I Want You to Want Me

I may be going on a mission trip to Taiwan in April.  I don’t know yet.  I turned in an application and was then given an in-person interview with the Head of Missions.  He was very nice, very polite, but I can’t say if the interview went well or not.  I did a lot of interviewing for jobs this past summer and I found that you never can tell.

No matter how friendly the person may be, you always feel like you’re on your back foot the whole time.  Like you’re being judged no matter what.  And you are.  That’s what interviews are all about.

When they ask questions, I always get the feeling that they have an answer in mind and if you don’t get it right, they write you off then and there.  This was a little different than a job interview.  They are praying and asking God who should go on this trip so He’s in control but I still felt that there was a “right” answer.  I answered everything honestly and to the best of my ability.  I don’t know exactly what he was looking for but my answers were me.

I’m not the perfect Christian or missionary.  I don’t know everything.  I’m just me.  If they take me, I want them to take me because I’m me, not because I told them the “right” answers at an interview.  Take me because I have something to offer, because I’m unique.

If this sounds like an old refrain from me, it is.  I’m 31 years old and I’m still asking people to take me as I am, not how I “should” be.  After everything, I still want you to want me.


Next Chapters and Such

So, I, uh, well… I kinda quit my job.  Yikes.  I actually wrote it.  I quit my job to be a writer!  Yay!  Just kidding.  Kind of.

Let me back up.  I ran into a friend of a friend at Barnes and Noble the other weekend.  I went to buy a copy of Thirteen Reasons Why and drink iced coffee in the cafe like a legit hipster.  She’s going to a local college to get some kind of Masters and working there to make ends meet.  I asked her how she was doing and she said she was happy doing that.  Happy.  I had a total epiphany.  I have savings and I hate my job.  What am I doing?

I’m just so over it.  I’m over accounting, I’m over the utter crazy that is the management and I’m over being depressed about how my life turned out.  So I didn’t get married in my twenties and get stuck in a job I hate because I’ve got bills to pay and kids to buy stuff for.  That was the dream, right?  Well, screw that.  I just turned 30 and I’m going to take this opportunity to make myself happy, because I’m so tired of being practical and sucking it up for everyone but myself.  And I may never get this opportunity again.

I also feel like God has something more for me.  More than just this job and all the crap that goes with it.  More than being single and yearning and all that blah, blah, blah.  God is leading me away and I have to follow that no matter what.  Like I’ve said it’s about trusting him even if others think you’re crazy.  And trust me, there are some people who think I’m nuts for doing this.

So, anyway, I decided I’m going to take a gap year to find myself before I start the next chapter and find my bliss.  Carpe diem, y’all!


Rebel With(Out?)…Whatever

This summer has been hard.  I’ve been really listless and bored.  I just haven’t wanted to do anything or go anywhere.  Some of it is the oppressive heat but a lot of it is me.  I’m a home body.  I’m not a very social person.  I just prefer to stay home and watch Netflix or read.  I know I need to get out more.  I just haven’t had a lot of opportunities.

A recent sermon about mentors really hit me hard.  Our pastor said to be living a Biblical life we need to be making disciples.  We need to be mentoring someone and someone should be mentoring us.  And I bristled a bit at that.  Mentoring takes two.  It takes someone investing time and love into you.  That’s a little beyond my control.  I can’t just ask someone to do that for me.  It made me realize the lack of people in my life.  So I started praying about it.

Last Saturday we had a women’s one-day conference at the church.  At the end they announced that a woman who had just moved to the area was opening her house to women who wanted to connect.  It was answered prayer.  A small group met at her house the other night for fellowship and I didn’t have any anxiety about it.  Usually, as soon as I sign up for something, I immediately regret it.  It’s easier to just stay home and do my thing but I really felt like I needed this.  And so did the other women there.

Our church is pushing these kinds of groups in homes because that’s the Biblical church.  People connecting outside of church and becoming family.  It is sorely needed.  Our church has over a thousand people attending every Sunday and we come and go like ghosts.  We want to connect with each other in a real way.

