New Job + New Thoughts

Hi.

A lot’s happened. And the last few weeks have been kind of a blur.

I got a job working from home for a company called Foxio. I cut off a lot of my hair. The weather decided to remember it’s December in Indiana. So now it’s cold + snowy.

It’s a transition working remotely, but I do enjoy what I’m doing. It’s a small company, but it’s what I want to pursue with my career: front-end web development + design.

I accepted the position right before Thanksgiving. Not to be corny… but talk about something for which to be thankful. I began December 5th with a week on-location for job training. It was overwhelming. I still have a lot to learn, but my coworkers are great. While there, I was able to stay with a friend and meet others for dinner. Those friendly faces helped a lot.

So I’m remaining in my hometown for now. And it’s not a bad place. There’s some really good tacos, excellent bakeries, a wonderful downtown, and one of my favorite coffee shops. I’m proud of where I come from.

But still inside me there seems to be a feeling of discontent. I’m still itching to get out on my own. And I’m trying to to work with that. Having a remote job as a first position is a bit unusual, and I can’t help but feel like God has some sort of a plan in mind.

So until then, I’m trying to find how I belong here, where I am. I’ve lived through the summer and autumn with a one-foot-in-one-foot-out mentality. Though I’ve been trying to settle in, now that I know I’m staying for the time being I suppose I feel a little more committed.

I’ve found a small church/Sunday school in which I’m beginning to feel at home. I’ve helped out with an event at church… and been informed that I will be asked back. I’m making plans months ahead. Maybe I’ll start taking a yoga class…

I suppose I’m nestling for now.

The Land Between

A photo by Tim de Groot. unsplash.com/photos/M_eB1UjE0do

GOD, your God, has blessed you in everything you have done. He has guarded you in your travels through this immense wilderness. For forty years now, GOD, your God, has been right here with you. You haven’t lacked one thing. Deuteronomy 2:7 (MSG)

I’ve been quiet since I graduated. I’ve started writing this post dozens of times… well, at least I’ve thought about starting it. I kept putting it off because I knew it would be difficult. Putting all of these things into actual words might hurt. But maybe, like the rain that we so desperately needed is falling outside my window to revive the fields, writing this will revitalize my spirit.

I’ve had the tendency to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. The glass is half-full. And I’ll have a job before I graduate. No sweat.

Ha.

But I moved home with some job leads and a reality that I could be moving to Washington, D.C. in a few weeks.

I’m still here. Half of my life and all of my tea is still boxed away in the basement. And it’s free rent, so no arguments there. But it’s been hard to keep playing Pollyanna. I’ve been called out by my family for my attitude, which is not a new thing, but not something that happens frequently.

I’ve struggled being home for the longest time ever in a year and half. I’ve struggled watching my classmates get jobs. I’ve struggled with the deafening silence that meets most of my job applications. I’ve struggled with entry-level positions that want 3 years of experience. I’ve struggled with the uncertainty of making long-term plans. I’ve struggled with not having a job for the first time in six years.

I’ve applied to 63 jobs.

Sixty-three.

Silence.

I’m plagued with questions from myself and others. What do you want to do? What are you looking for? Have you looked here? Here? Here? Are your standards too high?

Waiting. Applying. E-mailing.

Wandering.

The church I attended in college (Oh Commonway, how I miss you.) did a sermon series on Moses over the summer. And I was listening to one titled The Land Between in which Pastor Matt spoke on the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the desert. And I thought to myself, “Yes, that’s where I am.”

I’m just wandering around. Not in the wilderness but in the Land ‘o Goshen. Though some may say they’re the same thing.

Someday, somewhere, I know that the Promise Land (see: job) lies in my future. Not a dream job. But at least a purpose. Something to wake up for in the morning. I’m waiting for positive responses to my applications like waiting for answers to come down from Mount Sinai.

Over dramatic? Maybe. But these waves of melancholy tend to leave me as such. And like the Israelites, despite all of the blessings God has given me, I too, have found it hard to trust Him. 

It’s been so easy to get discouraged. Doubtful. What have I done with my summer? How is it already August?

