Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lent-ish Thoughts

Fast from criticism; feast on gratitude.
Fast from worry; feast on joy.
Fast from pressures; feast on prayer.
Fast from fear; feast on faith.
Fast from gossip; feast on praise.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from doubt; feast on truth.
Fast from self; feast on God.

from a friend's friend from a brochure from a church from Scotland

Monday, February 16, 2009


The books currently piled next to my bed include, but are not limited to the following:

Suite Francaise Irene Nemirovsky
Gilead Marianne Robinson (close to that?)
Dreams from My Father That New President
The Jesus I Never Knew Philip Yancey
Time's 2008 recap issue
Let Justice Roll Down John Perkins (a la Susie's baby)

Good reading, no? But have I finished any of them? Hmm, no. And did that stop me from buying three more books this weekend? No. Here's to my new copies of Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible and That Jonathan Guy's Everything is Illuminated. Wish me luck.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Shhh, it's good news

Well. After approximately 18 months of complaining about my lack of cool job opportunities, I have finally landed my duh-ream job. It's seriously the best thing that has happened to me since finishing college (well, the marriage thing, but I consider this a different category). It's a little familiar to me, as I've volunteered with the program before, but I imagine it will be the most stretching, gratifying, fun job I could have dreamed up. I anticipate small purply pink clouds twinkling above my desk, all day long.

But I'm feeling a bit sheepish, and I feel a little guilty for "getting my way", so to speak, when there are so many people who are getting the pink slip all around me. In fact, when I run into someone who's listened to my plight (WHY GOD, DO ALL THE OTHER ENGLISH MAJORS FIND SUCCESS? WHY NOT ME? WHY???), nobody is as excited to talk about it as I am. Granted, I have felt great support, I don't mean anybody's openly rolling their eyes (though they might when I leave)--I just expected everyone to be as moved as I am.

So I'm realizing... My new job is not as exciting to other people as it is to me. (Probably because there is no elaborate party to follow involving food and happy tears and a white dress. That was way cooler.) Even though I knew this and could occasionally admit it before now, leaving college without having some sort of immediate success threatened my identity in ridiculous ways. I had so much self-doubt--everybody had always showed me The Path I should take. Get good grades? Of course! Behave? I'd love to! Listen to your parents about money and drugs and insurance policies? Obviously! Graduate college with a degree you'll pursue passionately? Check! But, um, what's next?

And it was the first time that the world didn't hand me a shiny blue ribbon. Aaaaaaand it was shocking.

Here on the flip side? It's embarrassing to have been defined by all that. But in the end, could I have known any better? Probably so. Will I spend my entire frickin' life trying to know my true identity, the one that's rooted in the love of Jesus and caring about justice and the gristle of being a survivor? Probably so.