Even now, when I'm nearing the completion of my Bachelor's degree, I'm student-teaching at a middle school, and I'm established in a great single's ward, I still feel like I'm not where I'm supposed to be. I feel like I don't fit in, no matter where I am. Being a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is one of my biggest blessings, but it is also one of my biggest hardships. Every time I come to visit my home town, the only thing anyone ever asks me is, "Do you have a boyfriend? Are you dating anybody? Are you going to get married? Why aren't you married yet?"
In the areas I'm in at least, there is a blatant disregard for my accomplishments in favor of the more "important" relationship gossip and my self-worth is based solely on whether or not I'm dating someone, engaged or getting ready to start a family. Most of the time I feel like I'm not worth much; this is because in a very close-knit culture where family and marriage is one of the most important accomplishments you can ever achieve, I am not involved in any of it. Not even a little bit. All of my friends and family have either or are, going on missions, getting engaged, getting married or having families and I'm just...floating. Even with all of the stuff that I'm involved in, I feel like I just don't belong. I feel like all that I've done and gone through and accomplished doesn't matter; no one seems to give a care that I've made it through a debilitating illness, gotten my bachelor's degree and performed as an actress with one of the most sought after directors at BYU-Idaho. Because I'm not on a mission or engaged or married or starting a family, nothing that I've done matters or has any worth, weight, or meaning behind it. People seem to look down on me; almost like they're asking why I'm wasting and have wasted my time doing the things that I've done. At least that's how I feel. I feel that because I haven't done and I'm not doing any of these things, I have no worth or place because I'm not "furthering the kingdom".
Most of the time I feel like an intruder on all of my friends and family's lives; a tiny piece of nondescript furniture in the background that just sits there and only adds to the scenery. Something that has no real place or purpose. I feel so awkward, lost, confused, and out of place. I feel like I don't belong with anyone or belong anywhere. I don't want to feel like that anymore; I shouldn't have to.
Next on my list of things to do after I'm done with student teaching is to take the summer off and find myself and my purpose. I want to have time to just be, because after an entire lifetime of devoting myself to my studies, my friends, my family, basically anything and anyone else that didn't have to do with me, I think it's about time that I do something just for me. It's high time that I take care of myself and do what I want and what I need. And right now I need a sense of purpose, a place where I know that I belong. I'm done with feeling like I'm floating. I know with everything that I am, that there is somewhere I belong and that I have a distinct and special purpose meant just for me. I just don't know the where and what quite yet. It's nice for the rest of you who have done this for yourselves, but just know that I haven't yet and you have no place to judge me on where I am in my journey and I how I get there.