Saturday, August 19, 2017

Why I choose to stand....

This week has brought a lot of tears.  Some of them due to the fact that I am an emotional wreck on week's like this.  Others because of my actions or the actions of those around me.  The thing is that I could easily find myself hiding in my room away from everyone and everything.  Just going out into the world when I had work or stop by the store for this or that.  I could keep quiet when I see posts being made that I don't agree with.  I could live my life not impacting anyone or anything, just going through the motions day in and day out.

That's not how I believe that I was meant to live my life.  That is not what I believe that I was created for.  I see so much hate in this world.  I see so much making fun of this or that.  Labeling all republicans this or all democrats that.... and it makes my heart hurt.  Labeling all people with certain skin color one way, and all people with certain skin color another way.  People sharing posts that are talking about how great the confederacy was.  How the confederate flag was a Christian symbol.  I just can't do it anymore.  I can't sit on my computer and be okay with all of the hate.

Here's the thing you don't have to agree with everyone.  We won't actually ever all agree.  But to claim that people need to just be okay with how things are in the world, that a statue is history, and tearing down a statue is going to somehow damage that history?  What?  Claiming that black people shouldn't be upset because of a confederate flag or statue.  Frankly you are wrong if you think that.  And here's why....

There was a time not too long ago in our country when white people thought they were superior.  Do you know what?  There are actually still people who feel that way.  There are also black people that have had to deal with the bruises, and damages done by their ancestors having spent so many years enslaved just because of their skin color.  The statues of confederate men, mean nothing but making a hero out of someone that believed owning another human being was okay.

Are we really going to teach the generation coming up that we can't take down statues of people that should not be heroes, because it is going to ruin our history?  Are we really going to teach them that our white history is more important than the good of our country.

Our country is bleeding.  There are people so angry right now that they are willing to do whatever it takes to get their voices heard.  You know why that it?  Because we haven't been listening.  We are stuck in whatever world we think we live in, only trying to take care of ourselves.  I'm done letting my country bleed, letting my neighbor feel like nothing.

Do I think that there are people of every color with hate in their hearts?  Ofcourse!  But you know what, there are also people of every color with love.  There are also people of every color waiting to be heard, waiting for you to reach out a neighborly hand and listen to how they feel.

My goal is to be a neighbor.....and to not get on FB as much.  It's just breaking my heart to see the hate that people don't realize they have.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Passions and Surviving...

Have you ever gotten in a place where you are happy, yet you know that there is more to your life than just going to work, going home feeling exhausted, and going to sleep.  Sometimes I find myself in this zombie-type existence.  I feel like I am watching my life slip right out of my hands, not really doing what I feel called to do, and wanting my passion and zeal for life back.  I took a new job that is completely different from anything I've ever done before.  It was overwhelming at first, as most jobs are.  But it is also really easy.  There is not a whole lot that I can do to mess up as far as ruining anyone's life.  Yes, I could definitely make a mistake that might impact someone, but most of the mistakes I make could be fixed and I am able to pass the "tough" calls to people that get paid more than I do to handle those situations.  But it is not my passion.  I am thankful for it beyond words and the people that I work with, but I know that it is temporary. 

Sometimes I think we feel like we have to be stuck where we are because it is scary to step out of the box that we have taped shut.  It is scary because we oftentimes feel uncomfortable, and unsure of ourselves when we are in a new environment.  That is what starting this new job was like.  It was scary, it was hard, but it was necessary.  I may not have my passion and zeal back, but I am building up who I am again, and who I want to be.  I don't have to worry about people criticizing every single thing that I do.  Sure I have certain numbers for my calls that I have to meet, and expectations that are put on me.  But, I don't go home every day feeling like I have failed.  I don't go home every day wondering what person is going to email me or call me to tell me how horrible I am.  Maybe it seems like I might be exaggerating, but I don't feel like I am.  Take a moment to tell the people that help you out, thank you.  I have never been thanked more in my life than I am being thanked on a daily basis, for simply answering people's questions about their financial aid.  What if we would thank our doctors, our teachers, our police officers, our mailwomen/men, our cashiers, our electricians with the same kind of thanks that we prefer?  What if? 

Are you ever just in the surviving mode?  I feel like that is where I was last year.  I just had to survive the year. I couldn't think about next steps, or what I really felt passionate about because I just had to make it through.  I just had to get through the horrible moments of feeling so sad that I didn't want to be around anyone.  I had to work through the words that were said to me, and the way that those words made me feel.  Sometimes we just have to survive.  Sometimes life isn't about thriving, it is just about making it through moment by moment.  

