Chronic Dwelling

I come to you today seeking advice, dear blog readers. As you may have surmised (or not, I mean it’s kind of presumptuous to expect that you all have nothing better to do than psychoanalyze me), I am a chronic dweller. I worry constantly about making the right decisions in the future and about the decisions I’ve already made. What if, I think at least three times a day, I had gone to a different college? What if I’d majored in dance? What if, what if, what if? Despite my frequent attempts to reassure myself that I’m getting a good education at my college, that I’m glad I’m not in another four-year dance degree program, I tend to dwell on all the negative elements of my current situation: I settled for a less academically rigorous school when I had the grades and the work ethic to attend a much more challenging college or university. I have no close friends at college and while I’ve met some delightful people, I have little in common with most of my fellow students. For instance: I still check books out of the library. I’m a marred, conservative Christian with social anxiety. Also, I don’t care about fashion or being a STAR. I have to remind myself that all the decisions I’ve made got me where I am now. In many ways this is a good thing. I met Graham and many of my closest friends and while I may have met many of them, um, online originally,  the people who introduced us are fellow Harry Potter fans I first met in New York City, while lonely and looking for friends. Who knows. If I’d gone to say, Columbia or one of the dance conservatories I applied to, things may have turned out differently. I could be a college drop-out! A petty thief! Selling myself on the streets to support my seven children and severe caffeine addiction!
Graham’s Big College Decision will determine where we live next year and where and when I can go to graduate school. Speaking of grad school, do you know how many Alternate Futures exist in my brain. I cam extremely close to applying for a last-minute Fulbright grant to go abroad and conduct research for my book. (Did I mention I’m working on a book? I hesitate to call it a book because it’s more like a collection of notes and outlines and emails right now. More information to come.) After some contemplation and prayer, it became very clear that God wants me to wait. Rather than rush through life, like I tend to do, it’s time to take a breath, re-focus and wait for His timing. After all, I’m graduating college two years ahead of schedule so that I can focus on dance for a while. It’s time for Graham to enjoy his college experience instead of being dragged all over the country so that I can feel like I’m doing something worthwhile and impressive. Plus, I don’t even think my “book” is going to require an extensive amount of overseas research, I don’t think I’m ready to be essentially alone in a foreign country and there are a lot  more people more deserving of that grant than I am. There’s a chance I’ll apply in a year or two or three, but now is now the right time.  And I think I’d rather, like, go to a traditional graduate school anyway. As much as I want to start grad school right away, I’m practicing patience on that front as well. But there are so many wrong decisions to make! What if I choose the wrong school or wrong program and worse, what if I don’t get in anywhere at all or get no financial aid? What if I can’t handle the pressure and spontaneously combust in the middle of writing my thesis? I’m going to spend the next year seriously considering my options: MFA writing program? Theological studies program?  Useless post-graduate dance program? Big university? Seminary? Christian school?
Good news: Graham’s already said “no” to any Ivy Leagues (except Columbia because I kind of really like it there), so my choices are already more limited than they were a year ago!
Are you a recovered or recovering chronic dweller? Got any advice?
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
Oh. Maybe that’ll do. Thanks, Jeremiah.

I come to you today seeking advice, dear blog readers. As you may have surmised (or not, I mean it’s kind of presumptuous to expect that you all have nothing better to do than psychoanalyze me), I am a chronic dweller. I worry constantly about making the right decisions in the future and about the decisions I’ve already made. What if, I think at least three times a day, I had gone to a different college? What if I’d majored in dance?

What if, what if, what if?!

Despite my frequent attempts to reassure myself that I’m getting a good education at my college, that I’m glad I’m not in another four-year dance degree program, I tend to dwell on all the negative elements of my current situation: I settled for a less academically rigorous school when I had the grades and the work ethic to attend a much more challenging college or university. I have no close friends at college and while I’ve met some delightful people, I have little in common with most of my fellow students. For instance: I still check books out of the library. I’m a married, conservative Christian with social anxiety. Also, I don’t care about fashion or being a STAR. I have to remind myself that all the decisions I’ve made got me where I am now. In many ways this is a good thing. I met Graham and many of my closest friends and while I may have met many of them, um, online originally,  the people who introduced us are fellow Harry Potter fans I first met in New York City, while lonely and looking for friends. Who knows. If I’d gone to say, Columbia or one of the dance conservatories I applied to, things may have turned out differently. I could be a college drop-out! A petty thief! Selling myself on the streets to support my three children and severe caffeine addiction!

