Stream of Unconscious

Often I wake in the middle of the night with thoughts and visions that must be written. A lot of it may seem like mere rambling, but I am a born writer; I need to see what happens to my words once they stare back at me from the pages of my computer screen. Since I am ususally more than half-asleep when this happens, I jokingly entitled the original document: "Stream of Unconscious." Now that I am finally starting to publish in a blog (as so many people have suggested I should do!), I thought the title remained appropriate.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Bit of Writer's Block and Holiday Blues

I've attempted writing several times over the last few weeks, and I just couldn't make it work out. There's way too much going on in my head right now to make a lot of sense on paper. In fact, I've stopped writing - even journaling - for the most part, which is always an indicator that something's not right. So what's going on with me? I'm still trying to figure it out.

I feel like I'm losing myself again in the midst of life. I have a lot of church friends who are awesome, and then there's friends from new work and old work, and then there's friends from school. And... sometimes I feel like I have to be a different person to all of them. Like, there are people you can curse around and people you can't. There are people who know I have a drink every now and again, and people who find it offensive that alcohol exists. There are people you can answer honestly when they ask you what's going on in your life, and there are people you just have to say: "Oh I'm fine" to, and move on. And I have a really hard time with that. It's hard for me to not be real with everyone. But then that gets me into trouble.

Is it wise to be totally real with everyone? I'm finding that it may not be. But that makes me sad. And then... is it bad that I find it easier to be real with non-Christian friends? Because that's what's been happening lately.

And then I find I'm a bit confused about God. Does he accept me the way I am or not? Is he holding out on me? Could I have more if I weren't dedicated to following him? Would I be living my dreams right now if God wasn't a factor? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious. I really want to live life to the fullest, and honestly, I'm finding I don't have a whole lot in common with the people I'd think I have the most in common with. And the people I always thought would be a bad influence on me are the ones encouraging me and allowing me to be myself and just have fun. It's strange. And I'm just confused about it all.

On top of all of that, there's the family mess. It's worse this Christmas than just the usual drama. I may not even be able to be with everyone for Christmas, and as stressful as the situation can be sometimes, I find myself pretty heartbroken over the thought of not being with them. It'd be one thing if I had some amazing guy to spend Christmas with, and I was starting my own family traditions. But it won't be like that. And I'm pretty angry about it all, if I'm being real with myself.

I guess it's just been a stressful month. And I feel alone in it all, because I don't know who to talk to. Everyone's busy. Everyone's got their own problems. And I guess I just really want a companion in the midst of my turmoil. Its a universal desire, I know. I just happen to be feeling it more than usual lately.

'Tis the season.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Hard Goodbye

Waiting for someone to die is not intuitive, and no one can teach us how. It is not natural, though death may be familiar to us by now, but something in us screams that this was not how things were supposed to be.

We don't know how to react. I find myself wanting to do something, but I can't figure out what I should do; I don't know anything that would help, so that gets translated into anxiety. So here I am, anxious, awaiting a phonecall I don't want, by any means. We are odd creatures, you and I.

Aunt Susan is one of those people you can't help but love. She is one of those people who glows, who shines with beauty, joy, and compassion. She is one of those people who knows, without you even having to speak the words. She's the kind of person who finds out you're having financial difficulty and slips a couple of twenties into your pocket when she hugs you goodbye. She's the kind of person who immediately offers her home to you when you don't have a place to live...

Susan is the kind of person you want to know forever. She's the kind of person you'd want to keep on earth for as long as possible, because this place won't be as good without her. And I told God that. But I guess I don't know everything.

Someone told me last night that God is not a genie, and that not everything we pray will be answered and I just stood there, because what I was wanting to say would not have been kind. I don't want God to be a genie. I don't want him to give me whatever I want. I've never been like that. I just wanted him to notice. I just wanted him to help. I just wanted him to do something when I couldn't... I wanted him to do the the thing I was incapable of doing. I wanted him to be strong, and capable, and loving. I guess I've always only wanted him to be a dad for me... unstoppable, invincible... able to conquer even cancer. Even death. And I'm not saying he's not. I'm just saying I can't see it right now. And I tried to. I wanted to. I tried to have faith...

My words are not enough. I considered not even writing. But this is who I am. I have to try. And I want to wait around by the phone all day, but I can't. I shouldn't. I should go to Barnes & Noble and buy that book I've been wanting, and I should meet up with my friends and see a movie like we'd planned, and I should go out to eat tonight and just live. It's so cliche to say: "She would want that." but I know her and I know she would. I know she would want me to go on living, go on hanging out, and get the most out of today. I know she would want my life to be full.

But I will miss you, Susan. I will miss the life that was contagious in you, the smiles, and the laughter. I will miss you in the years to come, and we will all remember you. We will all want you to be there. And no one will quite understand it, because we are incapable. But we will miss you when you go.

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Job

So I started the new job today, or at least the training for it, and... I'm not sure what I think. I'm still processing. No pun intended there, as my official title is "Claims Processor." Hmm.

Anyway, it looks like it could be horribly boring, but the paychecks and benefits will be very nice. So that may make up for it. And I can bring music in, which is a good thing, so I'll need an iPod.

It's just that that's a lot of time to spend indoors, sitting in front of a computer. No worries, though, I'm not backing out of it or anything. I'm just... trying to be real with myself about the ups and downs of it all. On the upside, I've been wanting to try a job like this for a long, long time, and it got me out of retail for the holidays, which is not to be overlooked.

The downside is that I'm very creative, and it just might kill me to have to sit inside all day, in a boring office environment, doing something repetitive and perhaps not very world-changing.

We'll see how it all goes, though. At least I am blessed with a good job for now!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Blessings of a Season

I have three words for you: Vanilla Spiced Rum. It's my new favorite coffee creamer by International Delight. It has a polar bear on the bottle. You should get off your computer, go get in your car, drive to Wal-mart, and get some right now. It's that good. And then you should come back and finish reading my blog.

Today I am thoroughly happy. I finally got to sleep in and just enjoy a morning alone. And I tried the new creamer, which made me realize that I am happy and blessed, and moving towards a life of contentment. All that, combined with the promise of a new job... well, lets just say I'm excited about living today! Which always makes me want to write. Thank God for mornings off to blog!

I was thinking today about prayer, and how I didn't really believe in it for so long, and then suddenly started believing again, and how that's changed everything for me. Pretty much everything I've prayed for in the past couple of years has been answered... and much of it within the last three months of my life.

When I graduated from college, the big thing was that I didn't have a car and a cell phone, and I prayed about it, and eventually got that nanny job, and ended up leaving with an awesome car and my very own cell phone plan. I also got this laptop for my birthday, thanks to my amazing brother. Those three things were on the top of my list of things I "needed" to be a complete person. When I left Atlanta and moved back to Tennessee, to a small town outside of Chattanooga, I hit a dry spell. Things got tougher financially, relationally, etc., and it was just more than I could handle. I stopped believing in anything, and did my best to kill my desires, because I just didn't believe I'd ever get to have them.

That's all changed now. God (I really do believe it is Him!) is reviving all of the dead places in me. I'm actually beginning to believe that my wildest dreams may come true, and I'm no longer trying to crush them for fear of hope deferred. Is this what contentment is? Perhaps I have finally made it.

But here's the thing... in my most desperate hours, I have prayed for friends, for a community, for a mentor, for a place that felt like home, for a better paying job, for healing from my past. And honestly... every single one of those prayers either has been answered or is in the process of being answered, even as I write this. What am I supposed to do with that? I think I am a little afraid of the responsibility of having my prayers answered. Maybe something is required of me now that I am on the receiving end of blessing. I wonder what it is, though?

There are still a few dreams that haven't been touched yet; deeper dreams, that no one, or only a very select group of people know about. I'm learning to trust, but I'm not to the point of trusting anyone - including God - with those just yet. I don't think it's time for those yet anyway. But my pastor recently challenged us to go ahead and dream the big dreams, and to start praying about them and see what happens.

I have been, though I must admit that I'm skeptical. Am I ready for them? I don't know. If I desire something so deeply, it must be part of who I am, or who I'm supposed to be, in such a way that I could easily adapt if it were actually an option. Do you think God loves me that much, though? I've got some pretty big dreams. If I am loved that deeply, I never even suspected it until now.

All that to say, I think I'm being prepared for something big. I think that all of this isn't just coincidence, and that I'm being blessed right now to strengthen my faith for whatever lies ahead. Is that too Christianized? Am I being preachy? It is not my intention to be. I just know who I used to be, and there are only traces of that now. I just know that I've been changing, that my whole life has been changing and becoming better, and it all started with prayer and a step of faith into a baptismal pool.

I just know that I am excited about my life now, that I am recognizing the blessings of this season, and that I'm looking forward to what lies ahead...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Winds of Change

It finally happened.

The knowledge is in my head but hasn't quite sunk down into those mysterious places where I believe in things, so I feel strangely suspended... somewhere between the inevitable and the now.

When I first moved to Chattanooga, in August, there were many lonely, sleepless nights where I knew I couldn't go on much longer with the way things were, where I was bent to the breaking point, and stretched beyond my limit financially, emotionally, and mentally. I was at a loss for what to do, and in my anguish threw a prayer out from my soul, begging whatever God there was to end my life or change it so completely that I couldn't even recognize it.

Little by little, over the past few months, things have been changing, and I, in my stubbornness, admit that I still remain skeptical about “God's” hand in it all. Maybe it was coincidence. Maybe it would have happened even if I hadn't prayed at all. Maybe, maybe, maybe...

Maybe I'm just afraid to believe, to really believe, in a God who knows me intimately and has heard everything I've said for all those years...

