Tag Archives: career

Rambling of the Day: Desperately Seeking Permanence

10 Mar

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Photos by Simone Anne, courtesy of Death to Stock.

We’re all seeking permanence of some kind. Whether it’s a career, a relationship, a personal goal or maybe even a spiritual need, we are all seeking the stability we believe can only be found only in a permanent situation. Nobody likes the uncomfortable feeling of floundering around in temporariness, harboring on the edges of something that could be but wondering all the time if something will ever come of it. We hate that in-betweenness, that uncertainty that hangs over us in situations with undeterminable outcomes.

Will this relationship ever move forward into something permanent? Will I ever get the promotion I need to have to income that will make me feel stable? Will I finally find the perfect place to call home, never wondering if there’s something better out there—and be content to stay there?

And we get weary waiting. Day after day we become increasingly desperate for that thing, whatever it is—that thing that’s going to flick the switch from temporary to permanent: that job, that person, that perfect situation, whatever it is. Once it comes, we’re certain things will change. We’ll be happier, less worrisome, more comfortable, at peace with ourselves. Life will be better. And so we live on, each day plodding along, eagerly anticipating that day when we won’t have to anticipate anymore because we’ll finally have it. Permanence. I’ll be happy when…

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When what, exactly? When the stars aline and life is finally all you dreamt it would be? When you’re finally at that goal weight and it’s here to stay? When your relationship is finally going smoothly and you’re settled down comfortably in happy wedded bliss?

It’s funny how we do this to ourselves. We’ve got a whole lifetime of experiences to prove to us that that nirvana state doesn’t really exist, yet we continue to hold out for it, waiting for something permanent to take hold of us and sweep us up in the beauty of complacency once and for all.

But this life doesn’t offer permanence.

Nothing about it does.

Tomorrow morning isn’t a guaranteed event. Neither is your next birthday, or next year when you’re up for that promotion, or ten years from now when the mortgage will finally be paid off. None of that is guaranteed to you. And even if and when you do finally get there, there is no guarantee of what life will look like at that time. That permanence you’re so desperately holding out for is simply the illusion of stability; up close it is just as evanescent as the moment you’re living right now.

Here’s the point. I’m in the midst of a very uncertain time in my life right now, and I have found myself increasingly living in a state of desire for it to be over and longing for the things in store for me in the future. I’m constantly in a state that feels like something similar to the agony of adolescence: an entrapment in a painful in-between phase that nervously clings to the status quo while at the same time staring wistfully toward the future, daring to dream—no, demand—that it come blazing in like a chariot. I’m impatient for that future now. I’ve waited long enough. I’ve done enough of the in-between work. I’ve done enough temporary. I want the permanence.

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But it is in this moment that a voice whispers, ever so gently, that nothing will ever be permanent. That it was never intended to be. Because this place is temporary, and everything here will one day pass away. This world is not the end of the road; in fact it’s just barely scratching the surface of the beginning. So the light of the end of the tunnel isn’t anywhere to be found in this life. It’s only found in the One who has overcome the troubles of this world. The One who has gone before and paved the path from temporary to permanent, who has our future solidified in His work on the cross.

And so, that voice whispers, carry on. Carry on in all that you do with a grateful heart, an open mind and a hopeful spirit. Carry on with your day-to-day in-betweenness, your working-up-to-something-ness. And do it cheerfully. Do it willingly, with a full heart, confident in the wisdom that this life is not your permanent situation. This world is not your dream home. It won’t feel any more so when you finally get to that elusive goal, either, because this life doesn’t offer that, and it was never intended to. This life is wonderful, beautiful, extraordinary—but, oh, so very, very temporary.

And so, my dear, I hear in a whisper, stop your desperate search for the permanent here. Steady your heart—it needn’t be so overwhelmed with longing for the things of this life. Some of it will be wonderful, and you will get to those places, and for a moment you’ll be at peace and you’ll feel the warmth of the sun on your face and you’ll think that this is it. But, darling, the sunshine will soon be overcome by clouds once again, and you’ll wonder what you did wrong, and you’ll again question why, why, why, dear God, can’t I have permanence? My love, you shall, but please believe that it is not to be found here on this earth. So embrace the sunshine and the clouds alike, bask in the beauty of whatever weather comes your way, and eagerly await the permanence of the place being prepared for you.

Rambling of the Day: A war on… men?

1 Dec

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Suzanne Venker has recently written an opinion piece for Fox News that has upset quite a few “strong” women. The article? “The war on men.” Venker explores the trend that shows women’s interest in getting married going up as men’s is decreasing. Seem weird? The reason, she says, is nearly always the same: “Women aren’t women anymore.” Here’s a quote that pretty well sums up the point:

In a nutshell, women are angry. They’re also defensive, though often unknowingly. That’s because they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs (Venker Article).

Now, if you’re one of those women who just, like, totally hates men cause they’re horrible, sex-obsessed, animalistic beasts, go find another website, because I’m sure I’m about to make you really angry.

Venker is right! She’s right because men are NOT equal to women. There, I said it. We are not the same. Our DNA is not programmed to make us want, feel, and do the same things.

Let’s back it up for a second and allow me to clarify. I do not think women need to be barefoot and pregnant and preparing dinner for their husbands by 6 p.m. every night. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been working toward a career since I first discovered the world of the written word. I’ve had a job since I was 14 years old. I’m a 20-year-old working mother going to school full-time. I am by no means a kept woman.

But I am a woman. I put the desire to nurture, love, and care for my child miles ahead of my desire to make something of myself. And I don’t expect my significant other to behave the exact same way. Why? Because we’d be broke! And he’d be bored. He loves us both very much, of course, but his first instinct is not to cuddle up and sing lullabies all day long – it’s to provide.

Men want to love women, not compete with them. They want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them (Venker Article).

Why? Why do we have to feel like we’re exactly the same as men to feel worthy as women? And, perhaps more importantly, why do we act as though we can have it all, never questioning the consequences of the way we have destroyed and demonized gender roles? Women are the ones who want to get married! The Pew Research Center reports that since 1997, the percentage of women who say a successful marriage is one of the most important things in their lives rose from 28 to 37 percent. But this percentage dropped for men, from 35 to 29 percent. More women want to get married; less men do.

Since the dawn of time, men have been the providers. They have been the pillars of strength. They have had to work hard to earn the respect of other men, to advance their careers, to make something of themselves – ultimately, to provide for their families. That is not to say that women are not strong and can’t provide for their families, because they are and they can. But women who want successful relationships with men must understand the intrinsic needs of their partners. They are not programmed to lie down and allow the woman to do all the work. Back in the day they had a name for that kind of man – deadbeat. Nowadays, he’s just a “stay-at-home” kind of gentleman.

We have gone so far off track it is going to be incredibly difficult for a lot of women to figure out how to get what they want out of their lives and their relationships. It’s not about being better than men. It’s not about one-upping them. I mean, would you want to be with someone constantly trying to outdo you?

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