I’m Not Prepared For This

A couple of weeks ago I had a discussion with a dear friend that devastated me. He was sharing something happy, and I crumbled. It felt like I was sitting in this huge, empty auditorium that was once packed full with all of my “people”. These people had started to trickle out months ago, but with this one conversation, everyone was officially gone, the lights were switched off, and the door slammed shut. It was very empty. And quiet.

I knew that wasn’t reality. I still had lots of people around, but I didn’t pay much attention to them. I was wallowing and playing the “woe is me” card. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t engaging with my community or the people I love. I was just plain tired. Somewhere in the midst of that, chaos in our family erupted. Here I was stuck inside this empty auditorium by myself. Somewhere in there, I wrote this piece of writing and sent it to an editor I had been emailing.

Knowing myself all too well, I knew I had to make some drastic changes. I wasn’t happy about it, and it was hard and sad, but so very necessary. I needed to get out of situations that were leaving me exhausted, and reengage in relationships that bring me life. I shared with friends where I was at. One friend told me that I needed to swing open those auditorium doors and throw my own dang party. I knew she was right, but I had no idea how I was going to accomplish this. Then Sam from Converge let me know that the article I wrote was posted.

Guys, that was two days ago, and this party’s already BUMPIN’.

That article I wrote went viral. I don’t know how else to explain it. It exploded, and it keeps going. Thousands of shares and hundreds of comments, tweets, and likes later, I’m dumbfounded. How did this happen so quickly? And why THIS? Praise the Lord it was this and not the video of me after getting my wisdom teeth removed (I’m not ready to share that one yet).

God is a Great Comedian, and he understands the nerd inside of me that would get a kick out of something this absurd. Here I am asking petty questions about my life, and God’s grabbed my shoulders and is yelling in my face, “DO YA GET IT YET, PUMPKIN?” Yes. YES I DO. I GET IT. But I am not ready for this. I am sitting in my pajamas eating applesauce and ground flax seed and wondering when I last changed my Brita filter. The first thing on my mind is firing up my Keurig and then filling out my K-Cup rating spreadsheet (Yes, that’s a real thing and yes, I’m fully aware of how ridiculous it sounds.) I’m not thinking about traffic stats and being marketable or making an impact. My Kindergarten kids called me Mr. Bast all day yesterday. My life is very average. This is all very strange.

Please don’t misunderstand me in this. I realize it’s one article and I likely won’t reach that level of internet fame ever again. Not everything in my life is fixed because of some numbers. I’m still mourning aspects of my life that are gone now, and I will continue to struggle my way through, because that’s life. But it jump started something that could be really interesting if we run with it. There are a lot of new faces and followers to learn about. What I wrote struck a chord, and I can’t ignore it. People have shared snippets of their stories, and I feel honoured and privileged to be a tiny part of that.

It feels as though you’ve all walked into this big empty auditorium and are staring at me, blinking, waiting for me to do something. I don’t want to be your performing monkey, so please don’t throw popcorn at me (actually…I love popcorn. Let me think about that). I don’t want to entertain you. I don’t want to be something else that you consume and forget about later. I want to engage and I want to write and read things that make others say, “Hey, me too!” I think that’s what it’s all about. Sorry The Hokey Pokey.

So here we are. I don’t know what comes next, but I do know what comes now (haha, see what I did there?).

Hello.

I’m Amanda.

I write things and post them on the internet in my free time. I do some cool things, but a lot of boring things too.

Want to get this party started?

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84 thoughts on “I’m Not Prepared For This

  1. Here I am asking petty questions about my life, and God’s grabbed my shoulders and is yelling in my face, “DO YA GET IT YET, PUMPKIN?” Yes. YES I DO. I GET IT.

    ^This made me laugh because i’ve been getting the same feelings as of late from God. Haha! I love the visual.

