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the things i learned in 2009…

as inspired by kim over at the PCL i’ve decided to do my own top 10 of sorts. i’m not sure how many lessons i’ve learned this year, but we’ll start with 1 and see where this goes.

i’d also like to alternately title this ‘how in the world did i survive 2009?’

1) real friends will brave even the biggest storms with you. the beginning of 2009… the complete crushing of every dream i had at that point in my life. the most epic dumping i’ll ever experience. and it sucked. a lot. i wasn’t entirely convinced i was going to survive the whole ordeal. but my friends were there. every second, they were there. waiting for me to call, waiting to help me. even when all i could do was be angry and cry, they were there. i love friends.

2) God has impeccable timing. as if this is a surprise. everything i went through these past 12 months has been timed so perfectly that the only explanation is that this year was meant to be a year of journey and trial, a journey of learning to trust God, a journey to get from 2008 to 2010. i’ve grown a lot in this, i’ve grown closer to God, to my friends, to my family. i’ve found the earthly love of my life.

3) it’s never too late to prioritize. as i started this past semester of school, i forgot how busy life can get. i forgot a lot of things. how much i hate dorms. how much time everything takes. how much reading is required in any other major but music. how easily the really important things can be pushed to the back burner. however, with the right motivation and the right people behind you, it’s easy to shift. it’s easy to get life back in order. to drop things that are good, but not for you. to leave jobs that stress you out. to let poor friendships fail. because once all that garbage is gone, everything else flourishes. the good stuff flourishes and grows even stronger.

4) when everything else has failed, try the thing you should have done first: pray. that’s a lesson i seem to learn over and over and over. or one i attempt to learn. i’m a very rash person. i make rash decisions. i don’t look at all my options. i don’t think things completely through. and as a result, i sometimes make a mess out of things. a huge mess. and then i wonder how i got there in the first place. and it’s sad to me that it takes that long for me to realize that i was trying to run my own life. trying to make my own decisions. trying to do whatever it is i was trying to do. but then i come back to my senses and remember. and i pray. and i re-center myself. it’s pretty awesome.

5) take time to learn something new. and do it for YOU, not someone else. i’m starting to learn how to play hockey. and i’m really loving it. i’m doing it for ME too. i’m doing it WITH the fiance, but i’m doing it because i want to. and that is the best feeling ever. in the midst of all the insanity that is school and work, there’s that little something that’s just for me. just because i want to. and soon running will be on that list again. because i need that little something that’s just for me.

i guess i’ve only learned 5 things, but they’ve been big. they’ve been hard lessons. a LOT has happened this year. a lot bad. some good. some in the middle. but i’m stronger for it and i’m a better person for it. what’s not to love?

catching up and things that make me nervous…

i know it’s been a while again. i’ve definitely had some awesome ideas, though, over the past couple weeks. like i had an AWESOME pearl harbor day post worked out in my head but never had time to get it down. and then the next day, i had another great one. but with the end of school and finals and all this wedding biz-nass, i just haven’t had time for my favorite interwebs world. but fear not, those who read, i’ve got one for you today. and hopefully it will be good.

i was thinking last night about the future. and how huge it is. and how long it is. and how uncertain it seems. i have a plan, i really do. get married, finish my bachelor’s in psychology, go to seminary, get my doctorate, have a family, etc. not necessarily in that order, of course.

(and to whom it might interest, i was sitting cross legged for a while and now that i’ve changed positions, my foot is painfully waking up. i hate that. you know where it’s so painful you don’t even want to move it. aye, yeah. suck.)

anyway.

