Thursday, January 22, 2009

NOT the next american idol

THIS is exactly why i will NOT audition for american idol. what if everyone i know has been placating me as this poor girls' family and friends obviously had been??


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

having a plan - the solution to the worst of days

today started off less than happily. in fact, it was one of the worst days in recent memory. not the worst day ever, not at all. in fact, it shouldn't even have been the worst in recent memory but it just hit me with that much force.

basically, if i were one of those, ruled-by-my-emotions, give-in-to-my-temper, walk-off-the-job-in-a-fit-of-fury types of people, i would have quit my job this morning. i bit my tongue until i could calm down and vent a little. i felt better at that point, but not 100%. but then i had some time in a meeting - where i was taking notes on stuff that i literally couldn't understand until someone translated for me - to sort some stuff out.

lately, obviously, i've been feeling like maybe my life is headed in a new and different direction. for some reason, it keeps popping into my head that maybe moving to california has something to do with that direction. i would never ever in my life have imagined wanting to move to california, so this seems a little strange. i've been spending a lot of time in prayer and reflection, trying to discern the correct course.

the other day, i was praying out loud in my car (something i do quite frequently. i should get a bluetooth so that at least people who see me won't think i'm crazy. even if i really am.) i was talking with God about what i'm supposed to do. i was saying how it feels pretty clear to me that i'm supposed to make some changes and that california is seeming like it's one of them. but how am i going to get there? what is the catalyst going to be that will cause me to leave my job - that i love, for the most part - and uproot myself and move someplace where i don't know anyone? that's so not me. i told Him it would be really helpful if i got some kind of clear direction, or some kind of sign or something ... i quickly amended that i would really appreciate if the catalyst was not me losing my job, although that would inspire the most prompt action i'm sure. just then, the radio - which i had turned way down to the point that you couldn't really hear it - played something that caught my ear. i turned it up in time to hear a line: "a kid from oregon, by way of california" ... and my jaw dropped. i listened to the rest of the song and then looked up the lyrics later. this is some of it.

Don't know where you're coming from but you're coming soon


To a kid from Oregon by way of California
All of this is more than I've ever known or seen


Come on and we'll sing, like we were free
Push the pedal down watch the world around fly by us

it's a great song. mat kearney. i was terribly confused because i was SURE i'd been listening to KLove ... but i could swear i knew that song from somewhere else. so i googled it and sure enough, his music has been featured on tons of tv shows, he's signed on a major label ... no mention of being a christian artist. but then my roommate informed me that she knew him because he started out small and he is actually a christian artist. anyway, it just totally threw me for a loop to hear this song that i was pretty sure was secular on a christian radio station playing this seemingly very key phrase ... definitely felt like God.

so then today. some stuff happened at work that just felt like the line was pushed. my boss has been a little out of control lately anyway. inexplicably turning against me and suddenly it's like i can do no right for him. it's been a little much to take but today was beyond that. it felt a lot like if i was a camel, this straw was breaking my back. luckily, i'm not a very rash person and i kept my head for the most part. but i realized later, perhaps this was just the catalyst i'd been asking for. didn't i say i'd rather not lose my job, but it would be helpful if it felt like there was a reason i should want to leave? and there you have it.

i started doing a little research into what other options i might have. and then in that meeting this afternoon, everything felt like it just clicked. i started scribbling down notes and came up with a loose one year plan for myself. i'm pretty jazzed actually. more and more keeps falling into place - on paper at least. i'm putting a couple of things into action tonight and i keep refining the plan, detailing it down to make it more doable.

i know that none of this will work without God's blessing and my own hard work. but i'm totally excited to see what comes of it. it's totally turned my bad day around 180 degrees. i'm thinking that i can definitely do another year of this life if it is actually working toward something else.

anyway, sorry for the mini novel. but i was just too excited to keep it all in!