As I ponder over events that took place throughout the YEAR of 35...I am so thankful that I have come out on top.  I feel like the YEAR of 35 almost broke me.  I was an emotional wreck most days.  I took things way too seriously and sensitively.  I got jealous easily, and I managed to take words to heart way to often.  I wouldn't change anything that happened in the YEAR of 35 except maybe one thing, which doesn't need to be broadcasted to the entire internet.  But that one thing was a mistake that I made in trusting someone I shouldn't have trusted.  But even that taught me something. 

I am a better person because of this year.  I am more loving, and kind.  I am also taking things a lot less sensitively than I used to.  Sure I still have my moments, because everyone does... but I have figured out that my life can't be based on others.  Looking to others for what they think about my life choices or even just me as a person isn't going to do anyone any good.  I have to be me.  Either take me for all of my faults, and quirks, or don't.  I will never pretend to be perfect, but I also will never stab someone in the back.  That's not the person that I am, and not the person that I ever want to be.  I don't want to be someone that constantly needs to be the center of attention.  Or who has to put down one friend in order to be accepted by another. 

We are all on a journey.  Sometimes that journey takes us to places that bring out our passions, and sometimes that journey takes us to places that help us realize what are passions truly are.  Life is about the journey.  The uphill battles, the moments in time that make you understand exactly how much strength and endurance you have.  The journey isn't supposed to be easy.  Some days it will be hot, and sweaty, and you will feel like dying.  Other days it will be breezy and cool and just right for walking up a windy trail.  But every single day counts.  Every single day is a new opportunity to discover the passions that have been planted inside. 

So this year.... the YEAR of 36 is for passion, life, and finding a place to live with joy.  It won't be easy, but it will be worth it. 


40 before 40 update....

It seems like quite a while since I last posted anything, and in fact it kind of has been a long time.  I have found myself with a lot of new things happening in my life the last few months.... new job, new boyfriend, new apartment (almost), new almost other job.  That's a lot of change, a lot of transition, and a lot of adventure.  I'm going to write another blog about all of that, but this one is for my 40 before 40 list.  It is always good to look over a list that has been made and ponder if it is still applicable.  A lot of the things on my list, are in fact things that I still want to do, while some of the things on my list aren't really as important to me as they were at this time last year.  So I am going to change them up a little.  I'm also going to check off the ones that are complete!  Yay! 

#1  Attend a Renaissance Festival 

#2  Celebrate New Year's in New York City and watch the ball drop!

#3  Pay School Loans down   Yay!  This is on the right track, but still working on it! 

#4  Go Skydiving

#5  Get a tattoo  I have TWO tattoos now!  Yippeee!!!!  Love my elephant and owl! 

#6  Drive the Pacific Coast Highway all the way down California

#7  See a show on Broadway

#8  Get to know 5 good wine and cheese pairings, and host a wine tasting

#9  Hike some of the PCT

#10  Get in the best shape of my life

#11  Go skinnydipping  (I'm changing this one)   #11   Go a spa for a whole weekend  (seems more doable)

#12  Go to an Art Museum once a year (Yikes, I need to get on this one for this year!)

#13  Visit Napa Valley

#14  Go on a cruise

#15  Learn how to cook Risotto  (going to try to get this done before August 30th)

#16  Go geocaching

#17  Meet a hero (Mandy Hale, Glennon Doyle, Cheryl Strayed)

#18  Be open to new dating opportunities  (I did well with this!!!)

#19  Take the ultimate U.S. Road Trip (solo) 

#20  Read every book by C.S. Lewis  (I need to make my list)

#21  Learn to Knit  (Still working on this, but I am a great loom knitter)

#22  Take Spanish and be able to hold a conversation  (Ugh, not so great with this)

#23  Read 100 books  (Need to make my list)

#24  Get a hair cut at a fancy salon

#25  Cook/Bake all my gma's recipes

#26  See a show at The Fox

#27  Read the Bible Cover to Cover each year

#28   Drink tea instead of coffee in the afternoon  Changing this  #28 Drink MORE tea!!!!! 

