February: Engage with others

As someone who has mastered the art of introvert and awkward, I tend to keep to myself.  At my current job, where I’ve been for nearly 5 years, I have no friends there.  There is no one I see or interact with outside of the constraints of my profession; I never attended social events after work because I don’t fit in there.  I’m completely okay with that.  My friendship circle is quite small, there are only a few people here who truly know where I’ve been, where I’m going, and how I feel about it.  Like most everyone else, I have trust issues.

It’s very easy for me to retreat into my shell to read, write, crochet, run, rock climb, or surf.  I love my own company and am very content to be alone.

But the problem comes from this whole Christian lifestyle thing: we’re not meant to live solitary lives.  We are meant to live in community with others; this means interacting, helping, listening, just spending time with someone.  Jesus’s entire ministry was based on community.  Yes, He spent time alone, as He needed to do – but it wasn’t His main mission.  He was always talking to crowds, meeting people in homes, eating with people – both Jewish and sinners.  We need to be more like Jesus.  In this political climate of America (dare I say, the world?), we need to live out the mission of Jesus, not just preach to the choir in nice clothes on a Sunday, but really live it.

With my new job starting later this month, I have the opportunity to forge new relationships with my co-workers.  Will I shut down like I did at this previous job?  Or will I find a lifelong friend who shares my heart?

For me, it looks like this:

  • Spend time with friends minimum once per week.
  • Actually talk to people at church and not hide under my chair.
  • Do something nice for those around me, unexpectedly.
  • Be open to new friendships.
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January in Review

My theme for January was, “Learn to move forward.”

I felt like I had been stuck: drowning in anxiety, floundering at a job that caused much anxiety, and doors kept slamming shut every time I sent out my resume.  The last job I applied for said I wasn’t qualified.  It didn’t even phase me.

What did moving forward look like?

Apply mercilessly for jobs.

Stop dwelling in the past.

Be confident, for the love of God and all things holy.

Go to where the spirit of God lead.

Do something different.

And so I did.

One night after a particularly bad day at work, I sat in my car and went to a job website with the only criteria being the town I live in.  And I scrolled.  And scrolled.  I happened upon a gig in my current field with a company I had never heard of.  Long story short, I start the new gig in 2 weeks (during the process I had about 4 mental breakdowns, but I am growing….).  So much for a career change, but perhaps this is a stepping stone to something new.

My confidence is better than it has been in awhile.  The anxiety comes in waves, but it’s not nearly as debilitating as it was even a few weeks ago.  I’m not even sure what changed, besides my outlook.

I took on our church’s Twitter account, my first technical communicator gig, pro bono.  I am learning as I go with that as well.

I’m excited where I am headed professionally and spiritually in 2017, even if I am scared out of my wits about it.

So here goes!