November 6, 2004

I Can't Take It Back

Since I’m not tired, I’m going to keep writing.

It’s just….well, I’m hesitant to put these thoughts down on paper simply because it makes it real.

But what the hell.

So, I’ve been pondering my future too much lately. Like I said, I have too much time to think lately and I’m just not content to live my life in there here and now. Oh no, I have to go and stress about what’s next on the agenda. Sigh.

But anyway. I’ve been telling people that I’m going to come home from GUA in May or June, maybe work at Sky Lodge for the summer, and then head to Duke for grad school. I’ve even started working on the application process for Duke.

But…here we go…I’m not sure I want to get my masters. And I don’t mean I don’t know when I want to get my masters. I mean, I don’t know if I want one ever. At least, I don’t know if I want to get my masters of divinity.

Here I go screwing around with big plans again, but I just can’t seem to help myself.

But I think I need to listen to this voice within me that’s saying, “Now Tori…why are you doing this? Is it because you really want to do it? OR is it because you think you should be doing it? Hmmm??”

It’s time to come clean.

I want to own a bookstore. A bookstore in a town that is big enough to support a bookstore and yet small enough that I don’t have to worry about a Books-A-Million taking away my business. And it has to have a park. A big one. Where you can take your dog and ride your bike.

Well, ok, so maybe I don’t want to really own a bookstore, because honestly, what do I know about running a business? I have a degree in religion, for Pete’s sake. So maybe, I just want to work at a bookstore. Full-time. But the town still has to have a big park.

By admitting this dream, I’m really screwing with the status quo in my head. I mean, up until 10 minutes ago, this was just a private little idea that I was never going to do anything about. But, I just let that little dream take flight by actually putting it into words and sharing it.

It makes no sense to want this. I spent the better part of 18 years wanting to be a doctor. That lasted until I got to college, where I discovered that I didn’t really want to be a doctor. Instead, God led me to a boat dock and told me that He wanted me to think about youth ministry. So, I refocused and jumped into that idea. Along the way, I fell in love with helping teenagers and camping. I changed from a chemistry major to a religion major, and spent 4 years getting myself ready to be a youth minister. And now, here I am, spending the next year as a youth intern, and constantly struggling against the feeling that I just don’t quite fit.

Facing the decision of whether or not to apply to grad school for next fall has brought this unsettling feeling into my stomach that maybe I still haven’t quite got it right.

I just sat here for 10 minutes staring at that sentence, sickened by the realization that it rings very true with my soul. I have no idea what that means. Why am I here then? Am I supposed to be a youth minister or not?

Dear Lord, I don’t know what to do with this. I wasn’t planning on writing about this, but as is often the case, my thoughts connect themselves so much better when I write them down. I didn’t know this was in my head until just this very minute. At least, I wasn’t admitting to myself that it was there until now.

That just royally messes with my head and for now, I think it will just make me write in circles, so I’m quitting. I can’t handle any more surprises for the night.


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