I am taking a train from Polignano as I type, the southern sea-side town I have fallen slowly but completely in love with. Before I follow up with a huge post documenting my week, I wanted to take some time to file more honestly where I am at. Photos seem to record only what I advise to be beauty - it's quite hard to capture the rest, all that you naturally push out of the frame that may disturb the perfect shot. I love that, re-telling and creating your version of a juncture in time, but it's a funny thing when you stop and look at the rest.
One of my biggest fears is wasting time and not achieving much. Even when I'm doing things, it hardly feels like I'm achieving anything, and that's something I'm working on. I get so restless just hanging out when I really can be getting on with some work, overbearing. I tend to voluntary/ get pressured to stay when the working day is over leaving no room to be ill-prepared for anything. I guess that's why it was so easy to slip into a lifestyle of constant overtime and with such dramatised pressure all round. It became something I didn’t even know how to surrender to God, my job was just constantly emails, errands, meetings, I struggled to even begin figuring out how this was glorifying Him. It scared me that this could very realistically be the rest of my life, I found it easier and easier to produce work that I didn’t really love or believe in. In spite of feeble attempts to turn my feelings around about this to find reasons to continue, there was a character about it all that I wouldn’t admire in anyone else. This is in no way dismissing anything, God has prepared me and I knew the value of this time of learning about the business as well as shaping a little more patience which is never needed enough… I have only realised that I need to be a go getter and to continue would be to settle. I know that I'll just be going around in circles with the same lessons, so I made a choice to live differently for a little - a real change.
"Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing." --Isaiah 40:26
I’ve been needing some help to see properly, the lifestyle here is too good, the genuine emotions of the people, the hearty, loud nature of the Italian culture, the sincerity that has made me realise many things. In London and Manchester I tend to keep my head down, hoping not to bump into anyone, permanently checking off tasks. Just to catch up a little, for about half a year I had been working for a fashion agency as the marketing executive here. It was great in more ways than I had signed up for, but the arts that I love so much have become an accustomed way of money making. The business of fashion was overshadowing the magic and imagination that I admired about it all. It's essentially the reality of it, but it's nevertheless the side that I didn't want to continue expanding from. While I was there, I didn't know how to get out of it, I couldn't and I didn't find truths from the 'right things' that my little world was so sucked into a nasty habit of believing.
Learning to dive deeper. And swim farther, I'm not quitting, I'm not going anywhere, I’m just commanding a little time to recharge. I have been trying to figure out what I’m actually doing with Romans 12, do not confirm any longer to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind and coming across the message translation has given me a fresh, simple way to understand it,
"So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you..."
Obviously this post is about my relation with work and figuring out my passions. There are a few and many things that I want to achieve in terms of my career but the thing I want to share, as generic as it sounds - I'm not just saying anymore, I’m finally truly ok with and without these things. Jesus provides my needs and He directs my wants and desires, it was hard to make this true to myself when work was so commercially and financially driven, which is good! Just not for me I realise. Relinquish your dreams for the only one who can set them in place because the new thing I have learned is that no matter how tightly you hold onto your plans, it will inevitably be taken if it's not for you.
I am blessed to be here to start the next season.
In God we trust,