And I don’t have any answers. I don’t know why I’m still here, unemployed, half-scared to be stuck in Goshen forever and half-scared to leave. And it’s been easy to mark my entire summer off as a failure. I forget about the manna. I’m missing the forest for the trees. Those silver linings have tarnished. I’m missing how God has been providing for me. Some I’ve pushed aside—forgetting to pause and appreciate the sunflowers that have been given to me this summer, and some that will come into focus when I move out of this season of my life.

I was able to see two high school friends and a cousin get married this summer because I’ve been home. I’ve attended bachelorette parties, bridal showers, and baby showers because I am home. I was able to go meet my pen pal from Ontario and attend her wedding because I didn’t have a job to work around. I was able to visit MBZ in Crown Point because my weeks were free. I was able to hang out with my brother and sister-in-law when they came home for July 4th because I was still at home. I was able to make a new friend because I am home. I’ve had adventures with my mom because I am home. I’ve taken MBZ all over Goshen when she’s visited her beau because I’m still in Goshen. I could do a round of Whole 30 with my parents because I am home. I could go on an overnight shopping adventure in Schaumburg, IL with my sister because I am home and don’t have a job.

These are some of my summer Ruth Blessings. When Naomi returned to Bethlehem with Ruth, her daughter-in-law, she became Mara, bitter. But, cultural issues about not having a male provider aside, I always felt like Ruth was slighted in this change of Naomi’s. Ruth stayed by her side and through her presence God continued to bless Naomi. Ruth gleaned in the fields. Ruth found a provider and protector. Ruth gives her a grandbaby.

“He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Ruth 4:15 (ESV)

More to you than seven sons.

Sometimes, you just don’t know what something can grow into. Like those people you pick out and decide to just spend a lot of time with… you know, friends.

I’ve been blessed with friends who are always up for long chats. Phone. Facetime. Texting. Coffee at the Brew. Bubble tea on courthouse steps. I am blessed with a group of girls who all revive my spirit in unique and different ways. When my worries, anxieties, and my inability to pause because I run around like a wind-up car—in uncertain paths and running into the occasional wall. Or a solar-powered hula dancing girl.  They hold the key to wind me back up. They are the sun that recharges my wiggle. The Ruth to my Mara (babies not necessary).

So I’m continuing to hula along. I’ve decided it’s time to settle in. Who knows, I might be here for awhile. That tea may be unpacked. September 1st, I’ll head to the temp agency and see what jobs I can find. I’m finding a Sunday School to belong to. I’m considering volunteering with middle school or junior high girls. I’ll begin to cultivate a life in the Land ‘o Goshen. To try and become content.

“Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.” – The Secret Garden

And besides, I’m not alone. Though sometimes it’s hard to believe.

“God, I’m sick of this, but I’m going to trust that you see what I’m going through. I’m gonna trust that you’re with me even in this.” – Matt Carder, Pastor at Commonway Church, Muncie, Indiana

 


 

This has been a crazy-long post, and thanks for making it through the analogies, cliches, and idioms. And the general crazy word-vomiting of my soul. I’ve had three months of angsty roller-coaster thoughts to work through. We’ll take a lighter turn for the next few posts… including a recap on my trip to Canada! 🙂

Brand New Leaves: Thoughts on Graduation

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“Life is unpredictable,
It changes with the seasons,
Even your coldest winter,
Happens for better reasons,
And though it feels eternal,
Like all you’ll ever do is freeze,
I promise spring is coming,
And with it, brand new leaves.”

– e.h

I don’t think I ever really prepared myself for the inevitable end of college.

Goodbyes.

Packing up my nest.

I spent most of this year in denial.

There would be no goodbyes.

There would be no last times.

I made myself believe that time would stand still.

I made my website. I went to a conference. I went to portfolio reviews. And then on the first day of April, I cracked. I had a portfolio review the next day. I had very little sleep all week preparing for this review and was spending my class time arguing with the printer. And I left class on the verge of tears. My fears about the future and the stress that had been building up all year finally broke me. But I was going to work, and so tears would have to wait. Note to self: cry later.

I’ve had a lot of conversations with Morgen about this. 1,481 miles away and she has still been the voice of reason in my world. She has this uncanny ability to verbalize what I’m going through. She is the verbose princess. 

