I’m in a season of intense rejection and directionlessness. And as anyone who also has the inner voice of a 40 year old divorcé named Cathy knows, the only place with information to get your life back together is the local library.
I took to my public library to find the Bible of Self-Help Books ((instead of the Bible itself because as we’ve established, I clearly know best!!)) and instead found a very specific section of books I’m calling the “Intense Competition of Vulnerability By White Christian Women”.
This area is designated for books with titles like “It’s Not Supposed to be This Way” and “Girl, Wash Your Face” and “Girl, You Shouldn’t Be Like This” and “Don’t Not Try, Girl”. They stem from a true, authentic desire to genuinely help people and connect them with the Lord…but then also maybe with their personal brand(?). They show beautiful brunette women who insist that they too have been where you are; who hasn’t cried in public? they laugh. Who hasn’t been a mess? they knowingly wink from behind their impossibly thick fake eyelashes.
I say this all as a brunette mess who has had impossibly thick fake eyelashes ((they will rip your dreams and real eyelashes right out; do NOT get them, ladies)). The thing I found about these books is that no matter how much you look for lessons amidst someone else’s times of trouble, they will never resonate as deeply as they need to because of comparison (at least for me).
You think, okay, besh, your marriage fell apart but I’ve never even had a marriage to fall apart BECAUSE NO ONE HAS EVER LOVED ME. Oh, your second book deal flopped? I WAS PAID $5 AN HOUR AT MY UNDEREMPLOYED SERVICE JOB THAT I HAD TO QUIT BECAUSE EVEN THAT WASN’T SUSTAINABLE TO FINANCE MY JOB SEARCH FOR A REAL JOB.
I think that’s why they’re filled with generic Christian-ese tales of messiness and *shocking* confessions like “I’m such a bad, guilty, trash fire of a person; sometimes I skipped church because I didn’t want to be judged!”. It feels like a competition to see who is the *realest* to show who has picked themselves up the best (#sweetlybroken #whollysurrended).
I really love and appreciate authenticity; that’s why I regularly divulge way too much information to tertiary people who in no way need to know these things, like Dexter my Boba Tea Guy and matches on Bumble who probably shouldn’t have asked “how are you doin’?”. ((I’ve never once been heralded as courageous or brave for this either btw unlike these authors)).
But I don’t expect to tell you some happy ending to this season because I don’t think it’s going to look like that. I’m not going heretical; I believe in a good God with good plans to grow and prosper me, but that may look like just being content with a job I don’t love, or a community that’s hard, or just for one area of my life not be in constant shambles. I don’t really know. I’m still going to be a mess; that doesn’t ever change.
So while I go through this mess, here are the TMI titles of my self-help book to PROVE TO YOU, dear reader, of JUST HOW MUCH OF A MESS I AM.
I Got Banned From A Local Mom’s Facebook Group For Advertising Babysitting So I Can’t Even Do That Well: and other stories
I Asked Out A Guy After A Shift At Work and He Said His Name Was Jarob. Like, He Either Said “Jarod” and I Heard “Jarob”, or He Couldn’t Think Up A Good Fake Name, Or His Name Really is Jarob. Either Way He Never Got In Touch So I Was Rejected By A Jarob???? and How God Finds Us In These Seasons
I’m Unemployed At The Same Time As My Younger Brother Who Dropped Out of High School To Pursue Weed And Rock & Roll, So That’s A Thing
I Didn’t Not Google How To Become A Sugar Baby: and God’s Redemptive Love
The Only Strength I Have Left Is To Not Get Curly Bangs À La Natasha Lyonne And That’s Only Because Wedding Season Is Coming Up
Speaking of Wedding Season, It’s Already Been Decided I Just Won’t Need A Plus One And When Did It Become So Safe To Say That I’m Really Just A One-Meal Ticket Kind of Gal?
When Life Gives You Job Rejection Letters That Include Offers To Become An Unpaid Intern And Other Misadventures
Are You There, God? It’s Me, The Girl Who Has Fewer Than 5 Friends In-State, Can’t Get Even A Shitty Job, Lost All Confidence And Direction, Is Slowly Becoming The Helpful Spinster To My Family Who Is Lovingly Always On Fire, And Constantly Finds Pennies In My Bra (???). God? God?
“I’m Really Sorry You’ve Developed Minor Insomnia And A Left Eye Twitch But You’re Kind Of Holding Up The Line, Ma’am. Did You Say You Wanted It Grande Or Venti?”
“…..Tall. I Don’t Really Have ‘Venti’ Money.”
Girl, It’s Not A Healthy Coping Mechanism To Take All Your Unsexy Travel Stories And Turn Them Into A Stand-Up Routine You Well Know You’ll Never Perform
A Single Tear Runs Down My Cheek Every Time I Get A Message From Someone Back In The Philippines And Yes I Have Googled If They Have The Equivalent Of A Green Card Marriage Visa
Put Down That Can of Black Olives And Fast & The Furious Marathon on Netflix. You Don’t Even Like Fast & The Furious. What Are You Doing With Your Life, Girl???
You’re Gonna Be Okay, Kid. Maybe Just Read Your Bible And Try Again Tomorrow
(Many thanks to Erika, who reads all my frantic texts and inspired this post)