#29  Run the Bolder Boulder

#30  Watch every film on AFI top 100

#31  Go to the doctor/dentist/eye doctor as recommended  (Getting better with this)

#32  Complete a 1/2 marathon

#33  Write a short story

#34  Take a 24 hour solitude/no phone retreat 4 times a year  (I didn't do this at all)

#35  Pray everyday  (More work needed with this)

#36  Donate 2% of income each year to charity

#37  Try yoga

#38  Send 10 letters a year to friends far away  (I will do this)

#39  Make something crafty and sell it  (Yay!  I did this!  )

#40  Build my business




Really I have not done very many from my list... so looks like I better get crackin'!  Look for more blogs this YEAR OF 36!  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Moving Forward....but looking back




I always think it is a good idea when leaving a place to reflect upon that part of the journey. I am sure that there will be things that have happened in the last 3 years that I won't fully understand for many years, but I am thankful for each moment.  It has been a hard 3 years.  I have had to undergo some major criticism as a person and teacher.  I have had some hard things come about that I will always look back on and wonder why they had to happen in that way.  Maybe one day I will completely understand, but for now I just try to let them go.

When I stepped into these halls 3 years ago in August I was arriving back to the states from overseas.  It had not been the experience I had expected, and I was more broken then when I went in the first place.  I was also hopeful.  I was hopeful that I had finally found a place where I could settle.  There was hope of a previous relationship happening again, and a new job that I would be able to excel in.  These hopes led to optimism about this new place.  That everything would just fall into place, and I would have the perfect job, perfect life, and perfect everything at my finger tips.  Ha! Like that ever happens! 


I wish I could say that all those things worked out, but they didn't.  The last 3 years have been like doing a through hike on the PCT.  Trying to get ahead of all that was said.  Trying to mend from the brokenness that was laid down at my feet because of unknown expectations that I was supposed to meet that I didn't even know about.  Working through past events that impacted my current situation.

Teaching isn't for the weak.  It isn't something that you go into for the money, or the summers off.  I know there are still people that think that way.  Teaching requires a thick skin, because you have about a million people that want you to meet the expectations for their own individual child, and when you don't they are disappointed.  I think sometimes it is good to be in a place that helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses.  I will say these last 3 years both personally and professionally have done just that.

Here's the thing though, I feel like when we are at our lowest is when God works and moves to bring us up.  I would say the last 3 months have been a bringing up time in my life.  Applying for new jobs, unsure of exactly where He was leading me.  Preparing myself to move away despite the fact that I love my church, a new community that I am part of, and all of my volunteer experiences.  Preparing to start over again, because there has been so much loss, and most times it is easier to deal with loss if you just leave it behind.

You know what though?  That's not His plan.  For the first time in my life I am staying.  I am building friendships that are made of people that want to build me up instead of bring me down.  I am rocking my volunteer opportunities and meeting so many amazing people that love and value me.  Do you know how great it feels to be loved and valued?  Pretty stinking amazing.  I am getting to know people that want me in their lives.  Not just to talk about me behind my back, but truly enjoy spending time with me.

Sometimes we have to be taken to the depths of despair before we can understand what we were meant to do, and where we were meant to be.

I am leaving teaching, maybe I will go back to it one day, or maybe it will be in a different capacity.  I will always be thankful for these 3 years, in the states teaching.  I am a better listener, encourager, crafter, and teacher because of the moments in time I have spent inside these 4 walls.  I am thankful for team meetings that went outside of these 4 walls.  I am thankful for field days, field trips, staff prayer, science experiments, parent volunteers, but mostly I am thankful for students.  Everyday was a challenge in one way or another, but they impacted me.  They led well. They opened my eyes to see the creative ways that God shows His character in each of us. 

There is no way to know exactly how we have impacted another person.  We cross paths with people every single day.  Sometimes the impact is great, and other times it is so small it seems nonexistent.  It is there though.  Our lives touch those around us, we plant seeds.  Those seeds will move mountains one day.  Those seeds will be our legacy.  God's legacy.  I am thankful that even if I feel like I did nothing, He moved in me to do everything that was needed during my time in this place.

So, I pack up my bags.  I close the door, and walk down the hallway.  I put away the curriculum books, the expo markers, and I look ahead to new norms.  I look up, finish strong, and know that God's plans or so much bigger than my own.  That this little stop on my journey has changed me and others in ways that only He knows.  I don't say good-bye, I say see you later.  Because although this chapter is over, there are so many more left to write, and live.  The hike isn't over....because just over the next hill there is another one to climb. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

K is for Knowledge #atozchallenge #kisforknowledge

This month I am posting about risk, and words that contribute to the risks I take in my life!

