The journey

I am on the journey to becoming a published author.

I am already an author. I have already finished two first drafts of novels. I have several more in the works. I have written a myriad of short stories. I am an author.

I am now attempting to make money doing it.

Right now, that entails creating some social media channels – right now, that’s youtube, instagram, and facebook. I’ve also set up a website that will have a blog – all dedicated to my authoring journey.

I have editing to do, I have blog posts to write, I have videos to record and edit, a study to print, assemble, and mail… the list seems to go on and on. I feel overwhelmed. I feel perpetually behind.

I am wondering right now if it’s going to be worth it. I am wondering if I can do this. I am wondering if I can make this work. I am wondering a lot of things. I feel a lot of things – most of them are negative right now. I wonder and wonder and wonder. I try to move on and just do one thing at a time but it’s hard. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough free time. I have too many other responsibilities, most of which involve the two tiny darlings of my heart.

How do I continue? Do I just keep plugging away, one piece at a time? Do I stop and throw in the towel? Do I acknowledge all the feelings and let them overwhelm me?

I’ve already broken this down into the smallest steps possible and it seems like so many steps. It seems impossible to do.

Really, though, what else can I do?

I must carry on though, must I not? What else can I do? One step, one little box on my spreadsheet at a time. One spec of free time at a time. That’s all I can do. Nothing more. Nothing less.

To pursue our dreams will always take work. It will always take sacrifice. It will always take just a little bit more than we think we have. So we push on, we move forward, we do what we need to do. We don’t let feelings get in our way of what needs to be done.

Push on, friends. Do that one thing you need to do to pursue your dream. And so will I.

 

 

 

The Job…

I realized that I have said NOTHING about this job that I just got, so I will give you all an update as to what I’m doing.

I currently work for a non-profit organization that assists individuals with mental illness and chemical dependency to learn to live their lives as independently as their diagnosis allows. My title is Embedded Case Aide, which means that I work with a specific team at a state human service center. I am a case aide to 4 case managers and my job is take care of daily living tasks with which clients requite assistance. I do such things as delivering medication, transporting clients to appointments, the grocery store, or laundromat, assist with cleaning tasks in their home, teach socialization behaviors and more. It’s a busy little position, but I’m enjoying it so far. I’m definitely interested in seeing where things go and what turns life takes.

The best part of my job is working with my team. They are a group of really great people despite some misgivings I may have had in the beginning. They are a group of people who really care about their clients and want their clients to live as healthy lives as possible, free from stigma and other negative things that come with being severely mentally ill and/or chemically dependent.

The most challenging part of my job is learning how to properly communicate with clients. There is a fair amount of dancing around subjects and I have to learn how to do that. I have to learn the appropriate ways to say ‘no’ and to redirect or correct clients in a respectful manner. It’s a completely new way of speaking for me, but I think that it will be a very valuable learning experience.

So here’s to the job and seeing what turns life takes next.

character…

Character is demonstrated not by what you do when others are looking, but instead, by what you do when NO ONE is looking.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. I just started my new job and it has been a LOT of shadowing other people and following them because I’m not licensed to drive state vehicles yet. I was chatting with my team lead and we got to talking about driving the state vehicles and speeding and I was VERY quick to inform him that I don’t speed. 98% of the time, I take great care to ensure that I am not speeding. The other 2% of the time, I’m what I like to call human.

This conversation that we had, while not profound in any way, really got me to thinking. In the training that I have been doing, I’ve noticed that people tend to have 2 different sides: the side that interacts with clients and the side that interacts with the rest of the world. While I know that their basic character is the same, they act like healthier, more well-balanced adults around clients. They don’t smoke, swear, say negative things, complain, etc. However, when clients aren’t around, certain individuals change quite a bit. They swear a lot more, they smoke, they may even speak poorly about the client or other workers.

I know I’ve been there and done that too, but I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be the person who is one way with someone and another way with someone else. I want my character to be the same no matter who is near me or interacting with me. I want to be the best worker I can be, partly in order to move up the chain faster, but also because these people deserve the best of me during my working hours. They deserve my attention and respect and they certainly do not deserve to be judged by someone who, in all rights, is no better than they are. I feel some trepidation about chatting with some coworkers because I don’t know the kind of person they are. I have a gut feeling, though, and it’s not all good.

