Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm stepping in love with you.

I like analogies. If you've read a bit of what I write here, you may already know that. The world is so vast and beautiful and interconnected, that I can't help but think of a thousand existing things while trying to describe one new thought. They help me understand things I've never experienced. Experience is the best teacher, yes, but an apt analogy is like a good study partner.

Despite my frequent use (and perhaps overuse) of analogies, there's one thing that I just can't seem to match: marriage.

I understand that the church is the bride of Christ, and so we can model marriages that way - trying to incorporate the love and sacrifice shown by Christ into our own relationships, but even that is not something I can say I completely understand. Analogies are supposed to be simple and familiar: throwing a party, closing a door, stubbing your toe.

There's no earthly thing that I can compare to committing myself to another person forever. I suppose if I chopped off my leg, that would be permanent and difficult to ignore, like a marriage, but I'd rather not draw that parallel. I have some hope that being married is very different from being an amputee.

And so, because I cannot understand marriage by thinking about something else I already understand, I live with a healthy fear and respect for it. Part of this healthy fear and respect is an increasing befuddlement with common ideas surrounding the whole thing. Falling in love, for instance. Yikes. I have no doubt that there is some kind of romantic thing that happens and which feels beyond the control of the person affected - something like infatuation and excitement - but I doubt more and more that that has very much to do, really, with marriage. The marriages I admire appear to be participated in very much on purpose. 

When someone says to me "you can't help who you love," I have begun to assume that our definitions of love are quite different. Similarly, anxiety wells within me when I hear people talk about engaging in a less-than-wonderful relationship as "taking risks for the sake of love." What I really hear is "taking risks for the sake of not being alone." That scares me because I'm learning that people don't realize how much they have to lose. I've, somewhat accidentally, learned what they have to lose. I have an extraordinary amount of singleness experience, and I shudder to think that I could have lost all of that - the fun, the learning, the independence, the empowerment, had I decided that not being alone was more important than waiting for something that fit.

I am only 25, yes. I have not yet lost the will to encourage people around me to relish their singleness and, if marriage or some kind of committed relationship is what they desire, wait. Wait and be intentional. Your are of more value to the world as an energetic, joyful, single person than you will ever be as a person in a relationship that does not give you joy or energy.

This post, though tardy, is a part of The Creative Collective's synchroblogging game. Click here to read what the others have to say about Falling.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

yet again

The Prequel:

I ended up a server at a gourmet breakfast place and renting a studio on my parents' property. I told the restaurant when I was hired that I would be looking for an additional full-time job.

When I accepted a full-time position at a salon/day spa, I drove straight to the restaurant to let the owner know. He told me that I was no good to him and fired me. I cried all the way home.

A few months later, I was leaving the salon with the two owners in the middle of the day to attend a fashion show. I set the alarm, but as I was talking to the owners, I was distracted and forgot to lock the door. After we were gone, a customer walked into the space and set off the alarm. Nothing was damaged or stolen, but I was fired anyway. (My experience there up until that point had been so life-draining that I actually received a congratulations card.)

About a month later, I started a job for a publishing company - finally something that seemed to have anything to do with what I went to school for, or could see myself doing long-term. After about six months, I realized that it was not the type of company that I wanted to work for: not invested in the local community in any way and not even interested in building relationships within the company, not to mention that they managed through fear, pressure, and negative reinforcement.

I began to look into other options/coping mechanisms.

I was going to move to South America to teach English, but I couldn't find a program that inspired me and for which I was qualified.

I decided to go to graduate school for. I took the GRE and started a couple of applications. That looked promising until I was told by several people that I shouldn't go to graduate school unless I absolutely needed to in order to get where I was going. The problem was that I didn't know where I was going, I only knew where I didn't want to be. I didn't finish the applications.

After the earthquake in Haiti, I had an opportunity to go there for a week as a volunteer. My company told me I could not, as I would not yet have earned enough vacation days to take the entire week off. I cried at my desk and my desire to leave the place grew stronger than it had ever been. (Right around that time, they began greatly increasing my responsibilities. I asked for a raise. They said "No. You haven't been promoted.")

Even though I couldn't go on the trip to Haiti, a connection formed and I planned to move there to use my skills to teach children in an orphanage and publish a newsletter that would help them gain support in the States. Finally, an escape into something that would do someone some good.

The connection fell through and the trip was canceled. I felt chained to my desk.

I decided that the thing to do, since I had now been with the company for two years, was to look for another job. Surely, with such experience, I would be able to find something interesting.


I applied for several jobs over the past couple of years. Each of them, I was qualified for and excited about. For each of them, I submitted a carefully crafted resume and cover letter. None of those applications even lead to an interview.

Not even an interview.

And here we are, almost three years after I started at the publishing company.

This past Thursday, my manager calls me into her office.

"Your position is no longer available."

"Okay. Are there any other positions available?"

"No. Please check in with me before you leave today to turn in your keys and credit card."

"Okay. Thank you."

And now I have no job.

I am not sad.

(Though, my feelings are hurt because my employer of three years laid me off as though they were notifying a temp that their assignment had ended.)

I enjoyed my co-workers, but very rarely the job, itself. Plus, now I can get work on getting back to the future I had always dreamed about in college, the one that's been on hold for three years, the one in which I work for something I am proud of and believe in. See you there.

This post was written as a part of The Creative Collecthve's synchroblogging game. Click here to read what the others have to say about Back to the Future.