Sunday, February 21, 2010

Clean Up Your Act

On Friday a woman called my office looking for a place that would recycle her children's old textbooks. This is not a service we offer, nor am I familiar with anyone who does offer textbook recycling, so I was a little annoyed by the call. As the conversation continued, I humored her, but I was eager to get off the phone. Later that day, I heard about a charity which will take book donations and use them as credits towards providing books for local schoolchildren. I immediately called the woman back and relayed the news to her. During this second phone conversation, she mentioned that she would be so glad to get those things out of her house. She also said that she was in her 80s and working on getting rid of things and cleaning everything out so "those who come after her won't have as much work." At that point the phone call took on an entirely new dimension as I realized it was more of a wake-up call than a chance phone call from some little old lady.

I am messy. I am a borderline hoarder, which is hard for me to admit, but not hard to deduce from seeing my living and working space. I go through phases where I will attempt to get rid of things, but it does not work. I am constantly losing things and becoming frustrated because I have to walk around and work around piles of papers, clothing, and just stuff. Whoever "comes after me" will have a horrible time trying to sort through my messes.

This phone call made me realize that not only am I making life harder on myself, but I am also building habits that are going to be more difficult to break as I grow older. It also made me realize (allow me to get a little melodramatic here) that I am blocking my progress in life; this messiness is the reason I cannot find someone to date, move out of my home, or become the person I truly would like to become. I am mired in clutter and junk and until I get rid of some (well, a lot) of it, then I will be the exact same person I am now with the exact same problems.

I love my life, but at some point I have to move forward. All of this junk is a part of my past, and it keeps me stuck in the past. I know that God wants me to be happy, and this crap is definitely not making me happy. I also believe that God had that lady call me as opposed to her calling our main line. She has definitely given me a wake-up call. It's time to clean up my act, for those who come after me, and for those who are with me right now.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Please Leave Me Be...

On two separate occasions I have gone to a Women's group which meets at my place of employment. Both times have been fun, and I have gotten a few nuggets of wisdom from women of various ages. However, there has been a common theme in these gatherings which irritates me.

Many of these women are my co-workers. A few of them have known me a little longer than the two years of my employment, but I would say that none of them have known me on a personal level for longer than five or six years. Despite this, many of them feel free to dispense advice which they feel will improve my life. All of their advice boils down to many of them feeling as though I should leave my hometown and even home state. To that I say...

Please leave me be.

I love where I live. Sure, I love the beach and would gladly settle into one of those funky little beach towns in a heartbeat, but that's one of those fantasies that will never come to fruition. I am happy where I am. Yes, I should move out of my parents' house soon, but I don't feel like I can't discover who I am unless I move halfway across the country. Yes, I do want to travel and explore this nation and this world, but why can't my home base be where it is right now? I don't understand why everyone feels like I need to get out of Dodge. I know when multiple people give the same advice, it is generally a good idea to follow it. If that advice is unsolicited, as this advice is, then I feel perfectly apt to ignore it.

I know I need to branch out. I know that I've conveyed to the group that I am not always happy, but who is? No one is completely satisfied with their life all of the time. For the most part, I love my life. If I were to move somewhere else, then I would lose a lot of the elements that make me love my life. I can't imagine a worse problem than being alone in a strange city. My family (and some of my friends) are my support network. They help me through bad times and cheer for me during good times. And the best part is, we're all in the same geographic location.

So ladies, thank you for your advice, but until you take the time to really get to know me beyond the surface, please don't tell me to buy a one-way plane ticket and get out of this place. It will happen if it's supposed to happen, and I'm waiting for God to tell me that, not some random group of women.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Taking the Plunge

Yesterday I engaged in the foolish act commonly referred to as a "Polar Bear Plunge." For anyone unfamiliar with this concept, it is a large group of people deciding to venture into some outdoor body of water in January (or February) usually to raise money for some kind of charity.

I hate cold weather. I was born in the summer, so I think there's a part of my DNA that has me hardwired to loathe cold temperatures. So why would a self-confessed cold hater willingly go into a lake in 28 degree weather?


Yes, that sounds incredibly cheesy, maybe even freaky to some, but yesterday there were people who understood that concept. Granted many of those people were probably just there to say they had done it at least once. However, I heard at least one person comment about how rough of a year 2009 was and how this was a good start. 2009 was a bad year for a lot of people. Every year around New Year's Eve and Day, people begin talking about fresh starts and making the upcoming year better than the last one had been. What better way to dive into a new year than to plunge into an icy cold body of water, figuratively washing away the old you and emerging a new person? Though I stayed in the water less than a minute or two, it was enough time to recharge my spirit and affirm the start of a new year and a new life.

Now on January 2, I'm ready to face the world. I'm wrapping up a nearly two-week vacation from work and school and am about to dive back into a hectic life. I know that God will challenge me this year, as He did in 2009, but I'm ready. I'm going into 2010 headfirst, and I can't wait to see what this year brings. I think if I had done this in any other year, it wouldn't have been nearly as symbolic, but this was the exact right time for it. Keep an eye out and be ready to read about what this year has in store for me (along with my crazy rantings and things I find funny. Ha.).

And for those of you seeking a fresh start in a fresh year, go jump in a lake. Taking the plunge might be exactly what you need.