The Center Cannot Hold

I am awake late waiting for my roommate to get home, and I just remembered that sometimes when I type up my thoughts and post them online, people actually read them. Thank you.

Life is difficult to figure out. It’s even harder to figure out when sometimes it feels like you could be happy doing anything, but other times it seems like you won’t be happy no matter what you choose. Overall, I am hopeful. Overall, I choose Jesus. No matter how many times I fail or how badly, this story is a comedy. It ends happily ever after. When I remember that, I feel swallowed up in a wave of beauty that will soon overtake the entire earth. And then of course, I feel compelled to express it. I feel compelled to tell you here that life is rich, so don’t forget to taste it, to taste and see that the Lord is good.

I got stuck trying to explain what I do and am trying to do for a living today to my lovely acquaintances, the coffee gurus at Coeur Coffeehouse (a place which ranked #1 Coffee Shop in Spokane on SpoCOOL’s annual poll).

“You heading out?”

“Yep.”

“Did you get lots of work done?”

“Yeah. I applied for two jobs, actually.”

“Oh yeah, what jobs?”

“Graphic design and editing for a publishing company in North Idaho.” (Their acronym is RIP!)

“So is that what you do now?”

“Umm. Not really. I only sort of have a job, running the social media sites for EJ’s…

I then get to go on to try to explain that—while I am applying for jobs in multiple fields—I am also trying to start a freelance business for which I copyedit, social media market, design, and format books—but my website is under construction because I can’t afford to buy the domain or figure out how to organize my portfolios in all of those areas (because I totally have them—not exactly…). Oh, and I am actively pursuing an art career through my current studio practice—would you ever be interested in hanging any of my work here, by the way (they said, yes!). And forget trying to mention that I am also involved with Commonspace Arts, Neighborhood Council Executive Committee, Browne’s Addition Summer Concerts, and Missional Community Leadership at Soma Communities Spokane.

Some days this makes me feel very accomplished, like I am leading a full life, but today it makes me feel quite a bit like a crazy person who has so far to go in too many different directions. A poser in a few too many fields. The center cannot hold! And I cannot choose! I keep choosing one…and then all the others all over again. Am I doomed to be pulled into a thousand little pieces?

God must have a plan.

It’s days like today that make me thankful that my center is Christ. His relentless pursuit of me is more than enough to show me my worth. I cost him everything. I am his, so I don’t need to belong to art or publishing or community life. Sorry, other masters! I’ve been claimed.

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About Jacquelyn Barnes

Former English Literature and Writing major at Whitworth University. Spanish Language minor. Browne's Addition Resident. Editorial Assistant at Gray Dog Press. Interested in postcolonial, multicultural, and feminist theories. Former ski racer. Longboarder. Runner. Member of Vintage Faith Community Church (we have no building). Painter. Morning person. View all posts by Jacquelyn Barnes

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