Monday, November 12, 2012

Similarities and Differences

This is not meant to be a "I have a worse situation than you do post," it's just some compare and contrast I've pondered and it is probably biased as I've only experienced one side of the equation.
I've had quite a few people in my life who have struggled with infertility, some have since successfully realized their dream and desire of becoming parents and some are still struggling with the uncertainty.  I've often considered the differences and similarities of that struggle to my own struggle of being single and not married and desiring it so strongly that those painful tears come unbidden at times when the hurt is too strong.  I'm not bitter or desperate, those that know me well will attest to that, I'm happy most of the time and enjoy life most of the time, but it is a struggle to be surrounded by happily and perfectly matched married family and friends.  I think that is one of the similarities between my situation and those of my friends' and family who are struggling to start or continue their families.  I don't personally know that ache that comes from desiring children and knowing there's something "wrong" with you that won't let you fulfill that desire, but I ache for children and a husband and struggle with the feeling that there's something "wrong" with me that has prevented that dream from being realized so far in my life.  One of the problems is that what's "wrong" with me cannot be diagnosed with medical tests as so many infertile couples can at least have an answer, though, yes, I do realize there are many that don't even get that.  I don't like to publicly discuss my single status as I detest coming across as bitter or desperate or without hope, that is so far from the truth.  I still have hope and I don't think I'm bitter or desperate, but those men who have been the recipients of my attention are better than judges than I am in that department.  But there is a deep sadness that never fully goes away, as  I can only imagine is the case with those people who struggle with unrealized hopes of children.  But there's also a sadness I experience for a desire for children and realizing that window of opportunity is slowly but surely diminishing in my life as I am steadily approaching an age that will decrease my ability to bear and care for children as well as have a partner that shares the desire for a larger family than he might already have.

The major difference that I feel with my "singlehood" and another couple's struggle to start a family is displayed perfectly with the word couple.  There is another partner that shares similar feelings of doubt, despair, hunger, and sadness with you when you are dealing with the unfulfilled desires of parenthood.  When you struggle with the unfulfilled desires of marriage, there is just you.  Yes, my family and friends sympathize with me as the childless couples' friends and families sympathize with them, but as I'm sure the couples will agree with, it's not the same as having someone in the same situation as you.  Even other people in the same situation as you isn't the same, though it might help a little more knowing you are not the only one struggling, but their experiences are not the same as your experiences, so they cannot fully comprehend your struggles as you cannot fully comprehend theirs.  But your spouse has gone through every step that you have with the hopes and dreams and disappointments and heartaches along the way, they know what every day has been like.  Other people live their own lives, as they should, and cannot completely empathize and sympathize with your situation.  Those of us single people do not have that luxury of the shoulder to cry on that can fully commiserate with us or the completely understanding arms to hold each other up through the dark days of loneliness and pain.

I'm not trying to paint a dark, sorrowful, depressive picture here, honestly, most of my days are exciting and fun and I fully enjoy life, and I have had many experiences that I cherish that would never have come into existence because I have been single for as long as I have, but there are those dismal, depressed days with sobs tearing me apart for a companion of my heart and soul to walk along beside me.  I realize marriage and companionship comes with its own struggles and heartaches, but those are struggles and heartaches I gladly welcome when I have a companion to help shoulder those burdens and increase the joys (and share the blame). =-) 

I do not know what is "wrong" with me that I have made this journey to this point in my life alone and with no visible change in the near future, but I fully believe in the promises that have been delivered to us by the mouths of the Lord's servants, and I know that I will not spend eternity single and alone as those couples will have an endless posterity, but there are those days that occur that singleness seems too much to bear and I do not know how I'll make it another day, and I want to give up and not go forward another step.  But I do make it another day and I keep pressing forward and I do know the Lord is with me every step and I have felt Him pick me up and carry me forward when I have fallen down without the strength to rise again.  He will show me those things I need to change and work on in my life, and He cries with me on those nights that are so bitter and I soak my pillow and He rejoices with me on those days I laugh and dance and sing.  And there are more days than not that are full of laughing and dancing and singing, both for me and I'm sure for those of my family and friends who wish so much for children or additional children to join their small families.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Never say never.....

