Moving Through the Ages

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I don’t remember the first time I moved. Memories of swimming in a kiddie pool with neighbors in Chicago runs together with running around the crazy daisy with my sister in our yard in Milwaukee. Playing tag with my mom runs in our condo turns to teaching myself how to dribble in the driveway. I have no memoriy of packing, moving, and leaving. Only vagueities of both places.

I remember when I was told that we were moving to New York from Wisconsin. I was wearing a red dress and I sat in my moms lap and cried my eyes out. When I finished crying we set off the library. We checked out stacks of books on New York. Eloise, and Lyle, Lyle Crocodile. We got sticker books with bagels and hot dogs, buses and subways, guide books that told about famous landmarks in the city. When we arrived in New York we were greeted by a doorman, a balcony, and a phone that cackled like a roster. Maybe it wouldn’t be as terrible as I had envisioned.

When we went house hunting in DC, I announced to our doorman that we were going to Washington. “Which one?” I hadn’t realized there were two. I wanted a house like in my favorite books I imagined a place covered with ivy like in the Secret Garden and a well in the backyard like in Little House on the Prairie. We got a colonial-esque house on a street lined with cheery trees. After a two year contract we were out and on our way back to the New York tri-state area.

I don’t remember much about moving from Washington to New Jersey. At that point, with moving every two years I had become desensitized to moving paraphernalia. I do remember laying on my sisters bed, facing that wall and crying a little bit. I quickly dried my tears, not wanting anyone to see my feelings.

We had only ever really spent two years in any city at that point, so I went into friendships in New Jersey with the idea that we would move again in two years. Two years past, then three, and four and I came to the realization that I was stuck in the suburbs. At least for the foreseeable future.

I had just gotten back from camp when I was told we would be moving again. I wanted to tell everyone as soon as I knew. I was so excited to explore a new city and learn a new place. I was adamant that we live within walking distance to the bus or train. Even with three homes in less than two years, I was so ecstatic to be in the middle of it all. When I graduated high school I spent my last days in San Francsico planning to set up in Chicago for the next four years.

Since starting college I’ve lived in four apartments and returned multiple times to the house I left in San Francisco. The process of moving quickly has turned from large-scale production to small-scale to do. At one point I finished moving the last of my belongings into an apartment with a granny cart and a backpack.

Now this sea-saw of transitions is settling into equilibrium. I just signed a lease for a year. A whole year. And I’ll be living here the whole time as opposed to going home to San Francisco for extended summer breaks and thinking of it as a sloppy second. I am amazed that this new home is not in Chicago, but in Los Angeles, a city of traffic and heat I don’t even quite fully understand yet.

I have to keep telling myself that I’ve found a place to live in Los Angeles. And somehow with everything, I have decided that I will make this place home. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m excited once again to get started in this new city where I can begin to build the kind of community that I will thrive in. Are you ready for this? Don’t answer that, because ready or not here I come.

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Plan A vs. Plan A

My plan A:
Come to Los Angeles in late February for school.  After school, register for a summer course here, and online classes in the fall, get cleared to do this instantly, find a permanent apartment here in LA, and move in.  Volunteer until I start my summer program in July.  Build a community.  Buy things from IKEA.

At the end of summer take a road trip.  Either with a friend in her car, or with a crazy Uncle to get my stuff to LA.  Set up a full apartment.  Have a bit of a housewarming party now that I can cook things properly in a full kitchen.

In the fall, take online classes while interning, all the while building up my portfolio to apply for writing fellowships in the spring.  Apply and get into writing fellowships.  Get paid from said fellowships.  Finish school in December.  Graduate and walk in May 2014, right back to LA to start working.  Become financially independent.

Mom’s plan:
Go to LA in late February for school.  Come back to San Francisco afterwards.  In May go to Chicago to take a summer history class.  Return to LA in June to find a place to live.  Summer program in July.

God’s plan A:
LA for condensed spring semester.  Back home to SF for an unknown amount of time.  Volunteer?  Intern?  Class in Chicago?  Probably stay til mid-June before coming back to LA to prepare for Summer program.

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I wish I knew what the future held.  But apparently God’s plan is only revealed on a need-to-know basis.  I guess I don’t need to know yet.  God’s plan is better than any plan I could ever have for myself.  Whatever God has for me will be so much better than my plan A.

Right now, God’s plan A looks a lot like my plan C or D or E.  Parts of it look terrifyingly like plan Z.  But I have to trust Him.  I have to obey.  Because right now I’m miserable.  And that’s never part of the plan.

What’s the Big Deal?

As of right now I have registered for classes for the remainder of my academic career, these classes allow me to finish my degree requirements while staying here in Los Angeles.  I applied for graduation, checking off the box to say that I will walk May 2014, and gave them sizing info for a graduation gown (over a year from now, am I really going to be the same size?).

