Cold Showers and Great Expectations

Life has been getting to me lately. And that bothers me.

I travel. I’ve been to slums. I’ve seen children starving on the street, begging for money. I’ve known those children were owned by people who were just using them to get money from compassionate tourists.  I’ve had a cold shower or two, washed my teeth in non-potable water countless times, and have witnessed true poverty.

I’m a middle-class white chick in a farming community. It’s not that bad. So why is my life bothering me while I am able to take the trials and heartache of my travels in stride?

Expectations.

When I’m traveling, especially on mission trips, I expect it to be hard. I expect difficult traveling conditions, long, arduous flights, lack of sleep, and long days. I expect to see things that are hard to accept and to do things that are uncomfortable.

Right now I’m waiting on one last grad school application and it’s not looking promising. I have 20+ job applications out in the void and haven’t heard a peep in weeks. I have also already turned my job notice in. Oh yeah, did I mention my car is in the shop and it’s time to let her go and get a new vehicle?

I have it so much better than the majority of people in this poor, worn out world. Because of this I have an expectation that living my first-world, privileged life should be easy. I have a hard time accepting that regardless of where a person is in the world, living isn’t always a walk in the park.  Change is difficult. The responsibilities of adulthood are taxing. I still face trials, I still have bad days. I still have logistics I must work through and rent to pay. 

I think I need to start viewing my life in America through the same lens as the one I use when I’m traveling. Perhaps then I will be able to face my current challenges with gusto and faith. Because if I expect my life to be a crazy, difficult, beautiful adventure, I won’t be so surprised when it turns out that way.

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