In sports, when a player or team is experiencing consecutive good fortune or they’re displaying consistent skill, they are said to be going on a streak. Since it’s baseball season, and my Kansas City Royals are decent right now, I’ll use a baseball example–Hitting Streaks & Scoreless innings pitched come to mind. It seems like there’s this sudden breakthrough. Whether it’s the first hit or the first scoreless inning, streaks have a definite beginning…and a definite end. It’s clear to you and everyone around you when you are no longer “streaking”. Just like in the movie Old School, there was a declaration, and a definite beginning point, when Frank the Tank exclaimed, “We’re going streaking!” and everyone also knew exactly when Frank stopped streaking. The opposite of a streak is a slump. The beginning and ending points of slumps are typically just as easy to point out.
The past 3 years of my life, I’ve been on a streak. Passion, purpose, direction, enjoyment, learning, & relationship-building were all things on which I thrived. Things were falling in line every step of the way. The sky was the limit.
…Until I found out that my pride was more limiting than the sky. With that limitation came missed opportunity, dissatisfaction, sense of entitlement, and ultimately loss of direction. Instead of focusing my efforts towards those things on which I was thriving, I was withdrawing, closing off, spending time just wondering how & why it seemed to be falling apart. If you know me well, you could probably see it, which made me even more frustrated.
For a little while, it was a challenge, but I thought I had it figured out. Then I got arrested, and that set me back quite a bit. At the time, I was applying to work for the company for whom I now work, but had to withdrawal my efforts until the legal stuff cleared, which took a few months since apparently no one is in any sort of real hurry inside our court system.
At no point during my slump did I ever think, “I’ll never be any good”. I knew that wasn’t true. I knew I had purpose in life. I was created with purpose. I just felt like I was on the cusp of starting my adult life, but couldn’t quite make it over the hump. It was the annoying part of the roller coaster, where you’re being ratcheted up to the top of the first big hill with a series of incredibly loud *clanks*, and then it’s like I got stuck up there. I could see where the fun would happen–where the ride would really begin. (speaking of roller coasters, my roller coaster is nothing compared to the roller coaster my best friend Mallorie is on right now. If you like strength and resilience in the face of adversity, check out that link. If you don’t like that stuff, check it out anyways, or else you’re dead inside)
Thankfully, I have an incredible network of family and friends. They helped keep me from letting my slump get to me too much–being very patient as I trudged through it. I’ve had a ton of fun during these last 8 months that I wouldn’t have had if not for them. If they’re reading this, I want them to know I appreciate it, and I intend to repay the favor with my continued friendship and dedication to them. If you’re a “gifts” person, and would rather I repay you with something of material value, then let me know, and we’ll talk about it, at least. If you’re “physical touch”, then we can hug it out next time I see you, I guess.
As a batter, I got a hit–not a home run, but I definitely crushed one over the head of the third baseman (I’m a lefty who hits to the opposite field almost every time…to catch them off guard of course). As a pitcher, I stopped getting gashed for runs in the later innings, and got out of a bases-loaded jam for my first scoreless inning in 3 starts. As a non-baseball player, I got a job. Basically that was what I’d been waiting for. The burden of unemployment was one of the heaviest I’ve carried, but it’s thankfully been lifted off. God got my roller coaster un-stuck.
Finances are getting back on track since I naturally love to budget…so long as I have an actual income.
I’m enrolling in classes to finish up my MBA.
I’m finding that old enjoyment out of serving in ministry.
Heck, I’m finding enjoyment out of small-talk with strangers again.
The happiness is back.
The commitment level is back.
I’m out of my slump.