JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

Archive for the ‘More questions than answers’ Category

Things fall apart: January edition.

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It’s 10:30-ish on January 31. I’m ready for a new start already, again, so I’m pretty thankful that February 1 is upon us.

It’s funny. December 31 included work and a date with a boy, the new year beginning with a kiss, a tradition I had not yet ever actually taken part in. A little over a week later, the boy became my first boyfriend. We were boyfriend and girlfriend, a label that felt a little foreign, but right.

Then, less than two weeks later, we weren’t. The words “We need to break up” tumbled out of his lips as we sat in a low-lit Crossroads bar. It all happened so quickly and took me by such surprise, I couldn’t form words to respond.

It feels a lot less raw now, thankfully, but I still am struggling to suddenly write out a guy who had been part of my daily life for the last three months or so, much less get my head around the reasons for our uncoupling.

So anyway. Here I stand on the other side, trying to press forward. I’ve done a decent job of doing that, I think. I think I’m going to pick up watercolor painting, pick up my knitting again. Eventually I’ll rejoin online dating again (reluctantly, again) but for now I need a little space.

Anyway. I don’t want to sound depressed, because as a whole, I’m really not. I’ve been grateful for the kind words of friends and time with them. I have a decent life that stands on its own, apart from being attached to a man.

Oddly enough, between this guy and the last guy I saw, I have this growing feeling that if it’s not him, there is a man out there who will be right. It’s a weird confidence, but it feels true in a way that it hasn’t before.

I just wish he’d hurry up and get here already…


Written by Jessica

January 31, 2016 at 11:48 pm

‘Trust in the slow work of God’

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Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We would like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet, it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability — and that it may take a very long time. Above all, trust in the slow work of God, our loving vine-dresser.

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin via Sojourners

Written by Jessica

August 28, 2013 at 5:08 am

Life, lately

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This space has been quiet for awhile.

To be honest, I’ve not been sure what to write about.

In the time since that last angsty post, I’ve spent time with coworkers and old friends and my family and it’s been good.


Last week, I turned 26. Processing that new number has been kind of weird. It feels…not so new. Like my 20s are slipping away.

Honestly, people always say time goes by so quickly, but once you are out of school, the passage of time seems to pick up like the speed of light.

My friends who had babies a few years ago now have kindergartners and preschoolers and second (or third or fifth, in the case of a friend with multiples) children.

It’s a weird, and somewhat unnerving, feeling to realize the clock is moving much faster than you realize at a given moment.

I’ve been dealing with intermittent existential angst and questions about who I am and what my purpose is and what I should do with myself (aka, what is my backup plan when journalism is no longer tenable).

I’ve also broken my two year, no-date streak. I went to lunch with a nice boy who hasn’t asked me out for a second date yet but texts me a lot and seems to be a pretty decent person. It’s a small step, but who knows?

I feel like I’ve made a lot of silly Google searches about it (I’ve suddenly realized dating, and relationships, are uncharted territory and mildly terrifying) but I’m going to try to not freak out about it and just let it be. Which is so not me, but maybe that is space for growth?

That’s pretty much all of what’s been happening as of late. I’ll have to post more often. And do some better post brainstorming. 😉

Written by Jessica

August 13, 2013 at 4:28 am

If life is a highway, I’m stuck in the parking lot.

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You know you are a writer (or at least a reader) when an every day occurrence, or statement, suddenly strikes you as a metaphor for your life.

This happened to me today. After lunch. I was attempting to exit a parking lot onto a busy four lane road.

The car ahead of me was taking forever to exit, which is pretty normal. It’s busy both directions and sometimes it takes awhile.

“I’m gonna be stuck in this parking lot forever,” I thought.

That was followed by: “This parking lot is a metaphor for my life.”

Truth is, lately I’ve just been in a funk over being single. I’ve written a little bit about being on and off online dating sites (and failing at them), but lately I’ve been feeling, very strongly, that I would like to find someone to settle down with.

I don’t want to be married THIS INSTANT — I would just like to feel like I’m somewhere near the path of actually seeing marriage in the future. I don’t see getting married as a fix-all for being lonely occasionally and I don’t believe it automatically makes you a real, arrived, validated person (although those messages are out there).

I guess I should preface this by saying: aside from a kindergarten boyfriend, I’ve been single my entire life. It hit me like a ton of bricks this week that I’ve been on Facebook for nearly eight years of my 25-year-old life. I’ve never been able to click on the “In a Relationship” bit. Sigh.

After awhile, you start thinking, “What the hell is wrong with me?” And, “Why am I not being chosen?” And, “Where is God?” A whole lot of stuff (/baggage) can be wound up in our relationship statuses (or lack thereof).

I don’t want this to sound so melodramatic, because for the most part, I’m not broody. I know I’m pretty awesome (Hello, I’m great at what I do, I didn’t have 5 children before turning 25, I have a college degree, I love Jesus, I have a weird sense of humor), so please don’t let that be the takeaway from this.

I guess right now I’m just kind of in a waiting mode right now. Just hanging out in the parking lot of life.

Written by Jessica

June 28, 2013 at 8:08 pm

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”

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It’s amazing how the last six months have sped on by. It’s true that the older you get, the faster things go.

There’s a lot of stuff that I’ve been processing through lately that I want to share (soon, I hope) and another thing underway that I have to keep under wraps for now but will hopefully turn out to be some good, but life-altering news. I don’t know what will happen, and this might be borderline blasphemous, but I keep praying, “God, please don’t let me get my hopes up only to be crushed again. Don’t let me be disappointed.”

Because, to be honest, the last time I was going through a rough patch with a lot of disappointment was a long two years. I got through it, but I don’t know if I could handle it this time around without going off the rails. The stakes are higher.

I guess that is where you have to trust that He’s got it, and there is some tying together of things, despite how messy and untied and random things seem.

I like order, plans, a clear next step, and when things are going well, I tend to feel as if I am independent and strong and don’t need God. But I do need him. And he doesn’t work in my way. He says:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

-Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV

So, in the meantime, I guess I will just keep waiting and trusting. And trying to hand over my heart and worry and fear and all of that stuff.

Written by Jessica

October 22, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I hate change.

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Moving 1,000 miles away and starting a whole new life is a change I’ve embraced a few times in the last few years.

It’s challenging, but there’s a certain type of reward in building something new — local knowledge, a diverse network, finding a killer Chai tea at a local coffee shop that cannot be replicated — in embracing the unknown.

It’s a paradox that at other points in my life where change is nonstop, I go into full mule mode. As if digging in my heels and the sheer force of my stubbornness will stop things that I cannot control from taking place.

Perhaps the key in those two differences is really the illusion of control.

Currently there are a couple of changes that are afoot in my life that are eliciting my inner mule and unwillingness to budge. The life ahead that I pictured when I moved from Florida hasn’t panned out to be what I thought it would be, and not exactly for the better. It’s hard to get into that here, but it’s particularly hard when what you expect doesn’t line up with reality.

It’s even harder when you feel like you’re going nowhere and you feel a little (ok, a lot) lost.

And the realization creeps that you are continents away from where you want to be.

Why is change so constant? And why is life so hard?

Written by Jessica

October 1, 2012 at 11:48 pm