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Oct 29 2007

Stuck in between

Jamie Barrows

Traffic Blur

I’ve been a little depressed lately. And the reason is that I feel stuck. My entire life feels like it is stuck in between being a mature adult, and being an immature young adult who is still trying to find out what to do with his life. And being stuck in between, I don’t feel like I can really relate to the people around me who are in one phase or another.

On one side, I have my mature friends. The people I graduated from college with. I don’t really feel like they are more mature than me, but at the same time I do. The problem is that they are all in a different place in their lives than I am. Most of them are married and well established in their careers. A lot of them even have multiple kids. Whereas I’m not married, and I don’t feel all that well established in my career. While they are all building their families and advancing in their chosen careers, I’m still single and still at the bottom of my chosen career path. And as we all get older, I find that I have less and less in common with most of them.

On the other side I have my relatively immature friends. They are mostly younger than me, and haven’t reached the point where they are really working on their future. Mostly they are single and for the most part are still in college. They live from paycheck to paycheck and don’t really worry too much about what they are going to do with their lives. They aren’t really immature, they just haven’t moved past the college phase yet. And the truth is that I really don’t relate to them either. Because I am past the college phase.

My problem is that I’m stuck in between. I’m past the friends who are still in school and are still finding out who they are, but I’m behind the ones who are out their building their lives. And I feel like I’m stuck. I’m too old to go back, but I somehow can’t go forward either. It’s like my life is in a permanent holding pattern. Since I graduated from college, about 4 years ago, almost nothing has changed in my life. Which is depressing. Mainly because I have no idea what I did wrong to be left behind, and I find I have less and less in common with everyone around me. So, I’m feeling a little down right now.


Jun 4 2007

Focus, and my life

Jamie Barrows

Focus


Sunday at my church the pastor preached a message on knowing God’s will for our lives. One of the points of the message that really hit me, was, focus. He said we need to focus on using the specific gifts God gave us to further his kingdom, rather than worry about what God’s plan for our lives will be. In doing so, we will naturally fall into God’s will for us. He also said we shouldn’t assume that the plans we want for our lives are God’s plans for our lives.

That really got me thinking about where my focus should be. I’ve been really depressed lately. Well, to be honest, I’ve actually been pretty depressed for several years. I have ups and downs, but lately I’ve been in a down spiral. For years now I’ve felt like I was running in place. I’m always doing something, and I’m always working hard at it. but I never seem to get anywhere useful. And what I do accomplish, never seems to be enough or seems to give me what I wanted.

Before I went to college, I had my life all planned out.
I chose a Christian college, so that I would be able to meet Christians. The plan was to find a Christian to marry to raise a family with. While that seemed to work for most of my friends, it never worked out for me. Relationships always seemed to fail long before they got anywhere near that serious. Since college, it’s become even harder to meet and form relationships with Christians in the local churches. Consequently, I’ve been basically single for quite a long time.

I picked my major in college partially because I enjoyed it, but also because it seemed like a field that was growing. A field where demand and pay would remain high. All things to consider, if you want to support a family and have a rewarding career. Again, it didn’t work out like I planed. The year I graduated, was the year after the tech stocks crashed. Jobs in IT were hard to find, unless you had experience. I did find a job, but the pay was not what I would have wanted. Even now, with the industry having recovered, pay scales are not what I had planned for. And as much as I love my current job, to be honest the pay is not great.

For the past few years, I’ve basically gone nowhere. My pay is higher than when I started working, but still pretty close to entry level. I’m still single, and currently have no prospects for changing that. Even my close friends are drifting farther and farther apart from me, as they get on with their lives and begin raising their families. No matter how hard I’ve tried to change things, I never seem to get any closer to my goals.

I’ve begun to think that my focus has been wrong all along. I’ve been focused on trying to accomplish my goals for my life, but maybe those goals aren’t God’s goals for my life. Maybe that is why I am not satisfied and at peace, even when it seems like I am accomplishing things towards my goals. That isn’t to say that God doesn’t want me to get married and have a family, or that he doesn’t want me to have a successful career. All I’m saying is that maybe my focus shouldn’t be simply working towards accomplishing those goals. Rather, it should be on being open to what God wants me to do.

I’m not exactly sure what I should be doing, but I’m going to try to change the focus of my life toward God’s focus as much as I can. A good start would probably be to see where my skills and abilities can best be used in my church.