You Can Do Good Right Where You Are

I've been in a writing rut lately. I haven't really blogged or journaled anything super meaningful in awhile. I think it's because I've been trying to write this post but I didn't know how. Prepare yourself for this post, it's a long one. And please, read all the way to the end. It has a happy ending ;)

My life is a hot mess right now. In January I quit a really frustrating job to go be a 4th grade teachers aide which I have loved even despite its own challenges. I took a $3/hr pay cut and took 29 hours instead of 40. In February, husband was on the brink of losing his job so I took on a 2nd job working for Albion Apparel in their shipping department. In March he was offered a position at the same company in a different department, much more stability and a boss who loves him. But the pay was cut by almost 40%. It it worth it while he finishes school (November can't come fast enough!) but it's been tough for sure. In April we finished my home salon, business license and all, and I have really enjoyed starting to take hair appointments again. 

And despite all the changes and challenges, we have been really, really happy. And really, really blessed. But I've been in a rut. An emotional, spiritual rut.

I feel stuck. I couldn't quit any of my jobs, even if I wanted to, because for the first time in our married life, my income is necessary. (we skipped the poor college student phase as newlyweds, so I've been joking that our time had finally come.) I've also joked that I am not cut out to work full time, because between my two jobs I was barely working over 40 hours a week and it was taking a toll on me. My anxiety/stress levels were operating at their highest levels and melt-downs became a weekly issue instead of monthly/bi-monthly.

And guess what else? I'm ready to be a stay at home mom. So ready. It hit us like a lightning bolt back in December and we both wanted a baby. We are both ready for that phase in our life and so excited, but it isn't here yet. And we aren't pregnant. And that is hard. I can't imagine doing this for years and years. Wondering if on Day 39 of my cycle I'll start my period or test HCG +. My cycles are crazy and they always have been, so what if we can't even get pregnant? What if. What if. What if. 

In almost every aspect of my life I feel like I don't quite fit in. We are the youngest couple in our home ward and have no children. I'm not super skinny and fit and super-model-esque like the girls I work with. I'm the youngest teachers aide at the elementary school. I'm the youngest in our group of friends. I haven't really had my own gang of friends since high school/college and I left them all behind in Logan to get married. Why do I have to be so different? Why don't I have the magnetic personality of my brother in law? Why don't I have the gorgeous hair and body like my co-worker? Why don't I have 2 children by now like my fellow YW leaders? Why did I drop out of college to go to hair school when I will never make a lot of money doing it? How did I gain 40 pounds after marriage and why is it so hard to lose it when I'm doing everything right and working my butt off at Yogalaties!?

My life for the past few months has been surviving one day at a time. 4th grade is out for the summer which means I'm only working one job right now, but I kicked up my hours at my second job and left open two days a week for hair appointments. After a melt-down over my new summer hours, and a weekend of praying, pondering, relaxing in Ledgefork campground near Kamas, UT, I asked Colten for a blessing of comfort and counsel. 

I won't quote the blessing word for word (though I wish I could because it was incredible!), but I will share one thing. In the blessing, my Heavenly Father told me that he knows the challenges I am facing, but that He made me UNIQUE. He has made me different than a lot of people for specific reasons. He told me that I will influence those around me as I strive to share goodness. I am unique and important in HIS plan. He wants to recognize the good I can do in the phase of life I am in. I matter to HIM. And this is not verbatim, but He basically told me to get off my butt and begin doing the things I know I should be doing so that I can have His spirit with me at all times. 

Oh. my. lanta. A breath of fresh air. How easy is it to forget that we are unique for a reason? That we have a sphere of influence that only WE have? That you can be a good person at any age, in any phase of life and guess what else? In any type of body. 


My problems haven't disappeared completely. I still felt anxiety when I woke up this morning. But I made it to Yogalaties, and I listened to the Book of Mormon on my 25 minute drive to work, and I tried to be a hard worker and a good listener to my co-workers, and when I came home I kissed my husband and snuggled my puppies. I might not have children to influence, I might not make $60,000 a year (or even $20,000 to be honest), I might not have the sexiest body, or the prettiest hair and makeup... but I matter right where I am. And God needs me. And just as important... God needs YOU. And I sincerely hope and pray, that wherever you are right now, you feel the Spirit confirming to you that that is true. You can do good, right where you are. And God needs you.

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Charissa Thatcher said...

You're amazing girlfriend. I think we need to go to lunch :) keep your head up I think you're amazing!

Amberly said...

Thank you for sharing! I know that I'm super happy with life right now, but there are a lot of things that I wish were going differently, one of them being that I wish I could quit my job as well. But life is never perfect by our standards, right? It's just perfect based on what he knows that we need in our life right now.

Stacy said...

Love you Brooklyn! And I love this sincere post. For the record you fit in just perfectly with us. Your unique strengths and perspective are needed by the YW and the ward. I am glad Heavenly Father let you know. Thanks for so candidly sharing your experience.

Tayler Morrell said...

I love you! And, I've been feeling the same a bit...we never were in the poor college student phase...we both graduated without debt and since I started teaching while Justin was still a student and we lived in campus housing, we saved a lot. But, now that I'm not teaching (40% of our income), and now that Justin has recently been let go...and we are living in our parents' basement...and I've never lost the weight from my pregnancy whereas all my other friends have and I don't really feel like I have a close-knit group of friends (which is why I hold blogging dear to me).....

So, I understand how you feel. But you are absolutely right. You are beautiful and you are special. And you have such a spirit about you.

Heidi Anderson said...

Brooklyn, this blog post was exactly what I needed to read. Thank you for being you.

Ashley Ziegler said...

Brooklyn!! I relate on so many of these!! Life has been just weird for me this year so far. I think you're doing great, and you're always such a good example to me :)

Caira Winn said...

Brooklyn! Thank you for sharing what you're going through. I've been reading your blog for awhile back when it was under a different name when you were single. It has been awesome to see how God is working in your life! I often feel the same way like I don't fit in and ect. Thank you for sharing your heart and still giving hope! I will be praying for you! Thank you for your vulnerability and honesty. Sending you hugs from across the internet!