17 March 2014

Tired of being fat

I am fat.

Yup, you know it. There is no way around it. If you want to be politically correct, you can call me "mildly obese," but hey, if the the shoe fits...

But I can't get out of this pit I'm in. I don't have the energy to get out. I can't do this by myself.

I know people will say, "Give it to God" or "You can't, but God can," and to be honest, I'm tired of all that talk.

The fact is that God gives us people to keep us accountable, to help us through our rough spots, to be moral support. Sometimes God reaches down and lifts us up out of the mire. But more often than not, He sends others to do that.

But not this time.

People don't get it. Watching one's weight is usually a personal thing. "You just need motivation, determination." Or whatever. Everything I've heard about going through divorce emphasizes that you need to take care of your body.

No one gets how hard that is, how much of a struggle. All of my peers are skinny chicks who eat right, cook nutritious meals for their families, and exercise. Some find it harder than others, but they all manage it to some extent.

I don't manage it at all. I am failing--more and more so every single day.

I am surviving my divorce--six months of separation as of yesterday. I am paying bills. I am making sure my children are safe and are learning and growing. I am working full-time, which I never in my life wanted to have to do. But I'm doing it and actually enjoying my job.

But food... Food is my area of absolute failure. And I cannot break free.

I. Cannot. Break. Free.

09 March 2014

Hiraeth

In the past several months, I have not only been introduced to this term but have also seen it used over and over again in online conversations and blog posts. For a Third Culture Kid, I think this word captures a lot of feelings and impressions that no other word can quite express. 

According to Harrison and Petro, "The Welsh word hiraeth has no equivalent in English. It often translates as “homesickness,” but the actual concept is far more complex. It incorporates an aspect of impossibility: the pining for a home, a person, a figure, even a national history that may never have actually existed. To feel hiraeth is to experience a deep sense of incompleteness tinged with longing."

That about sums it up.

This afternoon at Financial Peace University, the lecture was on mortgage and homeownership.

...Which mostly went over my head.

I have never lived in a home owned by my family. 

Sure, I have visited: my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, my sister, my brother. But I didn't grow up in a home that my parents owned, and I have never owned a home myself. In my 31 years, I have lived in rented homes the entire time.

The longest I have lived anywhere was our house in Nigeria, which was owned by the church that ran the hospital and that partnered with our mission organization. When my dad stopped working at the hospital long after I graduated and moved back to the U.S., my parents had to move to another house, one I have only known as the Murray house.

I guess that begs explanation. Our mission owns certain homes in groupings called compounds, which are surrounded by a wall and entered through a gate. Some missionaries come and stay for many years. Others only come to the field for a few months at a time. And because there is a lot of turnover (for even families who are long-term must go back to the U.S. every few years to raise support), people move houses quite a lot. My family lived in the same house for almost 20 years because it was reserved for a doctor family, and there are definitely fewer doctors than other families. But our neighbor houses varied quite a bit: the Park/Sauerwein/Kirschner/Anthis/Lemanski house and the Andrew/Bailey/Emmanuel/Tait/Naatz house. (And those are only the families I actually remember. I'm sure there are others.) My parents' most recent house was where the Murrays lived when I was in high school--the last time I was in that house. So that was never my home. And the house where I lived for nine years (and which was "home" until 2009) is now inhabited by another doctor family.

Hiraeth.

Today I feel entirely homeless. I have in my lifetime considered many places in the U.S. "home," but none consistently, and now I have nowhere--nowhere to which I can return after a journey and feel rested and safe. Nowhere familiar. Nowhere I know and love.

And while we were watching the lesson on homeownership, it struck me with powerful force that I don't want to live here long enough to make buying a house worthwhile. I like Augusta as well as most places I have lived. but I don't want to live here indefinitely. It's not me. I have a job and a church, and I am blessed with the community, for which I am truly thankful. But I can't stay here. This is not home. I already feel the bug to move, and I've been here less than a year. It's not as simple as being dissatisfied. I even feel bad saying it at all, for I have experienced overwhelming support here. But that impulse, that instinct says, "Go. Tarry but awhile, then go."

Whither? I have no idea. And for now I will tell this impulse to shut up and leave me alone, for I can't afford to uproot us now. But I know it's only a matter of time.

Perhaps TCKs have a better glimpse than most into the true meaning of "this world is not our home." And perhaps that is why the song "Into the West" brings me to tears every single time I hear it.

Hiraeth.