What a scary thought that is. He knows you. He knows me. He heard me, every time.

So I had an interview last Friday with a health insurance company, and I was offered the job by Sunday afternoon. I start shortly after Thanksgiving. The pay is great, compared to what I have been making, and there's a lot of opportunity to move up in the company if my productivity is good. It's a desk job, related to medical billing. It sounds interesting to me, and the thought of a real paycheck... well, let's just say this is long overdue. But to me it feels like one of the last pieces of a puzzle I thought could never be completed.

I'm going to use my first paycheck to get the CV joints and possibly the break pads replaced in my car, pay off half my credit card, and buy a funky pair of glasses. How I've lived this long on $700 a month I don't know, but it's finally, finally over and I couldn't be happier.

Consequently, the tree outside my window has turned a radiant color of red, seemingly overnight, and I am reminded that it is good to be alive. The leaves took their time in changing this year, probably because it has been so dry, but now they seem to have realized that it really is Fall, and they're well on their way to turning the mountainside into that patchwork of yellow, orange, red, brown, and a myriad of colors that have no name.

Is it silly of me to think that they waited on me all that time, and brought out their colors to celebrate with me the joy of living? More likely that I was so wrapped up in my problems, however legitimate, that I forgot to look outside the window every now and again to see all that lies beyond my little world. Whatever the case, I'm beginning to believe again, and maybe that's the reason for Autumn anyway.

I'm looking forward more than ever now to cubicle humor!

Curse the TV writer's strike... not that I really blame them, though.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Greetings

Well, it's Halloween, and I'm not sure I even have plans for tonight. Jess wants to get dressed up (in normal clothes) and go out for drinks, which is cool, but I was kind of hoping to find a way to celebrate the holiday. What I really want is to take someone's kids out Trick-or-Treating, and see all the other little kids' costumes and all. Man, I miss that.

Why does getting old have to be so dull? Who wants men and alcohol when you could have the joy of discovering that someone dropped an entire Snickers Bar into your plastic Jack-O-Lantern? Those were the days, man. And God bless the whole candy bar type of people! I hope I'm like that when I have a house and a little extra cash. Then there's the great trade-off with your siblings when you get home: “I'll trade you three packs of SweetTarts for your mini-pack of Rolos...” “No way, man... flavored chalk for caramel and chocolate? Rolos are worth at least five SweetTarts!”

This is by far my favorite season. Something happens to me in Autumn that doesn't happen in any other season. I believe in things when leaves are falling that I'm too afraid to believe in otherwise. It's as if nature says: “well, I'm dying anyway... here are all my secrets!” You hear them whispered everywhere, and if you're willing to listen, you get to experience beauty like no other.

Not to freak anyone out or anything, but I'd like to die in Autumn someday. I think it would be so poetic! A slow letting go as the world fades... and I could write about what it feels like to let go, so maybe other people wouldn't be so afraid of it. I've never really been afraid of death, but then again I've never been immediately faced with it either. Except for maybe when I almost drowned white-water rafting. But I may not have been as close to death as I thought. I have a feeling that death is really cool. I love the mystery of it. No one ever comes back to tell us what it's like. Why, though? Everyone wants to know, but none of us get to until we cross over ourselves. I think Tolkien had it right when he described it as a new adventure... white shores, and a Beyond.

Interestingly enough, I didn't believe in Heaven for a long time. I didn't talk about it much, so not many people know this about me. But I honestly didn't believe it. I'm not sure why... maybe it was just one of those “too good to be true” kinds of things, or maybe I just didn't have enough theological background, or maybe like most other things in my life, I was just too afraid to believe. But I remember it used to piss me off that my life was so boring, because I thought this was my only chance.

Honestly, I'm not sure exactly what I believe now, but I do believe there's more to it than we can see. There is definitely something after life, and I'd bet its better than all this stuff. Maybe even better than dressing up and Halloween candy. Can you imagine?

I've gotta get to work now. Happy Halloween, everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Cost of Toilet Paper and Other Bummers of Singleness

Let me just say that I am looking forward to the day when I can go to the grocery store and buy pretty much whatever I want without having to consider what I may be sacrificing... such as gas, eating out, hanging out, or getting bills paid. Perhaps that sounds shallow, but I recently made a $70 grocery shopping experience last three full weeks and I nearly starved to death. Ironically, because of the stress of it all (and quite possibly my aversion to working out), I didn't lose any weight... and maybe even gained a few pounds. Amazing, really. Another useless talent I find that I possess: gaining weight by eating smaller portions.

So I'm coming close to running out of toilet paper, but I haven't bought any yet because I have to be sure I can make rent. I'm not even exaggerating. The price of toilet paper is atrocious. I considered taking a roll or two from the bathroom in Wal-mart when I was out today, and then realized that it was, in fact, stealing if you take the whole roll instead of just using the necessary amount. Too bad, really. That's one of those gray areas, though. How much toilet paper can you use in one sitting before it becomes stealing? Does it become stealing only if you decide to keep some of it for emergencies? If you're poor enough, you start to ponder these kinds of things.

I'm thinking of asking for a 24-pack for Christmas... and not that lousy Angel Soft, either, but the good kind. Real toilet paper. That's what I'm looking forward to most in life these days. Pretty sad, right? I've kind of given up hoping some awesome guy will take me out on a date. What I really look forward to is buying name-brand groceries. This is what working retail for too long will do to you.

I hung out with this awesome guy recently who was worried that his current salary wouldn't be enough to support a wife and kids, and I was laughing to myself, because he makes more than five times what I make. I was thinking also that I may make a great wife someday because of my excellent budgeting skills. I know how to not spend money if I have to. I hate it, but at least I know how. I'm just hoping that when I get out of this stage of life I'll never have to do this again, at least to this extent, but it's probably wishful thinking. At least I already know I won't need a rich guy, which widens my horizons a bit, because anyone who makes more than I do looks rich to me. And if you own a car that still runs for the most part, that's pretty dang sexy too.

Singleness is such an odd state of existence. There are things I enjoy about it, but I'll be honest, I'm not sure things were supposed to work this way. I think maybe I don't fit in the business world because I'm not designed to sit in an office all day. I think I'm great with kids but get frustrated with other people's kids because I was supposed to have my own. I think the reason I need a flexible schedule and a self-paced work environment is because I'm supposed to be a writer...

I'm not saying these things won't happen in my life someday, but they haven't happened yet. I often wonder if it's not because I was created for something totally different from the life I find myself living. I feel like a square peg being forced into a circle (a note of thanks to Meleah for this analogy). You might be able to make it fit, but there will be gaps left... and they reside mainly in my heart these days. The weird thing is, I'm happier and healthier than I have ever been, and growing more so by the day. It's just when I have down time, like this, or when I feel melancholy enough to be sensitive to it, I notice that little tug on my heart that tells me something's not right yet. Will it ever be right, though? I haven't figured that out yet. I think I'm still waiting to see.

I do know it gets better than this, though. I won't always stand in the toilet paper aisle for ten minutes comparing prices... so help me, Jesus! I had an interview this morning, that I guess went well. I don't think I said anything stupid, but I have this feeling like I'm not going to get the job, too. I'm trying not to stress about it. Maybe there's something else just around the corner if this doesn't work out. It would just be nice to have some financial stability in this season of my life. I find I am more emotionally vulnerable as I become more honest with myself and real with those around me. These are good things, don't get me wrong, but I would enjoy it all so much more if I could walk through it without so much fear. Most of my fear comes from my lack of finances, hence I am less emotionally stable than I'd like to be because of my work situation.

But God hears me. He's heard me ask about where I fit in the working world for a long time, and there's no reason I should believe He'll do nothing about my current needs. Even for toilet paper. That's the beauty of this God, over the one I thought was real for so long. I'm so glad I was wrong! There's just no telling what will happen next...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

So I'm sitting on my porch watching the rain, and I'm excited to be online! No, I didn't find the extra money for a wireless router... but sometimes when it rains I'm able to steal the neighbors' internet from the porch. I don't think it's immoral... I like to think of it as a blessing. :)

What's new in my world? I'm suddenly addicted to texting and I'm probably going to need a new phone plan because I keep going over my minutes! I guess it's the price of having friends... and a lousy cell plan. I'm also nuts about The Office, and I'm trying to catch up on the first three seasons so I know what's going on this year. Love that show! Jim is totally my TV crush! But I also love Dwight... how can you not? Anyway, don't get me started on all of that!

What would I change and what am I hoping for in the next month? A new job, definitely. One that pays well, is somewhat flexible, allows for vacation time (so I can see my neice when she's born and possibly go on a cruise with my bro and his friends this year!), and isn't something I hate doing every morning. Am I asking too much? Maybe. But I was never exactly taught to aim high, and it can't hurt to attempt it now. I'm only 25, after all (yes, I am trying to convince myself that that's not very old!)

Actually, my current job has been better because they finally listened to me when I told them that I'm burnt out from customer service and need a break, so I'm doing shipment and displays again. It's hard work, but I actually prefer that. I don't mind being nice to people or helping them find shirts, but it depresses me to think that I got a college degree to open fitting room doors for people with real jobs.

As far as what I would change goes... I wish my confidence was healing faster (though I am doing a bit better in that department) and I wish I had a better idea of what the heck I'm going to do with my life. My new group of friends have been really affirming me as a writer, though, and that helps a lot. I always knew I was a writer, and people have told me I'm a good writer even, but I've never had so many people react so postively to the mention of my potential creativity. I think the creative side of my brain is listening, and perhaps when inspiration strikes, I'll be a bit braver and try something new...

