In a post I wrote earlier this year I talked about my struggle with writing since starting my new career, which involves writing professionally. I’m still battling this and to be honest, haven’t written anything personal since that post. Website content, scripts, reports, hundreds of captions – YES – but nothing blog worthy.

Last night as I was washing my face I was lamenting about how even after two weeks holidays, I didn’t feel like writing for fun. As I scrubbed the day away I pondered if I would ever get this whole ‘work writing, personal writing’ balance thing that I craved. I was reminiscing back on the old days where I used to write all the time and how I seemed to have all the time in the world to write down my thoughts and share them with people.

The reason I wrote so much then was because I had incredible awful and dull jobs and I wrote to help pass the time. That was where the dream began. It wasn’t anything deeply inspirational. I didn’t have a dream to write since I first learnt to put words together. Funnily enough when I was a kid, I used to dream about answering phones in an office. It wasn’t until I got that type of job out of necessity that I realised how awful it was, for me anyway. Writing was something I could do at my desk that didn’t look like social media. I first wrote because I was bored. I kept writing because I couldn’t stand my job and it gave me an escape. I wrote time and time again because it helped me. Eventually it became my dream.

My dream didn’t start out in an exciting way – it was borne out of a dull situation. I used to dream of the day when I could get paid to write and yet here I was, living the dream and almost longing for the yucky season that birthed the dream.

I guess why I finally picked up the pen again – why I resisted that very clever auto-play Netflix feature and jotted down these simple thoughts was because I thought someone out there might relate.

Perhaps there is someone out there like ‘past me’. Perhaps you are going through what seems to be a meaningless period of life and you might be encouraged to look around you and see what beautiful thing might be hiding in plain sight. You might have thought this season was a waste of time and nothing good could come from it but perhaps there’s a dream or a passion you’re discovering right now. Look for the thing that brings you joy in the midst of a trying time and run with it.

Perhaps there is someone out like the ‘current me’. Perhaps you used to dream of a time when things would be different where one day you might get paid to write or you could look after your children full time. You might be living your dream, something you longed for and never thought was possible, but now for some reason, it’s lost its allure. Don’t be like me and get so busy living your dream you forgot to be amazed by it.

I’m thankful for that challenging season because it gave me a dream. I’m thankful for this season where I get to live my dream and my challenge is balancing work writing and play writing. What a treat that is.


Displacement Theory

When speaking with a friend the other day, she asked a general question that we actually hear a lot, probably multiple times a day. She asked me ‘how are you?’ Now we are actually close friends and while we don’t get to catch up as much as I’d like, I knew I could skip over the ‘yes, great – can’t wait til Friday’ response that might have by habit, normally escaped my mouth. I decided to be real and tell her what was really up.

The problem was I didn’t really know what was up. I wasn’t doing poorly, sick or going through a really rough time, overall – things were good. Yet I still didn’t feel completely right about stating ‘I’m so ridiculously wonderful, thank you for asking’. In my prattling and in trying to explain my current emotional state – I said something along the lines of ‘I guess I’m feeling a bit displaced’.

I’ve never used that word to describe myself or my emotional state, and I don’t know if I’ve actually heard anyone else really use it either. The dictionary says it means ‘to move or put out of the usual or proper place’ and not until after I’d really thought about it, did I realise how truly profound my choice of words was. Essentially, I felt ‘out of place’ and out of the normal place and I know I’m not the only person who has felt this on occasion or in fact, felt it all too regularly.

Perhaps you’ve felt displaced as a result of a strange quirk of yours and you just can’t figure out how to fit in. Perhaps it’s been a literal displacement in that you’ve left your home town or country and you’re feeling a little too ‘fresh’ and new. Or perhaps, like me, as a result of a series of small changes and little to big decisions, you’re left feeling out of sorts. You can feeling it in varying degrees but the most common denominator is that something changed and you’ve been moved or put out of your usual or proper place.

To be honest, it’s not a good place. I actually don’t even know if anything worthwhile or good happens in this place. It’s not like a bad breakup that’s, like, so terrible – but you at least have the most legitimate excuse to eat tubs full of ice-cream and have a Gilmore Girls marathon. I don’t even think it’s really like a valley or trial where you know that you’re going to come out stronger or having learnt some valuable albeit painful lesson. Displacement is just that, it’s not fitting in, its removal, its change. If you’re feeling a little lost and you can’t figure out why – I’m guessing you’re feeling what I (and after doing another google search, psychologists apparently) term ‘displacement’ – its blech. Not gut wrenching, not amazing – because that’s what displacement is – the awful in between.

