It’s been a while.
A lot of things have happened since I wrote the last letter; we moved to Mississippi and back, moved to a different house, my nephew was born, I cut off all my hair. Oh, and I finished another novel, although I may never publish it.
I feel as though I can finally call myself an author, now that I’ve actually finished two novels. Someday I’ll publish them; I finally felt God telling me to go ahead and really start thinking about it. And moving towards it. It all happened when I finally said goodbye to hopes of a continued friendship with a guy who, honestly, I thought was going to be you. Nothing happened between us, mind you, but I had some pretty strong liking for him, and according to his actions, he did towards me.
I’m glad he never asked me out. As painful as it was to see that I had been wrong, it would have been worse if we’d been an official couple. Just the year of hanging on to that hope that he’d continue the friendship as he said he would was hard enough. It was such a relief to finally say goodbye to him; I can’t even explain how the moment of verbalizing my farewells to him, to friendship, to hope… it was so… freeing. In one instant, my heart was lifted, the burden was gone, and I was done with it.
Why am I even telling you about this? Admitting that I had feelings for a guy in my past to a guy in my future might be awkward or strange to some. But I’m going to say right now that I’ve never been much for hiding my past or my feelings. I want you to know that I no longer feel regret for liking him. I no longer want to take it back, to undo it, to start over. Because the experience I had with him will just make you all the more special to me. You’ll be the one to take my heart and keep it safe, whereas he dropped it as soon as someone else came along.
Although I can’t really say I gave him my heart. I wasn’t in love with him. Just in strong like.
I hope you’re not jealous with or angry at him. Believe me, love, he can’t hold a candle to you, and it’s not worth it to be mad at the past. He was a good friend. You, my dear, will be my best friend.
But that’s enough about the past. I have a few things of the present to unload on you.
I’ve been stressed lately. Part of it is just a lack of sleep. But most of it is rubbing off from my parents, and I’ve been having some doubts lately as to whether I really want to stay with them until I meet you. I love my parents, don’t get me wrong, and in the past I’ve always felt that I should stick with them until I got married. But lately, I’ve been feeling as though maybe God is leading me somewhere else.
I don’t know if it’s just because I have a hard time handling drama and stress- you should know now that I am an incredibly emotional person, and I take things more to heart than a lot of people might. I’m not easily offended, mind you, just… emotional. *sigh* More so now. I understand that my parents are stressed, and they have good reason to be. But it’s been hard. My temper has been spiked more in the last few months than it has in years.
A few months ago, I got mad enough to throw a wooden spoon at the refrigerator. That’s something I have never, ever done- I never throw things when I’m upset with people. At most, I’ve chucked a pillow at the empty wall in frustration, but I’m too afraid I’ll break something or someone to let loose with an object that could maim and destroy. Aside from that, it’s just… stupid to throw things.
Since then, I have had a few heated words with… well… dad. Not outright arguments, because I just can’t do that, but I’ve gotten pretty upset with him, and he with me. I know I deserve the anger sometimes with my stubbornness and facetiousness. It’s been weird to me, because I’ve never really felt like this before. I feel as if I’m finally going through the rebellious teenager years. Wanting my own space, wanting to be in charge of my own house, wanting to be… not ruled by parents.
So sue me, I’m just a late bloomer.
The thing is, I love my parents. I just don’t know how much longer I want to live with them. I know that where we live now, it’s not God’s will that I find an apartment and live on my own. For one, that just doesn’t appeal to me, and for two, I could never afford it. I don’t think it would work for me. And I really have no desire to stay in Washington if I move away from my parents.
But for the last five or six months, I’ve had an increasing desire to go to Ireland. Not the vacation type of desire, although I would take that in a second if it was offered to me. No, I’ve had the desire to move there- I want to up and go and work and see what it’s like, see whether I could live there for… ever. This idea… well, it’s scary. But it’s also… it almost feels right.
I’ve been praying about it- not as much as I should- and every time I do, I just imagine that perhaps I should publish, see how that goes, and if I can save enough money from that… move. I’d definitely visit first, because this could always just be a desire of my own heart, one that doesn’t correspond with God’s will. If I go and love it and feel peace about it, though, I will stay.
First things first, though, I have to publish. Which means I either have to finish Sweet Ireland Air (Ireland has been infused into everything lately!) or completely edit My Beloved.
You know, I really wish I had you to talk this over with. I tried talking about it with a close friend, but she has her own ideas of how I should do things… and as soon as I said I wanted to try, she told me how I should go for missions or find scholarships or do things the way she would do it, none of which sound right to me. I immediately wanted to drop the subject with her. I clammed up. I can’t talk to her about it, because I almost feel as though she doesn’t listen to me, rather she thinks she needs to tell me what I should do.
And I don’t really blame her for wanting to help, but these things aren’t things I want people to tell me “well, you should do it this way” on. This is something that I want to just… vent. I want advice, yes. But I don’t want a list of things that I should do to get there. I know how I want to get there. I want someone to bring up the things I’ve considered- passports, shots, finding a job, apartment, etc- and things that I wouldn’t even know about.
It’s not a set plan, and I think that is something that my good friend does not understand. She tends to think that when I talk future, it’s something that I am for sure going to do, but this is not an absolute. It’s a speculation about what I want to do in the future. It’s something I hope for, but something that I may never be able to do. I have to pray a lot about it, and there are things that have to happen first. One is that somehow I need a steady flow of income, whether by getting a job or by publishing… I don’t know.
I guess the biggest thing I had with her telling me to go as on a missions trip or get a scholarship for school there is that it would be on someone else’s money, with someone else’s help. And I really want to just do this by myself. I want to earn the money, go, get a job, work there… I suppose I want to be independent.
It’s not something I want to be in debt with, and I definitely know that I have never been called to do missions trips. I have prayed extensively about that, and I have been asked why not. Really, my writing is my outreach. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has called me to write. We’re all called to do different things in life, as the Bible says. My gift is not missions. My gift is writing.
God could have different plans for me. You might come along between now and then. Or perhaps I’ll eventually move to Ireland and meet you there somewhere. Who knows?
Whatever the case, I am glad that when I have absolutely no idea of where my future will go, God does. I can’t wait to see how He works us into each others’ lives. I finally don’t mind if it’s a few years from now, or if it’s tomorrow. I’ve got peace that… it’s okay to be single. I’m excited, even, that I have the freedom to do things my way for a little while. But I’ll be glad when I get to consider how what I do will affect you.
I look forward to that day.
Through everything that happens in my future, I remain, my love, always yours.