Really, I think this period of my life is going to be extremely helpful for directing me to a better future. That's a little complicated, but simply put, I think I will look back on these months of my life and say: "That was my turning point. Those people are responsible for helping me become who I am..." Everyone who stands up in front of people and shares their story has a point in the story that's like that. I never knew, or never believed, that it would happen to me. But I guess God is writing my story after all.

Part of me cringes at that last sentence I wrote. Am I becoming a Cheeseball Christian? I hope not. I really am sincere. I think it says something that, despite all my attempted resistance, I'm still not able to keep it to myself that my life is being transformed, and that, beyond anything I've done for myself, suddenly and to a certain degree mysteriously, my whole world has changed and is continuing to change for the better. I think that was way more than a run-on sentence, but forgive me... I'm still working through all of this. It's hard to accept sometimes, and even harder to express, even in writing.

Basically, I'm falling in love with life without even trying. You know how sometimes you just love someone, even if they don't know you exist and no matter how hard you try not to, you just do? Yeah. That's what's happening in my heart these days. I'm still afraid... but... the love I've recieved from my friends, and begun to perceive from God (?) is enough to make my heart fall hard. And I'm slowly letting go of the fear that was all I knew for so long...

Perfect love casts out fear, they say... I never knew what that meant before.

Speaking of fear, I need to clean my room today. What a nightmare. But it will be so nice when it's done. I guess I should get started on that now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Spider Sense or Season?

Last night I laid down to sleep, and something just didn't feel right. At first I tried to ignore it, but when that feeling won't go away, it can keep you up for hours, so I sat up in bed and fumbled for the light. Once illuminated, I could see the cause of disturbance... there was a large spider on the wall right above my head. How did I know, in the dark, that certain doom was creeping its hairy way towards my face? No idea. Sometimes I just get a weird sixth sense about things, and this happened to be one of them. Once, in college, I startled awake from a dream and there actually was a spider on my face, and I beat the living tar out of him on my pillow with a flip flop, without even waking my roommate. Spider sense? Who knows.

So really, the spiders are about the only thing I don't like about Autumn, and even they aren't so bad if they're not on or near my person. This year I'm not sure we'll get as many of the awesome colors, because it's been so hot that I'm afraid the leaves are just going to give up and jump off without the transformation. Right now the weather is awesome, and I'd love to spend all day in my pajamas, drinking chai and blogging, as I'm doing now. If only I got paid to do this...

Speaking of, I've got an interview with a temp agency at 1:00, and I'm pretty freakin nervous. I hope they can actually find something that fits me, at least a little. I'm still not sure what kind of job I'd really be good at, honestly, so I'm hoping they can figure it out! :) I know it doesn't really work that way, but hopefully this will give me an opportunity to try something new and see if it works.

Wish me luck!

And here's the question of the day: Do you think it's possible for people to have Sixth Sense?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The October Post

So I finally made it out to Panera to do some much-needed Internet errands, including updating my blog. It's been a crazy weekend at work and I feel like I'm wasting my life away indoors, so sitting outside in the cool evening air is a real blessing. I need to do this more often. It is perfect hoodie weather, and I love it.

Things are going well these days. I'm shocked to say it, but it's completely true. I still need a much better job but even that hasn't been as bad as it could be. I love the people I work with so much that it will be really difficult to leave, even though I desperately need a new situation and a lot more money. I just really don't want to be there through the holidays... I'm already working on a "Guide To Inconsiderate Shopping Habits" which I will post here when it's finished. I imagine Thanksgiving and Christmas may push my growing cynicism over the limit.

Church is good, though I haven't been in a couple of weeks, due to work and being out of town. I'm really getting to know some people and it's awesome. I guess when I graduated college I thought all the deep friendships were over, but that's definitely not true. Now I find myself with awesome friends that have even a little more depth to them, just because they've lived a little outside of college life. I love that in reality I know nothing about life! :) I always assume the worst, and now I'm finding it's all completely different than I had imagined... which is awesome. I'm really loving it!

Well, I know this post is neither very creative nor interesting, but to me it just feels good to be writing again. There'll be plenty of time for creativity later on. I just hate that I haven't written since September, and I had to post something finally. I think I wrote some posts I never published, so I'll have to look through Word and find out where I hid them.

Mostly my days have just been work, sleeping when I can, hanging out with whoever will let me, and generally just enjoying life... in some ways for the first time. I feel like I never understood grace before this season of my life. Suddenly things that had been clouded to me for years have been revealed, as if I stared at an abstract painting long enough to discover its depth of meaning, and found it to be exactly what I've always wanted on my wall...

I need to go, because I've gotta get to bed early tonight. Tomorrow I start work at 6AM. I always meet the construction workers from the apartments across from us in the parking lot and nod a sleepy greeting to them, with my hands full of bagged lunch, keys, and coffee. They always stare back, confused. Why would I be up so early? I ask myself the same question every time. At least they get paid well for their hard work!

But this is all soon to change... I feel it in the wind. Or, perhaps just in the steadily dwindling bank account and mounting credit card debt. Either I get a better job or a second one... and by the end of the month!

Hopefully I'll be writing again soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Potentially Brutal Honesty

Hey there.

I wrote this a few days ago, and although I am a little less cynical than I was when I first wrote it, I'm going to go ahead and post it because it illustrates some of the life changes I've been experiencing lately.


Sept. 11

I have a lot of catching up to do, it seems. The good news is, my life is totally different from what I was living last I wrote (in August). Much has changed for the better. I finally moved to Chattanooga, and I really enjoy the area I'm living in. I've also gotten re-involved in the church I've been wandering in and out of for about five years now, and that has changed a lot of things for me.

The singles group at this church is amazing. I still don't know exactly what I believe about God, and I still have a lot of doubts about his “love” because of some of the things that have happened to me, but I'm definitely reconsidering some of my previous doubts. And, though I never thought I'd say it, I'm really enjoying being in church again. Maybe I had to step away for awhile so that I could better appreciate this time of reunion.

But I don't want to lose myself in all of this, because I've done it before and I'm hesitant to go down that road again. I had what I believed to be “faith” in college, that now I'm pretty sure was just denial. Sometimes Christians have that tendency to dislocate themselves from reality, and start saying strange and uncomforting things like: “All the awful things that happened to you passed through the hands of a loving God,” or even resort to speaking a different language: “The seeds have been planted, brothers and sisters; the harvest is ripe.”

What the crap are we really trying to say here? I know the English language is limited, but let's try to use what's left of it well, shall we?

I really don't want to become one of those people with glossy eyes that acts like life has never been difficult, or that somehow life's tragedies are unimportant because of religion. I don't want to smile when I'm dying inside or fake belief in something I have no knowledge about. I don't want to stop living in this world just because I believe there's another out there. I don't think we were ever intended to do that.

Perhaps I'm speaking blasphemy. But while I'm on the subject, I may as well get it all out there. I still don't entirely get the worship aspect of all of this. Someone suggested to me that maybe I just worship differently than a lot of folks, and I think this must be true. I watch a sunset, or go hiking, or feel the sunshine on my skin, and my heart responds in what I believe to be worship. But cheesy Christianized songs and the threat of being called upon to pray out loud has never done it for me. I can sit down and write for hours on end, or drink in the varied sensations of a cup of coffee, or sleep until lunchtime and stay snuggled up in the covers for another hour after I'm awake, longing to know my Creator intimately, but I feel awkward and self-conscious if I'm raising my hands or trying to sing something I don't feel.

I wonder if there's something wrong with me, or if I should just accept my uniqueness and worship in the way that comes naturally?

I don't mean to sound bitter. I've been disappointed so many times before, and the truth is, I'm just afraid. I'm afraid of waking up and finding it's not real, of being rejected by those I hope to create relationship with, of always being an outcast because I never find a way to connect, or to “worship” and receive that mysterious gladness the way everyone else does. Sometimes I just don't “get” the God stuff, and that scares me. Maybe it just takes time.

But I'm ready for something. I'm ready for change. I'm ready for my life to have meaning, for my emotions to be rooted in something real, to move towards the hope of a future I could be excited about. I'm ready to leave the blackness of despair behind, to find healing from my past and move forward to hope, and maybe even – dare I ask for it - happiness. Maybe I could even find a way to accept and believe in myself... that could change everything.

Christians believe they have the answers to all of my questions, so I'm willing to give it another try. What do I lose if they're wrong? Only a life I had been growing to hate. But maybe all that is almost over. Maybe a new day is truly dawning. Maybe I made it through to the other side, and maybe change is finally here.

All I know is, these people love me and each other in a way I've never witnessed before. And I want to be part of what they have.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Teeny Tiny Update

Hey Everyone,

I haven't passed out of the land of the living, it's just that my life has changed so drastically that I almost feel like I have. Pretty much everything has changed but my job status and my ever-present insecurities about myself! But hopefully those are soon to change as well.

I have written much in the last few weeks but it was during a season of much introspection and, consequently, depression, so I'm not entirely sure if it's "postworthy." We'll see how daring I become in the next couple of days. Prepare to be potentially offended by my honesty, as I grasp for truth and stability in my changing life...

I miss getting comments. You all need to post more! ;]

I'll write again soon.

Friday, August 10, 2007

This is Where We Used to Live

This should be my last day in the old apartment. I'm sitting on the floor, because there's no furniture left, and I just remembered that I didn't bring the vacuum from the Chattanooga apartment. *sigh* I moved the last official load yesterday; today's just for clean-up, and grabbing the last little scraps. I may see what I can salvage from the refridgerator as well.

