Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Growing up- a challenge to let go

I think there needs to be a manual about how to become a grown up. Or better yet, a class. One with homework and tutorials and instructional videos.

Because I am utterly lost. I guess I assumed once I got married it would all click. Magically, I'd know exactly what to do with my life, where I wanted to be in 10 years, my future career, and I would love doing the dishes. I dreamed of Husband coming home to me proclaiming, "I just got offered 15 jobs that I didn't even apply for! And look, clean dishes and a completely unpacked apartment! Yay for growing up!" Yeah...not so much.

Instead he comes home to me saying, "Well, I applied for jobs, again. I haven't heard back from anyone. I went out to visit places but no one's hiring. Still not sure what I want to do with my life yet. But I unloaded the dishwasher! Oh yeah, and I ate some chocolate chips. Yayyyy?" I feel useless, directionless, lost.

If you would've told me that I'd feel this way during high school, I'd laugh in your face. "Of course not!" I'd say, "I have a plan and God's going to help me." The problem? God's not a sidekick. He's the superhero. I spent practically my entire life planning and waiting, then re-planning when things didn't work out, then waiting, then more planning and...well, you get it. But I didn't.

What was I waiting on? A sign? A miracle? God to pop down and go to the Bux with me to share a Pumpkin Spice Latte (hey, He can indulge)? I'm still not sure, to be honest. But I know I was waiting for my life to start. Always, I thought "Okay, after this my life begins" or "Well, that wasn't planned but after this I'll definitely get the hang of things." And you know what? I haven't.

My whole life I've felt that I always had to have something planned. After high school was college. After college was marriage. After marriage was finding a career before having kids so that Husband and I wouldn't have the financial strain of school and kids. But now, it's after marriage and I've got nothing. And I think that's okay.

During the past few weeks while searching for jobs, I've let myself become enveloped by this feeling of confusion and failure. "How could you do this to yourself? To your marriage?" I was asking myself. And it wasn't until today that I acknowledged, it's okay.

It's okay to feel confused. It's okay to feel like you don't know what's coming next. But you know what it's not okay to feel? Alone. Because you're not. You are loved and cherished by God, the Creator. He's put passion and fire into your heart, acknowledge it. Does that mean He'll email you a map of how your life is supposed to go? Of course not. Does that mean we won't quit asking for exactly that? Nope. What it does mean is that He has made you for a purpose; He's got something in mind for just you. And me, too! Exciting, isn't it?

Because you know what? I'm going to embrace the fact that I'm lost. It's brought me back to who I was made to be...a child of God. And I'm going to search for myself with the innocence and wonder of a child. I'm going to giggle, cry, heck even eat a Popsicle when I'm mad. But I'm not going to stop searching and I pray you don't, either. He's made us for something, something BIG. We've just got to stop waiting, and go for it. 

So here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to forget everything I've been taught about being a grown up. I'm going to ignore the fact that I "should" know what I want by now. I'm going to ignore what people say about how I "should" be acting. Because you know the only thing I "should" be doing? Fervently chasing after the One who made me, and you, and even Charlie Sheen, the kook that he is. I'm going to follow my passion, the one thing I know to be true about myself: I want to help people. I want to be able to pray over people. I want to be able to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I did good in the world. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and know that through me, His will is being accomplished. I want to be living a life of passion. And, I want to acknowledge that these things take time and sweat and work, but I can do it. Why? Because I've got the Creator of the universe behind me. "BOOYA" doesn't even begin to describe my feelings.

So here's to a new life, starting today. What are you letting go of?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review: The Postmistress

Image from here.

 A week after my wedding, I had the privilege of participating in one my dearest friends weddings in Lubbock. My mom picked me up to take me to the airport and about halfway there she asks, "So you've got your iPod, right?" To which I reply, "Oh crap. Yes, but it's not charged. And DANGIT I don't have headphones." She said, "That's okay. You always bring books anyway so you'll be fine." (Silence) "You didn't bring a book, did you?"

For most, this situation would be easily remedied: go to a bookstore in the airport. Simple. Easy. Wham bam thank ya ma'am. Not so much for me.