So changes....yet again! :) I rarely say I'll never do certain things, because I know how Murphy's Law operates!  But there are a few, and if you know me, you know that two of those things are 1) I'll never buy/own a Chevy and 2) I'll never live voluntarily in Utah.  Well, apparently I get a huge, I take that back, it's not a piece, it's the whole humble pie! Last November my Explorer died and I was in the market for a new car, I ended up buying a Chevy Trailblazer because it was a deal I couldn't now I not only drive a Chevy, but I own one! Yikes!! And to add to the shame and embarrassment, when I couldn't find a job in Colorado, a friend convinced me to try my luck in Logan, UT at a call center no less! I must have been on something strong because on Aug. 27th, I packed my car....well, not really because it had been packed since Jul. 30th, and I drove to Logan, interviewed at Convergys, an inbound customer service call center, the next day and started a week after that....making less than my job I had BEFORE I started my master's program. :-S So yeah, I felt like I had moved up in the world! :-p But it's actually been really good, hard, but good.  I didn't know but 1 person here when I moved here, well, Chesnye's in-laws and I stayed with them the first week, which I'm incredibly grateful for their hospitality.  Found an apartment with a roommate that's just a little younger than my mother, but she's incredibly sweet and wonderful and I'm grateful for her.  Met this fantastic lady at church the first Sunday and she pretty much told me we were gonna be friends whether I like it or not! She's been wonderful to have around.  It's incredibly hard going to a family ward, especially in a college town so it's a highly transitional ward, and be a single woman (I'm sure it's also hard for the single guys, I've just never experienced that side personally!) :-), I feel like I just get lost in the shuffle.  Boulder was a great place, but I didn't really meet anyone that I became friends with till the last weekend I was supposed to be there, so it's been nice to have Christina here.  She's "pushed" me to go to the different activities and invite me to things with her family as if I was part of it, and it's been that way since the start.

I've also gained a new nickname at training for Convergys...."Mouth from the South!" It's beyond me why they would ever come up with such a thing! :-p And I just finished training for a second job, that's in my field, at Orriant, as a Health Assessment Technician to do health assessments at health fairs for their clients.  It doesn't pay much and it's on-call, but it's in my field and I have the chance to move up in the company, and if I move up to be a Health Coach, I can do it anywhere in the WORLD, as long as I have a good internet connection, cuz it's over the phone (VOIP).  Which would be great to have a job if, who am I kidding, when I move somewhere else. Soooo.....yeah, life's good!

The hardest part is missing my family and friends back home.  Dallin turns 1 next Thursday!!! I can't hardly believe it! And they had his birthday party last night and Crystal sent me pics and he's getting so big, and I saw pics of both Hailey and him on FB a few days ago and even Hailey's getting bigger than I expected her to be by now, and it just makes me want to cry.  And I have no idea when I'll get to go home and see them.  I hate that I'm watching them grow up through pictures.  I don't know how much longer I can do this, even though I know I don't need to be in Georgia right now, as much as I want to be.  Then I see my other friends' kids on FB and they're growing up and I won't know them when I see them again.  My heart is truly breaking at the thought.  And I'm starting over from scratch here, and it's harder because the people who I am and would be friends with are married with kids, so their schedules are complicated because of that, which is fine, but sometimes you also need friends who are in the same boat you are and all the single people I have met are 10 years younger than me....and I can be friends with them, but it's hard because they're young, and I haven't met any single girls close to my age really.  I feel like I'm in limbo right now and I'm just trying to work my way out of it.  There will be major changes before the first of the year, I'm pretty sure, and I'm excited for the new adventures, but I'm still a little scared and worried over the effects it will have on my relationships as well.  What I do know is that I am a daughter of God and He loves me, I feel like I'm about to start reciting the YW theme, but it's so true.  I love Him also, and no matter what I do or where I go, or what happens to me, those three things will never change.  And the atonement is real and covers not only my sins, but my heartaches and pains and struggles and trials as well.  Without it, there would be no hope of joy in this life, let alone actually having joy.  I am so grateful for the atonement and for Christ's sacrifice and what it means to me, that yeah, I've messed up and made mistakes and done stuff even when I knew I shouldn't, but because of his love and sacrifice and God's love in giving us His Son, I can and will and am forgiven and I can be back with him.   Not being around my family and friends right now makes this hit home a lot more.  I long for the day I can see them again, and it's not like I can't talk to them or see pics, but it's not the same as being around them, especially my babies.  But I know it will happen and that makes me happy and I am excited for that, and I know I'll see my family and friends who have passed beyond the veil one day and for that I am extremely grateful.  I'm not a perfect person, I try, but I mess up, but the Lord loves me anyway and He will help me make it back to Him, I know that.  I've never been really good at expressing myself, especially with spiritual stuff, but this is something I've always known, and I've always known the gospel is true.  Even when I'm at my lowest point, I've always felt God's love for me and I've never felt completely without hope, and I wish I knew how to share that feeling with others, especially the ones who are despairing, because I KNOW He feels the exact same way about them and I KNOW they have just as much of a chance as I do to make it back and into God's presence again.

