Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Quit Quitting, Start Living

I quit seminary. I quit on the grounds that it take too great a stress toll on me and my children and that the loving, self-emptying thing to do is to let it go and be with my kids without the distraction of hanging deadlines or the exhaustion of commuting and thinking layered on motherhood. 'Cause I was pressuring myself to finish my program before we move somewhere else for David's residency. On account of my overriding anxiety and the tape recording that kept saying, "I can't do this." "I'm going to snap."

I quit because I was trying to love my kids selflessly. Because everyone says I can recreate myself later. Because I'm not sure where this road is leading me. Because I was having trouble justifying the time, money, gas and intangibles in a world where kids are starving, the ozone is leaking away and my own babies will soon be big and never again will be little pudgy peach skin rolling in innocence, smiles, fussiness, love, messes and open curiosity.

And when I quit, my heart sank like a sopping wet sand big pitched into an abyss of loneliness and aimlessness. I felt my happy energy sap away and instead of feeling free, lighter, actively engaged with giving my best love to the people in the world I love best, I felt achingly absent and sad.

So I activated the only common sense decision I could: I quit my quitting and put myself back on the road to seminary, now because I am happy to be learning, clear that I am supposed to be on this path, and open to a new way of being that is balanced, learning when it's time to learning and learning when it's time to Be. Laugh. Listen. Engage with life, nourish my family, celebrate the lusciousness of fruit and chocolate, peachy skin and parent in firm, agape ways that acknowledge and nurture the spirits shining through my children in surprising and tricky ways. Love life. Let go of pleasing anyone. Love everyone.

Will I pass my classes with this approach? Will I finish seminary or ever have initials before or after my name? Who cares! I live for the abundant life of the God who lives in me.


Amy said...

Jemila, you're writing my heart, too.

Jemila Monroe said...

Maybe we should write a book on motherhood in seminary ;)

Simone said...

I am at that point in my life, where I am asking the question - when do I starting living - living life abundantly. When, where etc......

I really could identify with your words. Thanks for sharing.

deep_well said...

I am so proud of you! What a journey, sister! Remember, "We love because it is the only true adventure." Keep loving the adventure and let the destination take care of itself. Missing you! xxxx

Janice said...

Good for you!! I remember those days well...sort of. I was working FT, going to school part time, being a single mom -- tiring but exciting and fulfilling all at the same time. Though I ultimately didn't finish the track of study I was on, it was, nonetheless, a good time in my life. :) In a way, I like the motto - one day at a time. And the new favorite in our house - do the next first thing. And then do it again. Little by little things come together. :)

Jemila Monroe said...

Thank you deep-well, sister.

Janice, I have the greatest admiration for you.

Jemila Monroe said...

Simone, so nice to "see you" here. I love your blogs.

Life abundant...it's here, we just have to welcome what comes and discover Grace, Love, Truth, Beauty and Life abundant right HERE, whatever HERE is for us.