Monday, January 19, 2009

new things

last year, my former roommate and i made a sort of new years resolution to do one new and exciting thing each month of the year. i think we made it about 6 months before we lost our resolve. funny things, resolutions ...

well, there are quite a few things that i've always wanted to do and i'm starting to take action on some of those. my current roommate gave me a quick, crash course in playing chords on the piano and now i have a handful of songs that i can actually fake my way through ... it's so satisfying! it feels like i can actually play the piano! i still intend to talk to a woman i know about getting formal lessons and once i have a pretty firm grasp, my choir director is going to teach me jazz piano. also, a friend is going to fix up and give me his old guitar so i'm excited to fool around with that a bit too. i've half-heartedly plucked at my sisters' and learned a few chords. but it's just SO hard to get my fingers to obey and curl the way they need to.

even just the little skill i've gained on the piano feels like such an accomplishment though. i have missed that feeling. i know that i am capable of doing and learning and excelling ... far more capable than what i've let myself become.

i feel so much better now than i have lately. it's not because anything's changed. in fact, some things are actually worse than before. but i think i feel better because i've accepted that where i am now isn't forever. something is going to change. i can feel that there is change on the horizon. i'm still not totally sure how it will play out ... how much of it will just happen and how much of it i'll have to push for. but i know now that i'm ready. i'm excited even, looking forward to it. as much as i might lament about hating change, i know that usually, once it happens it's an exhilarating experience. almost always ultimately for the better.

i am so grateful to my friends who have been so supportive of me. listening to me whine on and on about the same old things, just needing to get them out. helping me come up with options and to look at things from another perspective.

thank you. more than i can even express. thank you.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

inevitable movement

my friend was telling me the other day about a time when she was younger and she was faced with a choice. she could participate in a program that would educate her, make her healthier and altogether be very beneficial to her future. the program would take one year to complete. she wasn't sure what she should do, a year seemed like a long time to spend doing something and she didn't know if she wanted to waste the time. she said her dad told her, "this time next year is going to come whether you do this or not."

i guess that's a totally simple sentiment. but i never really thought of that before. i've considered at different times, "man, if i would have just done this in the first place, i could be done by now." but i'd never really thought about it like, i can do this or i can not. but regardless, the time it will take will go by.

so i'm thinking that maybe school is something i just need to buckle down and do. because regardless of the fact that the program will take two years to complete, two years is going to pass. in two years, i'll be two years older. whether i'm two years older and still strumming along, doing what i've always done, or if i take a chance and try to make something more of myself, i'll still be two years older.

yesterday i was talking to another friend and going over all of this out loud - that helps me a lot - and i realized, i have nothing to show for myself. i've lived all this time and i have nothing significant to show for it. she's a little over six years older than me so she doesn't like it when i lament about aging. but i told her, she has a family, a home, a life. she has something to show for her age. in two years, i won't be too far from how old she is now and what? will i have nothing to show for it? i don't have a family, i don't have a house, i don't have a good car ... i don't even have a pet! am i really going to muddle along for two more years, just doing the same things i'm doing now and end up with nothing to show for myself? or should i just jump in and do something?

i'm beginning to feel a lot stronger about the second option.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

is there ever NOT a crossroads?

i think i want to go back to school. there's a school i really want to go to but there are a couple of obstacles.

first, it's in downtown portland and that's quite a commute, especially for my poor Squanto.

second, the night course option is from 5-10, monday through thursday. i have an indefinite tuesday night commitment already in mcminnville at 7.

also, the night option stretches the overall length of schooling to a little over 2 years. not that bad i suppose, but it just feels like a long time.

the day course option is from 9-5, tuesday through saturday for a little over a year. but i have a full time job that is a normal work week, monday through friday, 8-4.

so i don't know what i should do. do i sign up for the night courses, take a chance and say a prayer that my car can handle it, give up my tuesday night commitment for two years and get done? do i quit my job and get one in the evenings or at night that would be better suited for the day classes and finish school in a year? and if i do that, where do i take the schooling from there? as much as i really want to do this for a career, the way i want to use it would require relocating. i suppose i'm not as vehemently opposed to that as i once was. but then what?

i think the time has come to make some decisions and do something. it's easy to write about it, think about it, talk about it. it's much harder to put thoughts into action and make something happen. i don't want my life to be one of regret. but change is so friggin scary!

arg. this hasn't helped much. i think i feel more anxious now, putting that down into words, than i did before. that's not a good sign.

i over think everything.

understatement of the year.