February 10, 2016
I am currently house-sitting for a family that had to quickly move to Vietnam. They decided to move for a job in the last two days of January and they left four days later. It has already been a week since they have been gone.
I thought they were to live there temporarily, but the wife informed me that they were not moving back.
How much of one's house can one pack in four days? Just essentials.
I'm sitting on their couch, using their internet and everywhere I turn I see traces of this family. Leftover spaghetti in the fridge, notes on the calendar, kids' drawings on the fridge. The garage is full of stuff as if they were coming back at the end of the week. All of their dishes, canned goods, antiques, beds, are all still here.
It almost feels like this family was abducted and I am the trespasser on their intimate daily routine. There are House Ghosts, snapshots of a life left behind.
This house is......Empty.
And here I am, trying to do homework, and I'm being haunted by memories that were never mine to share.
February 02, 2015
Last month, I briefly alluded to having faced challenges in my life the past few years. Besides Biblical counseling before I married in 2012, I also turned to crafts as a means to fill empty hours alone at home.
After a few years' vacation from yarn, I discovered a box of varied skeins in storage when I was moving to the house I rent now. It started small; hats, mostly. I loved looking through new patterns and slowly my yarn collection began to grow.
My tastes changed; I bought a few electronic patterns. I moved into fingerless gloves and learned what amigurumi was.
Crochet is now my escape--the idle activity I fill my hands with whenever I need a distraction.
I love it. I love the soft creations that I can give as gifts to friends, because to them it's craft magic. And I love the custom orders I receive online, meaning I can share this love with others who have specifically sought me out.
So my mantra this month is: Craft on!
January 07, 2015
It's Only A Passing Thing, This Shadow
That's my resolution this year. Not as a hobbit lass, or a lady of Rohan, or even the redneck elf Keywen.
As Samwise Gamgee once said, “It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”
Mr. Tolkien had it the right way around. And I want to remember that this year.
When the challenges I faced seem to overcome me, I thought I couldn't fight. But I was not created to be a victim.
Even if I can't attack my challenges with a sword, or defeat them with my pen, I can always choose to fight back.
So this year I am striving to make it to the days when the sun shines out the clearer and brighter because the shadow has been driven back. It may come again, but every time I defeat it I am that much stronger.
I was not made to give up. I was made to try again.
"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" - Mary Anne Radmacher
December 25, 2014
Ever feel like nothing you do, or have done has gotten you anywhere? Like everything you've attempted was a dead-end?
Since December 2012 when my steady job closed, I have started 8 different jobs and left 8 (including my seasonal Disney job that I've been holding onto since January 2010). I have had debt over 10k circling my head since grad school.
I am now back in California and teaching at my parents' very small private Christian school as an Elementary school teacher teaching 10 kids ranging K-6th in all subjects. I am the one-room school marm. And while it presents its challenges and rewards, this shoe doesn't fit right.
I feel my debt hanging over me as my own personal rain cloud. And in these last several years it has turned into a typhoon that I can't escape. I was starting to see the storm abate with the steady job and if it had lasted a mere 6months more, I would have escaped the storm and had smooth seas. Alas, that was not to be.
It has grown fiercer and more wild these last two years of job-seeking. When I was in grad school I always thought that if I failed at everything else in life, I could always move home and teach for my parents.
Well, here I am. I have moved back into my old room. I am now teaching at my parents school. I am cleaning the house to pay for my food allowance. I am able use their cars since I sold my car in Florida.
And I feel like an absolute failure.
I won't be debt free for another year and a half (at least). I am single. So very single. Teaching has become a job I'm not very good at and that I feel like I'm failing in.
At least my debt can be conquered (though I've been fighting this storm for years). I have found a great church in California that can use my singleness. I still like working with kids.
But I want to do something more with my life. I feel a lot like Belle right now in that "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell." I want to be able to actually use my singleness and help missionaries out who are overseas and need help. I can't do that though as long as I have this debt hanging over my head.
And with this debt cloud over me, this Christmas, as I was opening my presents, all I wanted was money. I got a little something from my grandparents, but all the rest was only somewhat useful and mostly not useful at all.
I do love having this time with my parents after living on the East Coast for 12 years. But there's this itch under my skin to get away; to be my own person and not a slave to debt. I want to go and I want to go now.
But I've failed, remember.
November 03, 2014
Every So Often, Echoes are Heard
For they may reverberate as they travel further and further from the point of origin, and grow fainter with each repetition...
But those that listen and remember can sometimes still hear them.
It goes without saying that by the time an echo is picked up, much has changed at the source. For instance, this hobbit lass found her journey from the Shire side-tracked. Three years later, she has rediscovered her old journal, complete with water-stains and ink-smears.
And she treasures it, all the same. But she also has a new journal, and a new outlook on life--the result of a road traveled and others untraveled.
But there will be time to discuss that later. For now, know that echoes are still heard.
January 12, 2013
Hmm, no echoes?
Nope, nobody reads this.
Unless you count spam. (which I don't)
Kinda sad really. On my part I mean. I don't have the discipline to keep up with stuff. Meaning writing. I don't have the discipline to write consistently and diligently.
It is currently 2:30am and I am in bed kicking myself for not turning off my computer sooner and going to sleep.
