This is a real-life post (a.k.a. it's not a sales-y post, a post on how to do something, or a 'pretty' post). This is a post about my actual life routine right now and where I am. I work full time, take full time college classes, and run a handmade business (spoiler alert: it's hard).
Like last night, for instance. I was trying to finish writing my exhibit prospectus for my history of photography class, plus edit photos for my blog and Instagram, and instead I found myself browsing Facebook and getting distracted by an article titled Small Space Mistakes You Need to Fix Now, and laughing at the phrase 'so fire'. I also somehow kept ending up on Pinterest browsing images for crochet fashion and weaving ideas, and watching new movie trailers. It's hard to stay focused.
Working full-time, taking full-time online classes, AND attempting to run a handmade business is hard. In fact, let's be honest and call it a handmade hobby at this point - I don't have enough time to devote to really making it a business. I don't make regular sales, I don't have time to really buckle down and promote, produce, write, and photograph. Next year, though, I will graduate with my degree in graphic design and be able to focus more on building this website and products. And on living life. Maybe.
Right now, however, it's hard. (How many times can I include that word in this post?). I wake up at 6:30AM (if I'm lucky), stumble to the kitchen, make coffee and breakfast, collapse into my orange chair and try to read a few verses of my Bible, never finish my coffee, start my car if it's cold, throw on my work clothes, look longingly at my (unmade) bed, and rush out the door, lunch in hand and wallet if I remember.
I drive an hour to work through beautiful wooded countryside, work for 8 hours, answering the phone to take orders and talk to occasionally-crazy customers, I sit back for half an hour and eat lunch and post on my artist Instagram, I drive an hour home, eat dinner, sit on the couch for a half hour or so staring into space, and then I either buckle down at my desk or pack up my computer and go to the library to study. If I have time, I weave or crochet. Then I go to bed and get up and do it all over again the next day. Sometimes, I try to do something social with family or friends.
It's a lot. And I won't lie, I've considered a) quitting my job and pouring myself into my business, hoping it would somehow pay for my life, b) finding a part-time job that somehow pays as much as my full-time job so that I can breathe and work on my art, and c) quitting everything and driving off into the sunset away from everything stressful.
But in the middle of all of this, in the midst of this busy yet incredibly lonely season, I have grown closer to God than I ever have been before. (Yes, this is taking a spiritual turn - my life is built on this foundation and I can't hide or ignore it.) That is the most important part. In the middle of all of this exhaustion and desire for change, He reminds me that the best is yet to come - that my main purpose and focus is to spend time with Him and follow His leading. The fear that nothing will ever change is unfounded - of course things will change. That's their nature. And if they don't? That's not the worst that could happen. The worst that could ever happen would be to be separated from God forever, and He's already provided for that by saving me through the sacrifice of Jesus. Because my sin has been paid for, I have eternity with God to look forward to. I will praise and glorify Him forever because of that.
So, yes. Life right now feels pretty sucky. I seem to be tired all the time. I have this annoying wrinkle between my eyes that I keep trying to smooth out so that it doesn't become permanent. I have more gray hairs than I did a year ago. BUT. Patience and faithfulness are two fruits of the Spirit that I see growing in my life through this time (albeit slowly), and the more I stay rooted in the Word and read my Bible as much as I can (I'm finding out that this is absolutely crucial), the more I see His love in my life. He created me. He loves me. He is providing for me and always will. And this time is tough, but it is preparing me for what's ahead. "Courage, dear heart," I'm told. "He's here."