Friday, December 05, 2008

Social Currency

Alaina posted something a couple weeks ago that I agreed with, and was something I had been thinking about in a related manner for quite some time. I feel I should preface this post with an, "I'm just pondering these things," and that, I do love my family. A lot. Anyway, continue reading.

In Oklahoma City, the things that make up my identity, my reality are that: I'm a churchworker at a large church with a youth ministry that is exciting, challenging, and frustrating, all at once. I'm also a member of a small group with people that I love and care for like family. I am someone who likes to vist McNellie's on a Tuesday for talks about theology and politics. I am someone who has decent taste in music, someone who buys clothes that are occasionally trendy. I have good friends all over that I can call and can talk to without having to epxlain every context for every story. I am someone who keeps a blog that is read by friends (and some strangers) across the web. I get paid to write articles and blog for a youth ministry website. I drive a cool car (albiet one that needs new tires and tune-up pronto). I have identity, purpose, presence and a place here.

However, all those things seem to shift and change when I enter into my parents' house. My family takes up the whole of my life instead of just a piece of the puzzle. I am seen as less than those things, those realities that make up my life in Oklahoma City. I am a sister to a spoiled 17 year old who tends to mock my taste in music and tease me about my non-carhart brand jacket and my stovepipe jeans. I am a unmarried daughter who hasn't yet started bearing children. I am someone who lives in a far away location for "no good reason" because I'm not yet married, so therefore, whatever the job opportunity, I should take it if it brings me closer to home. The most asked question about me while I'm home is, "so, met anyone yet?"

I don't feel as if the things that make up my identity and my reality here in Oklahoma City really provide enough social currency to convince those who aren't involved in it on a day to day basis that it's worth it. I don't feel that my singleness is the issue, or that living 10 hours away from my immediate family is the issue. Would I like to be closer to home? Maybe, if the call was right. Would I like to be married? Maybe, if the guy was right. Would I want any of these things if it meant settling in some way for less than what I am? No.