Flashback – Dear Society – A Letter about Love, Being Single, and Faith (2015)

Disclaimer: As always – writing has been edited for misspellings/grammar/etc and some parts may have been deleted for privacy. 

March 7, 2015

Dear Society – A Letter about Love, Being Single, and Faith

Dear Society –

I feel like we need to take a minute to discuss something that has been on my mind a lot lately: love. Not just love, but the standards that are set on single individuals – by society, by their closest friends, by themselves. Maybe it’s on my mind because I feel I’ve had the same conversation with various people this past week and I’m frustrated. Maybe it’s because I’m tired of the pressures society puts on people to get married and settle down. Maybe I’m just tired of this conversation and want to get everything I’m feeling out in the open once and for all.

Society has this need for people to be “paired up” and I think it’s ridiculous. Is being single really the worse thing a person can be? Is being single worse than being unfair, greedy, passionless, uninspiring, cruel, prejudice, selfish, empty-headed, mean, vindictive, lazy, dishonest, arrogant, cynical, obsessive, pompous, or irresponsible? I don’t think so. I would rather be single over any of the other things any day. I think the need for society to pair people up is sad – like there is no possible way I can be happy because I’m single.

For a while, I bought into that notion; until the day I realized I was happy and I could be just as happy rather I was single or in a relationship. I was the girl who wanted to be in a relationship more than anything. I was the girl who would hang out with the boy I had no interest in because I felt the pressure from society to be in a relationship. I was the girl who wanted to be married more than anything else in the whole world.

Then I got the best advice about love and marriage and being single that anyone has ever given me: it’s better to stay single than to marry the wrong person. It’s deep. Very deep. I’m the type of girl who dates someone and knows there’s only two outcomes: either we’re going to break up or we’re going to be married. There is no in-between. If I’m complaining about you after one date, chances are I will be complaining about you for the rest of time. Which means you’re not the right person for me to marry and I’d rather not pursue a relationship with you. (Author’s Note: I understand people complain, myself included, but there are certain things that are deal breakers and when I start complaining you are/do/act/etc one of them, that’s what I mean by complaining)

I’m also taken aback by how people react to this way of thinking. Perhaps the greatest gift I was given in therapy so many years ago was the ability to understand myself on a level I never had before. I understand my needs, my wants, my desires. I’m in-tune with my emotions, feelings, and thoughts. I’m a good judge of people and I can figure out if I’m going to get along with you or not. I’m also stubborn, and once I make up my mind about someone, it’s incredibly hard to make me change my mind.

I was having this conversation about relationships the other day with someone I trust and I was getting annoyed. I made the comment that I’m not worried about the future, about getting married, about finding “the one” because when God wants me to find him, I will; and that if I’m ever having trouble trusting God, all I need to do is look back on the last 7.5 years of my life because through everything, God led me to where I’m supposed to be: right here. I believe with every fiber in my being that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, and I can look back on my life and realize how God worked in my life to land me here; through all the ups and downs, through every time I cried out to Him for help and every time I cursed at Him for taking my dad or the way my life was turning out, through every time I questioned what He wanted me to do and thanked Him for keeping me safe. God has proven to me over and over again that He has my back and He is not going to let anything happen to me. If I can trust God in every part of my life, I can trust Him to lead me to my husband.

What shocked me most about this conversation with this person was that they agreed with everything I said. Then the next day were back to trying to set me up with someone again. I was taken aback. After expressing how I felt, and being agreed with, I felt like once again society was trying to make me feel bad for not being in a relationship. Society was trying to set me up with someone I already said I was not interested in pursuing a relationship with. Society was so focused on the fact that I was single, that society didn’t care that I was happy being single right now – that I would rather stay single than even be in a relationship with the wrong person. I want to find a person who is so focused on God that the only reason he even notices me is because he hears God whispers “there she is” and looks up to see me. I want to be so focused on God that the only reason I notice my future husband is because I hear God whisper “there he is” and I look up and see him. I want a relationship built on faith and trust and kindness and loyalty and friendship.

Love will come when it’s supposed to come. Marriage with come when it’s supposed to come. Kids will come when they’re supposed to come. Being patient is hard, but dulling on what you don’t have is only going to keep you from living your life to the fullest. It’s impossible to know what the future holds, but God has already promised us that He knows what the future holds for us. That He knows where we’re going to end up. That He has everything under control. If I can trust God with every other part of my life, I can trust Him with leading my future husband and I together when the time is right.

Being single is not the worse thing a person can be and it’s a shame that society feels that it is. But then again, society feels that way about a lot of things – topics I do not wish to get into at the moment. It’s okay to be single. It’s okay to wait around for the perfect one. It’s not always going to be easy, but when I look at people who waited and have wonderful relationships with their spouses, I know that waiting around for the perfect one will be worth it in the end – regardless of what society says.

