Original post from January 2013:
“Now a personage, on the other hand, gathers. He is never thought of apart from what he’s done. He’s a bar on which a thousandthings have been hung—glittering things”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
I am a 20-something recent M.Ed. grad: jobless, idealistic, impulsive, and gullible. All these facts about me are more the norm than the exception, but this blog is not about being among the 99% or anything remotely political (one minor fault with that movement is that the movement defines the individual rather than the opposite). I recently finished F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first novel (it was published when he was only 23!), This Side of Paradise and was inspired by one of his major points. The main character, Amory Blaine, finds his normative character in Monsignor Darcy. After losing a prestigious role at Princeton, Amory becomes depressed and Monsignor Darcy consoles him with the idea that his loss will actually be an opportunityfor him in the future. Monsignor Darcy suggests that rather than striving to be a personality, Amory should forget his vanity and small failings, aiming instead to collect experiences. This idea struck me immediately because of my undergraduate work in music. While all of the music majors at my school formed close bonds, some very rarely strayed outside the realm of the music building physically or socially . . . or even mentally. I always wished that some of them could have an identity outside of music (don’t get me wrong many of them did!); however, I was always of the persuasion that music was something I did, not who I am, and while I love it and all of the arts, they are not my all consuming passion—which is probably why I am mediocre at all! Nevertheless, this blog will be partly about a passion that I want to have: one for orphans and unloved people.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 1:27, ESV
I am thankful for the glittering experiences and people that I have gathered so far: a bachelors, a masters, three trips to Europe, one to China, family, friends that are like family in several states and countries, various work experiences, wonderful parents, and an incredible boyfriend. I am also thankful for those not-so-sparkling experiences, like moving, difficult living and job situations, break-ups, Crohn’s disease, and my color-coded food intolerance chart. All of these positive and negative experiences have enriched my life beyond anything I could have imagined for myself. Through my student teaching experience I happened to meet a very special girl that had been a bane to several experienced teachers before me. She had been adopted from another country and a bond formed between us. I can’t say that I understood it, but I wanted her to succeed and believed she could like others, but as with some friendships we simply worked well together. Later, I came in contact with two more wonderful little girls that had been adopted and again, we were friends. These are only two instances, but they and various other experiences—shacks and beggars in China, tiny thieving children at a gypsy village in Slovakia, circular and unnecessary poverty and illiteracy in my own country to name a few—have given me a growing burden for unlovely places and situations and the children that they contain.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11, ESV
The first of my afore mentioned un-favored experiences: moving, is what is bringing me to this blogging-point. In many ways, school has been my whole world for the last seven years and the adjustment to “this life-thing” has been interesting. For instance, this whole jobless thing . . . is simply not my favorite (don’t get me wrong, it’s a welcome relief from the crazy hours of life as a grad student/graduate assistant) (though . . . is it, really??). I am getting a bit of school still: I’m finally learning how to teach ELS at the CELTA certification class and I am thrilled at the practicality and potential jobs this will bring my way. Another adjustment is the classic-post-grad-move-in-with-you-parents nightm . . . ahem, scenario. However, thankful I am for the parental unit, I have not lived with them for years, and while I adore living in a warm house with lots of food, laundry service, cable (!!) TV, internet, and dozens of other amenities, I approach 26 and . . . well, need to move out again. So, I have two goals in the next year: get together enough cash for India and move out! I may not write about either of these things, but I will write often about things I love and the experiences the Lord will string together to get me to my desired goals.
Still jobless in the state of NJ where according to the state I have no degree (but according to potential employers for not education related jobs, I have too much education), but happily married to my best friend and expecting our bouncing baby boy later this year. I really can’t complain– still living each adventure as it comes and happier still that I get to share them with my sweetheart.