Dear Alice,

There’s this song I like called “Start All Over” by Miley Cyrus (when she was still in her Hannah Montana era). One of the lyrics goes like this “out of the fire and into the fire again” and it perfectly sums up how I feel in this moment of my life. I feel like I’m constantly out of the fire just to jump right back in.

I feel like I’ve had to star all over more than the average person. Not to call myself above average, I actually think I’m pretty average, but some of the circumstances in my life haven’t been exactly normal. I don’t know many people who have moved as much as I have, but then again my perspective is limited to that which I have experienced. Sometimes I wonder if I just think that I’m strange when, in reality, what I experience is very ordinary.

Anyway, back to the topic. Starting over is pretty much commonplace in my life. I had to start over after hurricane Maria, then star over again when I was in seminary, then again when I went to my first pastoral appointment, and then the second, and then the third, and then when I quit, and when I got a job, and now I’m having to start again after getting fired. That’s a lot of starts and stops in a short time, especially because all of that happened in about 5 years.

I wonder if I will ever lose the ability to restart. I hope I don’t. I will say, I am tired of having to start all over. I want to be out of the fire for longer than a few months. I need a break from having breaks and a break from clean slates. I want to do things, to live like a normal person (or at least what I perceive as normal), but it seems that those kinds of lives are not meant for me.

As dramatic as that sounds, I don’t think it’s all that bad. Maybe I just need some new perspectives on life and living. I might need to see this as a way to build character and become more effective on whatever it is that I will do with my life in the future. And I know that I’ll probably have to start again a couple more times. Life isn’t simple enough that everyone gets it in one go; some of us need to bump around to find our path forward. Just like computers, lives sometimes need to be forcefully restarted in order to work properly.

All of this reminds me of a recent study topic I’ve been researching. In tarot, there’s a card called The Tower. It depicts lightning striking an ornate tower and destroying it, sending its occupants falling to their deaths as the tower begins to burn. While the symbolism is eerie, the wisdom behind the card is immense: sometimes, the old must be destroyed to make way for the new. I think I’m living in the age of the Tower.

Anyway, I think I have a job interview soon. Hopefully this job will last.



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