i was thinking about all that and i really got myself overwhelmed. you all know how easy that is sometimes, right? i mean, getting married. am i nervous? oh yeah. does a tiny part of me wonder if i’m crazy? absolutely. i think i might be even crazier if i didn’t. however, am i completely and totally sure that he is the one for me? yes. having been in another long relationship that had promise of going this direction and being disappointed constantly, i know what a bad relationship is. i know what an unhealthy relationship is. this is none of that. this relationship, i can honestly say, can be nothing other than brought together by the perfect timing of God. how many times have we talked about it? so many. the timing of it couldn’t possibly have been any better. our outlook on it? pretty much the same. our position on things like raising kids and finances? pretty much spot on. we’re very realistic about everything. we know that things are not perfect, we know that we are not perfect. but that isn’t what makes me nervous. i’m not afraid of him someday looking at me and saying, ‘you know, i don’t think that you’re what i was looking for.’ no. that doesn’t worry me. i’m nervous because forever is a long time. and yeah, we could wait. we would definitely survive, but when looking at the timing of life, of my life, of our life, waiting doesn’t make sense. we would be trying to do SO much in one summer, our brains would explode. we’d be wedding planning, job and apartment hunting, working on moving, me graduating again all at the same time. i know the list isn’t that long, but those are BIG things. that’s a LOT of stuff in a short amount of time. this way, we’re only doing one huge thing at a time. getting married. seminary hunting and job hunting. graduating. moving. that’s much more doable, especially for a macro person such as myself. i see the big picture. i have a hard time seeing the little pictures one at a time. i see them, but they’re all part of the big one. and i see how huge it is and i see how much work it’s going to take and my brain explodes.

(and if you were wondering, my foot is better now. several minutes later…)

i’m also nervous about seminary. more schooling. and it’s hard work. i forgot how much work school is. i’m not going to lie, i didn’t work terribly hard on my music degree. i didn’t put in all the time necessary to do it really really well. part of it is that school is easy for me. i’m a bright person. i pick things up quickly. and then i overestimate how well i know things and it comes back to bite me because i’m not putting in the time. i want to be a really good student. i want to get the really good grades. i just have to learn how to buckle down and actually do it. i have to make priorities. and i have to stick with them. there are so many things i want to do with my time and i forget that everything takes time. this past semester, i did a lot of evaluating the things in my life. i evaluated friendships, commitments, jobs, extracurriculars. and then i cut the ones that weren’t as important to me. because i had to make time for school. and work. and a boyfriend. and my close friends. and church. and my faith. all of these things take time. and i know that i’ve been neglecting all of them at some points. at one point or another, i’ve taken time from one to give to another. i was running myself into the ground. and so i made changes. and they’ve all been positive. i haven’t regretted a single change. and i know that there are more coming up this semester. i’ll again be re-evaluating things that i think are important. i will be evaluating my church life groups and seeing what stage of life i’m in and how that will affect the group i choose to be in. i love the one i’m in now, don’t get me wrong, but i don’t think that it’s where i am in life anymore. i think it’s time to move on, time for the next step. and there’s nothing wrong with that. there’s nothing wrong with taking a step forward. that’s what life is all about. i don’t want to feel stagnant. i think i’ve got some good things going right now. i’ve talked at length with a good friend of mine about this and we both are pretty much at the same place. i simply think that we’re looking for more than this group can offer at this point. we’ve got two other bible study type things going on outside this group to try to fill that, which is good. i think it’s good. i think it’s good that we’re actively pursuing this. we’re actively pursuing our faith. and i love it.

that’s another thing that makes me nervous. this friend of mine, the past four summers has had the same thing happen. she gets really close to someone spiritually, and then they get married and hardly ever talk to her again. i’m TERRIFIED of doing the same thing. i remember chats with her when i first met the now fiance and i told her that i didn’t want to do that. i didn’t want to be the one that ignores my friends because of a boyfriend. and i know that it happened some. part of it was that life got busy for the two of us. part of it was that the boyfriend had the time to hang out. part of it was that the boyfriend was my escape from dorm life that i hated. but i know that it got better. i realized it. i called her. we started hanging out more. it’s been awesome. and i would HATE to lose out on this friendship. she’s so awesome, i can’t even tell you. i’m so glad that i have a friend like her. someone who challenges me, someone who makes me think, someone who wants the same things i want. God really blessed me with her as well. i’m so thankful. i really am.

