Saturday, June 29, 2013

Decision Made

I had the best meeting with an old friend and her beautiful children yesterday.  Victoria and I have an interesting past and it would be easy for us not to be friend.  Yet, I thank God every day for small miracles like her friendship.  She is a constantly encourages, an example of faith, and someone I truly admire.  I was so blessed to see her for even just a short time yesterday. In case you are reading this, yes, I finished the book last night and your husband’s HR manager gets a call from me at least once a week (fingers crossed!!)

My brother surprised me yesterday with a visit.  It was a blast to spend some quality time with him.  Movie and surprising great food at this brewery I never knew existed in this small town was the best.  I had some great catch up time with him and got to pick his brain.  I asked him what he thought about the trip out to see Ryan and (lucky for Ryan) he said go.  Then I told him, “Great!  I needed a playa’s perspective.” He thought I was funny, and let’s face it, I can be. 

After our fun lunch we decided it would be great to go walk in downtown…in the heat.  We discovered this new tea house that used to be a dilapidated old Victorian.  As I walked through it (yes, even the attic) I kept thinking to myself, “If only I had a property like this, with my event planning experience, I could have a thriving business.”  Anyone know of a property?  Or sales guys like my kid brother to help with advertising?  It was the first time in a while I was excited about an idea like that.  Something I don’t think I will let go of soon.

When the heat finally got to us (holy heat wave Batman!!!!) we headed home so I could finish the book I was editing.  Then we went off to a spontaneous family BBQ (which we wall decided was better to have inside than outside).  My parents, sister and her family and two brothers all enjoyed some grubbing chicken and caught up and told stories.  When the kids went down to bed, my brother and I stayed and chatted with my sister and brother-in-law.  We reminisced about many times the two of us have hung out.  Since my sister was at war during most of this time, she had a great time listening to our many escapades. 

Her favorite was when David (always knows how to get me in a tight spot) told me he left something out my sister’s house.  It was probably around midnight when he went to pick it up (I think it was a cell phone charger).  I asked, “She knows you are coming, right?” “Of course!”  He responded.  I should I have known better.  We get into the house and he begins to look for said phone charger.  In the process he breaks a picture frame and creates quite havoc.  Low and behold my brother-in-law comes down the stairs…with a gun (yep, they live in the country and he was protecting his family).  Nothing happened because he is trained with them and knows not to shoot stupidly, but it was a funny experience.  Yep, brother got me into trouble again. 

We reminisced some more and enjoyed a grand time of stories.  A great night all in all.  But, what you all are more interested in is if I got tickets to Ryan.  Yep!  Bought, paid for, and I leave on the third.  I am getting quite excited!  I am told there will be fireworks for Independence Day over the international waters there. In Southern California fireworks are mostly illegal, so it has been a while since I have seen them on Independence Day.  Watching them over water sounds almost as fun as watching them beneath me on a plan (which I have done as I flew cross country…saw them start in DC and begin in California).  I am sure this will be a week of grand adventure…if nothing else a great experience.  I have never been to Mississippi, so a good look at the Deep South will be fun and educational.  There is a rich history there (something I love to learn about). 

So cheers to new adventure!  New experiences!  New friends!  New luck…I hope. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Should I Stay or Should I GO, Now?

You just never know what life is going to throw at you.  And I mean never.  Some of you know my history with men…I don’t have a great track record.  It is so bad in fact that some people have any broached the subject of having my family arrange a marriage for me.  Yep. That happened.  To put it lightly I have not been treated well by the male sex. 

Additionally, I have spent the majority of the past ten years taking care of other people.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to take care of people.  I just forget to take care of me sometimes because of it.  I have done everything from staying up late helping with essays to two am feedings.  I take care of people…it is what I do.  As you can see the combination of the these two facts makes me uneasy when a male is nice to me and wants to take care of me.  Which ultimately causes problems. 

In what has become our daily conversations, Ryan has offered to order me pizza and sleeping pills (I don’t sleep and haven’t in over five years) and get me a massage.  All of which I declined because I am a big girl and can take care of myself.  I have been doing that mostly well for the past ten years.  And he is patient with me, so he lets it happen. 

Why does all this matter?  Well, yesterday sitting at my computer applying to job after job after job, my computer revolted.  It actually refused to let me up load any more applications.  So, I took it as a sign to take a break.  But that left me in the middle of the country with very little to do.  So, I did what I always do and sought solace with my sister and her family down the road.  Nice break when you can get it…especially at nap time. 

But, I had spent the entire morning looing at a computer screen and didn’t want to look at a television screen so we decide to go into town.  We stopped to get some world famous (according to their sign) Brock’s ice cream…and it was just as good as I remembered.  But then headed off to the mall for some quite walking around.  We had to get back soon because I was going to make dinner for them and then we had rehearsal.  All the while I am texting back and forth with Ryan…who is really smooth with the words and knows exactly how to make me smile!  Thank the Lord for small favors. 

