What do I want to do?

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What do I want to do?  That is a question I ask myself often.  You see, I graduated with a B.A. in English in May 2010.  Did I get a job in my field?  Yes, but only for a brief time as an English as a Second Language Teacher in China.  Then I moved to Portland and began working as a barista.  So despite the fact that I have a bachelors, I make minimum wage in a physically demanding job that involves people yelling at me and being rude.

However, I know that is where I am supposed to be, simply because I am there.  If God wanted me to be somewhere else, I would be.  For a long while I disliked and kind of resented my job.  I felt like I had regressed; most of my coworkers are still pursuing degrees and/or interests and are years younger than I am.  So what was I doing there?

I was learning humility.  I was learning to be content.  I was learning to be real and deal with my own issues and personal limitations.  I was learning how to approach those in authority and ask for help.  When I finally asked God to show me all that I had to learn while I work as a barista, He showed me.  Now I am content to be where I am, learning what I can.  Who knows how valuable this experience could be later in life?

However, I do know that I don’t want to be a barista forever.  I want to be a writer.  So I must write.  I am contemplating the idea of going back to grad school for communication with an emphasis on writing to help me in this area.  We shall see what happens with that, since the programs I love are too far away at the moment.  I also want to be a godly, loving wife and eventually a mother.  And I definitely want to live abroad again, preferably in several different countries (obviously not at the same time!).  Most of all, I want to be live a vibrant, engaging life.  I don’t want to be withdrawn and apathetic.  I want to be alive and thrive.  With God’s help, I will do just that!

Post #63 – What my magic tree grows

Image taken from http://www.amazon.com

Having a magic tree is not something I have ever seriously thought about.  I’ve joked about having a money tree, but that’s about it.  However, if I was to possess a magic tree, I think it would grow in the center of a secret, walled garden, much like the garden in The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  It would be beautiful and bring the garden to life.

There would be a bench under my magic tree where I could sit and read in its shade.  I would spend a lot of time around my magic tree, after all, it’s magic.  Spending time near my magic tree would be, in a word, magical.  Being in its presence would be enchanting and refreshing.  All the cares of the world would pass me (and anyone who was with me) by when I was in my secret garden with the magic tree.

My magic tree would grow beautiful, big blossoms like a tulip tree, only bigger and more breathtakingly beautiful.  These blossoms would be full of love so everyone who was given one would feel very loved and special.  Love is what my magic tree would grow.  Love that people could receive by touching the blossoms.  I would share the love and beautiful blossoms by the bouquet to everyone who was willing to receive them.

Post #61 – You went that long without sleeping?

Vini, vidi, vinci.  It’s Latin for “I came, I saw, I conquered.”  That was my motto for my freshman year of college.  I tried to be involved in everything.  The Honors Program.  Like three different music clubs and societies.  18 credit hours of class.  Making lots of new friends.  Figuring out life away from home.  My first relationship.  I was a tad bit ridiculous, especially since this schedule let me get an average of 4 hours of sleep per night for the entire year.

My schedule reached a critical point during fall semester when a bunch of projects and papers were due.  I woke up on a Sunday and went to bed in the early hours of Thursday.  I was awake for 88 hours straight.  Lots of caffeine and sheer will power was involved.  I was insane, I’ll admit that readily now.  But I did it.  And I survived to tell about it four years later.  Take my advice though, don’t try it.

What’s the longest you went without sleeping?

Post #59 – My hidden talent

Discovering my hidden talent often scares people.  They absolutely would never assume that I would even associate with anything related to my hidden talent, so it shocks them to find out…

…that I am actually a near-perfect shot with a rifle.

Yup.  I am.  Apparently it runs in my family.  I discovered my talent while at summer camp during the summers between 5th grade and 8th grade.  I love shooting.  However, I don’t get to shoot much at all.  Like never actually.  I haven’t shot in years.  Somehow I imagine I would still be as good though… only actually shooting at some point will tell, I suppose.  But there you have it.  My hidden talent is that I am a near-perfect shot with a rifle.

