Life is not a line dance

Somehow time flies away from me and before I know it I’ve moved to Germany, gotten married, had twins, joined the marines, and forgotten to update my blog. Okay. So, I’m single, childless, jobless, and still in SoCal. But hey, to my credit—I was in a wedding, I babysat, I applied for about 60 jobs, and I was in Sweet Home Tampa for three weeks. That’s gotta count for something.

I’ll update you first about my time in the 813. To make a very long story short, God vetoed my earthly-focused, fear-driven desire to just find a job and only go to weddings if they were convenient. He answered my prayers for direction with unmistakeable unemployment. I decided that I might as well be jobless in Tampa for a month, and I’m so glad He led me there. So much happened, I could have written a blog post about each day. Instead, I’ll give you a few lists about my time there (you know how I love lists), and then we’ll move on.

Awkward Things That Happened To Me

  • Getting locked in the Snapps’ Guest Bathroom
  • Getting locked out of the Snapps’ House—This resulted in me accidentally inviting myself over to my ex’s house three times in one day, and inviting myself on a married-couple-double-date to Starbucks.
  • Playing “Pass the Pig.” Oh, you’ve never heard of Pass the Pig? Bless your heart.
  • Ordering a Chick-Fil-A Sandwich, lettuce wrapped—All the employees mocked my California-ness, and the cook told me to “take my order to KFC.” When I finally got my low-carb order, it was more like a salad than a sandwich.
  • Being tricked into going on a double date with a guy who spoke a grand total of 22 words during the whole meal. I counted.
  • Spending four days at the beach house with six children. There are too many stories to recount. One involved a fish in someone’s swimsuit. I wish we could blame the children for that one.
  • Not showering for four days at the beach. I’m pretty sure that if I’d gone another 24 hours, I would have successfully developed dreads. Who needs shampoo when you have salt water and chlorine? *This girl*
  • Using DPS codes in radio conversations with the kids—”10-22″ doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’re seven.
  • Buying much-too-small-for-me Cinderella underwear at Hot Topic—It was for a bridal gag gift, obviously, but the cashier probably just thought that I had Reverse Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
  • Discovering a stash of Popsicle Stick People in a friend’s glove box—If you think that you want to know what a popsicle stick person is, you’re wrong.
  • Trying to comfort an anxious barista by telling him that my friend was, “Mexican, not Cuban,” and that she would be perfectly content with the Americanized Cuban Coffee he’d made her. He didn’t think I was funny.
  • Celebrating Tutu Tuesday as a 22-year-old. Somehow, it’s just less excusable as a college graduate.
  • Becoming a regular at the new Dunkin’ in less than a week. I think that’s a new record. The cashier told me I should “Come every single day” until I went back to California. I pretty much did.
  • Compiling a Bedroom-Related-Song CD (to plant in the Binghammontree Honeymoon Car), while women within earshot practiced their talks for the church’s ladies’ day. The details of this story are about 500 times worse than it sounds. Again, wedding gags getting me into trouble.
  • Getting a manicure from a woman who looked eerily like the creatures from the We Like The Moon YouTube video.
  • Being the same height as the best man. We pulled it off well. I did the whole one-leg-bent thing, he stood tall.
  • Dancing at the weddings. JKJK you know nobody dances at COC weddings. Good thing, too, because white people can’t dance. Or at least that’s what they say. You know what was awkward about the weddings, though? Being one of the single ladies who is obligated to clump with the other single women in a giant blob of singleness and fight over some second-hand bundle of flowers. Nothing says “desperate” like moshing in a dress over a magical-marriage-plant. I’m allergic to flowers, anyhow.
  • Receiving congratulatory texts about my wedding. I guess that’s an unavoidable hazard when you have the same first name as the bride.

Things I loved

  • Deep theological discussions in trucks and Taco Bells
  • Good Sweet Tea
  • Morris Food
  • Third Wheeling
  • Afternoon Thunderstorms
  • Late night chats with the Snapps
  • Dunkin’ Donuts, my long lost lover
  • Singing with so many saints
  • A social life, community, and family
  • My bathwater ocean (none of that Pacific Coast 60-degree-water garbage)
  • Watching the raindrops on the river
  • Air that envelopes you in a warm hug the moment you step outside
  • Eating at The Oxford Exchange, Wright’s, and Which Wich
  • Watching The Lego Movie and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • Weddings, and all things related

I had a great time. I learned a lot. I loved a lot. I cringed at my own awkwardness a lot. I was blessed with valuable time with people who mean the world to me, and generosity and hospitality was shown to me by so many.

I also interviewed a lot. Okay, maybe “a lot” is strong language, but it was a lot for me. It was a lot for one job. I had two interviews and one special project, all for one position. They seemed to like me, they even wanted me to interview as soon as I got back to LA (read: five hours after my plane landed in LA). After rushing from LAX to Calabasas back to Santa Monica, I left Maris at Philz Coffee and headed to my interview. It seemed to go well, for the most part. At the end, one of the team members suggested that I try the Mint Mojito at Philz when I picked Maris back up. I was a bit surprised that Philz served alcohol, until I realized that the Mint Mojito was a coffee flavor. An amazing, out-of-this-world, shaming-all-things-Dunkin-Donuts, coffee flavor. My life changed with that first sip.

Well, I guess you probably know this if you read the intro, but I didn’t get the job. I found out today. I kinda feel like I just endured a break-up. Or, at least, I imagine this is what a break-up feels like. Letsbehonest I haven’t dated anyone since Call Me Maybe was still a song people pretended to like. But I’ll be okay. In fact, I have another list for you. I knew you’d be excited.

Reflections on not getting this job (or any of the 60+ jobs I’ve applied for in the past 60 days)

  • I have really great friends. I can’t count the people who have been praying for me during this job hunt, who have bad-mouthed whatever job I told them I didn’t get, who continue to support me through this fun time.
  • God is good, all the time. I know that’s a cliche, but it’s true.
  • Money doesn’t matter. I know, I know, that’s pretty cliche too. But I guess I needed to it, because Dr. Dickey followed me to two different congregation just so that I could hear the same lesson about greed, twice. I guess, what I mistake for responsibility is often just a lack of trust in disguise.
  • It’s all worth it, if you walk away with a new favorite coffee.
  • “White people have no rhythm, but everyone can line dance. They literally tell you what to do.” That’s a quote from one of the brilliant high schoolers sitting at the neighboring table outside this Starbucks.

I’ve been spending my unemployment binge-watching tacky Netflix TV-shows (family members, please do not judge me for the embarrassing things on my recent views—I blame the Morris Sisters), beach-bumming, and spontaneously napping. Life could be worse. Monday, I’m starting up again with my full-blown Job Safari. 61st time is the charm? For right now, however, I’m taking a moment to thank God. For forcing me to Florida. For Florida thunderstorms and for California sunsets. For countless homes away from home. For new letters from old friends. For mentors. For music. For encouragement. For hope. For Dunkin’ Donuts and Mint Mojitos.

But most importantly, I am thankful that life is not a line dance. Sure, I have no rhythm, and step-by-step instructions would be way easier. Sure, “everyone can line dance,” but that’s not what it’s about. I’m thankful for a life with no pre-set track, for a life with twists and turns and unique little side-steps. I’m thankful for the ambiguity and unpredictability that makes it all the more exciting, and forces me to let the Spirit lead, even when it’s uncomfortable.

 

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