Graham’s Big College Decision will determine where we live next year and where and when I can go to graduate school. Speaking of grad school, do you know how many Alternate Futures exist in my brain. I cam extremely close to applying for a last-minute Fulbright grant to go abroad and conduct research for my book. (Did I mention I’m working on a book? I hesitate to call it a book because it’s more like a collection of notes and outlines and emails right now. More information to come.) After some contemplation and prayer, it became very clear that God wants me to wait. Rather than rush through life, like I tend to do, it’s time to take a breath, re-focus and wait for His timing. After all, I’m graduating college two years ahead of schedule so that I can focus on dance for a while. It’s time for Graham to enjoy his college experience instead of being dragged all over the country so that I can feel like I’m doing something worthwhile and impressive. Plus, I don’t even think my “book” is going to require an extensive amount of overseas research, I don’t think I’m ready to be essentially alone in a foreign country and there are a lot  more people more deserving of that grant than I am. There’s a chance I’ll apply in a year or two or three, but now is now the right time.  And I think I’d rather, like, go to a traditional graduate school anyway. As much as I want to start grad school right away, I’m practicing patience on that front as well. But there are so many wrong decisions to make! What if I choose the wrong school or wrong program and worse, what if I don’t get in anywhere at all or get no financial aid? What if I can’t handle the pressure and spontaneously combust in the middle of writing my thesis? I’m going to spend the next year seriously considering my options: MFA writing program? Theological studies program?  Useless post-graduate dance program? Big university? Seminary? Christian school?

Good news: Graham’s already said “no” to any Ivy Leagues (except Columbia because I kind of really like it there), so my choices are already more limited than they were a year ago!

Are you a recovered or recovering chronic dweller? Got any advice?

“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

Oh. Maybe that’ll do. Thanks, Jeremiah.

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6 responses to “Chronic Dwelling

  1. I know how you feel. I always feel like I tried to do too much with the school I chose. I just keep moving forward and let as many things as possible fall into place without my interference.

  2. Yeah, just don’t worry too much about the future because you have absoultely no control over it, especially in a waiting game scenario. God will sort it all out anyways, he does have your well-being in mind.

  3. I used to be the same way…running through a thousand different options in my mind. One day my Pastor said, “Let go and let God.” So that’s what I do now. Pray about things and let God make the choice. And try not to second guess God. He knows best. It can be hard at first to do this, but sometimes some of the choices are removed for you. I like to think that God is just helping you on a multiple choice test on life.

  4. Sarah, I think it’s genetic. You come from a long line of cronic dwellers as do I. I’m sort of in the same spot. See, I was thinking about going to Graduate school in England but neither Mom nor Dad think its a good idea. So now I’m going to look at programs in the states but then I’ve got the issue, where do I go? New York, Chicago, San Fransisco? Do I go for Opera or Theater? If I do go with Opera, what happens if it’s another issue like UNT and I find myself in the same spot? What if I get stuck in a dead end job in the US and never get back home to England? Worse, what if I somehow get stuck in Texas?! See, it runs in the family. We’ll just have to work through it I suppose.

  5. I know how you feel as well. Maybe it’s genetic. We do come from a long line of worriers. I’ve been worrying about Grad school as well. See, I really want to go to post graduate school in the UK but Mom and Dad want me to go to a school in the US if I go at all. And even then, I don’t know if I should go for Theater or vocal performance. I suppose Vocal performance makes the most sense, but what if it ends up being like UNT all over again? See? It runs in the family dear 🙂

  6. Hey,

    Even though it was a while since this was posted and a while since I first read it, I just wanted to say that reading this was helpful today. Given the changes coming in my life I’ve been thinking a lot about this kind of thing myself.

    It’s hard to know what the best option is, but it’s maybe not quite as hard to find an option that will bring you happiness. I think that might be the best we can do sometimes, but trusting in God is a good start.

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