    I was one of those people that happened upon your article via social media and was smitten with your writing. I ventured over here and read your about you page and some posts, and have since decided we need to be friends. (or at least that I need to keep up with your blog, because your writing is lovely and hilarious all in one great motion). Thanks for sharing your writing, it’s making the world a little brighter with every post. :-)

    • Rarely does God call at a moment of our choosing. He called Moses, Jacob, Abram, Esther, Paul, and even Peter at moments in their lives that would, by our estimation, be the worst of all possible times. My point being, run with it.
      I loved your article. It made me think, and it make me conscious of the blessings that I’ve been given. Thanks for sharing, and I hope that you continue to do so.

  2. When are we ever really prepared for anything? It’s a big jacket that you grow in to. You’re going to do great! I mean…you ARE great!

  3. Found your blog through that article. I must confess I am married but what you wrote really spoke to me on the kid aspect because my husband and I have been trying for 3+ years to make a human and if I get one more question about when we’re having kids I might throw pie in someone’s face. I see all my friends moving to different seasons (having babies and that jazz) and what you wrote spoke to my heart on that level. And I’ve also had conversations with my best friend who is in your shoes so reading what you wrote helps me to show the sensitivity to give to her in her life and situation.

    So I hopped over here to your blog and whether or not the party is just starting, I appreciate what you have here already. Your sense of humor, your perspective, and your writing is how I jive so I’m sticking around. Kudos to you, girlfriend.

  4. It’s amazing how God does simple things to let us know He hasn’t forgotten. Nothing complex, but just enough to grab our attention. The same way when a little kid is heard saying, “Uh-oh,” proceeding a toilet flushing. Simple and totally effective to stop whatever we were doing that was seemingly important. For you, it was an article going viral. You can relax now about your toilet not getting sabotaged.

    Not to mention, it’s refreshing to see who share similar moments with us. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  5. I loved the article and am happy to have known you “before you were famous.” Also, I’m proud of you for becoming famous for writing a post that wasn’t about instagramming a picture of your butt. What? Who would do that? That’s ridiculous. Good job.

  6. Can I please introduce you to my brother? He’s your perfect match….not to creep you out. Blonde, blue eyes, 6’2, single, childless, self employed, follower of Christ…and sounds just like you.

  7. Like Katherine, I’m also happy to have internet-known you before you were famous. It’s a complicated relationship.

    And, yes, there’s that “Me, too!” moment again! I believe more and more that is what it’s all about–at least writing, community, love.

  8. Hi Mandie, I’m one of the people who was touched by your article. It was so real to me as I read it this afternoon, it resonated with me. I’m 26 soon to be 27, and believe it or not it felt like for the first time someone understood what it feels like to be single, childless and virtually jobless. Awesome article, God Bless! PS. I was reminded by the events in my day that what we think God has forgotten, God has in fact remembered – what matters most is that He chooses to remind us each at different times :)
    Keep up the good work & also I’m all the way in Jo’burg South Africa, so seriously your post has reach \o/

  9. I laughed, I cried. I said, “Hey, me too!”. Thank you for writing; for being real. Somehow the voice in my head just spilled all over the pages of your blog…weird. I think we’re the same person, so…let me know if you wanna be best friends. haha #notacreeper #ipromise Just thankful!

  10. Hi, My name is Brandy. I write on the internet also and to pay the bills I sell appliances and in the middle of it all I do boring stuff also. I love, love, love what you’ve wrote on Converge. I’m a 30 something, married but no children in sight. I’m very often asked, When are you going to have children? or…Why don’t you have kids….or, you just don’t understand, you don’t have kids! Some days it’s as bad as someone asking you, when are you going to get married? Hint: Do not ask when I’m going to have children. 1. you may not like my answer 2. you may feel like a complete jerk after I answer and 3. it’s just rude.

    Keeping running the race and you will be fine. Sounds like your on the right path. I’m so glad I found you!

    Cheers!

  11. Hello!

    I enjoyed your article. I read it on Facebook and followed it to your blog site. So you may get many more random readers.

    I appreciate your “realness.” I understood where you were coming from at 26 and I still do at 31. I am from a very Latin family (and from the South) where most people are married and have all their kids in their early 20s. Lol…

    What helps me is knowing that I hear from God and I am exactly where I am supposed to be. The jobs I take or don’t take is because I heard/felt the Lord say yes or no. Same goes with how I approach dating and relationships, I just have never gotten a “yes” from Holy Spirit. Some understood and some don’t. Which is just fine, because it isn’t for everyone. My goal is not to be married and have kids either. My goal is to pursue the heart of God and live my life daily according to His will.

