Breakouts, upset tummies, itchy skin...

...yeah. This means that I'm stressed out. Other symptoms: craving caffeine, craving sugar, craving sleep but finding myself wide awake nearly an hour before I needed to get up this morning.

We started the heavy-duty packing last night. Of course, when you're moving, there's never enough time, never enough boxes, and too much stuff to pack that you would rather just toss out the window and never have to deal with again. All of the sudden, my sparse apartment is in a state of chaos. The apartment I'm moving back to in Chicago is also in a state of chaos from the first round of moving stuff back last weekend. I'm a person whose mental state directly reflects the state of her surroundings. My anxiety level raises when I realize that I have no un-chaotic home base right now. My anxiety level also raises when I don't have a sense of home. I'm just a few days from leaving my apartment here in Rockford, but I'm not going back to sweet home Chicago until the end of August, so I'm trying to figure out what I need to bring with me when I move in with a family from the congregation for the month of August. I'm not so good with prolonged transience.

Packing last night also reminded me in a very real way that my days here at Trinity are numbered. It's humbling, really, to think about how much has changed since the days of nightmares and internship placements and disappointment. I didn't want to come here, and now I don't want to leave. I love this church, and I love the people, and I even love the conflict and chaos right now, because it means that the congregation is getting down and dirty with what it means to be the church and what it means to have faith in God's plans, even when they differ from our own desires. When we finished up last night's round of packing, I was hot and thirsty and restless. I went to the freezer to grab a popsicle (a raspberry creamsicle, to be exact...YUM!), and stood at the refrigerator, crying at the thought of leaving this place and these people. It's going to be an emotional month of August...

On top of this, I'm beginning to worry in earnest about finding a temporary job starting in September while I wait for my first call/ordination. I have an interesting prospect, but it's complicated and involves a few unlikely events to line up just right. If it worked out, it would be IDEAL. But I'm not feeling terribly optimistic about the prospect. That makes me sad, because it would be so perfect if it worked out, and I'm already jealous of whoever might get the job ahead of me. I'm looking for other job possibilities, and there's just not a whole lot out there. Nothing that I'm qualified for, at least.

I'm also starting to worry more seriously about the assignment process in October. I can hope that my preferences are honored, or that the bishop honors my request to restrict to Chicagoland (I REALLY don't want to live apart from Matt again...it's a lousy set-up), but as internship proved to me (small-scale), preferences don't necessarily mean anything. Just because I want to stay near Chicago (near Matt for this upcoming year, near my family), in New Jersey (Matt's family lives out there), or in the wider Minneapolis-St. Paul area (because we love it there and have talked about moving there at some point in the future anyway)...it doesn't mean that I'll end up in any of those places. I could end up in Texas. Or Montana. Or Ohio. Who knows. And this uncertainty MAKES ME CRAZY. Internship proved to me that things all do work out for good...but that doesn't help the anxiety.

So here's my plan for the morning, to help with some of the anxiety.

First, I stopped off at Mary's Market on my way to work and picked up a cup of coffee and an indulgent muffin. (I figure that indulging the sugar/caffeine craving once in a while isn't the worst thing ever.)

Now, I'm tweaking my resume and writing a good cover letter to send off to my awesome-but-unlikely job prospect, figuring that I'll feel good knowing that I've sent them the very best material that I can. If I know I've done my best, then I second-guess myself far less, which helps with some of the anxiety; if I don't get the job, at least I know that there wasn't anything more I could have done.

Later, I'll call the bishop's office and try to set up an appointment to talk to him about my restriction paperwork - getting my foot in the door can't hurt things.

And I just got an email concerning my schedule of schtuff for the weekend that frees up some time tonight for more packing. The more boxes that get packed before we drive out to Chicago for the weekend, the better, even if they don't all fit in my car.

On top of all of this, on Sunday, I leave for a week to go to the Conference on Worship, Theology, and the Arts at St. Olaf. I am beyond excited for this conference. It's technically a "continuing education event," which is how I can get the time off for it, but seriously? Spending a week at St. Olaf, going to lectures on worship and music and theology, singing in a big festival choir, hanging out with my parents (who are also attending) and Matt (who's coming along and bumming around in MN with us for the week)...this feels like vacation for me. A nerdy vacation, but a vacation nonetheless.

Ok. Time to get back to work (and back to my coffee....and muffin...yum....).


  1. Sheila2:09 PM

    I used to think Texas might be the worst place in the world to end up too. I like being proven wrong so far. Good luck with your soul/job searching. I know exactly how you feel about chaos and frustration so strong it forces tears. Chin up, Mel. Everything will work out.

  2. sorry to hear about your stress over the chaos - i can SO empathize with the moving bit! have a great time in MN...relax and enjoy and eat some basil's for us!! (preferably sausage, but gyros is good, too.)

    love, kristin