Lot was told to leave a city because it was about to be burned down. He took his family, packed their bags, and made his way to the mountains. The angels told Lot and his family to not look back unless his family is turned to salt - of course, there's always one who defies the rules. As they traveled to safety, Lot's wife turned around to view the burning city and immediately became a pillar of salt. Today, she's depicted as a frozen clay sculpture. Similar to Lot and his wife, I've been on a journey to safety and new beginnings. As of late, I've been in a place of mental and emotional stagnation. Partially because I cannot move, due to circumstances and situations that only allow for small wins at the moment - but in transparency, a large part is due to not wanting to move. I constantly find myself looking back at what used to be, at the comfort that I once had, and how easy life once was. Granted, there was a lot of noise, distractions, and influences that were destructive, but that's what made life what it was in those moments. As I reflect on these times, I am reminded that there are still pieces of myself that find that mindset livable because it became a place of comfort. I was comfortable in instability, I was comfortable in lacking, I was comfortable in making unhealthy decisions, I was comfortable in pain. Ironically, it’s the more positive life I lead now that has become uncomfortable for me, and it is taking me a while to get used to. When it comes to my vision of success, in all aspects, whether that may be in poetry, in my career field, or in eventually getting married and starting a family - it's all brand new. To be honest, I'm startled at myself because I've never been here before. For the past few months, there's been a never-ending feeling of my past creeping up on me. It only takes one step to fall back into my old path… but then again, it only takes one step to step into my future. I am writing today to speak life into that future and to speak life into yours as well. Many of us - at least the young adults I know - are all struggling with where we are at this moment and where we want to be. Some of us also struggle with where we once were and the imposter syndrome that follows us as we are charging forward, finding ourselves in conversations, rooms, and realities we never expected to be in.
We are building the lives we want later down the road, while also maintaining and enjoying the lives we lead now, and that comes with a lot of construction. The building comes with a lot of instructions, blueprints, prototypes, and a ton of materials. One thing to note about building anything is that all things require a foundation. Even before the foundation is laid, there is a lot of destruction and removal of all the bricks and metals that no longer serve the new creation. While the removal process is hard for us, we have to remember the importance of the foundation we are laying and the structure we are creating on top of it. This may be childish, but in The Princess and the Pea, all it took was one little pea to make her uncomfortable no matter how many beds she stacked on top of it. Let's use this same analogy for ourselves. As important as some things were to us, (and still may be) we must remove them in order to lay the proper foundation and build the legacy we are all reaching for. These may be habits and vices, such as drinking, smoking, and partying… or even friendships and relationships that we have been holding on to. These can be the toughest things to let go of, for me especially. There are people I have come to know, love, and cherish who unfortunately haven't traveled this far with me. It's painful to see or hear about them in whatever endeavors they may be encountering and not be able to share in their light or help them through it. There are also vices I've used, most times, for no reason at all, that I now have let go of for the sake of my well-being. Looking back at these pieces of my life that were a part of my daily routine, now gone, is painful… but healing hurts. The method of growing is not always a summer of play and puberty striking in three months. Sometimes, it's a winter of working and life striking us for months at a time. The beautiful thing about growth is the knowledge, wisdom, and strength that comes with it. Learning is an experimental process. There is no learning that does not require a hands-on approach - no learning that does not require grace during failures - no learning that does not require a trusting approach between the student and the teacher. Some call their teacher life, some call their teacher the universe, - I call my teacher, Christ. I want you to understand that as we come to trust our teachers, our teachers have already come to trust us enough to give us what we are destined to build. Allow your teacher to provide you with instructions, blueprints, prototypes, and materials. Be patient and resilient as they brush the unusable bricks and metals to the side. Remember that those are the materials that do not help us in the long run, and it would be foolish to pick them up again. Also remember that as we build the lives we are working toward, we are co-workers with life, with the universe, with God, and with Christ. I encourage you, to keep going in the direction you are aiming for. Don't get caught up looking back and turn around because of comfort. You have a purpose. Even if you don't know your purpose just yet, you have a responsibility to wake up every single morning and seek it out. It hurts to leave the place of comfort, but you will find healing as you build the road toward the new creation you've been becoming.