Pressed but not crushed

if you’d asked me this time last year I would’ve told you that I was crushed. At least I probably would’ve told you that I was being crushed and that I couldn’t take anymore. But I was wrong.

I was wrong about so many things, but I was so sure that I was right.

Everything inside me was screaming that I was dying. … Ok, not everything. But a lot of what I felt.  I didn’t know how much more I could take. I couldn’t see God’s plan. I couldn’t see anything good beyond how I could get away to my true purpose. How I could move onto the next thing that God had for me.

When I found out that the worldrace mission trip I really wanted to go on in the future had an age limit I thought it was a sign from God about the next step for me.

Part of the reason I was frustrated was because I felt so constricted, everything was limited, and I didn’t feel appreciated — everything I did felt like it was falling into a big black hole of oblivion; where I also dwelt.

The place the eye cannot see.

But I wasn’t considering that the great I AM could see.

I didn’t forget, I just thought God had .

2 years into taking care of my grandparents and I wondered if in the major part of my life moving on, if God had forgotten to take care of me.

Something that I knew but I didn’t really realize was how creative I was becoming there with my grandparents. How much time I was actually spending in my creative side – that I hadn’t been for years. In fact I thought that my creativity was dying.

But now almost a year later – doing what I love (teaching kids in Korea) again, right  where I thought I’d find my creativity and become more creative than I was before, I find myself unable to do anything creative. The hands that began painting so many interesting and creative paintings now find themselves browsing the Internet on my phone because I can’t think of anything to paint. … in fact, the very idea of painting seems boring and dull.

Whatever writers block I thought I had has been dimmed by the force of lethargy that has come over me since moving back to Korea.

In this stillness my glaring character flaws shine like neon lights as I lay awake at night. As I stare at the cursor blinking on an empty document. As I walk the flight of stairs yet again to my classroom…and remember the sick boredom that has only blossomed further the farther space and time take me from my grandparents kitchen.

Every free moment, when I look down at my phone and consider calling home. But that trigger makes me queazy. Thinking of questions. All the questions. And what will the consequences of my answers be?

i know most of you can’t understand.

i imagine  you reading along and understanding and suddenly you can’t understand.

It’s OK.

I grew up and I didn’t understand either. I couldn’t understand that trying to be safe then would propel me into a future where I can’t face or answer questions without fear.

It was something like this: my parents would grill me. And sometimes I didn’t know what answers they wanted. I didn’t know if they were real questions or trick questions – and I never knew what the consequences or results of my answers would be.

Sometimes it was nothing – but sometimes it could be emotional trauma for weeks…

i can’t even explain this clearly. Just that I realize now that deep down inside me there are answers that I don’t know to simple questions from people who care.

and I’m working through my triggers to better understand myself and overcome the weakness I find in my character.

Anyway, sometimes when you want to run away to find more freedom you’ll find you run away only to find that the limitation is within you.

I genuinely came back to Korea to save up money for the trip I hope to make in about a year, however, I thought with everything within me that once I left what I felt was a very confining situation that I would obtain

– creative freedom

and find myself in a more healthy mindset than I ever had before.

Instead, I found that my limitations had been eminating from within me.

And now I think that when I felt confined the Lord was trying to pinpoint to me what I find He’s pointing out here.

That there are weaknesses – wounds I have from growing up that need healing. Habits I learned as a child that are so unhealthy and limiting — habits that are self-limiting, that I need to break.

Parents. Can you do me a favor? Be so careful that your child’s honesty with you doesn’t become their own sentence.

Please be aware that your questions – if uncoupled with honest inquiry, trust, and understanding – can trigger careful answers based on fear and self preservation which will move to a place in their hearts above their relationship with you.

 

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Today is the new tomorrow.

It’s not only been a while since I’ve written a blog post – but my iphone also wont take any more photos because it’s full. And it’s full because I haven’t emptied it. And I haven’t emptied it because I’ve been putting off writing this blog which I need the pictures for….

Yesterday I said tomorrow. And guess what? Today is that day!

This blog post is about anxiety, stress, and the reason I finally took a vacation.

It wasn’t because of the stress – it was for it…

Backing up.

This is my fourth year in Korea. Up to this year my habit has been to work right through my vacations so that I don’t lose my momentum. Also, I don’t like vacations where I have to plan everything. Also, unlike this year in Korea – the three prior years I was still trying to pay off my school debts. So … I didn’t take time off so that I wouldn’t spend the money elsewhere.

This year I have no debts.

Backing up.

So my sister came about a month before my vacation and stayed a few weeks with me and I (did a poor job) of taking her to places – but one of the places I took her to was Busan. It’s in the southernmost part of Korea and there’s a beach i love – and a beautiful night view of a lighted bridge.

 

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I also wanted to show her the quaint book street which is packed with books and is kind of a treasure hole in Korea.

While there we visited a small gift & Coffee shop and I saw a ring. well….Let’s just say I have a ring obsession, but, trying to scale this habit back, I didn’t buy the ring.

That wasn’t necessarily the right choice for me since I couldn’t forget it – and in overthinking about it I later became obsessed with finding the ring. My intention was -since it was so far away – getting ahold of the shop and trying to have it shipped to me.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any information on the internet.

So I spent hours and hours and hours- basically every free moment I had surfing thousands of pictures and entering thousands of searches to find this shop and track down the ring.

So part of this post is to justify my 3day trip down there, for anyone who wants information on this shop.

This shop is tucked right at the end of Book Alley, where it curles like a cats tail right back into churches and apartments, second hand shops and streets.

The name of this shop is “Raumkunst”

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They are very kind and helpful and also have good coffee!

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They mostly sell handmade items from local artists – which is really kewl!

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So if you visit Busan and go to Bosu-dong Book Street (보수동 책방골목), keep going through it till you reach near the end of all the book stores and you will find it 😉

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Anyway, I was so stressed out that I could barely make it to my days off to go there. I even contemplated almost daily getting on a train after work and going there only to get the ring – turn around and show up for work the next morning sleep or no sleep.

It was almost a desperation.

A sick desperation.

Today is the day to confess my sick desperation that sometimes drives me to insane measures.

I try to contemplate my reasons, the root cause of my need and fixation on things sometimes. How I have to rationalize myself out of doing or having certain things – and how sometimes I can’t.

How does this fit in who I see myself as – as a child of God?

And how does this quirk of mine fit into the rest of who I am and what I do? how I live? What I believe? What I really value?

When i read or hear something I love – something that I wish I wrote myself, something that I want to keep, something that I can’t exist without – does that automatically become something I believe and treasure – without me actually thinking seriously about it?

…i wish I could spend sometime digging more into this, but honestly I fear digging too deeply. Especially today.

Today I’m not feeling at my best, and I just lost some of my pictures from my trip as I was transfering them for this blog. 😦

And when I start to dig, bad memories from my childhood start floating up like little corpses that were neatly anchored by time and desperations.

Maybe we need to start taking time to sit over coffee and asking questions about why we do some of the things we do. For our future healthy selves, maybe we need to.

And for now, I will avoid ring shops like an alcoholic avoids bars.