When I Grow Up… Again… And Again…

No “Deus ex Machina.” *** That’s what the Lord said, over a year ago.

No magic rescue from on high, no new challenge or situation dropped in my lap, no suddenly happy happy world all bright and shiny, all ready for me to just step into.

Nuttin’.

Time to try, time to do. Learn to take a step in a direction, see if it leads anywhere. If so, take another step. If not, start again. Put a hand on the wheel, and steer a course. Realize that He will help with course corrections, but it’s my job to find a direction. Without trying, without moving, nothing changes.

Picasso said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” 

True dat. And I’m smack dab in the middle of my “blue period.”

Outside of the things practical that I must get going on – dishes, always dishes; clutter, everlasting clutter; chores, abundant chores – there is the bigger question, the one that leaves a manly guy of the male persuasion like me flapping like a fish out of water…

“So, what do you do?”

Um… 

— I type away on a little keyboard, writing sometimes “funny” and sometimes “not so much” stuff that sometimes amuses 4.78 folks at a time.

— I play with yarn, and sometimes even make something that someone else will love and purchase and wear.

— I mess around with music, not to the level of making it into something that would go viral somewhere (whatever that means…), but enough to justify (in my own twisted mind) the ridiculous amount of equipment and instruments my house is burdened with.

— I sometimes do magic, tell stories, or make weird little things out of balloons.

— I’ve been known to make little shiny bits out of stones and wire, but it’s stalled right now. The tools are there, the books and lessons and ideas, and even some raw materials (including LOTS of stones… Some downright beautiful ones that SO need to be made into things…), but no movement – stalled.

And I wonder where the last year went… Has anything changed? Has anything been done, or am I at the same place I was over a year ago, sans income?

(Yes, Beloved – I will add sans anxiety, sans most of my binge eating, and sans frustration and depression sweeps that my meds were having difficulty keeping up with. I get that…)

Honestly, things have moved, things are different, and I’m not quite who I was even a year ago. Grace upon grace, that continues to amaze a wretch like me.

But the changes and movement I can see are so tiny that I have a hard time acknowledging that anything has happened. So much of this journey is just that – a journey, not an arrival, and it’s tough to see progress.

(My beloved would be quick to remind me that the small moves, the tiny changes are the ones which have a good chance of sticking. It’s the big, grandiose sweeping ones that become too much for us to keep up with and get thrown under the bus a month later.)

Mostly, I guess, I’ve been learning lessons…

Lesson #1 – Calbert shalt live on a budget, since failing to do so not only makes my Beloved sad, but gives me major pains in the tum-tum and the brain. Most newly-married couples get to work on this in the first few years of marriage – I waited until year 31. As is known the world over, I’m a s-l-o-w learner…

Lesson #2 – The part-time job I currently do is a dead end. I don’t say that in a negative way – it’s simply the way it is. It will never lead to anything, it will never grow beyond what it is, and at best it will continue exactly as it is. At worst, it’ll get phased out and I’ll be down to absolute zero – a.k.a. the average temperature Michigan has been at most of this month.

Brrr.

To pin my hopes on something magically rising up from there is absurd. It’s the Lost Puppy Lesson all over again, with a heaping dash of the Cool Kids mixed in for a particularly nasty taste. It is what it is, and there is neither sadness nor bitterness in that realization – it simply is.

Lesson #3 (More of a review, actually…): No Deus ex Machina. No Divine rescue. I have to place a hand on the wheel and learn to steer.

Lovely. I’m a college grad-U-ate, and I’m still in school. *sigh* 

I know – It’s a journey, not an arrival. I hate it when you remind me of the pithy phrases I just used…

So, to try and answer the question my counselor, She-Who-Knows-Much, asks after I ask, “What am I supposed to do with my life?”, I ponder…

“What do I GET to do with my life?”

If I set the money concerns aside for a moment, and continue to learn how to stay on the long, slow path of living within our modest means; If I ignore my internal man voice that demands I bring in income to show my worth or at least have an occupation that won’t bring confused stares when I respond to “So, what do you do?”; And, if I put aside any expectations I might lay on myself, and instead consider what my Father has placed in me, the things He gave me to turn me into a reflector of Him…

What do I GET to do?

I dunno. I wish I did. 

But, since I don’t see any cue cards or golden couches dropping from the sky (Deus ex Machina style, word to yo Greek tragedy heroine…), I guess I’m going to have to figure it out.

The difference is, I have to figure it out by DOING, not by THINKING. I sit, I ponder, and nothing happens. I do, I try, and even if it’s wrong, at least I learned something along the journey.

And that’s what it is – a journey, not an arrival – “Inspiration comes, but it has to find you working.” Thank you, Picasso… I think.

I’m here, Lord. I’m typing. I’m trying. Correct my course, guide my steps, and teach me.

I’m here. I’m moving.

*** Deus ex Machina – “god out of the machine”

“A deus ex machina (plural: dei ex machina) is a plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object.”
(Source: Wikipedia)

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