But I guess you could say that life is getting back to good again. I need to stop posting when I'm miserable, because that's not the only thing I'm feeling these days. It's just been really hard lately, in just about every area of my life, and I've never had much of a talent for coping. Still, here I am, leaving behind another stage of life and stepping out into another unknown. I'm looking forward to the new friends I'm bound to make, and new experiences I'm bound to get caught up in.

The next step, for sure, is finding a better job. People have been pressuring me to pick a career, but I'm thinking I may just look for a full-time, better paying, closer-to-the-new-place job, and see what happens. The truth is, other than writing, I don't really want to have a career. My main goal is to not get behind on my bills and eventually pay off my student loans. I'm still not opposed to grad school, but I'll have to see if I can afford it. So tempting, though. I hate deadlines with a passion, but I'm also not good at motivating myself to do anything unless I have an assignment, so it's a Catch-22.

I wish I could be one of those people who believes that God has something very specific planned for your life, and that as long as you're not choosing to live in sin, He'll lead you along the path He chose for you -- but I'm not. I think we are given opportunities, and sometimes no opportunities at all, and whatever you choose, there will be good and bad in it, and you have to choose how you bear the burdens of life no matter what. I hate it that way, but in my experience, that's the way things are.

I'd love to believe something different. I'd love to just pick a new job, any job, believing that there's a God out there using every choice I make to lead me to something or someone great. I'd love to believe that I'm right on the verge of something that's perfect for me. But I don't believe that anymore. I think I take a big risk trying to find a new job, because I could end up totally hating it and scrambling to find something else, which may in turn be equally awful. Perhaps I have been burned too often in the job search and it has made me cynical.

Whatever the case, I am nervous about searching for a job. I know I don't interview well. I have confidence issues. I don't know what I'd be good at. I'm afraid of getting involved in something and then letting people down, etc. It's all a major struggle for me. But I guess I have to just do it anyway and hope for the best.

I've got a lot to do, so I may write more later. This one wasn't so depressing... just honest! =]

By the way, I've had that "Barenakedladies" song in my head all day... "Broke into the old apartment... this is where we used to live..."

Man, 90's music was good.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


I've never been good at handling the in-between stages of life. For instance: moving. I'm terrible at it. I get completely emotionally overwhelmed, and that is exactly where I am right now. There is chaos at my old apartment, chaos at the new apartment, and because it's tax-free weekend, even more chaos at work. I'm completely broke because of all the deposits and start-up fees and whatnot, but I need to buy groceries at the new place so I'm not eating out all the time. Needless to say, I'm not doing so well.

It's an hour drive between my apartments, and I've just been loading up my Honda and taking load after load. I've spent a lot of money in gas, but in some ways it's worth it, because that is the only peace I get during the day... that hour of solitude before getting or dropping off another load of my crap. Today I just broke down completely, and cried nearly the entire hour to the old apartment.

And they say these are the best days of my life. In that case, my only hope is that I die young! At least then I wouldn't have to waste my time at a job I hate, when all I really want to do is write.

Does it ever get better than this?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Glimpse of July

Well, it has been so long since I have written that I don't even know where to begin. Let me just give a quick overview:

I spent last week in PA, visiting my family for a celebration of birthdays. My nephew is now 2 years old and... alas... I am 25. But I had a very fun birthday celebration, complete with "fwimming" in my nephew's inflatible pool (his invitation was: "Ah-Jo? Ah-fwim!" before running out onto the deck!) I also got some really cool stuff for the new apartment.

For my birthday from one of my sisters, I got to go out at midnight and purchase the last Harry Potter novel, and I loved it! Very satisfactory end to the series. I was completely wrong on the majority of my theories, but I loved it nonetheless. Three cheers for Jo Rowling! I did not expect it to end as happily as it did. More on that in a later post, I'm sure.

After returning overnight to Tennessee I headed off on another out-of-state venture to Lawrenceville, GA, to see the Medieval Times Dinner Theater. Man, was it incredible! If it's the month of your birthday, you get to go free. I would highly recommend it. Quite entertaining, excellent food,"A Knight to Remember" as they say.

So, now that all my fun and travels are over, I reluctantly return to work and "normal" life for a few days, and next week I'll spend moving into the new place. Hopefully it will be a place where I can truly make a new start. I am in desperate need of a fresh perspective, a change of routine, a new lifestyle entirely. I hope I have what it takes to make that happen.

That's all for now. Wish me luck at work tonight!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Harry Potter and the Anxiously Awaiting Fans

So, I think the new book should be labeled: "Harry Potter and the Anxiously Awaiting Fans." Only five more days. I'm going crazy.

Does he die or not die? I can't stand it anymore!!

I'll admit, though, that I almost want him to die so that other people can live. I know that sounds awful, but... okay... here's what I'm thinking: Rowling won't kill off all three main characters, nor will she be able to let all of them live. Out of the three of them, Harry has the best chance of leading a broken and miserable life. Don't get angry, it's true. Think about it. What would he do after destroying Voldemort? His life purpose is suddenly vanquished. Ron and Hermione at least have each other, and they could move on despite the hard past. In fact, I think going through all of that would end up drawing them closer together. It works.

I'm afraid, though, that if Harry dies, so will Ginny. But if Harry doesn't die, probably Ron or Hermione, or maybe both, will die protecting him. I'm certain Hagrid will kick the bucket. He's just too good and pure a character to keep living. I'm not saying I want it this way, I'm just saying this is the way I think it is.

Apart from that... I have no idea. Possibly Mcgonagall, since she has taken the place of Dumbledore. As far as story line... I don't really know. Rowling always surprises me.
That's going to have to be all for right now... I may write more later. Just wanted to get my predictions out before the book comes out, so I can really say "Ha! I guessed it!" Even though... I kindof guessed most possible outcomes...

Oh, and I'm going to Pennsylvania this week! Woohoo!!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

In Search of a Story

Hello, friends.

I'm a little lonely tonight, with a lot on my mind.

I've spent the past couple of hours (oh, who am I kidding? More like 3 or 4!) looking for jobs in Chatty, reading random blog postings, watching J.K. Rowling interviews on YouTube... who could ask for more on a Saturday night?

I can't help but wish inspiration would hit me. Books used to come so easily when I was a child. And even a teenager. In fact, I think I could write well until I went to college and learned the format of an essay. It was all downhill from there. I try to give my writing structure, and it all falls apart. For some reason, my creativity got squashed in college and has not yet made a full recovery. I'm still seeking answers as to why.

Still, my best work is definitely my journal. Not this one, but my personal journal, hand-written, which I've been keeping since I was like 11 or something. There I have been so brutally honest. Here, I have to watch what I say... so it doesn't offend anyone, or get to the wrong ears, or encourage some internet scumbag to continue his stalking habits. Here, everything is fairly well edited, and though I don't have a true "structure" I feel like I lose a lot in the quest to be acceptable to all audiences. Although I still want to be a writer, more than anything, I wonder sometimes how published writers do it. Perhaps I am not yet mature enough to have learned the balance of diplomacy and honest commentary on universal issues.

If only I could write both honestly and for the public. Supposedly I can... you know, Freedom of Speech and all, but I am not yet prepared to live with the consequences of writing fearlessly. I have let a select few people read some of my personal journal entries and it was one of the scariest things I have ever done. Those who have read what I write when I am writing straight from the heart have saturated me with praise. I don't know what to do with this. I have been told I am a born writer. All I know is, it is the one thing I cannot live without. To me, it is like oxygen... or dark chocolate.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am searching for my story. All my life I have been seeking it, and I had hoped it would come by now. J.K. Rowling was 25 when Harry Potter appeared to her on the train. I can only hope and pray that my story finds me soon.

I am thirsty for the writing life, though I know it will be a hard road. One of my dearest friends told me this week that I need to start at least writing articles, sending them out to magazines, and begin my collection of rejection letters. I know she is right, I just don't know what to write about yet. But I think I'm supposed to be a writer, if there is such a thing as "supposed to be," because none of these other jobs sound even close to what I really want.

Do you think God has a plan for my life and if I'm living it right I'll find my way into the writing life? Or did He give me the gift of writing and leave me here to figure it all out on my own? Am I missing something here? Is it just not time yet, or is there something wrong with me that blocks my motivation to write for publication right now?

Then again, though I may not feel it these days, I am pretty young. Most writers don't get published until they're in their 40's, and still more aren't published until after their death. That's a comforting thought. That means I'll have to have some lousy career for the rest of my life, and keep writing without knowing whether it will ever have meaning for anyone.

But I will keep writing. I know that much. I don't really care if I never get any recognition for it. I know in my heart that I'm supposed to write, that I love to write, and that I cannot not write. Maybe a publisher will choose to see that in my lifetime and maybe not, but it won't really matter either way.

I will be a writer either way. ever in search of my great story...

Friday, July 6, 2007

Why Don't You Choo-Choo Me Home?

Just a quick update this time. I have decided to stay in Chattanooga and room with Chloe, a girl I know from work. We're looking for apartments close to where she goes to college, and closer to the city itself so that I can potentially get a better job. As soon as I get my stuff moved, the job search starts again.

I didn't think that I'd be this excited, just moving a little closer to the city I've lived around for the past 6 years... I must really love it here. The thought of being close to town is comforting. Sure, it's no adventure in New Zealand, but part of me needs a sort of security I've never had... the kind that comes from being somewhere you want to be, and being able to stay as long as you want. Chattanooga has long been where I want to be. I hope I take advantage of all it has to offer this time.