    Be encouraged. You are not alone. Which I think is now abundantly clear from all of the posts I saw on your article via Facebook :) Now, if I could only find more single females who are happy being single (not obsessed with getting married) that live near me. Hahaha!

    Hugs!
    Angel

    P.S. Someone said something about you writing a book someday. I totally second that. You have a gift!

  12. Sometimes, it’s wonderful when the feelings we feel are echoed by other sentient creatures, other times it just serves to make us feel even less special than we thought we already were. Thank you for sharing your deep dark secrets (ok well maybe not deep and dark, or secret) and thank you for letting everyone else see in you the in-securities we all work so hard to hide. People seem to forget, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” , and it’s healthy for us all to remember. As for not being prepared for “this”, I have to disagree, because if you weren’t God never would have placed you here! Keep up the good work Kiddo!!!

  13. I found your page from the article you wrote. I’m 26 and in the same boat as you. I’ve been feeling such an inner struggle with myself. Do I keep living the life I want and doing what makes me happy, or do I settle down, go to grad school, and get the career everyone thinks I should have by now? Your article (and reading all the replies) really made me see that it is perfectly ok to keep on living my unconventional, nomadic life, and that all that other stuff will still be there when, or IF, I decide it is time to go back to school and get a “real” job. It would be much harder to give up a life at age 46 to do what I am doing now because I felt like I had missed out, so I think of it as if I am saving myself from having a mid-life crisis in 20 years. ;) Thank you so much for being brave enough to write the article and put into words exactly what I (and MANY others) have been feeling. You are awesome! :)

  14. Loved your article! I feel lost in a never ending jungle of new relationships, engagements, weddings, and baby bumps. Not to mention I’m a photographer who just so happens to photograph these oh so lovely events that are NOT HAPPENING TO ME! haha. I’m not bitter at all… Its hard to be happy for others when you want it yourself, but sometimes I have to brace myself, take a deep deep deeeeepppp breathe and tell myself that I simply am not the woman my husband deserves…yet! I love falling in love with myself and seeking God in this journey. Thank you again for your article. It was lovely.

  15. You are right… you did strike a cord. The plight of being single. Trying to find our place with God and within the world. We all feel it, but for whatever reason, don’t always talk about it.

    A few people tweeted me your article and I definitely am right there with you. I co-host a blog series that discusses ALL THE THINGS that we go through as single women. So, the conversation IS starting. And this article will continue it.

    Really great stuff! Many prayers and blessings your way!

    (Blog series is Not Alone Series…http://jumpinginpuddlesisfun.blogspot.com/p/not-alone-series.html if you want to check it out amongst all of the other things that people suggest you check out. :) )

  16. Last night I laid in bed crying after a long day of applying for jobs. I felt pitiful for being 25, single, and jobless. Tonight I laid in bed smiling while reading your article. I felt empowered, un-alone, and hopeful. Thanks for so eloquently verbalizing what so many of us “20 somethings” are experiencing.

    ….. also, I’d love to jump on the BFF train with Meghan :)

  17. I’m so blessed to have found your blog. I look forward to reading what you share, having my heart encouraged and my faith strengthened. Thank you for writing.

  18. Um.. are you kidding me? I feel like if we ever met, an awkward turtle would actually manifest out of the conversation. This was great and that article that somehow found its way on my screen was great too. So glad I followed the link to witty grandeur. I look forward to reading much more.

  19. So. This is quite amazing. That article also describes my life SO well. Thank you for writing it. Thank you for understanding. Maybe I / we will settle down in the future, but I just want to live a little right now. Travel, see the world, have new experiences. People’s ideas for what SHOULD happen just isn’t what I want to happen, not right now, anyways. SO. YES. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing :) Cross things off the bucket list!