I don’t want to enter into a cycle of judgment and gossip, finding humor in someone else’s misfortune or disability. The thing I realized, however, is that I can’t be that person just around coworkers. Eventually, the ruse will be found out and the gig will be up. I can’t simply ACT non-judgmental, but I actually have to BE non-judgmental. I have to figure out what characteristics I want to have and then I have to work hard to get them to the level I want them to be and work hard to maintain that level.

I know that mental health is NOT an easy field, it’s an incredibly challenging work environment. I do care about my clients and I care about the quality of services they receive. I care about doing my best when people are or are not watching. I care about being responsible and obey the law – even those ‘pesky’ speed limits. I know that even though people may not be watching me, Someone is and THOSE are the eyes that REALLY matter.

Do your work willingly, as though you were serving the Lord himself, and not just your earthly master. In fact, the Lord Christ is the one you are really serving, and you know that he will reward you. Colossians 3:23-24

the grad school interview…

just as a warning, this got kinda rambly and WAY longer than i thought it would be. and i know i already posted once today, but i’m feeling impatient and didn’t want to wait until tomorrow.

anyway, some of you may be SUPER curious about questions and how i answered. so, for those of you who care – enjoy!

as you may (or may not) know, i interviewed for my #1 school on Friday. here’s kinda how it went down.

——-

wednesday: packing night, which also equates to trying on approximately 50 different outfits.
james: so what are you supposed to wear?
me: pretty sure the email said business casual.
james: pretty sure or definitely sure?
me: pretty sure, but i’ll double check. *fidget with blackberry only to get frustrated because i’m too dumb to use it* i don’t know, whatever. i’m pretty sure.
james: i’ll check. *finds email in 5.2 seconds* it says business professional.
me: what does THAT mean?
james: it means you have to go shopping tomorrow before you leave for a business suit.
me: by mySELF?!?!
james: i could probably go with you. it wouldn’t be a big deal.
me: you’re not going shopping with me, you have to work. besides, what would you say? hey *boss’s name*, i have to take an extra long lunch to help my wife go shopping?
james: well, when you put it that way…

——-

thursday: the day i suffer through half a school day because i’m SO anxious about shopping. the only girl in the world who gets ANXIOUS about shopping. i decided to not go to my noon class because a) i wouldn’t have paid attention anyway and b) i REALLY needed to get that shopping done. it took me *3 hours* to find a suit. ridiculous! and i ended up buying the first one i found anyway! sometimes, i really hate shopping.

so i left for the cities right around the time i would have left had i had all 3 classes and no shopping to do. fine by me. i get to the cities area just for my friend to call me and tell me that i have to meet her somewhere else because of poor time management on her part. i hate driving in the cities anyway, but i sucked it up and did it anyway. of course, i’m pretty much exhausted because i’ve been anxious all day about shopping and then driving to the cities. not worried about the interview, but pretty much everything else.

we finally get to her house, she feeds me AND i find out that my entire suit is machine wash AND driable. WIN! which means i got to wear clean clothes to my interview. always a bonus.

——-

friday: INTERVIEW DAY!!!

i made it to the school JUST fine, though i was praying for God to take away my anxiety about driving the whole time anyway. i was in my super sharp business suit, which i had spent an HOUR ironing because it had to be ironed on low heat. *sigh* whatever, it was fine. i looked good and i FELT good. i was among the most professionally dressed. a LOT of people showed up in business casual, so i felt really good about my choice of attire. close toed shoes, pant suit and button down shirt. oh yes, the WHOLE nine yards.

there were 31 interviewees there and 8-10 interviewers. we sat around in a huge circle to begin where we shared our name, something that locates us (which didn’t make sense to me, but i just copied what everyone else was doing – basically where they lived and what they were doing), 3 words that describe us and something we like to do in our spare time.

i shared my name, said i was a student in fargo and didn’t work. my three words were talkative, wife and messy. now, i’m NOT sure those were the best choices of words, but they are true and fine. i said that something i liked to do in my spare time was run. i had debated using ‘runner’ as my third word and saying that what i like to do in my spare time is fill every flat surface in our apartment with my belongings, but went with the first. i think the second option would have a) been funnier and b) not been as negatively connotated as ‘messy’ is. however, too late to change anything now. on the plus side, messy got quite a laugh from people anyway, so i hope that’s good.