Not much else to tell. I am still afraid of the choice I have made, but I must move on with life. I have seen too many people whose lives are consumed by fear, and I want no part of it. Some day, perhaps, I will get to see other lands and write about them. For now, I'd just like to get a good job and put some money in the bank and let life slow down just a bit, if possible. Part of me really just wants a "normal" life here. I wonder if it will ever be so?

I should go, and get ready for the evening. I'm finally going out tonight! I'll do a movie review when I get back...

Saturday, June 30, 2007

On Dreams...

Much on my mind these days.

Many life-altering decisions to make, and I feel incapable of making them well. This seems to be the point in life where I have to choose which dreams I allow the possibility of life, and which I abandon and leave for dead.

I suppose there isn't any way to keep the heart from being torn a bit, in the midst of the choosing... no matter which way you choose, you lose something, you gain something; you can't look back. I wish it could be different. There are so many dreams I wanted to keep...

There are many things I can't express right now. Others have already said it better than I. Tonight I find myself alone, with a question burning in my mind...

Langston Hughes
A Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Long and Short of Vacationing

Hello, All!

I just got back (late last night) from visiting my brother in Charleston, SC. We were there only three short days (three days was all the time off we could afford since Ben and I both work retail), but man did we do a lot in those three days!

Let's see... we went to the beach three times, rented three movies, ate out... you guessed it, three times, and also found time to see the new Evan Almighty in theaters, made iced coffees (thanks to Ben's free Starbuck's pound!), and had our first kayaking experience! I am very, very sore.


1) Terraza coffee from Starbucks, on ice, with International Delight Irish Cream Coffee Creamer. Man... it's good.

2) Taking a Charleston Ghost Walk (we didn't get to go this time, but I've been before and they are spoooooky cool!)

3) Steinbeck's The Pearl. That's not something you have to be in Charleston to read, I just happened to pick it up in the morning when the guys were still sleeping. It's sad (obviously, it's Steinbeck!), but incredibly written.

4) The movie "Ghost Rider." Terrible movie, but hilarious. The dialog had us rolling.

5) The Seafood Alfredo from an awesome restaurant right on the water called RB's. Their sweet tea is also amazing.

6) And finally, staying in Chris's 3-bedroom (are we noticing a theme here??) condo and mooching off his depth of generosity!

Also, if you can make time for it whenever you're in the area, go to Kaminsky's for an out-of-this-world dessert experience (sorry man, couldn't resist!).

All in all, it was an extremely tiring and fun trip! I finally bought a Peace Frogs shirt and a sticker for my car. Jack's birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks (I have to find the title and discover when exactly he was signed over to me), and I'm going to celebrate by decorating him with stickers. Yaayyy!!

So... now the hard stuff begins, because I really have no excuse anymore for not cleaning up my apartment and finding a job. My next vacation won't be until the end of July, and that gives me at least a month to get my life sorted out, which ought to be enough time, but inevitably won't be. But look at me, pretending my life is difficult because I need a better job and happen to leave messes in my space. No, I realize that I am very blessed and that things will be changing for me soon, it's only a matter of time.

One more plug before I go. Kayaking. Man, is it awesome! I'll admit, it took me a long time to be convinced. I am not exactly the rugged type, nor am I incredibly in shape at the moment, but in the end I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Go in the morning, though, when it's not as hot. I can't imagine that heat, sitting in a little boat, in the afternoon. I was a sticky, sweaty mess when the tour was over, but I have to say it was enjoyable nonetheless. I think it is something I could definitely get into if I had the money. How much do kayaks cost anyway?

I was very clumsy with it all, and kept running into people and docks. Luckily, I never wrecked any of the expensive boats in the harbor we passed through, or had any major disasters. Just felt sore, tired, sweaty, and clumsy, and pressed on anyway. Somehow I think there's a metaphor for life in there, but I'm not desperate enough to dig for it just now. In the end, I think I may have been really getting the hang of it. Who knows, when I'm a rich and famous author sometime in the near future, I just might take up kayaking to escape the pressures of my fame and fortune. By then I'll even have enough to tip the tour guide!

If only...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Day in the Life of Me

My thoughts are scattered everywhere this morning. I’ve worked a lot, and I was hoping to have a day to sleep in, but as you can see, have not had any luck.

7:20AM: My manager calls to ask if I can come in to work early. I’m not supposed to have to go to work until 2:00, so I’m pretty happy to be awakened at 7:20. I curse at the still-ringing phone and yell: “No, I will not go in early!!!” to the empty room. I lie back down grumpily; eventually I drift off again.

9:06AM: My sleepy brain ponders the fact that someone is knocking at the door. If I ignore them, they will go away, Sleepy Brain explains. Sounds good to me. Two seconds later, the phone rings again. My landlord (and friend), very cheerful, amused at Sleepy Brain. Oh, right. I forgot the Exterminator is coming at 9:00. That explains the knocking. “Will he care if I’m in my pajamas?” Much laughter on the other end of the line.

9:17ish: Another knock at the door. The Exterminator. I walk to the door, picturing an overweight man in his 40’s, who probably won’t be much for conversation, and probably has a gazillion daughters, and therefore won’t mind the PJs, or the mess. Open the door. Blonde dude, probably 22, looks at me awkwardly and comes inside. Surveys the boxes and piles of junk everywhere. “You just moved in?” he says. “Yes,” I say. Two months ago. Crap, why couldn’t I have just put on some jeans? We try to make small talk, while he squirts poison around my apartment with a miniature chrome vacuum. I ponder the fact that roaches survive nuclear radiation… so what kind of stuff does it take to actually kill them?

9:25: Exterminator leaves. He tells me not to have too much fun. I wonder if he thinks I had a wild party and that’s how my place got to be such a mess? Nope. Did this all by myself. I consider cleaning up a bit. Instead, I get online and look for jobs.

10:30: Make some coffee. Try not to breathe in roach poison. Try to ignore coughing. Decide to blog about morning excursions for other’s amusement. Haven’t called my manager back. Not planning on going in early. The four hours I have to stand in the fitting room will be enough for one day. Ponder my limited job options. Read other people’s blogs at random. Find a girl who’s writing about all her experiences overseas this summer. Apparently she found a way to afford to go overseas and write. Still embarrassed about the pajamas. Wish I were overseas writing about excursions. What am I supposed to do with my life?

10:41: Get up to get a cup of coffee. Discover I’m out of creamer. Not going to the store to buy some, because I’m leaving tomorrow for Charleston (woohoo!). Also, my milk is expired. No cereal for me. Come back to write some more, drinking Kenya roast black. Bleh. Not bad with creamer, though. I still like Guatemala roast, which got left in Greenville.

I should probably shower and start getting ready for work. Maybe I’ll go in an hour early, make a little more money. Save for overseas excursions someday. Too bad Peace Corps doesn’t do Europe.

I’ll try to write more tonight.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My Best Friend's Wedding


I know it's been awhile. I've had a busy week and haven't gotten around to writing until now. I spent the past weekend in Greenville, SC, for my best friend's wedding. It was great. I made all kinds of new friends and now I'm considering moving back to the Greenville area... we'll see what happens. It all depends on if I can find a job.

So the wedding was beautiful, and the bachelorette party beforehand was one of the most incredible evenings I've ever spent. We had a scavenger hunt, which ranged from asking single guys for their business cards, to finding a cop and asking if we could get a picture of the bride-to-be handcuffed. This was not allowed, however, because he said if a video ended up on YouTube he'd lose his job. He consented to let us take a picture of his handcuffs lying on the table instead. So, there you go.

One of the highlights of the evening, in my opinion, was the instructional belly dancing video we rented from the library. Picture about 7 girls in a hotel room in their pajamas, very much wired, having just eaten brownie sundaes with sparkling grape juice (no alcohol, because over half the girls weren't 21 yet, but trust me, we didn't need it), attempting to learn how to belly dance from a Russian Nite Club Dancer, who had a strange resemblance to a cross between Cher and... a man. Not even joking. She had muscles where I'm pretty certain muscles don't exist. And the video was not as "instructional" as it was advertised, so... let's just say we didn't learn a whole lot, but were extremely entertained, so it was worth it.

So now another dear friend of mine is married, and I'm left pondering what I'm going to do with my life. Sometimes I wish the decision weren't left to me. Maybe that's just Youngest Child Syndrome. But I’m pretty sure everyone goes through this, to some extent. Still, I couldn’t help feeling a little “I wish that were me” as they exchanged their vows, with adoring eyes turned upon each other. Too bad it takes two.

But I'm actually considering grad school, which is something I've never really considered before because of the expense. There's a school called Bread Loaf School of English that has a really awesome course for people who want to be writers or want to teach writing. It's three summers long and not as expensive as I'd feared it would be. If I took a nanny job with minimal expenses (I'm talking to a family in Clemson!), I'd be able to save a lot, and potentially still have a job when I came back from the summer schooling. It sounds promising at this point. We'll see what happens.

On the other hand, I could potentially stay here and work in a local coffee shop. I know the owner, and he said if I was interested in staying around long-term I might be able to work for him. Do I want to stay here long-term? That is the question. What do I really have here that's worth staying for? Do I have anything anywhere else that’s worth going for? Nothing comes to mind, sadly. Where do other people get their motivation from?

Clemson might be fun for awhile, but I've already lived in several areas of the Southeast. Shouldn't I try something else for a change? If I wasn't going to be a nanny, what other jobs would I be good at?

People keep suggesting I work for a magazine or newspaper. I don't know if I'm concise enough to work for a company like that. To be completely honest, I'm entirely sick of trying to figure out what I'm good at, trying to figure out how to convince some company that I'm wonderful so that I can work for them. It's hard to do when you're not really convinced you want to work for them in the first place.