There are soo many things I've been thinking about and pondering and wrestling with and agonizing over that my sleep for the past 4 months has not been good. The only time it WAS good was when I worked for 16 straight hours going from my fulltime job straight into my part time Disney job getting home about this time. Then I would crawl into bed and blank out.
Now I get more than 7 and a half hours every night and I toss and turn contemplating the trials I am going through.
My fulltime job closed. I don't have ANY source of income at the moment. When I heard that office was closing I thought to myself, "Hmm. Now it's time to do something fun. VOICEOVERS!!!!!" And I subscribed to the websites I needed to subscribe to and I thought that I could make it.
It's only been 2 weeks, but I've gotten NOTHING. Only the advice that I need better equipment, I need a coach, and I need a website with which to brand myself and make myself stand out and be different.
Of course, ALL that costs money and I currently have $12k in credit card debt and parents' loan debt and $72 to my name. With nothing to add to it for another week and a half (I'm working at Disney all next week and I won't get paid till the Thursday after).
No jobs with Voiceovers, and 10 days before I can add to my stash. And of course, there is water and electric bills to pay in the meantime. Oy.
I'm thinking of going to my parents to ask for a loan again to help me get off my feet with the voiceovers. Not too sure how they would take it.
So that's one thing. The OTHER thing I've been wrestling with is the Older Man. He's everything I ever wished for in personalty and character of a guy. We REALLY click. The only thing I can't seem to get over is the fact that he is not my type, he is 20yrs older than me, and he has a belly (Not Santa Clause kinda belly, but a "was fit back when I was in high school" belly). I HAVE to tell him that I don't think of him in That Way, but it disheartens me because we get along so well. I feel like all my favorite literary characters at the same time, Anne Shirley who saw Gilbert as a friend only the 1st time he proposed, Anne Elliot when she met Capt Wentworth again. Elizabeth Bennett after she saw Darcy's house. Jane Eyre after the 1st time she meets Rochester.
I know all these end well and the guys gets the girl and all, but I also don't know how to get over the fact that I CAN'T see him That Way, The Way I need to be able to see him if I marry him.
Right now I just like him. I like him very much. But I HAVE to tell him the truth because I can't string him along. I've been coming up with reasons and speeches in my head to say to him to explain my view on things.
He bought me 2 tickets to go up into a hot air balloon and 2 tickets for the local Shakespeare company for the season for my birthday. And for Christmas, he bought me a 1st edition copy of the first book I recorded.
3 of my Top 5 favorite presents of ALL TIME are from him. THAT'S how well he gets me. And it KILLS me that I can't see him That Way.
I don't know what to do other than what is right. And I hate that I have to do it.
I hate that I can't just live my dream and make my living off of doing voiceovers right now but that I have to support myself while I pursue my craft.
Can you see now why I'm tossing and turning?
But God is good. And He is faithful. And His timing is ALWAYS perfect. He is sufficient. And He has me going through EXACTLY what I need to go through to learn something to become more like Him.
Any that is how I can rejoice in this time of trial.
September 24, 2012
I have a confession - I have a fear of growing old and old age.
I don't know where this fear came from. It may be the fact that I fear the slow degeneration of the body. The gradual loss of function and mobility. The unyielding ticking of the clock that signifies my body breaking down and not being able to repair itself as efficiently as it once did. I fear each day when my hips don't work as they did. When the wrinkles on my forehead get a little deeper. When the veins and sunspots on the back of my hands get darker.
I fear waking up in the middle of the night disoriented and unable to get out of bed for the simple process of going to the bathroom. I fear the loss of my mind, my memories, my recall. I fear the slow death of old age.
But doesn't everyone? Isn't that why there is a multi-billion dollar industry to preserve youth? Isn't that why Florida was first colonized searching for the fountain of youth?
Yet my fear also fascinates me. It fascinates in that it is almost beautiful the way wrinkles appear on the face and tell a story about the person's life.
If I could get the wrinkles without the breakdown of bodily function and mobility, I think I would be ok with old age.
This has really come to forefront in my mind because recently an older man is wanting to court me. He is 20yrs older that me and his body has taken a beating from his pre-conversion life. I can see the loss of elasticity in his skin, the wrinkles on his forehead and hands. And it scares me.
The Bible talks about loving the wife of your youth. It talks about life-long commitment to a husband or wife. What if that life is already half spent? What my mind is circling around is the fact that if I marry this man, I won't have time to enjoy being married and being young with him. I will get to watch him go from old to older. There is no clock reversal. There is no way for me to live with him when he was my age. His father died when this guy was my age.
At first I thought I would be ok with it since it has been done in the Bible and in literature. Famous couples as in Ruth and Boaz, Issac and Rebecca, Mary and Joseph as well as Jane and Mr. Rochester, Marrianne and Col. Brandon, Emma and Mr. Knightly all came to mind when I was first thinking about it.
While those marriages thrived, I was kinda hoping for someone more my equal in intelligence, maturity, AND age. Is that an impossible hope?
Or am I being too unrealistic? Here is a guy who REALLY likes me, likes everything about me, is smart, intelligent and loves how expressive I am. He is established and rooted. He is mature and capable. He wants to travel and to learn how to have fun with me. He's good with his hands to fix things and build things. He's just 20 years older than me.
I just don't know if I am ok with that.