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.

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.