I think I might be great at being a full-time writer if I could ever come up with a good enough story... I'm working on one, but haven't had much luck getting it out on paper. Every time I try to write it, I find that it's missing something... something... but I don't know what just yet. Maybe just plain life experience. I bet I'll be a great writer when I'm 20 years older, but what can I really write about right now that's relevant and interesting?

Actually, I'm writing a piece for Tara on the bachelorette party, the wedding, and all the goings-on in between. Whenever I get it done, I'll have to post it here. If nothing else, I'll always have writing as a recreational activity, because I thoroughly enjoy its process.

Anyone know any good, inspiring literature that might help me in the writing process? Or any funny stories about weddings or bachelorette parties? I need some inspiration about now. :)

I think that’s all for tonight.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

In a Parking Garage Far, Far Away...

What was the strangest thing that happened to you since last weekend?

This past weekend I was in Knoxville, and… no joke… I witnessed a Storm Trooper walk through the parking garage and get into his SUV. Just picture that for a second. A Storm Trooper, in a parking garage… It was funny, even though I happened to know the context. I met my sister at Adventurecon 2007, a Star Wars (and various other cult classics!) convention and it was actually a lot of fun. For all of you who don’t know me well, yes, I do have some closet nerd tendencies.

And just for the record, Boba Fett is just as awesome in person as he is in the suit. Still very sexy. He said: “Put Commander Solo in the cargo hold,” in that voice, and I about died. It was glorious. I thought I’d gone to Star Wars heaven. Anyway, if you ever get a chance to go to one of these conventions, do. It’s incredible. If for nothing else than seeing the elaborate costumes people wear. I had donned my Strong Bad shirt, which was the geekiest shirt I owned, and even I got compliments on it. I’m telling you, these people are amazing!

I’ve actually got to go to work shortly. And speaking of work, I got a raise!! Which is good… but I’m still probably leaving, as soon as I find a better job… which may be awhile at the rate I’m going. *sigh*

My boyfriend is trying to take apart his motorcycle engine at the moment, so I’m going to go see if he needs any help...

More later!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Serenity... later?

So, I just tried this Guatemala roast coffee from Starbucks, and man, is it awesome! My morning just got a little better. I was having a pretty lousy morning, actually, and considered not even making coffee, but now I'm glad I did. True story. I'm going to stop, though, before I start sounding like those stupid McDonald's commercials that are like "Susan didn't know she had feet until she tried our coffee... now she walks everywhere!" Whoever came up with that ad campaign deserves a unique and painful experience. Maybe not death, but at least a painful experience of some sort.

Maybe I should go into advertising. I could sell things to college students with an ad like: "We're not going to tell you that something deep inside you needs this product, in fact, you probably don't need it at all, but if you're going to buy it anyway, buy it from us, because it's cheap!" I would buy from people like that. When you're in college (or just out of), every cent saved is one cent closer to a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. Mmmmm.

So today will be the 11th day in a row that I have worked at my retail job. Sunday is my first day off in a long time. I'm like 98% sure I'm going to quit; the 2% is waiting to confirm with the school that I'll have a job with them through the end of the summer. I'll be able to save some money that way, and either put a down payment on an apartment closer to my dream job that I'm certain to get by August, or spend the money on a plane ticket overseas, to meet a very nice, patient, and unassuming family who wants me to live with them, spend their money, and occasionally babysit while I learn about their culture.

In all seriousness, though, I have been looking for Au Pair jobs. I think it could be cool to go overseas for a year as an Au Pair, and learn about other cultures and ways of life (maybe another language while I help them with English??). But then, it could be a complete disaster, and you pretty much have to take that risk. I'm trying to be realistic while not castrating my dreams and it is a tough balance. Some of the things I want are so outrageously impractical, but if I only live a "practical" life I am miserable too. I wonder where I'm supposed to fit in this world?

But as cyncial as I may be, I can't deny that this is an amazing place, full of mystery and challenge and romance and beauty. That's why I would like to experience more of it. I'm a little afraid... afraid of spending my entire life stuck in some city, sitting among my piles of junk, wishing I had the courage it would take to sell my stuff and get out, and go anywhere. I don't even go downtown Chattanooga by myself. No wonder I feel I have nothing worth writing about!

I suppose I am a Romantic through and through, despite my best efforts to be sensible. But there's a place for us as well, I think it just takes a little longer for us to find our fit because this culture seems to be run by practical, career-driven people. But last month I met this awesome hippie lady who makes incredibly beautiful jewelry and sells it at fairs, and from a little store in her basement, to raise money for an orphanage in Guatemala. I bought some of her earrings and told her I'd pray for the orphanage whenever I wear them, and so far I have remembered to. We talked for a long time, and she was very encouraging, saying that when she was about my age, in the 70's, she lived in her car and sold jewelry so she'd have something to eat.

At first I felt inspired to go out and buy and old VW van and turn it into an art studio, like I've always wanted, and then I realized that it was her contentment that attracted me so much, not just her Bohemian lifestyle. Eventually she found herself. She said she never fit the mold of a career lady and could never hold down a "traditional" job, but that she was happy, through and through, and had found a life of serenity and contentment. She spends months raising money for the orphanage, then goes down and helps out for a few months, then comes back to America and raises more money, etc. Her creations clearly show that she spends a lot of time on them, pays attention to detail, and desires to make something lasting. The best part is, her life work is not really the beads and clasps and wires she works with, but the children whose lives are changed because she cares enough give what she can for them.

I think what I most want is to be a writer who creates something influential and lasting. I don't care so much about personal immortality, but I do care that what I create is something of value, something that reflects the beauty and mystery and hope in this world. I hope that, 30 years from now (and sooner, if possible!), I will be able to say that I have found a life of serenity and contentment, and rest in the knowledge that I have created something beautiful to leave behind. That's something the people who make ads for McDonald's can't say for themselves, however monetarily rich they must be by now.

I think that achieving the kind of life that I hope for will require a decent amount of risk, which I have never been good at. Maybe going overseas will be a first step...?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Same Old Changes

Well, I haven't written in a long time, because some people complain about me posting too many serious blogs, and nothing really humorous or interesting has happened lately. In fact, it feels like my life has finally settled into a basic routine, and therefore, I think I am going to change it. Sometimes I wonder if I don't have gypsie blood in me from somewhere, because as much as I claim to hate moving around so much (and I do), I never seem to settle in one place for very long before I become restless and change it all up again. Funny how that works.

So I'm still considering job options, and I'm very seriously considering quitting my retail job to work for my old college, cleaning up people's crap again. Honestly, I hate the job, but I've gotta admit that it pays pretty well, plus I'd have almost no commute, plus I'd be guaranteed 40 hours a week, instead of 20-35. So, after figuring it up and realizing I would make at least $1500 more by the end of the summer, I am, as I said, very seriously considering quitting my retail job. Though I will miss the discount terribly, I probably shouldn't be buying more clothes in the first place. I will miss the people too, and that's the hard part.

In other news, I applied for a nanny job in Franklin, Tennessee, which is just outside Nashville. Awesome city, decent pay... seven... children. I know what you're thinking, but it could be really cool. You never know. And if there's one thing I'm sick of lately, it's making just enough to barely pay the bills but not enough to do anything fun when the work day is over. Maybe that's why I'm not funnier when I write... just a thought... ;-)

I don't really know what else to say. I've been working a lot lately, and that is both good and bad. Good because I'm making a little more money, bad because, well, I'm sick of folding clothes and working with a few girls who take this job entirely too seriously.

I think I'm going to go watch a movie, and try not to think about what I'm doing next in life for a bit.

Here's a question for the masses, what's a good TV show I can get hooked on now that LOST is finished for the season?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

You know it's getting bad when...

(Just for the record, all of these things really happened today.)

You know it's bad when...

* You get excited that gas is "down" to $2.92 and you rush to fill your tank.

* You look at your current balance and are delighted to discover you'll still have almost $100 after rent is paid!

* You have to get to work in order to relax and unwind.

* Writing your blog before bed is the highlight of your day.

Today has just been one of those days where the magic just never showed up. I shouldn't complain, because a lot of people have it worse than I, but I'm going to complain anyway. Trust me, it helps. I wish I knew what made today so awful, but I don't know, I only know it was.

I think I'm upset because a lot of my friends are leaving, going off to do other things, and I'm still trying to decide what the heck I'm doing here in the first place, and what I need to try to do next. I keep going back and forth between staying here and trying to get a better job (preferably one I didn't hate), or moving to Nashville to do a year as an Au Pair. I could get some money in the bank and be able to start off a little better this time next year, whether I wanted to move back to Chattanooga, or just move on to something else. It's not a bad option, really.

Here's a funny thing. At work tonight, I was the official "greeter," which meant I stood in the doorway in a ridiculous T-shirt and passed out information on our "weekend special" which is pretty much: if you spend a lot of money here, we'll give you something that's... sort of... free. I had to give the spiel about it all, and it's amazing to me how many people don't want anything for free if it means they have to pause and listen to another human being explain how to get it.

So, by the end of the evening, I had shortened my little speech down to: "Hi, if you spend $50 or more, you get this free." and shoved the little information paper into their hands. I found that people didn't hate me so much if I said it quickly and let it go. If I had shortened it any more, I would have probably sounded like a Cavewoman: "50 dollar... you get free." We were, of course, supposed to explain in detail the various potential benefits, some contest rules, and promote our store's credit card, but morale was low and I didn't have the heart to make anyone's weekend worse.

