If I'm being perfectly honest with you (and I have no reason not to be), I'm more than a little frustrated these days. It's work, it's my personal relationships... basically, its just life in general and the fact that mine is not exactly on track the way I want it to be or feel like it should be at this point. Then again, I'm not exactly sure what track I want or need to be on right now, so maybe that's part of my problem.
I've come to the conclusion in the past couple of months that, as much fun as it's been, New Orleans is likely just not going to be my forever home. There's a lot here to love for sure, but I just don't see Lauren staying here forever. That's not to say I have any idea in the world where it is I want or am supposed to end up, I just get the feeling that this ain't it. So, for the past little while now I've been applying for jobs. Everywhere. No, I'm serious. Everywhere. Since I have no idea where I want to go, what I want to do, and really no ties or obligations to anywhere in particular, I've basically been playing the old "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks," game.
Now, seems to me (being the logical person that I am) my complete and utter lack of stipulation on type of job/city I live in, would make it easy to find something. I mean, that makes sense, right? Apparently, not so much because while I've had several interviews, nothing has worked out or fallen into place for me yet. It's more than a little frustrating for me now, but it's also really made me stop to think about why I'm still here in New Orleans.
The idea of Fate is, in and of itself, a big and very messy subject to tackle here so I won't do that exactly. But what I will say is that I tend to think that there is a bigger plan than what I will ever know, that everything happens for a reason, and that in the end, things ultimately work out as they are meant to. That said, I have to believe that (all of the heartache of the past year notwithstanding) there was a reason I ended up in New Orleans and by that same token, I have to believe that there is a reason I am still here now. I can look at the past year and point to many, many reasons I think God put me here at this point in my life. I think there were a lot of lessons I needed to learn that I couldn't have learned anywhere else; I think there were a lot of people I needed to have put into my life and I think there are people whose lives I needed to become a part of. But in my mind, I've learned my lessons, I've made my friends, and I've done all I know to do. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to leave. I'm ready for whatever comes next.
What I'm starting to realize though, and who knows? Maybe this is the final lesson I need to learn here, is that it's really not so much about what I think I'm ready for. It's much more about the bigger picture and the bigger plan and the totality of life than about what I think I want today. A good friend told me once that "God is far more concerned with our character than our immediate happiness," and I've been trying to remind myself of that lately...while I cool my heels and bang my head against the wall here in New Orleans.
So...yeah. I don't know whether I'm still here because I have more to learn, or whether I'm still here because God is using the people in my life to reach me in ways I don't realize, or if maybe he is using me in their lives...I just don't know. But I have to believe that there is some reason behind it all, and I have to believe that when the time is right whatever comes next for me will fall into place and I'll be able to look back on these past few months and be thankful for the extra time I spent in NOLA.