A week ago, Knapp had broken her long public silence with a statement on her website, saying that she had been "traveling mostly" during her time away from music. She wrote: "My experiences have been both wildly exotic and extraordinarily mundane. But mostly I will say that I have had a chance to get my feet under me. I took that time to discover more about myself and my own faith without the veil of expectations to a cause. Without writing a novel at this point, I'll just say that I'm starting to think that I might actually be a songwriter, musician, or artist of some kind … So, maybe I should do something about it?
One of my favorite music artists recently returned to the stage after a long time away. She spent several years pouring her heart and soul into this thing called the music industry, and then walked away. No one really knew where she went or why she disappeared. I was one who clung to the hope that one day, she might return.
With a statement on her website, she answered a few of the lingering questions. She put into words something that I have spent the last year doing. She describes it as "getting my feet under me." That is what I have been doing. I spent 4 years of high school and 4 years of college trying to do what everyone else expected of me. I worked harder than maybe I should have at that. I worked too many hours at a place that didn't appreciate it, and took what I would call challenging (others call insane) course load at the university. I succeeded at it too. Kicked academic butt.
I poured my soul into volunteer efforts that I felt were worthwhile. I gave up too much of myself until I hit empty. But I learned a lot about life.I left college, degree with honors in hand, completely and totally spent. I had no idea who I was anymore, or what I wanted to do with myself. I worked a job that was everything I never want to be. I'm at a better place now, but not somewhere with the word career attached to it. I get tired of the questions, and the vaguely disappointed stares. I get tired of the accusation that I am not putting my "incredible potential" to good use.
It has taken me over a year to feel like I have any gas in the tank to give. I have spent that year trying to find myself. It has meant trips to southern California and campouts in the woods where I can just sit with nature and try to listen to myself for once. I am trying to rediscover the fire, the passion, and self confidence that used to define me and is still in there somewhere. I'm not sure when I lost it but I did.
It has meant deep conversations with close friends and mentors. It has meant questioning everything I have ever believed to be true. A lot of people have hung in there with me, but there are some voices I have learned I don't have to listen to anymore. It has meant discovering the voices that affirm me when my belief in myself wanes.
It has meant drudging up the buried, dark places, and holding them up to the light. There are many people who would claim that "our perfect Wendy" doesn't have any darkness. To you, I'd say maybe that says something about how well you know me. Can anyone who deals intimately with those who deal with the darkest of human darkness-war-ever come away unscathed? Can anyone who has seen the Church fail come away with their faith untarnished?
It has meant healing.
It is easy to put a smile on your face, make up some BS life plan, and say that you are fine. Truth is, I'm not quite done with my sabbatical yet. Given that I've never taken one in my life, I think it is justified. I'm at the point where I am "starting to think I might be a _____." I'm not there yet. But I'm getting there.
I will be at the "maybe I should start doing something about it" stage soon enough.