Wow, when I started writing this, I did not even think or expect to be bearing my testimony at all, I was just going to write a catch-up "this is what's happening in my life" post.  But as I was writing, that's what was coming to mind, so that's what I wrote. :-D  I hope it comes across the way it is in my head, or close at least!

It's also about to get cold here, which I am not looking forward to at all! I am not made for cold weather, give me 70 degree winters any time please! But at least I have a wonderful mother and sister who got me my winter clothes sent out and I can be warmer when it does drop, which is supposedly tomorrow! Yikes! I'm not ready!!!!

But enough of my lamenting! I really am doing fantastic and I am grateful to have two jobs, and I got to see AnnaLea while I was training this past week for Orriant cuz it was in the same area so I stayed with her while I was down there and Clint came up and we had lunch yesterday and that was fantastic! I love him and I'm so glad he hunted me down!  I haven't told a lot of people I've moved Utah because of the shame, but he heard from Jennifer so he texted me and I'm so glad he's so good at staying friends, because I'm not always the best and it's always easier when both people are trying! :-)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Stretching and other spiritual exercises.

So I've finished my internship and it was wonderful, but now, I'm jobless and homeless.  My lease ran out noon on July 30 and I was planning to stay one night at my friends' in Erie then head back home to Georgia because I have no home, no job, and no money.  Well, the Lord had other plans for me.  I know I mentioned in my previous post that I knew I was in the right place...well, I still know that, and I knew that when I was planning on leaving, but it's hard to live without money or a place of residence.  I guess I could have slept in my car, but it gets kinda uncomfortable when it's pack so tight I can't see out the back and I'd be sleeping sitting straight up! :) 

So I was planning to leave and continue my job hunting back home, thinking I'd come back if I found a job.  Well, the Friday before I was gonna leave, I get a call from a recruiter and I figured it wouldn't hurt to meet with him, so we scheduled for Monday afternoon.  Sunday I met a guy in my ward when he came to pick up my bed frame (I was getting rid of all my furniture), and we started talking about my job situation and he said he had a couple contacts he would get in touch with and let me know if they had any openings the next day.  My plan was still to leave Tuesday morning for Chesnye's unless something sounded promising.

Monday I meet with the recruiter, and it was really good, but I left still unsure about what to do, as it was more of an intro meeting than anything else and he wanted to have a follow-up meeting the following week.  So I meet up with my friends for FHE and talk things over with them a bit and they're more than gracious in saying I can stay with them for longer if I need to.  I'm following them back to their place from the park we were playing "corn hole" (it's the Colorado name for bean bag toss), I made the decision to stay for at least a week and I felt calm and peaceful as soon as I made that decision.  I hadn't heard from the guy from church yet, so I called him and left a message with his son.  He called me back later that night saying he had not gotten in touch with his contacts.  I told him I was staying at least for a week and he said he'd keep trying.  He's been great in sending me information about job openings he's come across.

