The loneliness hits. I'm in a quiet house with nothing to do but watch crappy television shows where the couple that is perfect for each other takes ten years to finally admit they like each other, only to break up shortly after.
Sometimes I work too much. I have no one to go home to, no reason to rush from work. I am completely exhausted when I get home and I collapse on the couch. No one is there to greet me, no one is there to share my dinner, or inspire me to cook at all. No one tells me about their day - something other than what I've been dealing with all day. My time is my own, but the isolation closes in on me.
Sometimes I question why God put me in this place. Why I'm still single, why I'm here in Charleston, why things aren't going the way I imagined them. And the tears come. My heart is heavy for my friends who are lost, for the state of their souls and my inability to change that. Sorrow.
But not all days are like that.
Sometimes something happens that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I walk into my home. Like that's a real thing. Warm fuzziness that almost bubbles over.
Sometimes I spend time sharing with a group of women who are striving to become the women God made them to be. They give me hope.
Sometimes my work is so fulfilling that I look at the clock and realize it's an hour and a half past quitting time. There is the feeling of satisfaction in a job well done. The new exciting (and terrifying) opportunities that are opening up to me.
Sometimes I am amazed at the amount of creative talent in this small town. The people that I am privileged to know, the community that has welcomed me in. The opportunities that I have to be creative with other people. The fact that I get to create opportunities for other people to be creative. The enormous amount of talent that is alive and well here.
Sometimes I am almost overwhelmed because of a gift God once gave me, but I wasn't sure I would ever get back. But He did give it back to me, here in Charleston. And I see that every Sunday at choir practice in the faces of my singers.
No matter where I am, I will have those bad times. They are present everywhere. But those good times - some of those things could only happen where I am now. it's not where I wanted to be, but that doesn't mean it isn't good.
A few years ago, one of my pastors, Anita, gave me a word of encouragement. She said she felt like God was giving her a picture of me as a little girl, laughing and jumping around, playing on the rocks in a stream (I think that's accurate, it may have not been in a stream, but you get the picture). She said that I was going to feel that joy again.
Sometimes I feel the loneliness.
But sometimes I feel like that little girl, playing joyfully in the stream.
Sometimes, like tonight.