Somewhere along the way, about halfway through the evening, I guess, I thought to myself... maybe going through an interview and getting an office job wouldn't be so bad after all. One of my co-workers said that if I stayed until Christmas, they would make me dress like an elf, and hand out candy canes with the information taped to them. I want to be in another country by Christmas.

So while I'm standing there, wearing the Official Greeter T-shirt and handing out flyers about potential free stuff (which people reacted to as if I were handing out tracts!), who walks in but one of my old bosses from the day care. I don't really know why, because I am infinitely happier at this job than I was at that, but I felt really freaking embarrassed to know that my old boss now knows that I work in a department store. She asked me how long I'd been working there, and I lied and said it hadn't been very long, and that I was just doing this for fun while I waited to hear back from some of the places I'd put my resume in to.

In my defense, that was the orginal plan, and there are remnants of truth scattered throughout what I said, but things haven't exactly worked out as I'd hoped, and I did make it sound as though I hadn't been working there since February, and that I had put my resume in a bunch of places... not just two... and that I do this job for fun. *sigh*

But I must say, I don't have to separate screaming, fighting children all day or have someone sit me in their office and tell me they need more detailed lesson plans (the lady that came in tonight was the one who always did that), which we will never, ever use because no one can get thirteen five-year-old children to do jack! So... I should be happy for even a "greeter day," which really wasn't so bad, after all.

I must sleep now, because I'm working all day tomorrow too, and I'm exhausted. I'd love to get a few posts adding to the "You know it's getting bad when..." list! I'm sure I'll come up with some more tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I Hear the Mermaids Singing...

I'm sitting here in my apartment, thoroughly enjoying the simple quiet of the evening, and waiting for the caffeine of the day to wear off. A train passes by, singing its lonely song in the night, and I feel a little envious. I want to go, too.

But I love this. I have grown to love this Tennessee, this mountain range, this little town on the outskirts of the great city of Chattanooga. Even down to this little apartment; I love all of this. Am I really willing to let it all go? But if I choose to stay, what am I giving up, what is it that is out there, somewhere, calling me to come and find it? What is supposed to come next in life? Is there a "supposed to" at all?

No one really knows. People will always give advice, and some of it may even be good, but I've given up on finding someone who really knows what needs to happen next. I guess it's my decision, and I guess I'll just have to make something up and go for it. There are no tracks laid out for me to follow to my next destination, like the train. Only choices, millions of choices, and I guess you just pick some and give it your best. I feel like I've been doing that, though, and haven't been very successful so far. I suppose it all depends on how you measure success.

I spent the morning looking at Au Pair/Nanny jobs in exotic places. I do it for fun, but sometimes it leaves me melancholy. I'll say: "I could move to Fiji!" but I know I'll never do it, and so a little part of me is sad, and I wonder what life would be like if I could live without fear. Beautiful, I'd bet. Life would be utterly beautiful. The kind of beauty that is contagious, unmovable, and thoroughly shocking. We need more of that kind of beauty in this world.

Knowing me, though, I'll take a slightly safer route, and move to Franklin, Tennessee. There is a family there that seems genuinely caring and really just needs someone to help out. I have a couple of good friends in Nashville, which is close, and I wouldn't be too far from my friends here... I wouldn't have the stress of wondering if I'll have enough this month to get all the bills paid. But giving all of this up will be hard. And part of me says, "If you're not going to London or New Zealand or somewhere awesome, is it really worth it?"

I don't know. I haven't really lived enough (and by that I don't just mean long enough) to know what's worth what in this world. I feel like I could stand to learn a great deal by moving some place amazing, some place far away from what I've always known. But it's a huge risk, and I'm not so good at risk-taking.

It would be neat to discover what happens to my writing when I'm somewhere else entirely. I wish I could afford to just go, on my own terms, instead of having to take a job somewhere. I wish I could just visit and see. But that isn't the life I live... at least not yet, so I have to go with what I've got. A lot of people don't get to just travel where and whenever they please, so I shouldn't feel so persecuted... but that doesn't mean I can't wish and long for a better day to come.

Maybe I'll hear back from one of these places I've sent my resume to, and then my decision will be easier. But am I certain I want to stay here? Am I that sure that this is where I want to be, even if I get a better job and I'm able to stay? Do I really want to just lead a "normal" life; find work, get married, have babies, grow old...? There is certainly nothing wrong with those things, and I have wanted them all deeply from time to time (and still do). But... if I could have more... and I'm not sure that I can... but if I could... would I?

There is nothing but silence to answer me.

The train is long gone by now, and I cannot follow. The world keeps turning slowly, this beautiful and sometimes horrifying world, with all its wild places that I have never seen. Some days I wonder if I'm not just measuring out my life in coffee spoons, as T.S. Eliot so eloquently put it...

"I hear the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not believe that they will sing for me..."

I wonder, if you find a way, if you go ahead and move to Fiji, do you find just a different manifestation of difficult, or do you finally find what you'd been looking for all along?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Thoughts on Job Options

Good news! They now have an auto-save on blog drafts, so I won't lose entire posts anymore! Three cheers for technology! I am very excited about this feature. Although, having been an English major, I should have automatically saved a backup file of what I was writing, but we won't think about that.

Life is good over all. I find myself continuing to narrow down my options, whether by choice or default. At least I am getting somewhere, even if I don't have results in the form of interviews just yet. I have to first discover what I really want to do before I can put all my efforts into trying to get a job! Most people disagree with me on that point, claiming you should “make finding a job your job,” but I despise the process of getting a job so much (i.e. filling out applications, updating my resume, going in for the interview) that it is best for me to work this way. Once I decide I really want a particular job or a type of job, then I'll work hard to do all that. It just works better that way. I’ve lived with myself enough to know that by now.

So I've decided that I'm not going to try for the Peace Corps just yet. It's still a backup plan, since it incorporates the travel/expenses paid part of my goal, but I don't think it quite fits all I want at this time. I think I’m intimidated by the length of commitment. Two years just feels like a really long time... I'd be turning 28 by the time I got back if I went this year! Ack!!

For some reason I'm not sure I really want an office job, though I may still try for some anyway. It would be a good way to pay the bills and have a little left over, and it wouldn't be too horrible, I suppose. I could live my life on weekends like most everyone else in the known world. I’d prefer a little more flexibility, but I’d also prefer to continue buying groceries and using air conditioning, so that's a thought.

I'm still waiting to hear back about the Post Office job. I still really want that one. It may seem like a cop-out, but I've got a lot to figure out at this point in my life, and I think it would be good for me to get paid a whole lot (plus benefits!) to type labels so the computer can generate mail more easily. And a worthy cause it is, too! :) It'd be behind-the-scenes, which is a good thing for right now, and I wouldn’t have to tell skinny blonde chicks that “No, in fact, we don’t have skirts any shorter than these, but thanks for playing…”!

I know what this will look like for some, but I think they are wrong. It's not that I don't have ambition (as people have suggested in the past), it's mostly that I'm emotionally worn out from college and family crap and I need to buy some time and figure out how to get where I want to be. I have career goals, they just aren't immediately attainable. I just have to pay the bills right now, get a job that more than pays the bills (hopefully something non-customer-service related, because that is also draining!), and save up to try freelance writing, or find a nice, normal family to Au Pair for, or something of that nature. That's my "plan" for now if you can call it that. I think it's not too bad, considering I often feel like I'm wading through a swamp in pitch darkness without a flashlight and I have to decide which direction to go next! Is it just me?

So I went hiking last Saturday and it was awesome! I love being in the woods in this weather. How much do they pay Park Rangers anyway? That's a thought. But I have the day off, and I think Ben does too, so I think we're going to go again today. It is beautiful outside. I'm considering bringing a bathing suit... but that mountain water is just so cooold that I don't know if I'll brave it or not. I like hiking for an hour or two, then finding a rock somewhere close to the water's edge where the sunshine reaches through the leaf cover above, and just sitting for awhile. Sometimes I'll pull out my journal, sometimes I'll pray, sometimes I'll have a conversation with whoever's with me... but mostly I just sit. There's just something about that place that I love deeply. I love "places" that are more a state of mind, or a state of life than actual physical places. Hopefully I'll find one of those today.

Speaking of, I should probably start packing the peanut butter sandwiches and granola bars if I’m going to be able to get out there for the afternoon. I’ll probably write some more tonight…

Friday, May 18, 2007

Single White Female in Search of... Life?

Hello blog readers!

Alas, I have been a slacker, and have not been posting. In fact, I have been a slacker in many areas of my life of late… my place is a mess, my car needs to be cleaned out, I haven’t really worked out or even started tanning for the summer… *sigh* I did, however, make it to the grocery store to spend more money than I can really afford on stuff I “need” for the next week or so. So that’s good. At least I have food in the fridge for the next little while. If all else fails, I’ll still be eating relatively well, and what else really matters? :)

Anyway, I’ve had much on my mind lately. I wish I could blame my lack of discipline on the fact that I’ve been working too much, but I really only worked about 22 hours this week, which allows for a lot of wonderful free time and no money to enjoy it with. I’m trying to live well anyway, going hiking or reading in the sunshine when I have an afternoon off. I'm looking forward to the pool opening soon! But this not having money is tiresome after many months. There are just so many decisions you have to make, with very little to work with, and it is truly draining.

This week I had to opt out of going to see Shrek 3 because I just can’t justify it with my current budget. I do, however, have enough to go see Pirates of the Caribbean (I’d probably live out of my car rather than skip that one in the theaters!), so I’m not too bad off just yet. I’m not really complaining about not getting to see such-and-such movie, and I hope you can read between the lines a little bit here. I do realize that I am extremely blessed despite the necessity of frugal living. What it all comes down to is that I either need to quit my current job and get a much better one, or I really need a second job. Which makes me a little nervous, if I’m being honest with myself.