In the midst of cooking dinner (lemon chicken, steamed broccoli and salad…yes this single girl can cook!) I mentioned the approaching holiday.  It helped I just bought a really cute hat for said holiday.  He casually mentions a visit to him in training.  Now what you don’t know is my dream is to be in DC…the closer the better.  So, I am trying to get out there, if nothing else save enough money to get out there and get a Starbucks gig if I have to.  So, knowing that that is my plan at the moment, I say no.  But the more I talk to him, the more I want out of this city, the more I think it could be a good idea…hmmm…

Should I stay or should I go?  That is the question. 

To make matters more interesting, I ask Ryan if he reads my blog (not that many do).  He says he doesn’t get on Facebook much.  Where I remind him my blog isn’t on Facebook (though I do post a link).  His internet was down, but he promised he would.  Now I have been promised things before by guys and that usually means, “Let me tell her what she wants to hear and not follow through.”  Today, he made good on that promise without one single mention of it from me.  I think I could get use to a guy with integrity.  Maybe a trip isn’t such a bad idea?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Water Break

Nothing like a crappy night of sleep on soar muscles.  It is no secret I am a horrible sleeper.  I have not slept really well since 2005 but this past two weeks has been some of the worse.  I have also changed my usual work out routine from a nice long run outside and some muscle toning after to Insanity because let’s face it – 100 degree weather is not fun to run in and I get a full body work out in the air conditioning…with my sister.  So company working out really does make it more fun!

But, soar and tired is how I awoke.  That isn’t so bad, not really, at least until I stumbled into the bathroom to get ready for said work out.  Beneath my feet I was rudely shaken awake by the very cold sensation of water…all over the floor.  Now, let me give you a back story. 

The property I live on is old.  I mean really old.  And we are on well water (only drink our purified water if you ever come to visit).  I am the daughter of a fix-it dad.  I have helped him paint the house, build things, even install electricity to our back yard once.  As such I have learned to take care of myself mostly for the past ten years.  I once had my toilet literally explode on me and fixed it myself without calling the landlord.  So, I immediately went into fix it mode.  First, clean up the floor so I can maneuver without breaking any bones.  Second, locate the problem.  I check the sink.  Nope.  Everything appears to be running well.  I brush my teeth.  I check the toilet.  All water levels are good and all basic plumbing is secure and operating without a problem.  I check the shower (which hasn’t been run in 24 hours because I haven’t taken my morning shower).  There is dirt everywhere.  Gross.  Not how I left it.  So, I know I have reached the limit of my knowledge and it is time to call the landlords – my parents.

Now, if you know anything about my parents you know they are steadfast hard workers – which is the nice way of saying they are work-aholics.  But, I also was raised to utilize every available tool before calling them.  So, at 6:30 in the morning what do I do?  I text Dad and head off to my work out, after all my sister is waiting for me and she has kids.  Plus, I know I will be back by 8 or 8:30.  No response.  Either he isn’t up or he is really mad. If you know me, you know that stresses me out.  I don’t like being the bearer of bad news, but I really don’t like doing it to my dad. 

I go get in a really good work out (praise the Lord for good work outs, they really clear your mind).  Muscles aching and tired, but a productive work out none the less.  I scoot out of my sister’s house down the road and head home to my lovely apartment.  Dad’s car is not in the drive (yep, we live on the same property).  This means one of two things.  Dad doesn’t always get texts.  So, either he has not gotten them and head to head out of town on work or he has is at the hardware store figuring something out. I walk into my apartment and immediately know he got the text.  I have dresser drawers moved away from the wall and all the lights are on.  Yep.  The wheels are set in motion. They are trying to dry everything out. 

Still in need of a shower but unsure what is safe to use, I start to work on my computer (after I call Dad to see how I can help…no answer…he is either really mad or can’t talk…hoping for the later).  About an hour in to my work (how cool to work from home) my mom comes in.  Uh-oh, this could be good or bad.  She says she doesn’t know what the problem is either.  I confirm what I did with her and she said I did it right!  Yay!  And she confirms Dad isn’t mad at me! Double YAY!!  But, we still have to figure out what the problem is, so boo.  Oh well, I will shower in one of the adjoining apartments for now and see what happens.

In the mean time, while all this is going on Ryan (remember him, good guy who asked me on a date?) texts me.  He has a big test today, so I shoot a prayer up for him.  I know he is going to ace it.  When he tells me he got an A I was stoked!  Go Ryan!  Then he tells me he needs to do better.  Double YAY!!  That means he is driven.  How can a girl not like that?  He also found some ways to make me smile in the midst of the crazy morning, so I think a date could actually work out.  Thank you Donna (name changed) for your advice yesterday.  Nice to know another single woman.  I am so glad we got reconnected the other day at the party.  Can’t wait for a coffee date or something…you say when and where. 