  20. Hi, I am Rae. I am 30, no kids, not married.
    So….what does this mean…that is what I would ask myself. Why don’ t you share your walk. Share your fears, prayers, maybe in a “sitdown comedic” way….isn’t that what you are doing anyways….by writing in blog. Yours did make me laugh…only because of your age…which is I am sure why people are shocked. (Moreso than feel compassion for your situation.)

    But I know one thing…you are getting some signs from God about your question “what is next”….

    So what is your follow up going to be now that you have people’s attention? What does God want to say through you…let him lead. Good luck to you. Ill be reading i you continue. And remember, none of us are promised a spouse.

  21. Are you sure you don’t want to entertain? With the overall tone of this follow-up article to your very popular one, I wouldn’t be so sure that entertainment isn’t a factor. (Of which I don’t think is either a wrong nor a bad thing but appears to be to you, perhaps?). And what is your idea of “engaging” through blogging? Is successful engagement only then quantified by #’s of comments that speak to resonance like you stated? Will that only lead to an inbred circle of likeminded folk, slightly entertained (because we don’t want them too entertained now), and re-affirmed in their identification with you be it morally, ethically, spiritually, dogmatically, or in methods of day to day cognitive processing/perspectives? Again, It seems your idea of “success” is summed up vaguely by that term “engage.” What do you mean/what do you have in mind? (And yes I mean what do you have in mind now, not next). I think you are very entertaining through your writings and I don’t think that is a bad thing, nor is it the summation of this blog. You have a transparency into personality through your writing that is very amiable. Still, curious to the other points.

  22. Rarely does God call at a moment of our choosing. He called Moses, Jacob, Abram, Esther, Paul, and even Peter at moments in their lives that would, by our estimation, be the worst of all possible times. My point being, run with it.
    I loved your article. It made me think, and it make me conscious of the blessings that I’ve been given. Thanks for sharing, and I hope that you continue to do so.

  23. Mandie, I’ve checked out a few of your posts as well as your outside writing, and I couldn’t help but laugh at how quirky you are. I have to say, I love your style of writing. You do it because you can, and you don’t sugar cote. I like that. As I read your posts, I couldn’t help but notice at times how similar my writing style was to yours. It was pretty funny. I’m glad I found a fellow Christian writer with some chutzpah and I plan to follow this blog for future hilarity. ps..I am submitting a post tomorrow on my blog that is of a similar vein to the one you submitted to Convergent. Small world.

  24. Thankful, grateful, appreciative for this and you…. as mentioned in some of the comments in the published piece, it seems that the church has forgotten that marriage isn’t something we obtain or ultimately control. Neither is it some life goal that we need to gain to make something of ourselves. It’s Christ. It always has been, and always will be. It has been shared with me that one of the greatest things we can be a reflection of is what it truly means to wait for Jesus’ return with no true distractions… not that we don’t get distracted… I’ve got assignments to grade…. *winks and smiles* Teachers unite!

    Nevertheless, thank you. We, as those who are asked incessant questions on when we’re going to do/have/be/accomplish _______ truly wish that those who have done or wish to live through us to understand that life is greater, grander in the now… And I praise God that we’re able to serve Him no matter where He places us. *hugs*

  25. I saw your article yesterday, but didn’t read it until today. So glad that you wrote it! I am 26 and have some similarities to you as well. Great job on your post. I told my parents that this is uncharted territory for me. I don’t have many, if any, good examples to look to for how to remain single well. SO, I am blessed to have many amazing girlfriends who are living this kind of life too. Hopefully we will be that reference point for other girls later.

  26. Your article resonated with people at all stages in life. As the mother of two who is currently staying at home while my military husband pursues a wonderful and very time-intensive career, I sometimes feel I’ve put my own life on hold. I’m delaying my master’s degree while we pay off undergrad debt, and I’m at a stalemate. I love staying at home with my boys, though. And when people ask me WHEN I’m going back to school, WHEN I’m getting a real job, it can be a painful reminder of things I have not yet experienced.