Love, Chelsea May

Flashback – Interviews and Jobs (2014)

Recently, I’ve been trying to practice patience. It’s an ongoing struggle for me. I’ve never been a patient person – I want to know where life it taking me – mostly so that I know it’ll all be okay. There’s been a lot of changes going on in my life lately and a lot of uncertainty that I’ll discuss when the time is right.

In the meantime, I find myself reading two previous pieces I’ve written. Since they were parts one and two, I’ve decided to share them together in my first “flashback” piece. 

Disclaimer: writings have been edited for misspellings/grammar/etc and some parts have been deleted for privacy. Names have been changed for privacy. 

March 21, 2014
Interviews and Jobs

I was late for a job interview a week ago. I had agreed to work third shift the night before and accidentally fallen asleep. I woke up at 8:04 and my interview was at 8:15. Luckily, I was able to call and tell the lady that I was going to be late, but I felt the damage had been done. I arrived at the interview around 8:35 and was extremely grateful she was still willing to interview me. The interview when smoothly after that and no one seemed upset, but first impressions are very important and I couldn’t shake the feeling that being late had ruined all my chances.

The day before I had sat down and told my boss I had an interview the following day. Many people had warned me against this, but I had such a good relationship with my boss, that I knew the right thing to do was to tell her. Much to my surprise she was completely cool with the whole thing and wished me luck. I felt so much better for deciding to tell her. And it actually became my saving grace. I told the interviewer that my boss knew about the interview, even though the interviewer had told me she hadn’t told her yet.

Monday came and my boss asked how the interview went. I told her fine after taking a deep breath. She then told me she had heard about me being late. I crumbled! How did she know? It turns out the interviewer had told her and asked about my attendance and my boss was totally in my corner! Telling her how I’m never late and very reliable. She even told her I had worked third shift the night before as a favor for her and that it had probably contributed to me over-sleeping. When the interviewer told her I was visibly upset, my boss said she would be too if she were me; being late for something you desperately want, especially when I’m never late.

I’m still not sure about the job. I was supposed to hear by today at the earliest if I have a second interview. I’ve literally been waiting for this job to pop up the entire time I’ve been working at the hospital. Maybe no news is good news.

But my point to you is this: follow your gut when it comes to telling people things. If you have a good relationship with your boss, tell her when you’ve got an interview somewhere else. There’s a good chance she will be in your corner and help in any way possible. If I hadn’t told my boss about my interview, the interviewer might have never known I had worked third shift the night before and am never late for work. Go with your gut. Even when you’re nervous. And whenever I’m really nervous, I just remember that my dad is watching over me. He’s there with me every step of the way.

And He’s watching over you too.

———

November 29, 2014

God Works in Mysterious Ways (Interviews and Jobs – Take 2)

The long overdue letter about interviews and jobs. The letter I’ve been meaning to sit down and write for ages. The letter I want to write before I forget, and forgetting would be such a terrible thing.

When I last wrote, I was not-so-patiently waiting to hear if I got a second interview or not. A few days later I heard great news — I got a second interview! I was so excited, but mostly, I was scared. Having already been late once before, I knew I couldn’t mess this interview up. It had to be perfect or everything I had been working for would be lost. I would be back at square one, and very possibly, changing careers.

I walked into my second interview confident, armed with all the questions I had meant to ask the first time, but hadn’t. I was then given a list of 4 scenarios and told I had 15 minutes to read through them and answer them. Oh, wait! Time-out! This is not was I was expecting! But it was also a welcomed challenged. It had been months since anyone had actually challenged my brain in any way whatsoever and I was excited to finally put some of that brainpower to go use.

As I read through the different scenarios, I answered them the best I could, with one goal always in mind — what is the most cost effective way to answer this question. I wrote down a couple alternatives for each question, I wanted to have a back-up answer already prepared. With each given scenarios, it’s good to have a couple ideas of how to solve it, so that is one fails, you have another plan ready.

They came back in the room several minutes later, I was finishing up the last question as they entered. I sat there so nervous, but confident in the answers I had written. They took turns reading the questions, and after each one, I discussed what I would do to solve each one. I was freaking out on the inside, but one of the people, Jess, kept winking, almost as if to say “yes, good answer, you’re doing fine.” I left the room that day confident, yet scared…the whole being late for your first interview thing.

Then I waited. And waited. And waited. If God was trying to teach me patience through the whole interview process, I feel I grew a ton, though I will also be working on my patience for life. Finally, the call I was waiting for — I missed it. I was in the middle of my shift and when I saw the missed call, I called back and left a message. Luckily, there was hardly anyone at work that night, making it easier to check my phone. I saw the call again, and quickly ran to answer the phone. I was too late. I called back and no answer. I listened to the message again. She left her cell phone number. I tried it. I remember standing there, in the hall, hiding just out of view, listening to the phone ring, praying she would answer. I stood behind the wall for several minutes, hoping she would call back. There was no way I could wait another day.