Ironically, the day after I move out of the area, I get a phone call, it's from another guy in my ward who says he's my home teacher! :) I fill him in on my situation and he's apologetic he hasn't called earlier, but supportive and offers to help in any way he can.  I tell him I'll let him know.  So all last week I've been job hunting and I have had a phone interview for a part-time job as an Office Manager for a maid service company, but I won't know if I made the face-to-face interview until tomorrow or Tuesday.  And as it has nothing to do with my major, the guy expressed concern about me leaving it after a short while if I found a full-time position in my field, which I would do (though I didn't tell him that!), but at this point I'm not sure when that will happen.  However, if I get a face-to-face, I'm going to broach the idea of starting a wellness program with his employees and that will be more motivation for me to stay.  I also have a potential job opening at the company that does the City of Boulder's Wellness Program, but I'm waiting to hear when it will be posted.  I'm excited about that one as it's more of an entry level position and most of my problem has been lacking in management/supervisory experience, or wellness/fitness field experience period. 

And my friends have been wonderful, but I don't want to impose on them more than I have to and they're about to start finishing out their basement, which means I'd have to crash in their office upstairs and have no space to myself whatsoever.  My cousins live in Colorado Springs and I know they'd be more than happy to let me stay there also, but they have twice as many kids and half as much space, though I would have an actual bedroom and bathroom to myself (unless they have company staying with them).  And they're two hours away from this area which is where all my contacts are at.  But I can travel up here for interviews at the least and if I got a job up here, I could stay with my friends here or beg someone in Boulder Ward to put me up for a bit till I earn enough to get an apartment.

So that brings us to today.  I went to Boulder Ward because I wanted to follow up with that one guy and talk to my home teacher about getting a blessing for guidance in this whole endeavor, though I didn't know my home teacher by sight, luckily though he got up and bore his testimony and introduced himself, so I found him after sacrament and talked to him about it and we set up a time after church and he said he'd get his companion too.  I also talked with the other guy who had been out of town the end of this past week, but he said he'd follow up with his contacts tomorrow and Tuesday and he got my email to forward me job openings he was on the list for and he introduced me to the employment specialist, and I spoke with him for a few minutes and that was good.

So now I have to backtrack to last Sunday.  I met a couple who had just moved into the ward that day and offered them my desk and kitchen table.  Ironically, her name is Anneli (pronounced the same as my sister AnnaLea) and his name is Gary (the same as my dad's).  They came over the next morning to pick up the furniture and helped me pack my car, which was fantastic.  Anneli was looking for a job too and Gary was starting grad school at CU.  So I picked up Anneli one day to go to Boulder's Employment office so we both could see what it was about.  They're just graduated from BYU, married a couple years, but they're great.  Then today, I'm leaving Relief Society and they're standing outside talking to someone and Gary asked me my last name. I told him and he said he thought he was my home teacher! So that was nice that I had already become friends with them and he's one of my home teachers and he did assist in the blessing I had requested.

I wasn't expecting anything specific, but I did get a feeling of peace and calmness that everything would work out, but because of something that was said it might not be in the near future, but I would be taken care of.  Well, I wasn't too ecstatic about that thought, but with everything that was said in church today with that, I know this is a period of intense stretching for me.  I don't know where I'm going to end up, how it's going to happen, or when it'll all come together, but I do know that it will.  And I still feel that this is the place for me to be right now.  Don't know where I'm going to be living and I sure would like to get a semi-permanent place so I can unload my car, but I'll go where the Lord wants me to go and do what He wants me to do, or the best that I'm able.  I definitely miss my family right now and I've had offers from Chesnye in Kansas City, MO and another friend in TX to come and live with them for a time, which I would consider except for the conviction and confirmations I've received that I need to be here.

It's hard for me to be dependent on other people, I feel helpless, and I was crying on the phone to my mom today and I told her I was allergic to homelessness and joblessness! And it's not something Claritin can help!  But we were talking in Sunday School today about how we get the opportunity to grow and it can be hardship sometimes, and a friend posted the story about how we're like a house the Lord is remodeling and we thought we were a cottage, but He's changing us into a palace, and He's knocking out walls, and building turrets and it's painful!  I know what I'm going through is not nearly as difficult as some people I know, but they are much stronger than me, and I'm on my own, single, and with no immediate family and no close, close friends that I know would never resent me crashing at their place indefinitely.  Not that I think my friends here think that, but I'm just not as close to them as I am with some people and I don't make those kind of friendships easily.