  27. Hello! I appear to be one of many who found your blog through your article and I also want to say thank you! I am 25 and in the same place. I’ve never had someone place my feelings into words as perfectly as you did in your article, the fact that there is more to life, that where God has brought us to right this very minute, that how we serve Him today matters for eternity. There is a fullness that comes from dwelling in the Lord in the place where He puts us and yet, the weekly and sometimes daily comments from well-meaning church members and fellow believers can make that fullness seem empty. Its a lie and Satan has used it to discourage me in the past. Thank you for being open and real and for allowing God to use you as a voice. :)
    I am grateful.

  28. HI Amanda, really happy to see you here. I happened to read your post on 26 , unmarried and childless which has gone viral on my Facebook network. I thought it was very well written and I can identify with it a lot. I am kind of going through the same situation. Would love to catch up on your blog regularly.

  29. Hi Amanda, I too read your viral article which brought me to your blog. I have a humble blog that no one reads that I will never stop writing in. I would love for something I write to go viral. It will probably never happen because I don’t really have “relatability”. You definitely hit a nerve that many people can relate to and that can be powerful. Don’t worry about what people think or what they might want from you. Just write as you are. Relatability is interesting and people will always follow that.

    I think its our parents generation in which things like marriage and children and a good career are the main components of a happy life. Its also something that Christian families really cling to. I think its harder for them to see options outside of they way things have been done for centuries. My family is the same way. Not prying, not arguing, but questioning and suggesting. It can be grating. The world is much bigger now than it was back then. There is too many wonderful things in life to only assign happiness to a few traditions like procreation and being marketable in the job market.

    I would totally come to your auditorium party. I had 5 friends repost your article on my FB page. I’m sure they would come too.

  30. I find this article much better than the one because of which i ended up here..For the first time, I have been able to relate with someone the predicament i find myself in on a daily basis..don’t know if you will get similar traffic later on (you should)..but you got yourself a follower for life! :-)

  31. I just wanted to say, I felt so much comfort in the viral article you wrote … for a while now, I’ve felt like my life has been falling apart, bit by bit, and everything I’d been feeling over the past year, you were able to compose into that beautiful read. I’ve often wondered the same things you mentioned in your blog, but I’ve never found someone whose views were the same as mine. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel like I was the only one going through this and feeling how I do. Thank you for putting yourself out there and writing your truth. God bless.

  32. I loved your original article to pieces because I’m 28, single, childless.. AND I have a huge Great Dane dog.. so, I’m somewhat “that” girl… Plus, I am currently between jobs!

    But, I love this post even more because it is true, and honest, and just shows how much the other one was those things too.
    You’re awesome, and if I knew you in real life, we would be good friends I’m confident of that :)
    ~K

  33. Just thank you. Thank you for that. After writing and publishing four books, of which didn’t receive the level of success they were supposed to, or thinking things would change at church and suddenly I’d be accepted once I got married in my 30s (I guess it’s not enough, you actually have to have a kid to be accepted). I get it. Thank you for being you.

    Hi, I’m Renee and I’m super excited to meet you!

  34. Hi Amanda, I read your article and that’s what lead to me follow your blog. Even though I’m only 23, I can definitely say “Me too” to the constant questioning of what now? where’s my husband? blah blah blah! Now, I simply reply to the husband question with, “He’s coming!” :) Anyway I guess we just got to trust that things will happen in God’s perfect time! Thanks for your article :)

  35. Wow! I just read your article, just what I had in my mind but I never wrotte about it. Thanks to you I can post your article on my FB page and actually let people know what I think about the whole thing of … following the steps of others or what is normal to me.
    Congrats, must be so strange to get all the mails or messages but enjoy the momment! this is your print on the world and like you say ” I realize it’s one article and I likely won’t reach that level of internet fame ever again.” Maybe you wont see yout life changing inmediatly BUT…maybe it will later.

  36. Coming from a culture where getting married and having children is the end all of everything, at 28 I moved to another country to study. Single, with absolutely no idea if this is going to work, I was struggling to explain to my family my point of view. Thank you for this! I don’t feel so broken anymore! :)

  37. I saw the link to your article on fb and thought “that’s me, what will this article say”. Thanks for writing about how different things can be when one fits in this unique demographic.