And then she called. I answered immediately and just stood there, taking in everything she was saying. And then the magic words I had waited so long to hear: “I would like to offer you the job.” I was so excited and I just kept repeating “yes” over and over and over again. She told me she would call me tomorrow with more details and asked if I would like to tell my boss. I said yes, just to give me a couple of days – the whole bouncing between day shift and third shift made it a bit difficult to track her down at points, and this was something I had to tell her in person.

I told Susan two days later and then I kept it very quiet. I told very few people, but until I had an official date to switch jobs, I didn’t want to tell many people. Then I found out – four weeks – the maximum amount of time the hospital would allow before transitioning jobs. Slowly, word started to get out. A few people caught me off guard by mentioning it to me, therefore forcing me to tell people before everyone found out – I knew it was best for most people to hear it from me. Then I waited. And waited. And waited.

I spent a whole lot of time waiting. But God was proving to me that the waiting was just beginning. I then starting training. Two weeks of training turned into three weeks of training. Three weeks of training turned into multiple half days of training. Assignments were switched around and I needed to learn Jess’s job as I would be covering for her when she was away, and she would be covering for me when I was away. Half days of training would be devoted to learning her job inside and out until I could do it on my own.

While all of this was going on, Tina, my new boss, was still trying to finish my office. Since my job was a newly created position because the hospital kept growing and thus, they needed more help, there was so official home for me to move in to. I ended up down the hall for several weeks on end. God continued to work on my patience. And then everything happened all at once – I was given the okay to finally move into my office around the same time that Jan was going on vacation and I was to cover for her. I’m a little unsure of how I made it through those days – trying to move into my office, continually discovering problems with my computer that needed to be addressed, and working two jobs at once. Jess was amazing, giving me her cell phone number in case I had an emergency, and also giving everyone a heads up that I was going to cover for her for the first time. It was nice and they all eased me into it. Until the moment I just wanted to cry. I don’t recall exactly what happened, but I remember calling her on the phone and she asked what she could do to help. Tears started to come down my face and I told her to hang ont just a moment as I caught my breathe, not wanting to let her know I was holding back tears, yet knowing that my voice was giving it away.

I survived. I lived another day. And the great thing was – it got easier. The more I covered for Jess, the easier it got and the better I felt about how I was doing. I used to leave her a whole pile of things I was unable to get done, and slowly overtime, the pile has shrunk. Slowly overtime I have settled in and become more comfortable with my job and how I’m handling every situation. I am more confident when dealing with situations and have learned from the past few months.

But, the crazy thing is through all this, God was still working on something else. Slowly but surely Jess and I became more than co-workers, we became friends. Since my relationship with my mother has never been the best, I’ve always tended to lean more towards mother-like-figures. Allison, at points Carol, and then Jess. I knew through general conversations that Jess went to church, somewhere I’d always talked about going back to, but never made it. We talked about it one day. A month later I still hadn’t made it. It was casually brought up again and she gave me the address. I promised I would go the following week.

Then Sunday rolled around. I didn’t go. Jess asked the next day if I went and I told her I hadn’t – that it was complicated. She said it wasn’t complicated, it was God talking to the you through the Pastor. Then it happened. All those emotions I was trying to keep buried came up. I was upset. I thought I was over it, but I wasn’t. No matter what – no matter how many times God had proven to me that He was taking care of me, no matter how many times He had helped me when I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, no matter how many amazing people He brought into my life – I was upset. He took my dad. He took my dad away from me. And no matter how thankful I was for everything that had happened in my life, I missed my dad and I wanted him back. But there was also the flip side of that – I was thankful, so very thankful for everything that had happened in my life and I was happy – and that made me feel very guilty because as much as I miss my dad, I am oh so happy with where my life is. I believe with every fiber in my being that I am on this path for a reason. But how was I supposed to make it back to church when I feel so conflicted inside?

With a little help from Jess. As I sat there and poured my heart out to her, she responded with love. The same love that both Allison and Carol had shown me time and time again. And then, she promised she would meet me outside church, she would wait for me and she would walk in with me, holding my hand for the short trip to our seats. I didn’t feel so alone anymore. The thought of walking into church with someone else wasn’t nearly as scary as the thought of walking into church alone. And as I sat there in church that day, tears rolling down face, I felt a hand on my back, reassuring me I wasn’t alone. Then it started to get easier and easier to walk into church, until the day I was able to walk into church by myself.

You see, God is always working in our lives. Sometimes we are not able to see it right away, but He is always there and He is always working on something. I think back on all those months and how everything fell into place so nicely and ultimately I ended up back in the one place I had such a hard time getting back to – church. Imagine – I was so impatient for months waiting to hear about my job, and yet, God has showed me nothing but patience for years as He worked to get me back into church. He really does have a lot of patience for all of us. He continues to help us learn and grow and become better people. He is always working in your lives to. And I promise you, He will always lead you to where you are supposed to be.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11