after that, we broke up into 6 smaller groups for the interview speed dating part. basically, we as interviewees sat in our circle and the interviewers rotated between groups and asked us one or two questions. i would have to honestly admit that i think i was the strongest interviewee in my group. i didn’t give overly ‘Jesus’ answers and i really made sure to answer the questions that were asked. it seemed that others in my group were answering everything as it related to their faith and how much their faith is a part of their lives and so on. they seemed OVERLY faith-based answers, but people may assume that those are the kind of answers to give at a seminary. and who knows, they could be right. i could have been wrong in my answers that didn’t overtly mention faith where faith wasn’t even part of the question. that’s here nor there, i think, though. i answered true to myself and that’s all i can do.

one of the questions they asked had to do with integration. i don’t remember off the top of my head anymore exactly, but it was a very simple question. i started to answer ‘integration is…’ but realized that i had no idea how to put into words what integration IS. i KNOW the concept, but it’s hard to explain. so i had to change it to ‘integration is demonstrated when you know enough about a subject to be able to apply beyond a textbook situation. it’s the transference from head knowledge to hand knowledge.’ i made up the phrase hand knowledge (i think) but the analogy worked. they understood what i meant.

two people in our group gave LOTS of ‘Jesus’ answers. i don’t know if that’s how they truly live their lives, and if so, good on them! however, i felt that their answers sometimes came off as inauthentic. that they came off as ‘i’m interviewing at a seminary and so i must incorporate the name of Jesus into EVERY answer. i could be totally wrong though.

another was ‘do people change?’ or ‘how do people change?’. something to that effect. my answer was ‘only when forced.’ and i had kinda left it at that because i hadn’t completely thought out my answer. the interviewer, of course, prompted me to continue and explain. so i thought REALLY fast and explained. i have a professor who has told us many times that every person is living their best deal. how they live their life is the best way that they can think of it. if it wasn’t, they would change. so i shared that tidbit and expounded a little more.

the follow-up question to that one was then ‘share a time when you have changed your mind about something that you thought was really important.’ i thought about it through a few other answers and finally i realized that i rarely change my mind. God changes my mind FOR me. of course, i’m open to Him doing so, but that’s more the truth than anything. i also shared that i don’t always have to LIKE it, but as a Christian, it’s my ‘job’ to be obedient to it. otherwise, what am i doing claiming to be a Christian? the interviewer then asked how people respond to that. i said they think i’m crazy. that i’ve lost my mind and then i shared a few specific examples like going back to school when i was totally broke, moving in with my fiance’s grandpa before we got married, and marrying some guy i’ve known for 9 months. people really think you’re crazy when you take the path that God chooses for you because it’s not always a logical path. it’s a faith path. you have to simply step out in faith.

another was ‘how do you deal with criticism?’. i knew this was going to be a hard one because i can get REALLY defensive. i thought about school and how i deal with it there and with james and my friends. i finally settled on it depends on the situation and the activity. if i THINK i’m really good at it or it’s just a leisure activity that i’m not necessarily trying to be REALLY good at, i get defensive. however, in school, where one of the main things is criticism or feedback, i’m much more open to it. professors can criticize me til the cows come home and i’ll probably take it better than james telling me how to play my wow character better and more efficiently.

the follow-up to that was ‘how do you know that the person criticizing cares about you?’ and i answered that with you know by how it’s delivered. obviously, those around you care enough to say something, but in a school situation where you’re just starting to build relationships with professors, you simply have to trust and believe that they have your best interests at heart. otherwise, you’ll never move on and forward in your education. of course, the sensitive person is more likely to know when it’s appropriate to criticize in public and when it needs to be private. in this situation, though, you just have to believe them. you have to trust them.

another was ‘how do you deal with your own anxiety’ and ‘how do you deal with the anxiety of others?’ another one i really liked was ‘how do you deal with stress: like an ostrich, a pack rat, a kangaroo, a whale, or a porcupine?’ the answer to these three questions for me is ‘it depends on the situation’. by process of elimination, i chose a whale because i don’t really employ the other tactics a WHOLE lot, but sometimes i do. and as far as anxiety, i’m really trying to learn how to pray through it, to let it go to God and move on. if you’re always anxious, you have a much harder time moving forward. and dealing with the anxiety of others, it really depends on the person, the relationship, their personality – all sorts of things. you do what you have to that WORKS to help them.