Post #57 – Random Acts of Kindness

I love random acts of kindness.  I love trying to be kind to random people and those close to me.  I also love being the recipient of random acts of kindness.  Let’s be real… who doesn’t?

I try to be kind and considerate in general.  Though I’m not always a fan of chores such as cleaning and doing the dishes or even housewifey things like packing lunches, I try to do these things and be considerate and kind to both my roommate and my husband.  However, doing these chores isn’t a random act of kindness.

The last random act of kindness I did was probably on Monday when I let my friend borrow my car for the day to drive to Dayton, OH and back.  That is something I wouldn’t do on a daily basis.  And though I would typically let anyone borrow anything of mine that I wasn’t currently using (or wasn’t weird to borrow – like toothbrushes), letting Emily borrow my car was random in that it doesn’t happen every day.  So yeah… I think that is it.

As for receiving random acts of kindness, people have been really kind to me recently, though it isn’t necessarily random.  Friends have bought me lunch; Mal lets me and my husband live with her rent free, lets us do laundry, and makes us dinner; John’s parents lent us a car and a phone; the list goes on and on… I am blessed.  Also I have received many encouraging e-mails from random people recently as a result of an article I published.  Those are random and kind.

What was the last random act of kindness you did?  Or what was the last random act of kindness that touched you?

Post #56 – What gets better with age?

Hmmm… this is an interesting topic.  What gets better with age?  Since I’m 23 and consider myself relatively young in the scheme of adulthood, I don’t know too much about aging outside of the general growing up experience.

I do know that red wine gets better with age.  After trying some expensive wine at Morton’s The Steakhouse on my honeymoon and trying older wines while in China, I can say that old red wine is better than new red wine.  I think in general old alcohol is better than new alcohol, but to be honest, I don’t drink much so I don’t really know.  Serve me a Killian’s Irish Red with my dinner, and I’ll be happy!

When I was growing up, I expected my relationship with my parents to get better with age.  I figured that as I got older I would understand their perspective more and that they would treat me like an adult.  I thought we would be able to resolve our differences.  Sadly, as of right now, we aren’t even talking anymore.  I suppose at some point we will talk through all that has happened, but until that point, my relationship with my parents is one thing I expected to get better than just hasn’t.

As for one thing I didn’t expect to get better with age that did, I would have to say that my weight and general fitness has improved rather than getting worse.  Of course, I haven’t had kids yet, but still.  I figured my weight and fitness level would stabilize when I grew up and got a big kid job that didn’t allow for me to make drastic changes to my lifestyle.  But recently, I have lost weight and begun to exercise, so I am slimmer and healthier than I have been in as long as I can remember!  And the best part is that I am still losing weight!  I love Pilates and eating healthy, delicious food.  Also, I love discovering new recipes that help accomplish the eating of healthy, delicious food.

What do you think gets better with age?

Post #51 – Music that cheers me up

Music.  I love it!  Music is just part of who I am.  When I started  college, I chose to major in Piano Performance.  Playing the piano, accompanying, and listening to and discovering new music was my life.  I defined myself by music.  Then during sophomore year, I suffered a permanent wrist injury and had to change majors.  Anyway, all this to say that music is an integral part of my life.

When I am down, two different kinds of music cheer me up.  Sometimes I just need cheerful, uplifting, happy music.  Something with a beat, like Usher or Taio Cruz.  Or something soothing like Coldplay or Jason Mraz.  Or my current standby anytime favorites Maroon 5 and OneRepublic.

But sometimes I just need to really explore my sadness.  Why am I down?  So I listen to darker music, like Linkin Park and Evanescence.  Or any song that really fits what I am going through.

So that is my rather embarrassing confession of music that I listen to when I am down.  When I am happy, just about anything that isn’t most country, Gregorian chants, Miley Cyrus, or highly repetitive goes.  I love discovering new and indie music.  I also enjoy most (though less and less) popular radio.  Music affects my moods.   I like it.  Music and I are great friends!