Figuring out what I don’t want to do.

Next Thursday I’m leaving my job. After ten months of madness I am leaving and in September I’ll be starting a full time course in professional cookery at college. I am beyond excited to finally be doing something I love that is one step closer to my dream of one day owning a cafe (I’m going to call it Annie’s ’cause I’m super original).

I’ve said since day one of my employment that nothing within my skill set or personality was suited to the job I was being asked to do. I’m an introvert (as discussed in my post, Introversion and Being Introverted) but in my job I have to spend my whole day talking to people, working as part of a team, and doing and saying the same things over and over again. It’s very monotonous and the repetition sends me mad at times. Sometimes it knocked my confidence a little, knowing that most of the people I work with are good at all the things I’m bad at, but then I’m reminded of the fact that I’m good at so many other things.

I’m a creative person and have probably been subconsciously looking for something like cookery for a long time now. I loved my degree and found it really interesting but I don’t know if academia was really for me. I have a short attention span and always struggled to spend hours studying, I wanted to be up doing things, making things, creating; sitting in the library for hours at a time took more energy out of me than spending a day on my feet cooking ever would.

It may have taken me 23 years but I now know what exactly I don’t want to do with my life, as well as all the things I’d really love to do. No matter what, I want to do something that involves caring for people that allows me to be creative. Owning a cafe is perfect because I love cooking, it gives me so many opportunities for creativity (not just in the food and drinks but also in designing the cafe itself; I already have ideas), and it lets me welcome people into a place that I own and make them feel welcome and at home. I can assure you that my cafe will not be one that throws people out after an hour, but that will let people sit for hours studying or reading or Skyping family and friends in far away countries.

I’ll make sure to keep you all updated on how it goes.

x

Introversion and being introverted.

I’m an introvert. Once I told someone this and they said, “Oh no, don’t worry, you’re not” as if I’d just made a negative comment about myself. Being introverted means you gain your energy from being alone, you’re more likely to be sensitive and emotional, are probably more of a thinker and feeler, and may be more creative than your extroverted pals. Contrary to popular belief being introverted doesn’t necessarily mean you’re shy (though I am incredibly shy when I’m with people who I don’t know so well) and it also doesn’t mean you’re a recluse. Being introverted is not a bad thing.

At the minute my job requires me to be an extrovert; I don’t know if my employers have realised yet but I’m not very good at this and cannot wait to leave at the end of the month. However, leaving my job does mean I’ll have a lot more free time on my hands and, until I really thought about it, I was a bit worried about this. I have a lot of friends who are very busy all of the time; they have so many things going on in their lives and are constantly rushed off their feet. For the longest time I have thought that to have a good life you need to have a busy life, you need to always be out doing things, you need to have tonnes of friends and always be with people but I have finally come to the conclusion that this is not true.

I’m not saying that I’m going to stop making effort to spend time with people or working on making progress in becoming more involved with my Church, but it does mean I’m a little happier at the thought of not always being with people. You see, my job has squashed my creativity somewhat. It tires me out and leaves me with very little time to work on all the creative things that I love to do, that come so naturally to me as an introvert. So to have free time to focus on these things again is wonderful and such a blessing.

In September I will hopefully be starting a full-time course at college to study professional cookery. This course is Monday-Friday, 9-5, and while my cooking will be an individual effort (which I am really looking forward to) I will spend my days being with people all the time. Right now I have two months ahead of me with only two weeks taken up by helping at kid’s clubs; this is such a gift and I’d be stupid to waste it. I’ll be able to use this time to work on all of my own creative projects, focusing on the things I love.

Most of all I look forward to all the time I’ll be able to spend with Jesus, just like last summer. I look forward to being able to isolate myself from the world every so often to just focus on Him because that is what I need more than anything. Life has been crazy for the past few years so now is the time to commit everything to Him before it gets crazy again.