  38. Thanks for sharing! I’ve been following a few of your posts. It’s nice to know that someone is going through the same things as me- everyone is getting married, having kids, etc. My career isn’t established yet (flight instructor for now, hopefully airline pilot in a few months) and my auditorium is pretty much empty.

    Again, thanks for sharing.

  39. I followed the link here from your article, it was interesting reading. When I saw a friend of mine post it on Facebook, I thought it would have a different slant to it, but it really made me smile. I made a joke about recently turning 26, so that’s what life is going to be like for me now (I don’t really think so, I head off those comments by making jokes about them myself, it makes everyone back up into the complete opposite direction. Take that!)

    I love your writing, you made me laugh a few times in this post. Now I’m off to be a creepy stalker and READ ALL THE THINGS. Dance, performing monkey, dance. ;)

    Truly, I think I just want to get into the head of another Christian writer who is my age. We write completely different things, but it’s brilliant to feel that connection.

  40. Pingback: Friday Five | Elizabeth Hyndman

  41. Girl, you must live in the South. I was perpetually single until I met my now-husband at the age of 27. Now I’m 29 … almost 30 … and where I live in DC and I am the ONLY one of my good friends who is married. So maybe you need a change of scenery.

    P.S. Loved your post. Glad the internet sent me here. I’ll be back!

  42. I’m from Brazil and I found your blog through that article on a social media. When I read it I felt like those were my own words. Thanks for writing and sharing it.

  43. You’re more prepared than you think. This seems all of a sudden, but really, it’s been a long time coming.

    “Right now” is pretty amazing (see how I used that word correctly? It IS amazing).

  44. Amanda, you’re hilarious and I love your blog. You write so many things that I can relate to! I’m definitely glad your article for Converge went viral, or I might never have found you! And it sounds like you might be prepared enough for right now…who cares if you’re prepared for what’s next? You’ll figure it out when you get there, wherever “there” is.

  45. Maybe it’s because I too am 26, don’t have a “career” for real, and I’m not married, but I fell in love with your article, and I’m falling in love with your blog. I think it’s taking off because you articulated something lots of us in the mid-twenties wish we could have said first, that we’re not sure what’s coming next, we’re still trying to figure out how we landed here.

  46. Hey Amanda, Aren’t you lovely!! I’m 27 (though i’ve been feeling 28 for the past two years), unmarried, and having an unstable career for the past 3 years.. And being an Indian, me being unmarried is pasted all over my parents forehead, whenever i go to any get-together i see 20 years olds with kids, and in a way i’m thankful. I have opportunities and the freedom that they don’t have. And trying to explain this to people is like trying to make a zombie look pretty!! #2 and #4 is just perfect ( actually all the points are ) and what i’ve been trying to tell.. and whoever even make an attempt at understanding it are people i know care, and the rest, well, aren’t there so many others who deserve our time!!! Thank you for both the posts..!! Good Day!!

  47. You’re so wonderful. I have recently become mildly obsessed with you and your writing. Reading your thoughts has proven there are others out there who are like me: it’s a little less lonely in this crowded room we call life.

    :) I’m rootin’ for ya!

  48. I’m just so glad I found you!! I absolutely love all your writing and will be reading your whole blag somehow or another ;) I kinda wish we were BFFs and I can complain about the same things to you and help you with some things I’ve learned along the way in my life being 30 and single…and no kids…but a good job that I’ve had for about 2 years. I want to let you know I was single, no kids, and NO job from 26-28 and it was the.scariest.thing.in.the.world. But God had to rock my world…to rock my world!! :)

    Love your humor and faith! Your new BFF ;)

  49. Hey Amanda! My sister shared with me your article from Converge– and I loved it. I’m also a single, Christian 27 year old who is enjoying the phase in life that God has placed me in, despite what others may say or assume about me. I also love that you have a blog! It is so hard to find good, funny writing for single Christian young adult women. I actually just started my own blog myself for the same audience! I pray that God does great things through you and the gifts He has given you through writing! And here’s to camaraderie as fellow single-silly-sisters in Christ who write blogs for other single-silly-sisters in Christ! :) — Meghan

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