All of this brings me straight to what’s been on my mind lately. What the heck do I do next?? When I was in college, I used to say that the next time someone who was married and/or financially okay told me “These are the best years of your life!” I was going to punch them in the face. Now, not only do I get angry, but I feel this creeping sense of despair as well. If this is as good as it gets, man, have I got a long way to go! I had hoped all of these years that the next stage of life might be a little better than this… so far it's just a different manifestation of difficult!

I thought for awhile (for the last week or so) that I might join the Peace Corps, and go some place exotic, and help people and myself by doing something outside my comfort zone. That would give me my chance of going somewhere else with my expenses paid, and I would just write in whatever free time I had. But I’ve put a lot of thought into it, done some research and talked to all kinds of people, and it doesn’t really seem like quite the right fit. I’d still be up for some crazy nanny/Au Pair job if somehow I could determine ahead of time that the family wasn’t, in fact, psychotic. But unless somebody knows somebody, it is just too much of a shot in the dark for me to seriously look into right now.

Apart from that, I’m playing around with some ideas I’d rather not bring up just yet, until I’ve thought through them a little more. Basically, I just feel kind of lost in a great big world, while time passes more quickly than I am comfortable with. I’m turning 25 in July. Am I not supposed to have more figured out by now? Do I have to use my English Major to get a job right now, or can I just use the knowledge I gained to explore writing in my own time, and for my own purpose? For some reason I'm unsure about getting a job that is closely related to what I ultimately want to do, but not quite the thing itself. I just feel like that's a recipe for disaster. What if I ended up hating the very thing I most enjoy?

Much too much to think about these days. I'll try to come up with something infinitely more creative to write about next time.

Til then...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Stupid internet connection

Well guys, I'm extremely frustrated. I just tried to post a fairly long blog, in fact I had been writing for about 45 minutes, but when I hit "publish" I didn't realize I had lost my internet connection, so, of course, up comes: "the page you have requested cannot be reached" crap-for-crap, whatever the heck that is! So I quickly hit the "back" button, but to no avail. It has been lost forever. So instead of trying to recreate what I just wrote, I think I'm gonna call it a night (as far as blogging is concerned) and hope for better luck tomorrow.

It has felt like a really long day! :(

Monday, May 14, 2007

...And Straight On Til Morning

Is it just me, or do we all sometimes get that voice in a little corner of our heart saying: "didn't you want more than this?" I'm not talking about a bad voice, the one that says: "You're a loser, you'll never amount to anything, just look at you!" I mean the one that's gentle, that pokes at our comfort zones and whispers: "You sure this is all you want?"

I heard it this morning. Nothing caused it, as far as I can tell; maybe a dream sparked a longing I had forgotten. All I know is, I just woke up wishing I were somewhere else, doing something else. Something just bothers me, just a little bit, about where I am in life, and where I seem to be heading.

Don't get me wrong. I'm pretty happy these days, minus the intricate budgeting I've got going here. I'm not saying I don't realize I'm blessed, or that I don't appreciate what I've achieved thus far. I'm not saying, either, that I can't choose to be happy with whatever circumstances are handed to me. This is not a cop-out or just a "wishing for whatever you don't have" kind of thing. Give me the benefit of the doubt with this one, if you will.

It is difficult to put into words. Let me attempt. Out there, all around, are other places, other cultures, other relationships with people I've never met, never experienced, never knew to know about. But I want to know. I want to go somewhere else, gain new experience. Everyone says this is the time to do that. While I'm single and can technically move anywhere I want to go. No family responsibilities, no career, no real reason to be anywhere. I'm in an ideal position to just GO, as soon as I had the money to (which may, in fact, be what's stopping me in the end).

But I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to go, didn't want to do... something else. I tried, once before, in a way. My plan was to be an Au Pair in America for a year and then take a position overseas somewhere, learn about a new culture, and write about all my experiences. But it didn't really work out that way... I'll have to spend an entire post explaining why at some point. Boy, was that a job to remember! So... scratch that idea. I'm not ready to be an Instant Mom just yet. But how else do you get overseas with your living expenses paid? I've yet to find a way!

And I know it's not just me, seeking Neverland. Because I've talked to a lot of people who have put a lot of thought into life, and every one of them have had that little voice inside that says "why don't you go?" Somewhere. Who knows where? Why don't we go?

If I had a Genie in a Lamp right now, I'd ask for two things. First, that my stupid school loans would be paid off, and I could live debt-free. Second, I would ask to travel to many cultures, discover many things that have never been written about before, to give people a voice when they can't speak for themselves. I would ask that my simple expenses be paid while I discover, write, and live for a couple of years this way. My last wish I would save for when I got back from all my travels and go "okay, so what do I do now?" I'm sure I'll need it for something important at that point, like a real job! =] Or maybe a publisher for my book from all my world travels. Or a therapist.

I don't really know how to wrap all of this up. Maybe I just needed to throw my heart out to the world and hear it echoed or ignored or just to know that someone out there heard it cry. Sometimes I just need to write, and I never know the purpose of it, only that it must be done. Maybe God has a purpose in all of this that I don't know about yet.

Maybe, just maybe, the life I'm looking for does exist, and maybe I'll find a way to go. Second star to the right...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

WWJD: We Want Jelly Donuts!

Hello, friends!

It's a sleepy Sunday morning. I have to remember to make coffee here because they've started closing the snack table at church as soon as worship starts. Apparently, there were some people who were coming late for church, getting coffee and donuts, hanging out until the singing was over, and then just slipping in for the sermon. The scandal is outrageous. But we can't do that anymore, because there are no snacks after like, 10:30. So we're going late to church instead, and I'm bringing my own coffee.

You may think "that's terrible," but really, you haven't heard the music. Sometimes its pretty awful. And there's this one girl on the "worship team" I kinda make fun of... a lot. And I figure it's best just to not give myself an opportunity to be unkind on a Sunday morning, because every time I think: "I'm really going to prepare my heart for worship this time..." and I'll try, and every time I make fun of that girl; rocking back and forth and shaking her head from side to side, hands clasped, with her eyes closed. I think going late to church is one of my ways of "cutting off my right hand," so-to-speak, because I'm tempted to sin (and I always cave!).

So I've got a few questions for the masses. Is going to church a little unenethusiastically better than not going at all? Does that just mean I need to find a new church? Am I a weirdo Christian, or are half the people sitting there thinking: "I wish they still had donuts out... man, that girl just won't stop swaying... does she really mean that enraptured expression or is she just faking?... gas is so expensive right now, I wonder if I should have come?"

Many years ago, I had a friend named Martin who challenged my shaky belief system by pointing at my electric purple WWJD bracelet and saying: "We want jelly donuts!" I was horrified, convinced he was being sacreligious. Now, probably ten years later, I find myself disappointed that they close the snack table early so people will be on time for worship.

In all seriousness, though, I realize that many Christians in the world are very sincere about their faith, and very dedicated to their church. I have been a little nomadic about church, and maybe I'm just not getting the big picture. But I have never felt like I fit in a church, like I really had a "church family," like I was connected enough that people cared whether I was there or not. Maybe, because my current church is an hour away, I am just not able to be involved enough to give and recieve in the way a church family is supposed to fuction. But I think it may be more than that. I'm not convinced that the problem is just me.

Is there something wrong with the church in general here? Are there churches that don't function this way?

Don Miller believes that the church in America in general is pretty messed up. Is there any more literature I need to discover on the subject?

Any thoughts, comments, shared experiences?
I'd love feedback!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The New Blog

Hi everyone!

I finally started a blog. I'll be completely honest, though, I'm a little nervous about all of this. I'm trying to decide what exactly I will write about from day to day. Do I have anything important to say? Will any of this help me towards becoming a published author? Maybe... because in a way it is practice. Maybe I shouldn't take it all so seriously, though.

As one of my English professors in college was always saying, it is difficult to write anything unless you have an audience in mind. I don't really know my audience. Family and friends, and curious readers, yes, but that is a broad audience base. I guess I'm having a hard time figuring out what my purpose for writing is. Maybe that is why I haven't written creatively for a "public audience" in a long time.

I'm reading an awesome book called The Artist's Way by... well, I don't know who it's by. The book is lying around here somewhere and I'll find it and give you the author then. I'm a little bit of a messy person naturally, and all of that is compounded by my recent move into a new apartment. Then the mess really comes out. You know, because all you really need is one stupid shirt, but you have to go through five suitcases to find it! Yesterday it was the coffee stirs (coffee stirs or coffee stirrers? Hmm), and a knife to cut chicken with. And then you pull out stuff, and don't put it back, because you want your cup of coffee so you can freakin' relax for two minutes! Or, you have to get dinner going because one of the people you're having over has to be somewhere at 7:00.

I think I'm not very good at coordinating things, though I am quite good at ideas. See, moving was a good idea. I'm struggling with the unpacking part. Maybe that's a stretch, though. Maybe, in reality, I'm just a wee bit lazy. :)

Anyway, this book, The Artist's Way, I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to reconnect with their creative side. One of the things that has helped me most is the daily "morning pages" assignment. Though, I must admit, I haven't kept up with them daily. But the funny thing is, I have discovered that my day goes just a little better when I have written my three pages in the morning! Actually, I cheat and don't look at how many pages I have written, but how long I have to write. So, before work, I'll set my self 30 minutes or an hour or whatever.

I'll write more on this book later, but there's my plug for it for now. I think I'm going to peruse other people's blogs online for awhile and get an idea of what they're supposed to be like. Wish me luck...