I hesitate ever to label myself a specific “personality type” because labels can be confining and no one wants to completely define their lives based on what someone else has said, but in this case, it’s important. ENFPs are “advocates” – dreamers, doers, encouragers, relationally-driven.
Unemployment, on the other hand, is full of long days alone – applying for jobs, cleaning, making dinner, walking in circles, checking the mail, and driving to the store just to get out of the house for a bit. (I still wake up at 8am, so “sleeping in” isn’t one of these.)
Parts of it have really sucked. Too much introspection puts me in a rut of self-examination that can turn sour in a minute with “not good enough” and “still don’t have a job” and “got fired” and “but I can only eat dollar pizzas” (even if I have more money than that..) swirling in my head like a nightmare. Speaking of nightmares – I’ve had endless sleepless nights, night terrors, and the silliest anxiety dreams that I can barely explain.
But, parts of it have been really great.
I’m catching up on a Bible study I started two years ago. I’ve finished three books that have been sitting around my room waiting for spare moments and read two others from start to finish. I finally went to the library and got my library card so I don’t spend inordinate amounts of money I don’t have on books I can borrow and give back for free.
My pourover coffee game is better than ever. I’ve done freelance design work and loved it. I’ve taken off early to the Mountains for the fun of driving winding roads and have hammocked hours on end in the greatest of places. I started running again, started art projects again, and spent an entire day making cupcakes. I’ve watched every episode of Friday Night Lights and am halfway through Parks & Rec.
I’ve started using natural deodorant and stopped using regular shampoo (again) and I love it. I’ve purged things in my closet and started making room for cold weather clothes. I even went to Malachi’s first football game, captured his first tackle on camera, and spent way too many hours with some AT&T employee. And played hide-n-seek in a church nursery with two of the cutest toddlers and made fun of Amy while she unpacked her shoes. Oh, and I’ve spent a LOT of time on Pinterest. It’s been a busy month.
I’ve started working through some of the hardest parts of my heart with God. We’ve been walking a tough road in the last month, but fire is refining and I’m willing to walk that. This has been a month of rest and deep breaths – something I’ve needed for nothing short of three whole years.
My non-nightmare dreams have been filled with dirt roads, corn fields, and churches full of barefoot children. I’ve dreamt of living there, doing life there, and have been frustrated that God hasn’t pulled the trigger on that race yet. But His timing is best (even if videos and pictures from there still make me cry and I find myself counting forward seven) and He’s been breaking my heart for the whole world in a month: for the ones who can’t read because no one has taught them, for the ones running into the sea because it holds more solace than solid ground, for those who long for community and for their story to be heard.
He’s been teaching me that He can do more in my waiting than I could ever accomplish running on my own. I’ve learned that when your hands feel tied and your feet can’t move, prayer and the Word are still our greatest weapons. I’ve learned that God allows me wisdom to give to someone in a tough situation only to turn my life into similar circumstances, making me practice what I preach. I’ve learned that people believe in what little vision God’s put in me, even when I doubt it and I’ve realized a million times that we all need an Advocate, someone to fight for us.
This month, of course, has held its fair share of conversations around the table, on bathroom floors, on couches, in cars, and on the phone. If I didn’t need money to pay for living, I would love to just have conversations with the people who make this life of mine so rich. it has been blessing upon blessing to celebrate alongside some of my favorite people in this season – from new babies to new jobs, moving houses for the first time in years to finally settling down after moving too much, huge risks to the mundane everyday joys.
All of this to say, I’m still jobless as a 25 year old, approaching the most colorful season, Autumn, and I’m still breathing, still paying for all the things somehow, and still counting the little joy moments. But, if you know someone who needs someone like me on their team, let me know, because a job would be fun, too.