Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just People

Most days at Youth Specialties, the conference that MediaShout has me working that has been a regular of ours for several years, consist of flying frisbees and beach balls, free sno cones and popcorn, grown people riding around on tricycles or unicycles, loud music, raining nerf balls, and busy exhibit hall hours. Today was not that day. We had 2 hours of good business first thing this afternoon followed by six hours of virtually nothing at all. At least in Los Angeles, the exhibitors put on flag football games in the aisles and beach volleyball across the hall. Today, though? Let's just say I consumed more free candy than I should have, checked Facebook and my email compulsively, read every single article on, and tried my level best improve my solitaire skills (Even then, after over an hour I'm looking at 3 for 17). The last 3 hours were torture for all four of us in booth watching the minutes creep by. When the closing bell finally rang, we wasted no time closing down and heading over to Rock Bottom Brewery for the third time in the past two days.

After dinner, we left the brewery and headed back across Fountain Square to walk the three blocks back to our hotel when we saw costumes and heard music. The city was holding a free "Monster Mash" dance party on the square for any and everyone who wanted to be there. I looked around and saw the homeless veteran whom I'd seen sitting outside the convention center earlier in the day dancing in the center of a circle made of young, old, black, white, costumed, painted, and happy people. After he had circled once or twice, hands raised, booty shaking, with a smile on his face, a young black kid high fived him and began break dancing and doing flips to Lady Gaga pounding through the sound system. A little spiderman who couldn't have been more than 4 or 5, after watching intently, entered the circle, got on his hands and knees, and started spinning sloppy circles with legs kicking every which way. My new buddy Barry pointed out the Moses, complete with stone tablets and wooden rod, across the square. I saw a reincarnated and slightly overweight Michael Jackson. I laughed. I danced.

And then the deejay played the Electric Slide.

I wish you all could have seen the dozens and dozens of people, some there with the youth conference, some who had panhandled for lunch, some teenage moms with babies, some with gray hair, some who could barely walk, and still others who could not have been more "white," join together in near perfect rhythm and do the electric slide as if Ric Silver himself taught us how. In those moments, despite our countless differences, despite generation and language gaps, despite the many economic and social universes represented, we were all there together. We danced. We laughed. We felt like friends. We shared life with each other for a few beautiful moments under the stars in downtown Cincinatti. I've never had a Halloween like it. Come to think of it, I don't know that I've ever had a single night like that.

Lady Gaga and freaky costumes aside, that's what the church should be. Those people represented so many different ways of life but we all enjoyed one another because the music gave us something outside of ourselves to move to. We got to take part in something bigger than our own persons, as trivial as it might seem, and laugh together as if nothing in the world separated us. Tonight we weren't black or white or poor or rich or druggies or prudes or bullies or nerds or failures or leaders or skinny or fat or strangers... we were just people. Happy, dancing people.

My Halloween rocked.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


So here's some news. I have been offered a job! A really good one. It's a nanny job with incredible hours, great pay, wonderful people, and sweet tiny ones. Two women who live down the street from one another each have a newborn and decided to go in together on a "nanny share," which basically means that both of them get full time private nanny care that would have been incredibly expensive individually. Enter Daryn. Riley and Molly are 9 and 5 weeks respectively. Watching such teeny ones means that I'll have time during the day to do homework which means that I can either go back for that second undergrad or start a grad program in the spring and take night classes. I will make enough to pay off my student loan and credit card bill within a couple of months. The families live in Mt. Juliet, 15 minutes from my house and well behind the rush hour crunch heading downtown. How's that sound? :)

I am not where I thought I would be. The road in front of me has taken an unexpected detour, but after this time working as a nanny and saving virtually all of my income, I will place myself squarely in the middle of possibility. And this time, I'll have the money to afford it. I have an incredible opportunity to buckle down, make some great money, complete some serious school work, and end this period of time with a hefty savings.

I have marked the past two months with much of my own efforts, ideas, and good intentions. I thought I had a great plan. The Lord provides. The Lord provides. The Lord provides. This next phase of life looks different from what my plan looked like, but it is better. His plan is better. He foiled mine over and over again. All of them. In spite of my best efforts. That's probably best :)

I have more. I have spent the day exploring a new city. I have much more, but dinner calls.

More later. Love

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Return

I love to write. Why I haven't been able to find the motivation or creativity to write for the past several weeks had escaped me until very recently. The frustration of knowing the fulfillment and satisfaction that comes with writing but finding myself unable to get to that place of freely flowing thought maddens me sometimes. Brandon pointed out to me yesterday that my last blog was written immediately before a particularly traumatic weekend. He's right. This thing, the details of which I will leave out of cyber space for the sake of his privacy and mine, sucked the life and joy out of me for a good long time. I'm done with it now. It's time to do what I can.

That last sentence may seem vague to all but the few who have had the good fortune to bear witness to the existential pinball game which has been my life for the past 6 or so weeks. Suffice it to say the time in between graduation and employment has been volatile. Feeling paralyzed by the far reaching tentacles of the aforementioned trauma, I allowed myself to wallow in limbo for far too long. Unable to commit, with good reason, to any particularly long term obligations but unable to find a suitable distraction in the mean time, I've been a bit of a mess. There have been many Law and Order marathons in my recent past. Too many. To any who may have been affected by my absentmindedness and emotional withdrawal, I apologize. I'm over it. :)

Being over it means I must write. I have started several blogs over the past weeks couldn't justify posting what I thought was entirely self serving. Well, for Heaven's sake, this is MY blog. Forgive me, but I think the whole concept of a blog is self serving. Once you've bought into the idea of blogging, you're going to have to deal with the fact that your writing is actively promoting yourself. Whether or not people want to read it is entirely up to them. So, here I am again.

I am in flux. In between. In transition. However, I am not paralyzed and I can make some very worthwhile decisions right where I find myself today. One of the things I find to be true about the people in my inner circle is that none of us are ever in one place for a very long time. In our own ways, we're all nomads and we're almost always in some kind of transition. ReAnna, my dear friend with whom I shared my best days at Lee, has written several posts in her own blog about transition. ReAnna shares my love for geographic nomadism (I just made that up, I think), although her ventures have been more grandiose than my own of late. This is a girl who spent a semester in Cambridge studying literature (and tea), moved to Paris for a year for the heck of it, and now lives in Manhattan attending Pratt and surrounding herself with books and Argentinian wine. This is a girl I love and admire (and envy, but that's not the point at all). This is a girl who just left me a Facebook comment to the effect of, "Maybe you should save all your money and go backpacking through Asia with me next summer." This girl is a sister of mine. Her transitions involve currency exchange and passports and happen regularly so she certainly knows what she's talking about. Here is what she says about being in this bizarre and uncomfortable place: I’m in transit. And there’s nothing I can do but wait to see what’s next. And drink velvety smooth wine from Argentina. And be happy in knowing that I am where I’m supposed to be, even though I’m not in the situation that I thought I would be in. Lovely girl, you speak to my soul. Thanks for these words.

So, in spite of the madness that I realize I did not fully divulge here but has been very real to me lately, I am determined to BE right where I am supposed to be. Here. Now.

And I promise I'll write.