I haven't blogged in about 8 months, which probably is not a record for me! It isn't that I haven't had anything to write about that's for sure, I just haven't really found the ability to put into words my thoughts or emotions and/or was too worried about what people would think if I really wrote what was truly going on in my mind.
Last time I wrote I was summing up the first 3 weeks of a month long trip to Asia...that truly feels like a million years ago! Since June both of my grandmothers have passed away (about a month apart) and my dad had knee replacement surgery. A few weeks after my dad went back to work I found out I might have thyroid cancer - talk about a reality check! You know it's not a good phone call from the Dr. when she asks you if you are sitting down and have some time to talk. So ensued a rapid fire couple of weeks of dr's visits and surgery a mear 3 weeks later to remove my thyroid. The verdict was that my thyroid was really big (my dr. couldn't believe that I hadn't noticed...sure cause I know what a normal thyroid should feel like, that's why I go to the dr.!) and that there was a possiblity of cancer...so the surgeon suggested I just get the whole thing taken out...fine with me, it's not like it has worked right in years! LOL! The surgery went super great and I was never in any major pain (though the morphin in the immediate hours after the surgery may have helped a little with that!). I was even able to eat some macaroni and cheese the next day, which I wasn't planning on any "solid" food for a few days. The worst part of the whole surgery was getting the drain and the stitches out...I almost threw up on the guy who was taking out the drain...he even made a comment about me not looking too good at the moment and wanted to know if I "typically have issues with medical procedures?" I wanted to respond..."well typically I don't have to deal with people pulling tubes out of my neck while I'm awake!" But I think I just mumbled something to the effect of "it just grosses me out". (I can't believe I ever wanted to be a neuro-surgeon!) The lab results from the surgery came back and the good news was that there was no cancer...though my surgeon said he is certain that within a couple of years cancer would have developed.
One possible side effect of the surgery was the possiblity of my voice permanently becoming raspy and/or losing my ability to sing. Now for those of you who know me you know I have been singing since I was a little kid. I'm definitely not a rock star, but it's something I have always enjoyed. Prior to the surgery I didn't think too much about the possibility of actually losing "my voice" or the emotions that would come along with that reality. For about the 1st week after surgery, it didn't even occur to me to try and sing - my voice was still really raspy and my throat was still super swollen; but, by the second week I quickly discovered that I could sing 2 notes to a song that was playing on the radio. I freaked out! It was so weird...I could hear the pitch in my head but I couldn't sing it, it was like my mind and my vocal chords weren't acknowleding each other. Then came the weirdest moment...a church service. I couldn't sing! Nothing would come out! I literally began to cry, for the first time that I could remember I couldn't use my voice to worship. My prayer during the next few weeks was twofold - God, please give me my voice back! and God, if you aren't going to give me my voice back then teach me how to worship you without singing! Worship is so many many things, but singing had been my way of connecting with God for so long and now it wasn't there. At Christmas I couldn't sing Christmas carols or rock out to my favorite Mariah Carey and N*Sync Christmas albums...it sounds weird but I felt so lost. And then it happend, one day in the car a song came on and without thinking about it a few on key notes came out of my mouth. I hoped and continued to pray that over time my voice would come back...I'm sooo excited to say that it's almost back completely! I have been so very blessed to be given this gift!
The other big process that has been going on is "the job search." During grad school I took a class and one of the topics we discussed was how when people lose their jobs and can't find a new one they easily become depressed and really struggle with their identity because so much of who we are in society is based upon our jobs. I remember thinking...that would never happen to me, I know who I am whether I have a job or not....HA! I ended my temporary position at APU in May and within a couple of days I left for Asia with full confidence that once I returned I would quickly find a new job...yeah 9 months later I'm still jobless!! The process has been painful, depressing, hurtful, and has caused me to spend many many days and weeks really searching out what my role is in this big big world of ours!
There was the job that I interviewed for and quickly became one of the top two candidates for; the job would have required a move and wasn't exactly the kind of job I was hoping for but I felt honored to even be considered for the position. Then as quickly as it had materialized I found out that they chose the other candidate. It's a weird feeling - relief and rejection. Relief that I didn't have to move away from my family and friends. Rejection that I wasn't the person that fit into their mold. There was the job the popped up in December that seemed like an amazing mix of opportunities! The VP basically told me after the interview that I had the job...I couldn't believe it! I had nailed the interview, they liked me...it was going to be awesome. Then I got the email...we're sorry, we aren't going to hire you. Really??? Then there are all the applications in between...you haven't lived over seas long enough, oh you don't have an M.Div., you are too qualified, we lost our funding and won't be hiring for that position at this time...ahhhh!!! After about 50 rejection emails it starts to get to you!
So here it is a couple of hours from March 1st and I stil don't have a job! My friends have been so supportive and so encouraging, making sure that I don't give up and that I continue to hope and trust. But I admit, there are still many many days when I wonder what this elusive job is actually going to be...because at this point I have no idea!
So yes, that has been my life for the last 9 months! Full of busyness and extreme bouts of rest, full of love and loss of loved ones, full and empty all at the same time.