“I feel like I’m doing a lot of growing up at once,” she said.

And that’s really what it feels like. And it hurts, man. It’s frightening.

And it’s overwhelming, along with everything else. Like the ground here; it’s been brown since winter, but all at once, after the snow, it’s suddenly green, and there was no warning, and everything changes. And it’s beautiful but it’s new. Sometimes you feel like creeping back to what’s been, but that doesn’t mean that will stop spring from coming.     – The Verbose Princess

And spring is coming. Although it can be hard to see it. Or understand it. And with all of these goodbyes to say and decisions about the future to make, it’s hard to know which path you should take.

There’s an essay by Dr. A.W. Tozer (Miracles Follow the Plow) that seems fitting as our lives are ripped apart and pieced back together.

Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12)

“…the cultivated field has yielded itself to the adventure of living. The protecting fence has opened to admit the plow, and the plow has come as plows always come, practical, cruel, business-like and in a hurry. Peace has been shattered by the shouting farmer and the rattle of machinery. The field has felt the travail of change; it has been upset, turned over, bruised and broken.

But its rewards come hard upon its labors. The seed shoots up into the daylight its miracle of life, curious, exploring the new world above it.”

School is all I have known for 17 years. I have measured my years in semesters and summer vacations. Year after year, it’s been the same. The path was straight and I knew it well. It’s hard to see that there is a place in the world outside of that for me. There’s a bend in my path. But like Anne Shirley, “I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does.”

“It’s a rough time,” Morgen agreed, “but it’s got an expiration date. It’ll keep going if we do.”

But how? How can I keep going and going. I leave campus and all I want to do is curl into a ball and sleep. Or cry. And nurse a cuppa. In one of these times of crumbling, I received a letter from Morgen:

Yesterday I went for a run, the kind that is fueled by emotional necessity, rather than healthy motivation. I looked out at the piles of dirt and caught my breath, and remembered how amazed I was that these massive piles of dirt and stone stay standing through all the wind and rain. “What is holding this up?” And I wondered the same thing yesterday. And it occurred to me that I ask the same thing of myself. I look at myself and wonder if I’ll crumble, who I’ll hurt, and what I can weather. And God is like “It’s the same thing holding you both up.” So I’m a pendulum swinging back and forth between okay and crumbling, and that’s just where I’m at. But I can’t help but believe that this is an essential time.

Essential time. It’s true. It’s a step we must take. It hurts. It’s uncertain. But it’s important. It’s important for my future around that bend in the road. It’s important for my relationships with my friends and for my relationship with my heavenly father.

I have faith that God has a plan for me. But as cloudy as that is, I’m not waiting. And I don’t think I’m supposed to wait. I’ve been reading The First Time We Saw Him by Matt Mikalatos recently.

“We are inadequate to accomplish the impossible. We have insufficient power to do the miraculous. … He merely wants our participation. He could have made lunch for all five thousand people with a clap of his hands. …We ask for the miraculous, and he expects us to participate in the miracle he provides. We are inadequate and we realize we don’t have enough. He tells us to simply bring everything we do have. We bring it all even though it’s insufficient, and he makes up the difference using his divine power. …He tells a man with a twisted hand to stretch it out. he tells a man with withered legs to stand up and walk. At the very least, he asks us to participate in his miracles by having faith. He doesn’t need our faith to do the miraculous, yet he often tells people in Scripture, ‘Your faith has healed you.’ We provide faith or water or fish, and he provides the miracle. ”

Faith is not an idle grace. So I’m applying for jobs while praying for guidance… and a job.

 

Morgen: Young adulthood feels like a second puberty
Kelly: This is young adulthood?
Morgen: I don’t know…what is it? Emerging adulthood?
Kelly: putting adulthood into practice
Morgen: Training wheels come off, and here we go. Tassels on handlebars, helmets on sideways, elbows poised for cement scrapes.

We might be swinging back and forth between okay and crumbling, but here we go.

Conflicted

I scrolled through my words of wisdom, humor, and advice board on pinterest today looking for a good quote to write on the outside of an envelope headed to my friend Emma. The quote I chose spoke deep into my soul today. Enough to write a legitimate blog post about…. and, you know, it’s been awhile.