I’ve finally reached the point where I’m fed up with being a ghost.  I need more people in my life.  I have my family and my church fellowship group which are great, but I need more.  I’m rebelling against myself.  I’m rebelling against the urge to stay where I’m comfortable.   My 30th birthday is coming up and I have actual plans for a celebration.  That never happens.  I went from having nothing to do to having a pretty full social calendar this fall.

I don’t know if taking myself on makes me a rebel with or without a cause but I do know it’s time and that God is faithful.

An Unexpected Cake

My birthday was last Thursday. I don’t care much about birthdays now. I’m not very social so I don’t really have anyone to throw a party for and no one throws a party for me. For the most part, my b-day goes by without much fanfare. I mean, when you’re single and turning 29, you don’t really want to think about it.

I’ve been going to a church group for about a year and I consider the people there my friends but I was really surprised to find a birthday cake waiting for me on Sunday night. And not only that, the girl who made it (and made it fancy) couldn’t be there so she brought it to church Sunday morning and gave it to our host to take home so it would be there for me at group. I was truly touched by the effort. I’m not used to someone outside my family doing something like that for me. I always think I’m a very forgettable person so I was shocked that they remembered my birthday and went to the trouble to make it special. A cake may be a small thing but knowing you have people who care is huge.

By the way, it was delicious.

Ah, Dorm Life

It’s August, which means it’s the dreaded back-to-school time. I don’t have to go back (thank God) but it got me thinking about the dorm and the hilarious and frustrating things that happened there. I wasn’t too fond of my Junior year roommate and ended up hating her by the end of the year and Senior year I got along great with my roommate. We lived our separate lives and respected each other’s space. That’s how it should work. But it was Freshman and Sophomore years that were the most eventful in the dorm. That’s probably attributable to my roommates those two years, Kaylee and Rebecca.

The Man-eater
Kaylee was, quite simply, a man-eater. When she came to college she was going with a boyfriend from home, Bryan. He was going to a college not far away and would drop in from time to time. I didn’t mind. He was a nice guy. Except for that time I came back to the room planning on doing some homework and heard Kaylee talking in the shower. Then I heard Bryan. I left and came back later. Kaylee and Bryan eventually broke up and it wasn’t long before other guys were hanging around our room a lot. Actually, guys were hanging around before Bryan’s exit. These frat boys seemed to fall in love with her and she would just hang out and then move on. The next year there was a whole parade of guys. She was even still seeing a guy from back home. He was in the Navy and he and two friends came to the school to take, Kaylee, Rebecca, and me to the Homecoming Dance and then the game on Saturday. The dance was pretty fun actually. They were a bit immature though. They illegally slept in our room and I woke up on Saturday morning to find a bunch of condoms framing our TV screen. They were from the communal condom bucket in the hall kitchen. At least they were colorful.

The Cooler
Each spring, Kaylee got invited to a fraternity mountain weekend by one of the brothers. And she went whether she was with someone at that time or not. There’s a lot of responsibility that comes along with the mountain weekend. Each brother’s date has to decorate a cooler for him to take on the trip so they can store all their booze in it. So every March The Cooler took over our dorm room. It would sit in the middle of the floor in various stages of completion surrounded by paints and other art paraphernalia for at least a month. Then one day it would disappear and Kaylee would return without it and most of her memory from the weekend.

The Mess
It has taken me a long time to make peace with this part but I realized the other day that I can laugh about it now. It is because of this that I know college students come to school utterly incapable of taking care of themselves. I believe Rebecca was the main culprit. Kaylee and I were roommates Freshman year and Rebecca was our suitemate. We had separate rooms and shared a Jack and Jill bath. Rebecca’s roommate left around Christmas and she had the room to herself. It was always a disaster area but I didn’t mind because it was contained on her side. Kaylee left things lying around but it wasn’t excessive. It wasn’t until Sophomore year that the mess escalated. The three of us moved into a quad room with a girl named Lindsay. This room was set up the same way with two rooms and a bathroom in between but it had one door that opened into one room and then you went through the small hallway to the back room. We moved the two bunk beds into the back room and made the front room a common area. It worked out well. The problem was, now Rebecca’s disaster wasn’t in her area anymore. It was everywhere. And it turned out that Lindsay had the same tendencies. And it wasn’t just clutter. They never changed their sheets, they left dirty underwear all over the common room floor, they would leave a cup with just a little bit of whatever beverage left in the bottom on the bathroom sink and it would grow mold on the top. I was the only one who ever cleaned the bathroom or bought more toilet paper. We had maintenance out several times to unclog the sink because Lindsay kept washing oatmeal down the drain. I finally told them to knock it off and have a little respect for other people when I came in one day and there wasn’t a clear spot on any surface in the entire place including my bed and desk. There was a pile of clothes at least a foot and a half high in the middle of the common room floor with one of the desk chairs on top of it askew. How does that even happen? I was afraid to ask.

