Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In other matters — things about the office — I can usually do what I set out to do and I can learn by experience, but when it comes to writing I’m a new-born baby every time — always come into it naked and shivery and without any bones. I never learn anything about it at all. I sometimes wonder whether one can possibly be meant to do the thing at which they are more blind and inept and blundering than at anything else in the world.
-- Willa Cather

and so I am. I thought I would have my act more together, but I don't. I wrote a post for today, but it's just be whining and I wanted to find links to include to validate myself, but I couldn't, so I am posting a quote about a writer talking about writing. I hate that, but it's three thirty and I have a therapy appointment in the morning and windows is trying to update my computer and I have ten billion links that I can't lose and I'm unsure about packing and moving and I'm having people over for dinner tomorrow and I'm not ready for that and I have a scarf I need to finish, too.

Time for bed.

Monday, April 22, 2013

How to not ruin your marriage before it begins.

The other night I had a dream that I was running around in a real life Minecraft world with my (non-existent) husband. The thing that was significant about the dream was that true to middle-schooler fashion, I was constantly running off and doing my own thing and not really interested in contributing to our minecraft house and minecraft life. Extremely selfish. The main purpose of me running off was because I desired to be the center of attention, because I felt I wasn't the center of his attention. Running away and wrecking havoc in other people's Minecraft lives was how I decided to go about getting his attention.

The three things that I woke up thinking, first was that he really looked like a football player I've seen on campus (red hair, slay me), secondly, that I should probably stop playing Minecraft/Don't Starve so late, and lastly, that my behavior was super immature. Even though it was just a dream, I woke up with extremely feelings of shame and even bashfulness.

The bashfulness reaction reminded me of the heroine of Redeeming Love, who runs away from her amazing husband who wants to provide an amazing life for her. In the same way, maybe part of me didn't want to allow my husband to contribute to my life in that way. Maybe it is a sign from my subconscious that I'm still too selfish to be a good wife to anyone.

The dream was probably the result of a perfect storm of late night Indian food, having a dinner guest who talked to me about pregnancy, children, marriage and relationships, and the reading that I've been focusing in on lately.

I don't know how to interpret my dream beyond that. But I do know that you have to work for your marriage like you would your career. You have to invest, improve, work long hours and sometimes late nights. It's important to learn how to fight, and how to not take things personal. If you want to have good stories when you're 50 years in, you have to start in year one, and probably even before that.

I'm relishing my single years like they're going out of style. As a Christian university graduate, I see wedding notifcations all the time on facebook. Baby pictures are popping up from all angles. I'm not envious. It just makes me appreciate even more the time that I have now to cook the foods I want, when they want, and wreck on other people's Minecraft houses as I well please. (But not really because that's extremely rude.)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What were you doing when you were younger?

Penelope writes about looking at what you did when you were younger as an idea of what you should do in the future. Her story involves ditching Hebrew school.

What's your story of where you were when you were younger? It took me awhile to figure out mine, but I believe it has to do with boarding school and Uganda.

When I was fifteen years old, I researched a boarding school to get myself out of dodge my parents' house. I had been homeschooled up until that point (aside from a rogue semester at a Christian private school) and knew that I needed more independence than my parents could tolerate giving their fifteen-on-thirty daughter.

The whole thing was planned out. I found an all-girls college preparatory school that was roughly an hour and a half away, had Christian heritage, and it was perfect. I completed the application and paid the fee myself. I would have driven myself there, but I think I only had a permit. My mother and I hit the road after picking up coffee and muffin from Starbucks.

During my time at Salem, I spent a lot of time dodging Resident Assistance who were out to get me, spent a lot of time in detention hall (the library. it was a very, very tough punishment for Luddite like me. I'm still grateful for the magazine records that place had). The time in the library lead me to read about high schoolers in Illinois who were raising money for schools in Africa.

I also read about the holocaust in Uganda and found a list of organizations at the end of the article that were serving in the area. Instead of starting a new organization in Uganda (where I had never been) why not take the pressure off the organizations to fund raise, allowing them to focus on what they were originated created to do. These organizations were doing great work but were often too small to be ale to handle the demand of needing a full fundraising/marketing team.

I started a blog (and then an organization) and raised awareness. Connected with some other folks who were passionate, too. Found a lawyer to do pro-bono work to get us incorporated. I approached the dean of students and proposed my idea and she told me that I should focus more on raising my European history grade. I called my parents and asked to come and instead of going back the next year, I went to Uganda with a medical missions team.

 So, what does this story tell me about myself:
I'm a visionary.
I like making connections.
I'm not worried about being conventional.
I like to take risks.
I love to travel.
I care about helping people.

As I sit with moving boxes around me, getting ready to say goodbye to friends and move back home, I still think that a lot of these things are true for me today, and there are some definite patterns from my time in college and in my career so far.

This is really an important exercise to keep in the back of your mind when you're making large decisions for the future. Right now, I have a year of blank space between me and a doctoral program starting in the fall of 2014. When you root yourself in what was true of you in the past -- of who you are and what made you happy -- you can make more secure decisions for the future.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I'm supposed to blog something here. Anything here, I suppose. I don't like doing things without planning, but such is the life of an ENTJ. I don't know what the topic for my blog will be, because you can't just choose "life" or "anything". I spend most of my days reading and writing about what I've read and cooking good friends who come over when I break for meals.
Through my training as a counselor, I've learned that the unexamined life is not improving, and those who think that they have "arrived" in their field simply took an exit earlier than the rest of us.
So, keywords... Something about God and this little thing he made called being a woman.