This whole process is surreal.  A few months ago I was stunned to tears at the idea of this move to LA being permanent  but as it’s beginning to take shape my only thoughts and feelings on the matter are gratitude.  Overwhelming and thanks for all the opportunities I’ve been given and the people who’ve helped along the way.  I am so blessed.

Graduating college will probably be one of the biggest milestones of my life to date.  I’ve graduated from brownie to junior girl scout, graduated middle school and high school, gotten accepted to college and survived the years of school, and in some ways that’s a huge accomplishment.  But it doesn’t feel like it to me.

Maybe it’s just because it’s not unexpected.  I am finishing school on track and beginning the process of looking for proper work, but this whole process seems like a big hoopla over not much.  Of course I was going to finish school.  Of course I am looking for a job.  None of this seems extraordinary to me.  It’s simply the next step to get where I want to be.

When I look back on my life and marvel at my achievements  I hope with a fervent passion that graduating college will not make the top five.  I have hopes and dreams that go so far beyond that.  When I look back on my life I want the big deal moments to be the launch date of my own series, buying a house I love, climbing literal mountains, and traveling the world.  Maybe marrying the guy of my dreams or raising my own kids.

While I’m glad to be able to say I’m going to graduate college, I don’t see it as an accomplishment.  I see college as a stepping stone.  A small, probably necessary, step in getting to the things I truly hope to accomplish.  Am I totally missing something here?  Is graduating college a lot bigger of a deal than it is in my head?

What about you?  Is there something that is a big deal in society, but you don’t see as a major accomplishment?

From My Lens: Around Here Lately

There has been so much going on in the past few days and weeks that I’ve barely gotten a moment to stop and think so much as even try to figure any of this out.  I thought it might be a good time to take a step back and look at what’s been going on around here lately.  Friends, a new space, and new productions abound and I couldn’t be more blessed to have them.

I also am being forced to take stock of my photos while I struggle to find my camera battery’s charger.  Bonus, I think I may have messed up the card reader on my computer when I put the protector back in the wrong way.  Real life y’all.  Sometimes it comes up when you’re trying to be all pensive and thoughtful.

In Which I Go On About How Much I Like My New Apartment

Upon first moving to my new apartment I quickly realized that something wasn’t going to work.  My phone.  My cell phone recives no service at my new apartment.  In my neighborhood.  Nothing.  Okay, not quite literally nothing, but very, very close to nothing.

After a week of dropped calls and buffering Netflix (at the time this was also my sole source of entertainment due to lack of internet access) I was implored – nay, commanded – to acquire a land line phone.  This of course sparked a trip to Target (because honestly, what self-respecting college student has a phone handy in their back pocket?), and then a phone call to Comcast.  And unnecessary deposit, an afternoon spent waiting in line to get a modem, and an hour connecting plugs and installing wifi.

I’ll admit that I am oddly excited about my home phone.  It has a curly cord that almost but not quite reaches my entire apartment.  It doesn’t have voice mail, and it actually plugs into the wall.  It’s like something out of the 90’s.  And when I sit on the couch to talk to whoever I’m calling I feel like I am in the 90’s.  It’s wonderful in it’s own strange way.  Kinda weird, but I love it anyway.

Weirder?  I’m calling people more now and it’s much more enjoyable.  I make a list of people I need to call, sit down with a cup or tea and call everyone on the list.  It’s a wonderful way to relax.

There are so many ways that calling people is awesome.  For one, since my cell phone doesn’t get very good service it’s easier to call someone on the land line and talk for a minute than to deal with twenty minutes of painful texting and having to resend nearly every message.  I was also moving towards calling people more anyway.  Texting is great and all, but I like to make more human connections.  Plus it’s also quicker.  If the person isn’t going to answer the phone then you know that in a minute as opposed to the waiting game of will they answer your text.

Weirdest?  I’m actually leaving my cell phone at home when I leave the house.  Some days this is completely unintentional.  Because it’s spending so much time searching for a signal, it also looses battery power quicker which means it constantly needs to be plugged in.  There have been a few times when I get halfway to the El before realizing that my phone is still plugged into a wall and charging.

It’s also leading to intentionally leaving my phone at home sometimes.  What do I need a phone for at church anyway?  So that it can go off in the middle of a sermon and I can look like a fool?  I’ll just start taking an actual bible with me instead of relying on my bible app.  It would spend half the time searching for signal anyway.

As strange as it is, I’m loving my lack of cell phone/land line equation lately and I wouldn’t change it for anything.  Well, if the internet ever craps out on me I’ll want my cell to watch Netflix on, but for the time being.  Life is pretty good right now and I’ll take what I can get.

This Has Been: August Edition

I started this month half a world away, if you’ll excuse the bad pun (I’ve cashed in way to many airline miles this month).  The month began with the end of What Moves You? which I’ve explained too many times to go on about it again here.  Read my reflection on the program.

