When one door closes…

Another opens…right? RIGHT? Or a window? A vent maybe, or at least some point of escape?

Perhaps not. Or perhaps a door is closed and is being held for a season and will be re-opened. You know, like how a door is held on the one end, like when your annoying little brother (or co-worker) holds the knob and you’re pulling on it trying to open it and when it finally opens you go flying in the other direction? (Usually hilarious if you’re not the one flying.) Maybe my situation is like that. Maybe all the doors in my life I’ve been trying to unlock, open, glide through, have been slammed shut in front of me and are just being held there by some supernaturally strong force until some artbitrary time is right.

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This may surprise you if you don’t know me, but I am somewhat stubborn. I prefer the term persistent, but say what you will, I don’t typically quit until there is nothing left to fight for. This can be anything from building an IKEA bookshelf to figuring out how to fix my car on my own to love. It has it’s good qualities, it has it’s negative ones. One thing you don’t typically hear about me is that I try once and give up. It’s just not in my genetic makeup. There are some times and some things, I am learning, I just need to walk away from. This is difficult for me.

“Shelley! Don’t give up your fighting spirit! Keep going!”, “Shell! Keep your chin up! You can get through this season!”, “Shelley, don’t give up on your dreams!”

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I’m going to quote Taylor Swift and tell everyone to JUST CALM DOWN. I’m not necessarily giving up on everything. There are just so many times a person can hear the word “No.” before one starts to lose faith and hope. I have to take a break.

I received my Masters in Library Science in December 2017. Since then I’ve been on various intervews, mock interviews, etc. and each one has come back in the form of a rejection. That’s tough. It’s hard not to get discouraged when you go in time after time psyched up and deliever an interview that feels so spot on to either get a no response or a “We really would like someone with elementary or more experience. Great interview!” HOW DO I GET THE EXPERIENCE?!

It’s hard to see your gleaming Master’s degree you’re so proud of sit there unused knowing it’s losing its value year after year untouched. Is that one door being held shut, forever? Maybe. In the meantime, who knows what’s in store for me in the future. Writing, teaching? Poetry, renovations, searching.

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I’ve been battling depression and anxiety for a little over a decade. Just when I think things are looking up and I may be catching my breath, another wave, in the form of an event, person, issue, will crash over me and I’ll feel as if I’m drowing, unable to breathe, and I’m being pulled down into the undertow. People see a sad person, a worried person, a person who is a mess. Yes, I am those things, but I also have worked so very hard to get to this point. I was a bigger mess, was even sadder, and was even more worried.

Recently some very hopeful and very real things I was anticipating on happening and wanted so badly were behind a door I wanted to sprint through. That door was slammed hard and shut tight.

It was extremely painful. I gave everything to this. Including my hope.

I don’t know if it is being held for later or is sealed. For a control freak, stubborn, anxious person like me, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Giving up trust and putting my faith fully in the Lord and letting go is harder than hard. I hate it. I despise it. But I can’t lose myself in the process of it.

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Will these doors re-open? Will new doors be created? I don’t know. I hope so. I know I’ll be happy again. I’m not going to let this break me. I’ve been through too much to let these pains do me in. I will continue to give, to love, to hope, and to pray. And to fight…duh. I’ve got great family, great friends, amazing students who continue to surprise me, and a super dog by my side who will make me keep fighting for happiness.

My mom sent me a poem by my favorite poet ever, Maya Angelou, and it is SO very pertinent to me during this time. The poem is titled ‘Continue’ and the link is here. I’m going to continue and I appreciate you sticking with me, no matter what side of the door you’re on.

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