a really good one was ‘how do you deal with a couple where the wife is a Christian and the husband is a Buddhist?’ so my first thought was ‘so what are they there for?’ they may have figured out a way to work out the different faith thing and are in there for something else. so again, my answer was ‘it depends on why they’re in therapy’. my job as a therapist is not to push my ideas and my ideals onto a single client/patient of mine. my job is to help them work through their issues in a way that helps them to live a better, more fulfilling life.

there were two other clinically oriented questions: ‘what population do you want to work with’ and ‘what population would you be most likely to refer to someone else?’ i want to work with couples who have communication difficulties. i want to teach them how to effectively communicate with each other, with other members of their family and work community and everything. it’s too easy to send or hear the wrong message. i’d also like to work with couples who have sexual issues. it’s such a touchy topic and can be a topic with SO much shame associated. i would LOVE to be able to help couples overcome these kinds of issues and be FREE of them. also, think porn. there is SO much in our culture and i wonder how damaging that is to relationships and how much THAT could be contributing to a number of sexual problems. it’s SO hard being in a relationship when you KNOW he’s looking at porn when you’re not around. it creates a LOT of self-esteem and self-worth issues. trust issues. all kinds of things. my heart is so there.

as to the referral question, i HONESTLY couldn’t think of a specific population i would refer. the question was phrased in a way that implied referral because of discomfort with the population. as a therapist, it’s part of my job to be ready to hear anything and to do with anything within my realm of expertise. my ‘best deal’ professor has always stressed this point too: don’t treat someone that you don’t know how to treat. otherwise, be prepared for anything. i know that there MUST be a population out there that i would NOT want to work with, but even now, i can’t think of it. all i could say to answer that was ‘i’d refer anyone i didn’t know how to treat. it was the best i could come up with. i explained the thought my professor had shared as to why i think that way, but admitted that there most likely is a population i don’t want to work with.

the last question i’ll share (as i keep remembering them now) is this one: ‘what role do you think your faith will play in your own therapy, will you explicitly share it and is it important for your clients to know that you are a Christian?’ my first thought? GREAT question! for me, as i mature, i don’t think it’s important that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that i’m a Christian. at my job that i want, it’s not always appropriate. people can be really put off by Christianity and it can make them VERY uncomfortable. so, in a job where it’s important to have rapport and have the client feel comfortable, why would i choose to potentially alienate them right off the bat? i have no doubt that over the course of  therapy it would come out, but i just don’t think that’s always the appropriate thing to do. it’s not my job to push my values and my ideals onto my clients. ethically, that is SO wrong! of course, the Christian side of me thinks ‘what? are you ashamed?’ i don’t think that’s it either. i think that part of ANYONE’S job is knowing what is appropriate on the job and what isn’t. a reputation as a therapist is EXTREMELY important. you ruin that and your practicing days are OVER. however, i think that my faith will absolutely influence how i treat people who come in, how i view them and how i practice. there is no separating my faith from myself – it’s inherently so much a part of who i am. however, i need to know how to best integrate into my life and my practice. some people i see will inevitably be Christians and we can talk faith and incorporate that into the therapy. i think the important thing is remembering what my job is and what is appropriate in that setting. anywhere else, i can live my faith as loudly as i want to. in the helping profession though, it’s about the client, NOT about me.

overall, i think i did really well and i think i was probably the strongest interviewee in our group. as i mentioned WAY at the beginning, i did my best to answer the question they asked and not try to add in things they didn’t ask. i feel really good about it and i’m trying not to expect TOO much to hear good news, but i’m definitely pretty darn confident about it.

and i will DEFINITELY keep you posted. 🙂

the get less fat plan…

which is really tongue in cheek actually, because neither of us are actually “fat”. it could be more fairly called the ‘get in shape plan’. but really, that’s not as fun as saying get less fat. there’s just something terribly amusing about that.