But life will go on and it will get better and I will learn and grow and look back on this time and laugh at myself for struggling like I am. I thank the Lord I have His gospel in my life, and though I'm single I can still receive priesthood blessings from worthy brethren, and though I'm not as close to them as I'd like, for friends don't hesitate to put me up for a period of time and for wonderful family that loves me and supports me in any way they can, even if they want me back home with them!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Changes, changes, and more changes.....

So much has happened since I posted last?  First, I finished my course work for my master's degree, now I just have to finish my internship and take the ACSM HFS exam to officially call myself "Master Higginbotham!" Speaking of internships, I started applying last November, but true to form, took until the very last minute to get all the paperwork in.  My first pick was City of Boulder in yep, that's right, COLORADO! What the heck was I thinking moving away from Georgia??? But you know what, it was exactly what I want to do career wise so I went for it.  And the more I prayed and pondered over it, the more I knew it was right, though for a while I did let it go thinking I wouldn't do it, but it came up again and so I thought I might as well give it a shot.  But then I had to wait for things to be approved from GSU attorneys, and that could take a while, so my advisor told me to find a back-up plan.  Which of course I procrastinated, but did find something, which didn't work, so he told me to find something else, so I did, finally, the day of my birthday.  Five days before the start of the semester.  So the next day I figured it wasn't going to happen with Colorado, so I started putting things in motion to stay in GA and making plans past the 20th (the day I had originally planned to leave), and just as I was texting my landlord to tell her looks like I was staying through the summer at least, I get an email from my advisor saying CO's a GO!! I was in my parent's garage with my mom and her sister, helping my folks pack to move, and I yell, "I'M GOING TO COLORADO!!"

So yeah, 2 1/2 weeks later I was on my way with my friend who had quit her job rather spontaneously (it was the right thing to do for her), so she had the week to drive out with me and hang out for a few days.  It's been crazy! I didn't have a place to live, and found a place in 2 days (couldn't move in for a week though), but thankfully we had some friends that lived only 20-30 minutes away from my internship site, so we crashed in their basement til I could move into my place. 

It's been one tender mercy after another getting me here. I love Georgia, with all my heart and soul.  My family's there, excepting AnnaLea, almost all my babies are there, whom I miss more than I can tell!  So very many of my friends are there, and I know almost no one here.  I have the friends about 20 minutes away, but they have two little girls, my cousin lives in CO Springs, but that's 2 hours away, and I went to the YSA ward my first Sunday here, but they were at the oldest, 23, maybe 24, and I've turned 31 so I don't feel like I belong there anymore, so I've been to the family ward the past couple weeks and love going, but still haven't met anyone there really that I click with and can be friends with.  It has made me realize that when I do get to be a little more established, whether it's here or somewhere else, I need to look out for people in similar situations to me, cuz I'm sure those people in the family ward don't realize how very alone I am right now, being single and not knowing a soul, really, in the area.  And Sunday's after church are hard, we're done at 2, so I get to go home and do nothing till bedtime.  Yesterday was good though because I walked around the river area and talked to my bro, an old roomie, my mom, and my gma, which was really nice.

I'm loving my internship, it's exactly what I want to do, and I've got a great supervisor that's giving me contacts for jobs after this, so hopefully one of them will pan out, because I feel like I need to stay here for a year or two.  Which tears me apart, I'm excited for the adventure and what will unfold as I go along, but I'm so far from family and friends right now and that's hard.

I need a part-time job too, because this internship is not paid, and I have no idea where I'll be in 7 weeks (or less if I finish my hours before then), and I hope I can find a job that uses my degree and skills.  But you know what? I'm not worried, I should be, I always worry about things that I don't know the answer to that are big like this, but I have had an answer to my prayers, and I know this is where I need to be and the Lord will take care of me, I just need to trust in him.... do all I can do for sure, but it'll be ok.  And that's hard because I'm not one to just jump blindly into a situation as big as this, but when the Lord says too, you don't argue! :)