So, to my fellow introverts, don’t be afraid of your introversion. We’re an important part of this world and should embrace what we have to offer.

x

Accidental Idol Worship

At the minute I’m reading through 1 and 2 Chronicles and it’s wild. There’s all these mad battles happening all the time and it tells you about the different kings of Israel throughout the years. Some of these kings were good and honourable, they focused on God and encouraged the people of Israel to whole heartedly worship Him. However, many of them, like Solomon, David’s son, spent their whole lives worshipping idols. The book of Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon; it’s his thoughts on what is basically idol worship, how it’s empty and meaningless and will leave you feeling alone and broken. It’s quite clear that after a life time of numerous wives and extravagant living, Solomon wasn’t a happy guy.

I used to think I was immune from idol worship. I told myself that I put God first, that idol worship was for people like the Israelites who worshipped golden calves in the desert, that I’m not that interested in celebrity, and that I didn’t have enough money to worship that. I didn’t realise that spending so much time thinking about my dreams, my plans for my future career, my want to be a wife and a mother, and my fear of not having enough friends was idol worship in its purest form. I didn’t just want these things, I focused on them, worried about them, let them consume me (I say this in past tense but only today have I realised all of this; it’s something I’ve only just started working on and will be working on, with Jesus, for a long time).

It’s easy to pretend to ourselves that we’re putting God first because as long as we read our Bible and pray daily then that’s putting Him first, right? But being a Christian is so much more than these things. If I’m letting my fears consume me, if I’m letting them kill my creativity, stop me from caring about playing guitar and writing and cooking (the things I adore), if they make me begin to wonder why God can’t fill the emptiness that I feel because of them, then I have gone too far. If all these things I want become about me getting what I want, rather than using those possible situations to bless the people around me then I’ve gone too far, because being a friend or a wife or a mother are not things people do for themselves.

It’s easy to look at the lives of people around us and be jealous, to wonder “why do they have that and I don’t?” But at the end of the day it isn’t about having what other people have, it’s about having what I need to have, about having what God needs me to have so He can use me, so I can serve Him. I am where I am, in life and in the world, for a reason, and I should stop looking at the things I don’t have and focus on what I do. It doesn’t mean I’ll be here forever, change is inevitable, but there’s a lot of good in my current situation and I’m so blessed to have what I do.

I have a good friend who I regularly chat to about life and one day, when I was stressing out about a lot of things, she told me, “You just need to let yourself be happy.”

It’s so easy to get bogged down by the sad things in life, the things we don’t have, but to focus on the comforts, the things that make us smile, is so important because life could be so much worse.

To put it simply, I don’t want to end up like Solomon. I don’t want to spend my life putting effort into the things I want and, when I’m old and grey, look back at how meaningless it all was. I want to unashamedly chase after Christ and, in His time, find all the wonderful things He has for me, whatever they may be.

x

The New York Times

Drinking Ginger tea on Sunday night and listening to music from my past,
This is how life should be, just slowly taking in the time,
Taking time to breathe,
Taking time to leave behind all the things you thought were important for 5 days or more.

And I won’t forget the time he accidentally gave me a cigarette burn or put his hands on my waist,
And how I was so ignorant to the fact that it would take almost four years for that memory to fade away,
For that attachment to die and for the pain of history repeating itself every time we found each other again too much.

He has been nothing more than a blip in my life.

Those were dark days when I had no clue where the path would lead, when I didn’t know what path to choose.
But now Blackbirds sit on garden fences and sing to me beautiful songs of hope each morning when I awake, and each evening when the sun begins to set.

This life is long and beautiful and there are many more people left to catch my attention,
There are many more people left on the face of this earth and I have so much time left here,
He was not the only one for me,
He wasn’t the one for me.

For now I will remain in this deep, dank cave, I will remain here while He who created me breaks me and moulds me and shapes me.

And today I will remember all the places we have been to, all the cities He has travelled to with me and shown me the great beauty of; and I remember He made me strong like a lioness and that I have so much left to offer the world and all the people around me.

The New York Times once said a rocket would never reach the moon so I have no need to worry that I am weak because it is simply not true.

With Him I can do anything.