a FANTASTIC post!!! I mean it.

    And I'm proud of you for LIVING YOUR LIFE!!

    Don't get in any hurry for marriage and family...that can come... what you're doing now is GREAT!

    Again, I say, I thought this post was WONDERFUL!!

  2. This is a most beautifully written post. You have pierced my heart with your sweet, wise outlook and loving heart. You are the best of friends and I am so proud of you. You are a constant example to me. This is now my all time favorite blog posts of all the blog posts and I'm going to read it multiple times to remind myself to be thankful for the Sloggy Slough! (Could you have even have thought that up without Pilgrim's Progress and Anne?) You are my bright spot of this day!

    And your music gets me every time...