And, well, now that I am officially stir crazy in the orchards, I have decided I need to do some community service (as well as continue on this job hunt).  This girl needs to meet some people!!  Ideas are officially welcome.  Which brings me to dear, sweet Angie (name changed).  I used to be her small group leader and she headed off to college.  In the past year life hit her pretty hard and well she is searching for peace, solace, and hope.  She called me yesterday to discuss life and all that entails and I thought about how blessed I am to be chosen for such discussions.  Surely, I have made a grand impact on the lives of those I have been called to lead.  Not many of my peers can say they have done the same and for that I am both blessed and proud.  Thank you Lord for reminding me of my impact and that my life is not about me but about you and being a light to those who need it. 

This also brought Nick back into light. How do you help keep a friend on the high ground when it is so easy to do the opposite?  I have no idea.  So, I did for him what I would do for anyone, encouraged him.  I send inspiring quotes and scriptures to friends when I think they would benefit from hearing them.  Usually, it goes over really well.  In this case, I am still unsure.  I don’t know where we stand in our friendship or how to help him.  So, pray for him please.  He needs some hope unlike any other (you know when your past finally catches up to you and you realize the consequences).  He needs that kind of prayer. 

So, here we go.  Leaks.  Workouts.  Sweet Ryan.  Thank you Donna and Angie for being lights to me.  And Dear Nick…praying for you always. 

Now for another day of random adventure!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Know Thy Enemy

Know thy enemy…

“Every town has its up and downs.  Sometimes ups out number the downs, as the narrator in Disney’s Robin Hood puts it.  And having moved ten times in ten years, I can attest to the truth in that.  In the city there are big city problems: traffic, scheduling, re-routing do to street repairs.  Because most people in the city are completely into themselves, there are very rarely actual relational problems…at least that are spoken out loud about. 

In a small town there are different problems.  Sure there is small traffic (add five minuets to your travel time during peak hours) and constant construction (at least that is what is happening all over mine at the moment), but there is one thing you just can’t avoid – everybody knows everybody or thinks they do. 

Most of the time knowing everyone is really great…but sometimes, it really isn’t.  In my case it is a mix of both.  I have been in my new home for a week.  One week.  I have already been confronted with old friends and unresolved problems.  (Here is a hint, never run away from a problem with a human face, inevitably it will come to haunt you when you don’t expect it).  What does this mean?  Well, let me name three of mine: Adam, Nick, and Ryan (names have been changed for privacy…it’s a small town people!)

Well, Adam has been a friend from college…exactly ten years now actually.  And I think the world of him.  He is successful at his job, has traveled the world, and is wicked smart…not bad looking either.  I have always respected his opinions and know him to be someone to tell me the truth no matter how much it hurts.  That is one of the things I admire about him.  But, we differ on some vital issues in life…mostly just one – I am a Christian and he is…well…not.  And yet, I actually care about what he thinks about my life and where I am going.  But, I am faced with the conundrum of why?  We evaluate life and its challenges differently.  So, how can his assessments really matter?  We base decisions on different scales?  Nevertheless, he is asked to meet to catch up.  Which I am really looking forward to, but part of me wants to not go because I don’t want to hear, “You’re so smart, why have you not done more with your life?  Your peers are doing great things, why have you not?”  Shoot me now! 

So, in preparation for this I have thought about answers (yes, I am planner, can you tell?)  First, those lives I have worked most closely with I have impacted greater than he ever has his subordinates.  I know I have changed the lives of countless youth because of where God put me.  For that I am proud. I have managed a successful yearlong campaign raising money and awareness to combat human trafficking…something bigger than me that doesn’t help grow my career path.  I have done more than my current CV may lead on – because most has been unpaid.  So, Adam, get off your high horse and know that I am proud of my choices.  And God does not abandon the work of His hands, so there is something big and powerful coming for me in my life. 

Well, that felt good just to write…now if only I can stick to my guns. 

Then there is Nick, the real dilemma for me.  Nick I have known for as long as I can remember.  He is a great guy; however misguided he has been in his adult life.  He is my friend.  And because he is my friend, I stand by him, even when he does crappy things to me.  He has been in my face (divine appointments I am sure) this past week, even though I didn’t/don’t want to see him.  Funny, PD told me I would be learning to know my enemy.  I am finding my enemy is my head, my heart and my flesh.  Nick challenges all these without realizing any of it.  You see, we left things in a bad place a few years ago.  Talk about not wanting to see people…he was my number one do not want to see…and the first person I saw.  He is going through a crappy time and I have compassion for him.  But, truth be told I don’t know how to help him…and he has reached out for it.  So, knowing that he is looking for compassion, forgiveness, and hope as a Christian I am faced with the test of unconditional love.  Do I help the person who hurt me so deeply or do I let it go?  Answer…PRAY!  Pray through every response and keep turning to the Word.  Which is what I did as he talked to me today. 

