I sit here to tell you who you are, and who you are afraid to be. I will tell you the truth to make you see yourself in a new way, to move on with life as God intended.
You are far too caught up in how you think you should be. You are franticly worried about who you should be by now, what you should have done, how your life should have turned out. You are a big, fat worrywart. Sure, you've led an unconventional life. It certainly wasn't how you had dreamt it would be. You thought you'd be in an ivory tower, working your way through seminary in Chicago. Yet you find yourself here in Goose Creek, South Carolina. You never thought you would live in Goose Creek! Let alone on a military base.
Would you please stop wishing you had graduated college? Let's be real here, between you and me (yourself), school was killing you. You loved school but your little brain just couldn't do everything. It was too much. And you know what, it's okay. You'll go back and finish one day. Who knows, you may even end up in Chicago after all. But look at where you are right now! You're sitting in a house- your house. You have a husband who is greater than anyone. He made you waffles in bed this morning. With strawberries. You are starting your own business! You're doing something that makes you smile. Your nutty (but wonderful) dog is downstairs and, if no one else, those two make you feel special and loved.
Besides the worrywart thing, you're a good person. You are. You have friends and you make them laugh. You're sensible and good-humored. You make your non-dancing husband/best-friend dance in the living room... even got him to do a choreographed dance at your wedding. You worry about who you are, and yet, you are exactly the person you should be. You are spirited and happy whenever you can be. You have grown accustomed to your disorder and it has only made you more rational. You're far more level headed than you think you are.
You have an incessant desire to be validated and have someone tell you that you're worthy. It's okay- you are. Even when people don't tell you all the time. God created you in his image (and knowing you, you're probably thinking, now why would he go and do such a thing- oh Lauren, you and your weird sense of humor), and so you are worthy. He lives in you and works through you. Possibly even through your weird sense of humor. You may not be the perfect Christian, but I know you think that's an oxymoron anyway, given that the premise of Christianity is that we're all sinners. You love God and he loves you. But you really should read the Bible more. Let's be real.
You're too hard on yourself. Beating yourself up internally is not going to get you anywhere. Remember that writing is how you process things. Keep up your journal! Keep up your blog! Don't be afraid to write what you feel. Those journal entries and blog posts are the ones where you end up feeling better and people end up responding more. Keep doing what makes you happy. Maybe one day there will be a more refined outlet, but this is wonderful. Continue playing with sidewalk chalk, dancing around the house, making silly faces at Thomas until he cracks up, buying birthday presents, crafting, and playing.
Remember to keep up the good fight with Bipolar Disorder. You've made such strides! You can now see yourself separate from your disorder. Remember when you couldn't? You have a wonderful marriage, a great relationship with friends and family. One day, you will get where you really want to be. Bipolar does keep you from things, from some volunteer positions to relationships you wish you could put more effort into. Don't strain yourself too much, but remember that it's better to have tried and failed than to spend your life not knowing. You've made progress and you're such a good example. Don't be too hard on yourself- I can't say it enough.
I know by this point, there have been some tears shed, but perhaps they were good ones. Be good to yourself, love yourself. You are worth it.