Sounds like all bad news right? I thought so too because I couldn’t even define or figure out what it was that was wrong in my life. Perhaps the only good news about displacement is that it can end. The answer actually lies in its original definition. By actually defining displacement, I found the answer. The dictionary says to ‘move OR put out of the usual OR proper place.

The key to overcoming my little displacement theory lies in deciding which ship you’re going to sail out of this situation you’ve found yourself in. Have you been displaced? If so, that sucks, sorry friend. Have you been displaced from your proper place, the place you are truly actually meant to be in? Then that really sucks. You should figure out how to get back there. Did you hurt someone and you now find yourself out of relationship –you need to make amends. Did you step out of line/make a bad call/end up somewhere you didn’t mean to go? You need to find your way back. Or perhaps someone hurt you – took you down a couple of notches, stole something from you. It’s time to go and get it back. Nothing is permanent. Take your integrity back. Do the right thing. Whether or not it was your choice that landed you here – you don’t have to stay displaced.

The tricky, yucky final option is if you’ve been displaced from your usual place.

This option is hard. It feels gross. It feels uncomfortable and awkward. Displacement might cause you to act out, in weird and awful ways which only serve to further enhance this uncomfortable place you’ve found yourself in. My displacement caused me to retreat, like that if I somehow avoided ‘humanity’ I could avoid the feeling of displacement, of no longer fitting into my usual place.

This type of displacement is hard because at some point, displacement becomes necessary for advancement. There is only so long someone can live according to habit, in comfort – succumbing to the trap which is their usual placement. If you don’t choose to step out of your comfort zone, life will eventually do it to you – and BAM, displacement.

Displacement is meant to be a transitional point in the journey. It’s necessary in order to propel you of your usual, run of the mill, playing it safe life into something better, scarier and ultimately, more fulfilling. Displacement is never the end destination. You aren’t meant to stay here.

And so my friends, you have a choice, just like me. We can stay and wallow in our uncomfortable-ness and refuse to step out into what’s coming ahead or you can look at this awkward phase of your life and choose to see God’s hand at work. Neither is amazingly pleasant – but if you don’t embrace some part of the displacement – you end up losing. You end up staying and never moving forward.

Choose to get yourself ready for whatever you’re about to been thrown into. Don’t stay displaced.

The Meaning in the Meantime

Have you ever noticed that when people are going through a rough patch in life, they will often describe it as a phase? They describe the season and often couple it with a ‘hopefully it’s just a phase’. It’s like they know they are just in a season and at some point this season will end and they will come out the other side. Somehow, through a mix of personal experience, the word and guidance from others, we seem to be aware that rough seasons SHOULD end and so we hope and pray that they will and that we learn some lessons in the meantime.

In the meantime.

n.  The time between one occurrence and another; an interval.
adv.  During a period of intervening time; meanwhile.

I don’t know about you but the meantime is kind of the worst time. If I was in charge of dictionary’s I would add a third meaning which would say..

The time in which one feels stuck, trapped and is hoping and praying something better is around the corner.

It almost feels like wasted time. The very definition leads us to believe that it’s the blank page in between your story. The nothing stage.

I’m asking God for direction. Getting nothing.
I’m stuck between where I am and where I want to be. Going nowhere.
I feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall – getting nothing done and going nowhere fast.

The problem is when the meantime lasts for a long time. When the phase seems less and less like a passing thing and more like a permanent reality. You start to get a bit edgy. Restless. Mad. And unfortunately, in the meantime is when we often make a lot of our biggest mistakes. We take the season into our own hands and things start to get a bit messy.

What is the meaning of the meantime? Why am I still here? Why am I still stuck?

I’m sorry that I can’t reach through whatever device you are reading this from and give you the answer’s to your whys. I wish I could. I wish I knew the reason for the phase I’m going through. I wish the meantime didn’t feel like the nothing stage. I wish that for you. I can’t promise your phase is nearly over. I can’t promise it will make sense, even when the season ends.

All I know, is there is eternal meaning in the meantime. For those stuck in an unfortunate season..

In the meantime, pray even when you aren’t getting an answer.
In the meantime, learn something about yourself and your God.
In the meantime, surround yourself with the right things and the right people.
In the meantime, worship even when it’s the last thing you want to do.
In the meantime.. wait.. hope.. trust.