Monday, March 30, 2009

Confessions From A Twenty Something...

Every girl should have a best girlfriend. I'm fortunate, I have several, though there is one I've had longer than most, and by rights she hears it ALL from me.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm holding back from everyone else but her. I'm a fairly open person, atleast when it comes to my girlfriends. This one in particular just happens to get the longer version most of the time, and she's comfortable enough around me to give me her advice. And boy do I usually need that advice!

Here I am in my late twenties, and I do believe there are times I could pass for a thirteen year old. During those moments it helps to know there is a more mature, reasoning individual who can stand beside me and offer the wisdom I should already hold as a late twenty something.

For instance, this past week I was dealing with a myraid of emotions concerning work, church, friends, and of course men. My dear friend helped to put it all into perspective with this sound advice, "it's time for a truth session."

Her idea of a truth session is to call, email, meet, or whatever other method of communication works best for you, and lay your feelings on the line. Whether it's about your job, your family, your faith, or your man, you lay the truth out there for someone else to receive.

It wasn't until she offered this advice that I started reflecting on how often I pass along my feelings to my girlfriends, and maybe not where they need to be heard, with the person(s) my feelings concern.

Since I'm somewhat reflective in nature I had to ask myself is this behavior healthy? Is it good to hold your feelings in, or pass them along to a third-party without ever confronting the source? I still don't know the answer to that one.

I will say though, in an effort to test my friend's advice, I've begun sharing my feelings with a few sources (baby steps). I've been really happy with the truth results.

Here's a great example from today at work. I work with someone who is really sensitive to office noise. It impedes her office effiency when she believes others are being too noisy, and I've noticed so far she hasn't hesitated to let us know when she thinks we're being too loud. Well today I wore high heel shoes to work and we have hard wood floors. I was probably up and around the office only about half a dozen times during the day (spent way too many hours behind my desk), but this individual had to comment each time I went walking about.

By the end of the day I was frustrated with her remarks, and in particular her stopping by my office to tell me to invest in all rubber soled shoes so I wouldn't make such a racket. This is normally a situation I would vent to my girlfriends and maybe blog about in a negative way. I'm happy to say, that instead of taking her remarks I actually got my nerve up and confronted her. I informed her that I didn't have the means nor the inclination (I don't like shopping) to purchase all new shoes for my wardrobe, but I would make an extra effort to walk on the balls of my feet hoping to reduce the walking noise.

See, there is hope for me yet. I'm slowly and faithfully learning how to deal with my emotions and reponses in a way that is mature and somewhat on par with my age :) Now if I could only be that honest with the men in my life ;)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Online Stalker

No, I don't have an online stalker, at least I don't believe so. I'm afraid it's much worse than that, I think I'm the stalker :)

Between reading my friends Blogs and the information they put out through Facebook, I'm continuing our relationship without even adding discussion into the mix. Just about everyday I go to my blog page here and check out which one of my friends has updated their blogs. Then I go to their blogs and read about current events in their lives. If that's not enough I then check out my Facebook page and scroll down the newsfeed to see if there is anything worthy to note on my friend's happenings.

Usually I'm able to pick up some tidbits here and there through those two avenues, and all that without even personally writing them an email or picking up the phone to call them. Technology has moved to an all new level of impersonal relationship building, and I'm hooked!

I was just realizing how bad this has gotten when yesterday I sat down to lunch with somone I know through church. We're more acquitances than friends and I just wanted to sit down with him to talk about a recent mission trip he did with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). It wasn't until after our conversation that I realized with shock the number of times I mentioned to him something I knew about him and had learned through Facebook. I knew about crazy adventures he had on his mission. I knew about his new job. I knew about his desire to go back to school this Fall and study for his RN. For how little I actually know this guy in person, I knew way too much.

It's all rather a little creepy to say the least.

Yet, it's all okay too. I mean we are the ones putting ourselves out there. Here I am putting my thoughts and feelings on the internet on my blog and then adding to that with a Facebook page.

So, maybe I'm not the only online snoop out there. Maybe there are others of you. Maybe you're reading this blog right now and know you're guilty of the same :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

All Alone...

....and loving it.

Since I moved into Sandal House back in July of 2008 I haven't had much alone time there. Well, none at all except for the first week when I moved in and got myself situated. From that second week until now I've had at least one if not all three rooms occupied by teen mothers.

I'm happy to have the girls there. Neither me nor Sandal House would be there if there wasn't a need and these young ladies do have a need.

Last Thursday though I found myself in an interesting situation. I had one girl in the house with me, and she was moving out. Suddenly the house was so quiet, no teens, no little toddlers running around. QUIET!

Here I had been going along without peace and quiet for months and months, and now suddenly when I had it I realized how much I needed it. This past week has been the most relaxing, enjoyable vacation I've had in awhile.

It's not that I haven't been busy; I've definitely been busy. I still have a full time job where I put in 40 hours a week. I've been studying for an exam I need to take here soon for my job. Also in the midst of my little mini break I decided that without young ones underfoot now would be the perfect time to get in a Spring Cleaning.