i’m nervous and excited about the future. i do know that if these are all things that God desires, they will come to pass. i know that i have to put the work in, but He’s creating the opportunities, He’s opening and closing doors, He’s doing all the heavy lifting. i just have to trust and follow. lean on Him for strength and never forget that the fiance is not God. the fiance cannot fill those places of my heart. sometimes i forget. and then i’m gently reminded of my true first love. and i smile and walk back to His arms, where i truly belong.

questions, questions, questions…

i was chatting with my sister yesterday and brought up some stuff that, yes, i have thought about but haven’t really addressed. you know?

i mean, come on. i’m getting married. to a guy i’ve known for going on 5 months.

doesn’t anyone else think this is a little fast? or are we just SSSOOOOOO superbly matched that no one thinks anything of it? OR are people THINKING it but not saying anything because the LAST time they tried to say something i didn’t listen?

ok. let me clarify what this is and what this is not. this is just me throwing questions out there that are in my head. this is NOT me questioning the relationship or anything. i’m VERY excited about all of this. i wish you could see how excited i am. i’m trying not to throw it in everyone’s face, but i’m definitely excited.

however, i do think that it’s kind of strange that no one has said anything about this being too fast. until now. and it’s only one person. so is my sister crazy? or is everyone else crazy? or is everyone else timid? i mean, i’ve thought about this a lot. i haven’t ever really been one interested in dating someone for dating’s sake. if it’s not going to GO somewhere, why do it? what’s the point? but then, if you really think about it, what’s the point of getting married, anyway? so you can make babies? so you can be not lonely in life? sometimes it just seems like such a weird concept to me.

kind of like life in general. you all know i’m a christian and whatnot, but sometimes i wonder what the point is. why be here for just a little while? if we came from nothing just be taken to heaven someday, why not just skip the middle step and go straight to heaven? that would be more logical, wouldn’t it be? it just seems strange that we would be here for 80 years doing stuff. working, perpetuating the species. does it seem strange to anyone else? does anyone else think about this stuff?

sometimes i get really philosophical and then i feel like i SHOULDN’T be questioning this stuff, but i do. and i’m sure God’s not too worried about it to be honest. He can take it. i think that He prefers thinkers anyway. people who aren’t simply blindly following and living their lives. people who really think about stuff and really question things, those who seek out answers. those who aren’t afraid to ask the really hard questions even though there isn’t really an answer to them. at least not a really satisfactory solid concrete answer. there are answers out there. i think that it’s up to everyone to seek them out. and i don’t mean find their own answers, i mean find THE answers. the REAL answers. and who knows what those answers really are. if everyone had the answers, there would be no questions.

questions are not bad. i don’t understand why some people are SO afraid of questions. you know the type, they get all worked up if you ask anything, if you question anything. and not even just over the malicious questions, but the simple ones. and what about those who ask questions but don’t want to hear the answers? have you ever had conversations like that? where someone will ask you a question and then they don’t give you time to really answer it before they jump in and accuse you of not knowing anything? or they’ll WANT to ask you questions and WANT to hear your answer, but they don’t shut up long enough for you to answer any of them anyway? i personally find that to be extremely frustrating. it’s like… really?! shut yer face so i can answer you!! i DO have some answers and you’d get them if you’d shut up long enough to hear them.

i figure if i’m going to ask a question, i better be prepared to hear whatever answer people have. and i better be prepared to let them take as long as they have to in order to answer those questions. some people need processing time. i’m one of those people. i need a bit of processing time before i can really answer something. if i’m rushed, i then start to say things that are contradictory. i say one thing and then two sentences later i say the opposite. i find that some people get really frustrated with me when talking about some things because i stop and think. i make sure that i know what i want to say. i want people to LISTEN when i say something because they think that it’s something worth saying. they think that it’s something worth LISTENING to. i want to be worth listening to. i think everyone does.

how about you? do you stop and think? do you find yourself getting frustrated when others do? are you a questioner like me?