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My heart wants roots

How true this is. The more often I trek back and forth from school and home (cramming as much as I can in to boxes) the more I long to find a place to stay. My brother and sister-in-law will be moving back to my hometown soon and I know how much I would enjoy living up there… with everyone so close. But not like… within walking distance… boundaries, people, boundaries. But as unsettled as I feel knowing my life can be boxed up and shoved into my car in no time flat, there’s something thrilling knowing that I can just pack up and transfer my life to another part of the world (if need be). Especially, if those boxes I mentioned happen to be suitcases.

because

My mind wants wings

love to travel. Road trip to family in Virginia. Flying to Costa Rica. Riding the train to Chicago. Class research trip to Washington, D.C. Anything and anywhere. Give me a good playlist, a book, and a pillow (because I fall asleep ridiculously fast when I travel) and wake me up when we get there. I love to explore new streets and try new foods. I’ve made it a goal to try and find macarons and mediterranean food in every city to which I travel. I want to travel the world. I want to see the Sistine Chapel and La Sagrada Familia. I want to visit Amalie in Denmark and Christina in Germany. I want to see where my ancestors are buried. I want to see the tulip fields of Holland and spend a week visiting the Louvre. I want to hear my name pronounced by an Irish man and have tea in England. I want to see Mount Rushmore and visit Green Gables. I want to see the Redwoods and the Grand Canyon. I want to eat croissants in Paris and gelato in Rome.

But all that aside. Those are just pipe dreams… for now, I hope.
Currently I’m conflicted about something else.

I cannot bear their bickering

It’s internship hunting season. And I’m applying with no boundaries in mind. Las Vegas, Nevada. Sydney, Australia. Goshen, Indiana. It’s my last summer before I graduate which means it could be my last summer to live at home, depending on where my degree takes me. Knowing that there’s a chance that all of my family might be living close by this summer makes it hard to think about leaving. But I also long to try my wings in the real world…

I’d love travel abroad while I’m in school, but unfortunately, with my major, that isn’t very plausible.

This past summer many of my friends were traveling far away and that was hard to see, but it was the summer and not during the school year. We would have been separated anyways. Now my education major friends are talking about student teaching… and I’m not ready to see us part.

This past weekend Mo and I went home with Mal and I had the thought that soon, all too soon, we won’t have the ability to just… go hang out for the weekend at what may soon be known as “our parent’s house”. Because we’ll be out with our own places.

I feel like this post should have some kind of wrap-up. A conclusion. A point to all of this typing-babbling-nonsense. But for once, it doesn’t. Because I’m still trying to make sense of all of this growing-up business. And it’s hard. But no one ever said it would be easy.

image via

New Beginnings

Sunday, June 15, 2014: Dawn suggests that I might be able to get a job working at the same store where she works.

Friday, June 20, 2014: I arrive at Birds Gotta Fly Vintage for an “interview.” I talk to Pam Hoffer and make a plan to come in the next Wednesday for my first day of work.

Friday, June 27, 2014: I turn in my 2 weeks notice at my first job — which I have held since the end of my sophomore year in high school — so I can work every day at Birds Gotta Fly Vintage.

Being offered this job, was an answer to prayer in many ways. It offers me a slight creative outlet (mixing paint colors is fun 🙂 ) that my previous job did not really allow. I have set days and hours to work instead of a schedule that shifts from week to week. Higher pay. But as much as I like new experiences and trying new things, I find great, deep comfort in routine.

Working at the same place for 4 years allowed me to go to work and just… work. Same old, same old. But I’ve forgotten the learning curve that came with that ease. But I’ve experienced it again this past week, and it’s not a feeling I enjoy. I’m excited to learn all I can so that I’m no longer feeling like a fish out of water. Thankfully I have some amazing coworkers and two adorable store dogs to help me on my journey.

But the idea of talking to my supervisor and telling her I wanted to turn in my 2 weeks notice made me so nervous I thought tears were going to run down my legs.

But I did it. I’m on to the next step of my life. And I’m oh, so excited!