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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Bension

Living the Dream, Quite Literally

So I've been in Vegas a month, and the prevailing feeling I've felt for the past 30 days is lonely. Don't get me wrong, most of my west coast family has been very welcoming, and I'm happy, but you can be happy and lonely. Living the dream requires you to still live through the days that aren't as fun and glamorous as just a month ago, being seen off by all my Texas friends and family.


The question then becomes, how do you fight the feelings that try to take you under while you live out your purpose? Here's what I've found so far, not saying it's right, but this is what's working for me:


Be honest

When people ask how I'm doing, I tell the truth. They asked! If they don't want to engage, you'll know immediately. But if they do, you could get some support you desperately needed merely by being honest. I've also learned to accept help. I'm fiercely independent, so it's hard for me to ask for what I need, but I'm slowly but surely changing that, and it's amazing.


Be intentional

I'm not in places or spaces that don't serve my purpose. For me right now, that especially applies in my job search. I used to search with the intention of getting the most money, so that I could live a comfortable life. Now I search for the most fulfilling role and the financial chips will fall where they may. I can have that philosophy because I believe in God, so I believe He is the true source of all my needs, not a paycheck. It may not always be comfortable, but I'm happier this way and working for the Kingdom of God is a priority for me. I'm not even applying for jobs that don't sound like I would enjoy them. (And yes, I know there's no job that will be 100% enjoyable everyday, but I'm also not willing to work anywhere else that sucks 100% of everyday!)


Be curious

Curiosity truly does help me fight isolation. This weekend I went to Disney with my aunt & cousins because I was curious about what it would be like to hang out with them for a weekend. I asked a random co-worker to get sushi because she seemed cool and I wanted to know more about her. Being curious also opens doors for me to learn about myself. I try to record the things I learn so that I can use them later. For instance, I learned that body doubling is a real helpful strategy for me. I didn't even know I was doing it, but I used to ask my mom to come sit with me sometimes to get work or house cleaning done. I think this is because I'm a people person and since the pandemic, I haven't been able to relate to people in the same way I did before. I'm energized by others. (I'm not sure if I have ADD/ADHD, but I absolutely use this strategy.) The more we lean into curiosity, the more we fill our time with discovery instead of despair.


Be quiet

Whew, Lord. I'm struggling with this one. I'm trying to get into therapy now to help me with it, but in my loneliness, I no longer enjoy quiet, and I used to! Now, I always have to have the tv or a podcast or some rain sounds on to drown out the sound of me being by myself. However, I do think there's benefits to being quiet. I think there's revelation in stillness. I think that's when God can talk to us more clearly. However, if I'm being honest, the quiet can be too much for me. So when and if I conquer this one, I'll report back. I will say, when I am quiet, I do learn. It's just hard.


And hard has been the theme for this month. I feel disconnected from all my creature comforts, and I am. But I do know this is a time of transition before my ascension. I can feel that with everything in me, I just have to fight through this trying time. And its not like my life is horrible, its not at all, but being taken out of your decade-long comfort zone is still jarring. I find myself not wanting to be a burden to my family and friends, but I'm often scrambling to feel less alone in these days. My coworkers have been a bright spot in this regard, and I know I'll meet more people and life will shift yet again soon, but here, now, I'm living this part of the dream.


Disneyland with my aunt and cousins


Coworkers :-)

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