I'm that person you see in libraries sitting on the floor between the aisles, looking disheveled, distressed, and altogether on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I take book buying (and yes, even borrowing) very seriously. When reading, I invest in the characters, the plot, everything; emotionally, I begin relating to the characters, almost imagining them as good friends. In my mind, they exist. They are real people. That may sound strange, but that's how I operate. And so, you might understand now why buying a book is so difficult. I need to know that the experience will prove to be a good one because, once invested, I can't back out. I think in my entire life, I've only left three books unfinished (No, college reading doesn't count. I was forced to invest in those characters, which is another story entirely).

So while perusing the book store in the airport, I had two things in mind: 1) that the book had to be absolutely fabulous and "unputdownable" and 2) that it had to be relatively cheap. Hey, I'm a newlywed, okay? So after an hour of searching (I wish I was joking), I finally happened upon The Postmistress. It was in the "Most Popular" section and I was intrigued because Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, was quoted on the cover saying she recommended this book to all her friends. I was sold.

And let me tell you, I'm so glad I found that book. Sometimes I find myself in a rut, reading the same thing over and over. But this book was precisely what I needed.

The Postmistress, written by Sarah Blake, alternates between three women: a bold American reporter in London, a newlywed and, naturally, a postmistress. Set during World War II, the story alternates between these three women, intertwining their stories until they are seamlessly woven together. As a reader you're immediately invested in these women through Blake's rhetoric and beautiful and vivid use of imagery; you feel as if you're there.

Other readers debate the quality of the story, claiming there's no plot or character development and the end leaves you begging for more. Personally, I disagree; I found the story refreshing in its "untidiness" and lack of a fairytale ending. The details about American's view of the War are shocking, but true, and while there are some historical inaccuracies regarding technology, Blake is upfront about this and explains her reasoning.

Altogether, I loved this book and would highly recommend it. It's thought provoking, if anything else, and definitely deserves a chance.

Read it and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The hunt.

It's hunting season. And no, I don't mean animals. I'm not that kind of girl.

I'm talking about job hunting. It's cruel. It's harsh. And they don't even have pre-prescribed clothing. Rude.

Honestly, the hardest part is...I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I've checked a few things off my list, but that narrows it down to, oh...everything else.

Do I want to do something creative? Yes. Do I want to help people? Yes. Do I want a career path with flexibility knowing that I want children in the future? Yes. Do I want to have fun? Double yes.

After last year, I've learned that it's not worth it to cave and just start walking in to places that I assume will be an enjoyable workplace. I'm doing my research, but it's taking more time and my results have been less than satisfactory. I usually don't consider myself a proud person, but I'm learning that I do have pride in my work ethic and education; I'm a good employee, and I'm not going to settle for a job that does my hard work and degree injustice....I think. But I don't know. Some jobs I want just because they seem fun. Or, okay, they have a good in-store discount, but is it worth it? Given my past experiences, no. It's not. At all. But the job market is basically...well, to be blunt, horrible. At least for someone like me who has no idea what in the junk she wants to do.

Basically, no one's hiring. Unless you're a welder. Which I'm not.

But hey...maybe that's a sign, huh? Welding it is. I knew this blog was good for something.

Friday, September 16, 2011

a welcome note and our first adventures.

Hello, there. Welcome to my little blog. I have another one that I post on, but I decided I might try out a new one on for size. Le Husband has been encouraging me to write more often so I decided to push myself a little bit farther and start a new blog of, well, everything.

So. I'm glad you're here! And I hope you stick around for a while...

But onto the next topic of choice: the first weeks of being a newlywed. 

I think saying that the first few weeks of marriage are an adventure is, well, an understatement.

Don't get me wrong, I love it, but it's every bit as exciting and confusing as we were told. Living with a boy is not as gross as what I thought it would be (yayyy!) but we're definitely learning what it means to be together all the time.

Here's what we've learned so far:
  • Before you call maintenance for your AC, make sure you check your breaker. Sometimes turning it on helps. But only a little.
  • The pet and smoke smell in your apartment does NOT go away with time. Definitely invest in an AirWick.
  • Electric stoves are hot. Really hot. 
  • Unpacking takes time, patience, and even more time. 
  • Also, most of the stuff you packed....really? Why do you need that? Throw it away. 
  • Gift cards are a life saver.
So there they are, some of our first life lessons together. I know we have plenty more in store but, for now, I think we'll just get used to these.