so, anyway, our get less fat plan. we’re both really active, or like to be, and it’s not the greatest time to be playing hockey (now that everything is melting) but we still want to start getting in shape, being healthier, and not having to actually PAY to do those things. fortunately, him working at a college will mean that i will have access to the fitness center there. which is located in a dumb spot, right over the indoor track. i’m hoping there’s a separate free weight area (unless of course we get those weights that we registered for at target… then weight training can happen at home. sa-weet). which i would personally prefer anyway. we’ll have a whole separate room that can happen too. provided we don’t jam it full of stuff (which it looks like that is going to happen anyway. i’m sure something can be worked out). seeing all these other blogs talking about people giving up unhealthy stuff (kim), and running (tab and demo) and people just doing what they love (courtney), i’ve been inspired.

wow. that was rambly… sorry… anyway…

i finally left my job that was stressing me out and now i have tons of free time. i’m at school earlier AND later so i have the time (need to add motivation) to get my homework done. i think part of the issue right now is that the new schedule is just that: new. it’s hard to jump right into a new routine. i want to savor some of this free time to do NOTHING. to blog. to catch up. to KEEP up. to not do anything.

and it’s fine. why? because it’s spring break next week. and i get a week off to rest, relax, catch up on some reading (heck, maybe even some extra-curricular reading), get ahead on other reading. just get done what needs to get done and enjoy my time off since i don’t HAVE to work either. though i DO have a project at my job that i still have that i could use some of that spring break time to do. it wouldn’t be too hard to say the least.

the other thing is that, while yes i have running gear, i want more. i don’t actually have THAT much running gear. a few pairs of shorts. 2, more precisely. it would be nice to get some NEW running gear. for the NEW runner in me. the UNINJURED runner. new bras. new socks. new tanks. new long sleeve shirts. new RUNNING SKIRTS!! oh yeah. i want some of THOSE! seriously. they’re awesome.

but really, most of all, i just want to start running again. i want to have fun. i want something active to do with my new husband (rumor is i could learn how to play hockey in the summer too. sa-weet again!). i want to stop SAYING that i want to do and actually start DOING it. i’ve finally run out of excuses as to why i can’t do it RIGHT now. because i CAN do it right now. and i have someone with whom to do it. i do have another running buddy and hopefully this summer we can work something out to where we can run together a couple days a week. because that would be supa sweet too. i also am at the point where i REALLY need to apply for the summer job i want. again, i keep SAYING that i’m going to do it, but i need to actually do it. i HOPE that i get the job, i hear there are going to be some changes and much fewer staff, but since i’m returning, that will HOPEFULLY help. and it’s not like i have to work ALL the time. just a little bit. plus the dates with the vampire should help out. and simply making an effort to make the budget work no matter WHAT happens. no matter WHERE the money is. it’s about being dedicated to a plan. i’ll be taking classes, so i’m not really sure where working would fit into that, but again, it’s something to look into. and i don’t want to be SUPER busy over the summer if i don’t have to be. i’d like to enjoy my first summer being married and all the fun stuff that goes along with that – and not JUST the sex, come on. but enjoying each other, enjoying our new place, enjoying being all domestic together. and who knows? maybe with all the stuff that’s going on this summer, it might not be PRACTICAL for me to work. i’m taking two classes this summer, we have 5 weddings (not including our own) from april to september. and those are just the ones we KNOW about. we have a honeymoon in june. there’s the weekend at the lake. is it even practical to think that i could work this summer? and make it worthwhile? i don’t know. i guess i hadn’t really stopped to think about that. it would certainly be the epitome of part time. a term, a concept that i am so unfamiliar with. to know that me working isn’t NECESSARY is pretty awesome. hopefully the vampire visits will make enough money. and the loans that i need to get to pay for classes will help so that we’re not paying out of pocket. we can just get a little more. i mean, really, what’s a couple G’s more? so that i don’t have to worry as much? so i don’t have to be stressed out?

i do believe that God is going to provide for all of our needs. we will get what we NEED and we can certainly go without for a while. we’re both completely reasonable people and i think that even though the first couple years of marriage are the hardest, i think that we’ll be able to make it through them just fine.

back into the swing of things…

so after about 10 months of absolute craziness and total lack of control of my life, things are starting to settle down. i don’t feel like i’m in some crazy vortex of awful. life is settling down. life is making sense. life, actually, is starting to be rather wonderful again.