The Disappearing Roommate
We saw less and less of Lindsay as the first semester went on and by December Kaylee, Rebecca and I actually asked “Has anyone seen Lindsay?” It had been at least two weeks since any of us had seen her in the room or on campus for that matter. Her things were mysteriously leaving the room and then one day she stopped by to get something and we asked her where she was staying. Apparently, she was crashing on the futon in a room down the hall. She crashed on that futon the rest of the year. I didn’t miss her. The mess got better once she left. And I didn’t find her flat iron on inside the bathroom drawer anymore or her vomit in the trash can on a Saturday morning.

The TV
Most of Lindsay’s possessions eventually disappeared but she left the TV. It had a DVD player built in, which was a nice feature. But she had lost the remote at some point before it got to the dorm, making it impossible to navigate the DVD menu. I’m not that big on Friends but I guess everyone else in my generation is. Someone had a set of the DVDs and they would put a disc in the DVD player. It would start automatically and play all the episodes on the disc. You might think that’s a good thing because we could still use the DVD player without the remote. It wasn’t. Because they would leave the same disc in there for weeks and when they got bored, they’d just “turn on Friends” and the same episodes would play over and over. I eventually got fed up and brought a cheap DVD player and told them, “Please, for the love of my sanity, don’t lose this remote.”

It Wasn’t Love at First Sight

I’m not a big believer in love at first sight when it comes to humans. I think you need to get to know someone before you can fall in love with them. Dogs, on the other hand, you can love at first contact. I’ve had dogs I immediately loved, like Bowser and Lily. Patti was a different case.

I first met Patti at the breeder’s. I saw her from a distance in a small fence with two other Westies that looked exactly like her. The breeder let them out and they ran all around us. I didn’t know which one to pick because they all seemed the same. I eventually picked one and after the paperwork was done and the money (which I had saved over four years) was exchanged, we headed for home. I finally had my very own dog.

Don’t get me wrong, Patti was an adorable puppy. She was just mean as hell. If you tried to play with her she would bite your hands instead of the toy. If you came into her gated off area she would bite your ankles. She didn’t want to be picked up. I tried to do the crate training and she wouldn’t sleep. I eventually ended up using my room as her “crate.” She would sleep on the bottom shelf of my night stand. Don’t know why but she liked it. She was by far the most stubborn dog I had ever come in contact with.

Patti was the first dog I ever took to obedience classes. I now say that I didn’t train Patti so much as break her. Establishing my dominance was challenging to say the least. I put in a lot of work training her and it definitely paid off. She’s trained to go outside and to go on puppy pads since she had to stay home by herself all day. She’s a smart dog and understands a myriad of words and commands. She still has her days when she doesn’t want to obey them though.

It took me awhile to love Patti. I was scared there in the beginning that she might be a biter and we’d have to get rid of her but she came around. It wasn’t until she was about two years old that I really started to love her. And it wasn’t just her. I had to come to terms with the fact that she’s not like the other dogs we’ve had. She has her independent streak and doesn’t want to sleep in the bed. I had to learn to love her for who she is and not what I thought she should be.

Now, I can’t imagine not having her around. She loves to sit with me on the swing on warm days and go for rides in the car. I love seeing her little face when I open the door at the end of the day and I love giving her a biscuit in the morning. I love watching her jump up and catch a tennis ball in mid-air and she loves doing it.

It’s been four years since the day we met and it’s been four years of frustration, joy, anger, and cuddles. We may not be a story of love at first sight, Patti and me, but we are a love story nonetheless.