K is for Knowledge. 

When I think of knowledge it often doesn't really make me think of risks.  It took me awhile to come up with this blog post.  Mostly because I kept getting stuck on words that I chose.  I would choose a word and then change it, then go back to the original word.  I am not even sure now why knowledge has stuck, but it did. 

I guess I feel like with knowledge comes risk.  The more you know about this world, the people in it, and the way to communicate the great risks you want to take in order to love them more.  At least that is what I feel for myself.  Before I stepped foot in India I really had no idea what it meant to risk.  I had never had to risk anything for a hot meal, or a warm bed.  I had never had to risk anything for what I believed in.  There was little risk involved in my life. 

Then I went to another country, where I met people that risked their lives EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  I was floored by the amount of risk it took for them just to live every day.  Mothers that would risk their lives, and the lives of their kids for a decent meal. Families that risked never seeing members of their household in order to put a roof over their kid's heads.  Those were the stories of risk. 

That knowledge made me a better person.  Those experiences of seeing poverty, and self-sacrifice allowed me to view my risks as minor compared to what I could be risking.  I learned from that journey that I wanted my own to be bigger, harder, and more meaningful.  The only way that I could do that was to apply the knowledge that I had come across and let my life be impacted from the inside out. 

Have you gained knowledge about a subject or situation that has opened your eyes to risk a little bit more? 




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

J is for Jump In #atozchallenge #jisforjumpin

This month I am posting about risk, and words that contribute to the risks I take in my life!

Jump, that four letter word that means to lift your feet off the air and go.  Where have you jumped in your life?  What risks did it take to lift those feet?

Some of my jumps have been huge, more like leaps into the unknown.  Others have been small little hops.

It occurs to me that there are some tasks I jump into without any sort of hesitation!

You know like.... sitting down to watch a full season of my favorite tv show.  Or going and taking a hike instead of cleaning.  Those kinds of jumps are easy.  It doesn't take much thought or preparation, and most of the time I end up learning something, if nothing else how to spend time just being.

Then there are the jumps that involve others.  Like the jumps into new community, or the jumps into asking that person that you just met to go have coffee in hopes of building a friendship that spans continents and decades.  Those kind of jumps take a lot more risk and time.  Those kind of jumps require a little hand movement for balance.  When you jump in to a new community you risk losing a part of yourself.  This happened to me a couple of years ago.

I have a hard time with trust (as do most people). I had been wanting a true community for awhile.  Been praying for it, contemplating what it might look like, and I walked into something that I thought finally fit that idea.  When I got to that community I jumped in. I was open and honest.  I let my guard down.  I had deep conversations with people that I wouldn't normally have had before.  I asked people to lunches, dinners, and movies.  I spent time with people even though I didn't necessarily always leave feeling the greatest about myself.  That jump was hard, it was a risk.  It helped me in a lot of ways, and it hurt me in others.  I lost a little of myself in that jump, but I gained other parts of myself back that I had thought were forever gone.  I wouldn't take the jump back, it was worth it.

That jump is preparing me for my next jump.  I am not sure what kind of jump it is going to be, or what awaits me on the other side, but I know that it is worth it.  I know that people are worth it.  No matter if it is only for a year or two, those moments, those memories they will always be a part of my journey.  I will always know that I tried my very best to risk all that I had to make that jump into a community that I thought worthy of jumping for.




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I is for Inadequacy #atozchallenge #iisforinadequcy

This month I am posting about risk, and words that contribute to the risks I take in my life!

I is for Inadequacy.  This is probably a confusing one to fit with my theme.  I somewhat just needed an I word, and then also thought about the result of risks.  Inadequacy came up.  Sometimes I don't risk because I don't feel like I can do it.  Whatever the dream, goal, or situation is I feel like I am not good enough to accomplish it.  I feel pretty inadequate. 

I used to think that I was the only one who felt this way.  Why I was so naive to think that is beyond me, but I sure did.  I thought that I was the only one who doubted myself and my choices. 

We often have to risk feeling inadequate to live a more adventure-filled life.  Letting down those walls, being willing to risk not knowing everything.  We live in a society that is driven by success.  Driven by social media accounts that claim perfect lives.  When in reality for one moment if we all just allowed our inadequacies to be seen, the world would connect in so many more real and deep ways.

To risk inadequacy means to understand ourselves and those around us a little bit more.  We will never be perfect, but our imperfections are what makes us needed and loved.