i am loving all of my classes. i’m keeping up on homework and i’m catching up on reading this weekend. and it’s not SUPER painful reading either. this is stuff that is actually very interesting to me. and so the 9-13 chapters that will (hopefully) be read by the end of this weekend shouldn’t be terrible. in fact, i’ve already finished two of them. and it wasn’t terrible.

my developmental psychology class is definitely starting to get interesting. of course, all the fundamental stuff was boring, like learning terms and the scientific method and stuff, but i’ve been going over that in ALL of my classes so far, so hopefully all the basic stuff will be DOWN by next thursday, when i have three exams on the same day. painful. i know. but we’ve started on prenatal development and i think this is where things are going to get superbly fascinating.

my social psychology class and sociology class are very interesting because they compliment each other nicely. social psych is super interesting because i’m learning about how people interact with each other, their environment, how they perceive the world, and about different types of thinking (automatic vs. controlled, etc). it’s just super cool. and then my sociology class is really opening my eyes to how i view the world and how ethnocentric i really am. how ingrained it really is. i always thought i was pretty open to other veins of thinking but i definitely compare it to my own and thus pass judgment of right or wrong. or at least, less right and less wrong. if that makes sense.

my stats and methods class is also (surprisingly) interesting. my prof is pretty cool though she has a pretty thick greek (?) accent. sometimes it’s hard to understand her when she gets really excited about what she’s talking about, or really into it, but i’m very quickly getting used it and i think it’s cool. i thought the class would be pretty painfully boring because it’s all about how to conduct research and stuff, but it’s not that bad. i don’t really plan on being a researcher, but as things get rolling in my (hopefully) future practice, i’m sure that things will be very interesting to me and i’ll want to conduct some sort of research. just knowing myself and thus, this class will be very helpful.

and then, of course, there’s band. i LOVE that class. LOVE. and even though there’s been some crazy drama stuff going on, i had a chat with a prof and i know what i need to do now and i’m very at peace with it. while i really let it bother me for the past two weeks, no more. i’m going to do what i HAVE to do. i’ve already done pretty much everything i can regarding this situation because there are some crazy politics going on and nobody wants to deal with it. which means that there’s a certain person who will probably get away with whatever they want. fine. i’m cool with that. it just means that i need to up MY game and improve MY playing. i need to decide if i’m serious now or if i just want to play. i realize that this is going to be difficult, but i’m sure totally worth it. it will be fun to see myself improve. maybe this is just the kick in the bum i needed to get going and really improve.

my jobs are pretty good. i have three. one is still the banner. and now that i blindly submit to my boss and do everything she asks exactly as she asks without really thinking, things are going well. both of us are pretty strong-willed people and so for me to step down off my little pedestal was hard, but it’s made my work environment SO much better. i don’t dread going there. i don’t mind being there. then there’s always good ol’ sodexo. campus dining. oh yeah. it’s not awful, but part of me is thinking that this will be my last semester there. especially if things at the banner continue to improve, which i think they will. and then there’s the band librarian job which i also LOVE. i would so do that for free, getting paid is just a bonus. i enjoy being “in charge” of the band and the music and instruments and working with the good dr. i could not even put into words how much respect i have for this man and his wife. they really care about all of their students and do so much in their power to help out. if i had the choice, i’d never play under anyone else again. but i know that’s so unrealistic.

i also have recently acquired (that was the first word that came to my head and i thought about changing it, but the use of this word amuses me so it’s going to stay) a wonderful boyfriend. in all honesty, he’s pretty much everything i never thought actually existed in a man (outside of my nearly perfect father. can you say daddy’s girl?). he encompasses pretty much everything i’ve ever wanted in someone but i didn’t actually think that someone like that existed. i mean, he likes country, which is something i’ll just have accept. and he is two inches shorter than me. but i’m actually really ok with that now. it was tough at first, really, but i hardly even notice now. and when he jokes about getting tall shoes, all i can think is how weird it would be if he was taller than me. other than that, he’s funny and nerdy and dorky and adult and responsible and mature (mostly) and he’s a thinker and a dreamer and a planner and he wants to be a musician and he LOVES music and concerts and recitals (can you heart my heart singing for happiness here?) and he gets along with my friends and i don’t have to ever babysit a conversation and if it takes too long for me to introduce him he just jumps right in and does it himself. i could go on and on, but i’ll stop with that. in short, he’s super wonderful and ladies? if you try to steal him, i will hunt you down and I will fong you, until your insides are out, your outsides are in, your entrails will become your extrails. I will… rip… all the p… ugh. Pain, lots of pain. so don’t even try. 😀