The end of What Moves You brought the begining of my travels with Allason.  We galavanted.  I rock climbed.  We watched movies and ate Haribo.  We took pictures on bikes and in front of gazeboes.  We wandered, got lost, and forgot our map.  We accidentally paid five euros for Fanta.  We ate too much pizza.  I lost my hat and gained a parasol.  We took six trains and a bus down to Rome, where we found a way to an airport and waited in two unnessesary lines before spending 24 hours making our way home.

Even though it may have been a bit too much to have been going for what clocked in as seven weeks straight, I’m glad I got the chance to travel after What Moves You.  If I had just gone to Berlin and come straight home I probably would have felt a little jipted.

I was only home for two days at a time this month and sandwiched in between the four days total of San Francisco time was a few days spent in DisneyLand with the fam.  I’ll spare you a second list of things that were done by saying we had a good time, got to see some new things along with the old favorites, and we probably spent too much money.  All a part of the program.

When we got home I had lunch with a few friends (wasn’t able to get in touch with others) and did a buch of errands.  One of these was staring at my three suitcases and willing them to pack themselves.  Honestly though, how did I manage to fill three suitcases to begin with?  I only barely managed this time around.

This last week has been full of moving into my new apartment and getting settled in Chicago.  I’ve moved into a little apartment that I’ll be at for this semester, and am starting to get in the rythem of a new place.  As much as unpacking a ton of boxes can be a rythem.

The Adventure of Alone

Parts of last week and the majority of this coming week have me living alone in our house in San Francisco.  This involves getting myself up and getting things done without prompting.  In Chicago this is normal, but In San Francisco it is odd.

My mom keeps our fridge well stocked with food, but now I can’t even go to the grocery store because I don’t have a car (this was a conscious choice, so don’t feel too sorry for me).  The cupboards seem emptier than usual.  I have no idea what to do with the freshly laundered towels.  At night I have to go through the whole house to make sure lights get turned off.  Tonight I have to bring the trash cans to the front for collecting.

It’s not that any of these things are inherently bad.  It’s just that it’s just a sort of a new adventure.  An adventure of living alone when I’ve never done it before.  But there are other things that are much more clearly in the positive arena.

I get the TV to myself.  I can do chores on my own timeline without needing to worry about getting in other people’s way.  There’s no chance that the Oreo’s are going to disappear without me noticing (unless I have recently developed a habit of sleep eating or have a very selective robber).  I get the TV all to myself.

Do you live alone?  Do you love it or hate it?

Sunshine, Springtime, and School

I know, it’s been a while.  I am unapoligetically sorry for the crazy few weeks that have become my life.  Since I last updated there have been parties, late nights, and lots to do.  While I haven’t been updating, I have been thinking a lot about how I want to organize my blog and be more consistantly blogging.  Yesterday I sat down with my roommate and we had a chat about it.  She’s in a web development class, so she’s going to be helping me out with a bloggy revamp.  I’m excited, but a bit nervous as well.  I also don’t know what I’m going to do with myself next year without this girl and our late night discussions.  I guess we’ll have to conduct them over Skype.  Yup.

Anyway, in the meantime, here is a picture of the sun seting in the South Loop.  Daylight savings time has finally let me see sunsets again, which in turn makes me nostolgic.  This time two years ago I was spending a week in the wilderness, trying to figure out my life.  Springtime is a time for planning.  Planning, reorganizing, and revamping blogs.

Technology is Jealous

This is a few days late, but I’m going to post it anyway.  My computer seems to have overheard a conversation my roommate and I were having about future computer purchases.  I was picture these future purchases to be quite a ways in the future, but it appears I may have been mistaken.  I guess we’ll have to see how things work out.  But without further ado…

This time lapse video is awesome.

On owning the things you like.

Amy has some Words of Wisdom for the days when you’re not feeling so fine.

Some thoughts on Boy Scouts.

So, this article made me think harder about all the times guys tell me to smile.  I think next time I’ll hit them with my purse.  Also, I need to get on that self defense class.

This week I like: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (especially David Boreanaz), sleep, walking to work down Michigan Avenue, Once Upon a Time, leftovers, and friends who buy me food.

21 Before 21: Skipping Class and Going Out for Breakfast

I decided that the more important part of this task was the going out to breakfast, and not necessarily skipping class.  My roommate and I went out for breakfast before our Wednesday class last semester.  I didn’t take any pictures, but my roommate did.  They are on her blog, HERE.

It was fun to be able to get out bright and early.  I haven’t had a meal like that in a long time, and probably wont have another in an even longer time.  I used to go out to breakfast with my dad every other Saturday (I would switch off with my sister), but that tradition has collapsed with our move to San Francisco, and the new tradition of going to the Farmer’s Market for breakfast.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that tradition too.  I just don’t get diner food as often anymore.  Now that I think about it, that might not be a bad thing.