So, no I haven't been sitting around with a good book and eating chocolate (that would be nice though). But despite my lack on inactivity I still find myself relaxed. I've decided it's all about the weight of responsibility.

Without the teens around I'm not having to think about them all the time. I'm not having to wonder about the groceries in the house, have they done their chores, did they get their ride to school, etc. All I have to concentrate on is taking care of myself for a week. What a luxury!!

Through all of this down time I have had one reoccurring thought, that at this time in my life I'm happy not being a full time Mom. If and when I take on the responsibility of becoming a full time Mom I want help in the form of a spouse, and I want to have less obligations on my calendar. If I can't empty my house of a child in a couple of months (like my teens) then I need to be smart about having them in the first place :)

Until that time I'll just enjoy being a part-time Mom. I'm going to live up my last weekend of freedom and welcome my new teen on Monday.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Virginia through Foreign Eyes...

I grew up in rural Virginia. Life here is changing, yet static. Though I've seen drastic changes, like less farm land, and more homes and retail (the country is becoming city at a rapid pace), it seems somethings always stay the same. I think the "cultural" of Virginia stays true to an extent.

For me this last week has been interesting as I read the blog of a South African Group Study Exchange (GSE) as they detail their time in Virginia. They're writing about sites that I take for granted and commenting on "culture" that doesn't seem the least bit strange to me. As they write though I begin to see how my everyday life could seem very unusual to an outsider looking in.

The whole experience reminds me of the journals I kept while in South Africa. Here I was a Virginian looking into the sites and culture of a foreign land. I'm sure for a South African my journal must be quite amusing.

If you're interested in keeping up with the GSE group as they visit Virginia over the next several weeks check out their blog. Now if you're interested in my old South African journal you'll have to travel back to my old blog. The problem with my journal on the blog is that it's broken up over several days. You'll have to read most of the November 2005 posts to finish the journal. Have fun with it!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

10,000 Plus

I've officially reached 10,000 plus hits on my blog! You know what this favors are coming out. If you haven't already sent me a comment, just leave your email address and we'll be in touch.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Gift From God...

This past weekend, the Shenandoah Valley received a precious gift from God...a weekend with the most beautiful Spring weather. It was in the upper 60's and lower 70's most of the weekend, and absolutely gorgeous. Not one to miss the first Spring like days of the year I was outdoors like most other Virginians soaking up the warmth.

On Sunday I convinced a number of my friends to come hiking with me up on Shenandoah National Park. We choose to hike the Lewis Falls Trail, which was definitely fun.

Here's Chitra standing before the "Stay on the Trail" sign. No one wants to take a fall off those rocks.

Brendan was always anxious for me to take is photograph :)

Kyle was enjoying the view from the falls, or he was just smiling for the camera.

Emily and Chitra are enjoying a rest on the rocks near the falls. I had the challenge of zooming in with the camera and taking this photo through all the trees. Just a few branches in the way, I'm impressed with myself.

We came across a large group of very tame park deer. Eventually Brendan had to throw a stick in their direction just to get them moving. Before that though I got a couple nice photos of the deer while eating.

Last but certainly not least, here's Emily stricking a pose that was meant for my camera to capture, but since I did get it on film I thought I'd share.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

10,000th Hit

Several months after I began this new blog of mine (that's right I have an older one) I placed a counter on the blog. I had been hearing comments from my friends and family about my blog and was curious as to how often people came to read the blog. Since I'm more about statistical data and less about abstract comments I began the counter post haste.

I was surprised and a little unnerved, people came to the blog regularly. Before long a I had a thousand hits, then two thousand.

I was able to draw some conclusions from my data as well. The most obvious was that when I blogged more frequently more people came to the blog more often. Of course in that same vein when I blogged more infrequently less people came.

Now as I approach the 10,000th hit to the blog I'd like to have some fun. I'd like to have you come join my online party. Please leave a comment to this blog with your email address and name (just in case I don't know it). I'll print out the comments when I reach the 10,000th hit and draw 10 names from a hat. Those ten people will receive a party favor from me. Sound like fun doesn't it?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Just an Observation...

Having grown up south of the city of Harrisonburg I always knew our home was firmly entrenched in the countryside. We didn't have to contend with the annoyances found in the city; the lack of privacy, the traffic, and the blacktop where grass should be.

It wasn't until I was eighteen and left my childhood home for Winnipeg, Canada that I first experienced city life. I was attending Canadian Mennonite Bible College at the time and between college life and city life I was far from any experience I had ever had to that point. I became use to all that the city had to offer, cultural events, shopping, and good public transportation. I still missed the peace and quiet of the country.

I'm twenty-eight years old, and in the last ten years I've lived in several cities, but I always seem to find my way back to the tranquility of the countryside.

The other day I drove from Sandal House (in the heart of Harrisonburg) to my home south of the city. The further I got from the city the more I noticed other drivers on the ride. That's when I made this observation. People are friendlier in the country. All these other drivers would nod their heads or wave to me. It felt great to be back where I was acknowledged as an individual again, and to step out from the crowd.

All I can say is I'm a country girl at heart and that's never going to change no matter how long I find myself living here in the city.