I will be completely honest; I am TERRIBLE at these kinds of things. I used to have a Tumblr, but then I deleted it when I got on this no social media kick. Don’t get me wrong. It was genuinely a great time. Social media is kind of like a drug to me. I get fixes whenever I get on or when I get new follows, likes, or retweets (Oh Twitter…which by the way, practically no one follows me so those kinds of things really make me feel good haha). 

I can discuss what I feel (sort of) with people when I’m with them. Depending on the person, I can kind of let people think they really know what I’m feeling without having to go in depth with them. There are some people, though, that I’m really honest with. I love those people. But my number of those kinds of people in my life are very small and seem to be shrinking all the time with distance, loss of similar stages in life, and just general growing up. Having lots of feelings and especially struggling with depression makes losing people that I can be genuine with especially difficult. But it happens. People change. Life changes. That goes with my user name: wandering but not lost. Everyone has heard the J.R.R. Tolkein quote over and over again. I’m sure most of us have it pinned a couple times on our Pinterest boards. I certainly do. But think about it for just a second. I think so many of us feel like just because we are stuck in a stage of life for a period of time that we are lost. We want our lives to keep going and going in some linear direction, but sometimes it just isn’t the case. Life may be linear, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t points in our lives where we just rest. I’m certainly no math whiz, but every line is made up of individual points that are put together. Maybe, just maybe, within our lives, these points are where we are. Where I am. Because I am wandering right now. And it is so easy to feel lost and confused because my life isn’t like someone else’s, but just because I am wandering through this point in my life does not mean that I am actually lost. It just means I’m following a road that I don’t know where it will lead me. But we can’t just stop. I can’t just stop.

Right now, I go to a Baptist university. Pretty much every single person has a blog. The guy I tutor has a blog, the girl who sits behind me in Spanish has a blog, I think some girl in my English class has one too. One of my best friends at my college just started one. A lot of the people I am friends with on Facebook have blogs and they write about their struggles and super spiritual stuff and engage politically and that’s fantastic. Great for them. But I noticed a trend in a lot of the blogs I read and it comes with the whole church mindset. See, there’s this huge push within the church (at least in my area) for people to be “transparent” and “vulnerable” so that people who don’t believe in God will see that Christians are human just like them—not some sort of uber-human. And that is fantastic. Seriously. But there is something missing. One girl wrote a blog post about her addiction to pornography. That had to have been difficult to write then publish on your Facebook. It’s easy to suddenly be “that girl.” But in all honesty, she’s so cool and hip so naturally everyone loved her post and congratulated her. That is definitely not meant to be sarcastic btw. She seriously is cool and hip. But the thing that stuck out to me was that it was a story of redemption not of suffering. That’s pretty pessimistic, but hear me out. If I am supposed to be vulnerable, would that not mean for people to see me as I am at my lowest? Why wait until I am redeemed to be “transparent”? 

So let me be transparent.

-I have a really hard time expressing my feelings because I am afraid that if people knew how I really felt, they’d use it against me and manipulate me. This is basically a “public” attempt at me trying to express some feelings.

-I struggle to be an optimist because I have been on the line of suicide and I never want to go down that road again and I’m genuinely afraid of it.

-I really, really, really, REALLY want a boyfriend so I let douchebags date/talk/hook up with me so that I’ll be liked. Obviously, that does not go over well. 

-Basically, I left Christianity for two reasons. Reason one: Some of the stuff didn’t make sense. Some of the stuff makes more sense now. I still won’t call myself a Christian, but it’s making more sense. Reason two: Christians aren’t really all that cool most of the time. In case you can’t tell, I am a huge people pleaser and I want to be liked so sometimes, I’m a sell out. 

-I don’t put a lot of effort initially into people because I’m scared of getting hurt. So I wait a lot for people to make the first move. This has me lose out on a lot of opportunities. Probably, if I made more of an effort, I’d not only have more friends, but close friends as well.

-I just feel really stuck right now in life. I’ve been single for a long time. I live at home. I don’t really have much of a job though I get to help people and I really love that. A lot of my friends are dating or going on dates or going to parties or have a huge group of friends to hang out with so we don’t hang out as much because they have their friends (which is great! I’m actually pretty envious of them.) and I would just love to stop watching Netflix on the weekends and actually DO something with my life. I turn 20 on Friday too so it’s like…I just want to act and feel like a normal 20 year old!

My dad used to all joke that I was like Russia—an enigma wrapped in a cloud shrouded by mystery. Though, probably that is mostly because I was really, really moody in junior high and early in high school (yay puberty). But I don’t want to be an enigma. I don’t want people to not see the real me. I don’t want to clam up and not let anyone in. I want to be vulnerable. But I don’t want to just write some post of a past addiction or circumstance in my life that is difficult to talk about but I’ve recovered from. I want to see the change. I want others to see the change. Because even if I fall or look stupid or make a complete mess out of my life, there is redemption at the end. But it’s a process. And that road, that journey, is what matters. And I think that is more of vulnerability and transparency. 

So I may be wandering through life, but I am sure as hell not lost.