Then there is Ryan.  Talk about an all-around good guy (yes, I actually have guy problems!)  You may or may not know but I am a virgin who dates for a mate…which translates to I don’t date you if I know right off it won’t work.  This has led to a very dry spell…like five years of no one asking me out.  And there is good reason.  You see, research says most divorce happens over religion, sex and money.  As I am only getting married once, I find those things important.  If you are not a Christian I won’t date you (we are unequally yoked and we make decisions on two different scales…so why bother?)  If you’re not willing to wait till marriage…well life will suck for you because I am so, I won’t date you.  If you are not working or actively searching, you don’t care enough about taking care of yourself, much less me, so I won’t date you.  At my age, that limits the fish in the pool substantially.  So what does this have to do with Ryan? Good question. 

I have known Ryan since high school.  We did a musical together (if his buddies at work knew I sure there would be complete heckling…for days and days!!!)  But, we lost touch over the years and only recently reconnected a few months ago…before the move.  But he is this small town and as a friend we have hung out…a lot actually.  That is until he left for training for work (to be gone a few months).  In that time, he has taken a keen liking to me…and honestly, I him.  Good guy and good dad.  Problem.  He isn’t a Christian.  There are some other things too, but this isn’t a blog about him, so I’ll leave those out.  But, and this is big for me…he asked me on a date!  Yep a real date.  Not one where the guy expects to get lucky, not because he thinks I am hot or smart (usually those things are separately) but because he likes me.  Just crazy kookie me.  If this doesn’t sound that crazy, add in the fact that I haven’t been on a date in five years…nay, I haven’t been asked on a date in that long!  Talk about a dry spell.  I said yes, for those of you who are curious.  And I am excited about it.  But in true form, I have analyzed the heck out of it and keep going back and forth.  The real kicker…the date isn’t till he is done with training…in October.  Talk about giving me time to get into my own head.  But, the gentleman that he is, gets it and is super great about it. So I really know he is a great guy.  I am lucky.  Now if only I can get out of my head. 

Who knew it would take me coming home for all this? And at the same time the job hunt continues.  The freelance work continues.  And getting settled continues.  My life the saga…to be continued…

This is really just getting some thoughts out there.  Not really sure it did anything other than show me that one of my worst enemies is myself.  My pride (Adam), my heart (Nick) and my head (Ryan).  How do you fight this awful enemy that is so very very close?  Prayer…and lots of it.  Scripture…and more and more of it.  And faith – for I know who goes before me and who stands behind, the God of angel armies is always by my side.  And thank Heaven for that!!!  So, I guess…
We’re in the thick of it now kids!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Move Home

Not sure what this will turn into…maybe just a space to clear my head, maybe a book, maybe nothing at all, but here goes. 

It has been over a year since I last posted something, and there is a good reason for that.  I was working…a lot.  As an executive assistant and office manager of a small company I had very little time to write…though looking back I really should have taken the time.  But that is not what this is about.  This is about the new chaotic adventures of my life.  There seems to be many. So, here goes…

I spent the past ten years in a city.  The first of those five in the lovely capital of California then the later five in Southern California ending up in the City of Angels.  Pretty exciting when you find out I spend most of those So Cal days living a mile from the beach, basking in the golden rays of sunshine.  In those ten years I have received two degrees (bachelors and masters), served many non-profits, campaigned successfully against human trafficking, sung with a professional worship team, performed with one of the best acting troupes L.A. has to offer, and worked multiple jobs.  All in all, not bad.

So, why am I now writing? Because life is no longer in the city working and performing.  Much like most of my graduating class, I have found myself back in the struggle of finding a job.  Grand!  Who doesn’t love hitting the preverbal pavement and getting constant rejection letters?  But how did I find myself in this place?  In the beautiful orchard country of Nor Cal unemployed and alone?  Good question!  Truth be told, I am not really sure.  One day I had a job in LA, the next the company heads to Texas. 

A week into my new residence I find city life has become a part of me.  And as a friend encouraged me to journal about this new adventure of coming home and trusting in the One True King, here it is. 

In this past week I have been confronted with friends of old, relationships of old, and the realization that I am almost 30 with no job, no car, and no relationship.  Sounds pretty depressing.  But in truth, I am not depressed.  I have made it work and know there is a job on the horizon (after all every employer can’t deny me!)  His timing. 

So, let’s see where this takes me.  If you want come along for the ride.  Comment.  Share.  And if not, this will just be an interesting journal…for me…

Let the adventure begin!!!