i think really the only thing that’s missing is time with my closest friends. of course, they’re scattered all over the country now, which makes things hard, but even so, we’re still managing to keep somewhat in touch. and it’s awesome because i think all of us have gone through some major life changes in the past year and so we’ve all just kinda been flailing and sailing along in all of this. i do love these girls dearly. i just wish that i had time to gush about every single one of them (i’m avoiding more reading as i’m writing this. or should i say giving my brain a bit of a break from reading). what i can say is that they’re all bright, intelligent, strong, beautiful, battle-scarred women who i would give the whole world to if it was mine to give. i would NOT be the person i am today without their love and help and support and varied levels of crazy. where would i be without you ladies?

and finally, there are all of my extra-curricular activites, like being in the lake agassiz concert band (mondays) and (pretty much) librarian of that, i have a (tuesday) bible study through church which is AWESOME and pretty sure if it wasn’t for that group, i never would have met the above mentioned wonderful boyfriend (it’s a long story, i’m sure i’ll share it someday), and starting this week is dancing lessons. yes, cari is going to learn how to dance. it’ll be awesome. i’ll try to see what i can do about getting pics because that would be sweet. then there’s college group (wednesdays) and i’m part of a follow-up team there and we meet beforehand every week basically to share what’s going on in our lives and then pray over the group. it’s pretty awesome. at this point, thursday and friday nights are “open” but usually encompass hanging out with the boyfriend and some of his friends. sundays are for church and sometimes my girls in the area. and saturday is working. lots of working, usually.

so as you can see, my life is busy, but i’m blissfully happy right now. i’m right where life makes sense and i’m comfortable and not really losing my mind.

so what is everyone else up to these days?

if i was a crier…

believe me, i’d be bawling my eyes out right now.

i officially have $12.96 to my name. and i wrote a $20 check to church yesterday. in total faith that God would work things out. not that i’m not stressed. to the limit. to the end of what i can handle. not that i’m not to the point that my brain simply can’t take anything else.

this weekend was supposed to be relaxing. like last weekend. but it wasn’t. because on monday, i all but lost one of my jobs. which means that i’m getting worked out of the schedule. i work four days in july. i needed both jobs. and no, it didn’t help that in june i went out to lunch every week after church. because i had the money for it then. and now i don’t.

i don’t have any money. i’ve been walking through all last week in a state of shock and confusion and disbelief. going through the motions of life but not really being there. i’ve been waiting to hear from seminary. any day now would be super nice. because then at least i can defer my student loans. and i can start getting more. even though i won’t see a penny of that until after classes start at the end of september.

so i need to find another job. but who’s going to hire me for two months? because, even though this might shoot me in the foot, i’m going to be straight with whoever i talk to. because they deserve that. they deserve that kind of consideration. i’m not going to have them waste their time training me to do something that i won’t even get decent at in 2 months. that is, if i’m even going.

i’ve also decided to go public with this. when i get done with this post, the link will go in my facebook status. because i’m tired of hiding from the people who know me. i’m tired of keeping everyone out. yes, there will be some posts that will become password protected. because there are things on here that will embarass or hurt some people and i don’t want that. because when people who didn’t know me read these, it was fine to share everything. it’s not that this will become a less honest place. it really won’t. because if a reader doesn’t like what i have to say and if they don’t want to know me this well, they are free to not come back. but i know that there ARE people out there who are dying to know me. to know who i am. to know what i think. and i think that i’m ready for that. i’m ready for people to really know me. to really see who i am.

am i nervous about letting the whole world in to see my soul? oh yeah.

will it be worth it? i certainly hope so.

so to all the new viewers and readers, welcome to the crazy world that is my mind.

and honestly, i feel much better now that i’m doing this. it’s like… a huge burden has just been lifted. i can breathe just a little easier now.