Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I think it is cabin fever/the mile high club

Airplanes are odd things. Sometimes you meet the skuzzy people who you wish fate hadn't put you with, you know the men who manage to take off their wedding rings during the flight or who just blatantly ask you to keep them company during their business trip while they have their rings clearly on. Other times you meet great people. I met a lady who will hopefully become a client on my trip to NYC and I met a wonderful man who I dated for a time about three months ago on a trip to AZ. Either way though it is a wonderful opportunity for someone like me to watch and figure out the dynamics of the people around me.

On my way to NYC I sat next to a couple that was from Seattle but originally from Prague and they were headed back there to visit family for the first time in 20 years. The husband was terrified of flying. Of course as soon as I found that out I was extremely sympathetic and did not joke with him about planes crashing or anything. You should have seen him go white when the pilot said "running out of fuel". It is fun for someone like me who is used to being tossed around in 4 seaters to watch an older guy go white at the thought of takeoff or landing. He offered me a shot of tequila a few minutes before takeoff - 8:00am. Cheers to NYC.

On the way to MN this past weekend I sat with a more cryptic couple. They weren't married and I could tell they were still really getting to know each other. They were definitely not "in love" yet but were very infatuated with one another. They disappeared for about 45 minutes at one point during the flight. Infatuation gave me a little extra space - I wasn't complaining.

Watching these interactions made me think about meeting and chatting with Dale on the way to AZ and the thoughts that must have been going through people's minds around us. I am sure there were many smirks and head shakes which we were oblivious to as people cheered us/him on. What is it about being trapped in a small space together that makes one more willing to "bond" with the people around you? Is it cabin fever? Is it boredom? Is it that you can create an alter ego and it stays within the plane if you want it to? Is it a plan that is bigger than any of us know? Is there such thing as fate?

So I have to admit I sat next to a guy on the way back from MN this time that was around my age maybe a bit younger and he began journaling about an hour outside of Seattle. I tried REALLY hard not to read over his shoulder but seriously, you can not sit that close to someone who is journaling and be as snoopy and interested in people as I am and not take a few peaks. It was really interesting what he was writing. He obviously had just gone through an experience where he wanted to share his faith with a friend who was either doubting or not believing. The experience made him doubt his ability to share the right words with this person. His entry was full of doubts in himself and his failures as someone who should be and wanted to be sharing the greatest love in his life, Christ, with others. He was asking questions of himself about using gifts and abilities. It was very introspective and interesting and really far too personal for me to be reading so I (eventually) stopped.

It made me think again about situations like a long ride in an airplane. How many times do we miss an opportunity to share something with a person sitting next to us - whether it be our faith or some other type of personal insight we have from life? How do we get on guard for those moments in life and am I doing enough sharing with those around me? What can I do to make myself more articulate in my everyday interactions? What if I was someone who needed to hear about the insight this guy sitting next to me had and he was too busy being concerned about his shortcomings to share? How do we turn from ourselves and become more concerned with those around us?

One place I can do that is coaching basketball. Unfortunately, I can't just come out and share certain things with the kids. For one thing the opportunities would be difficult to find while they are running lines and doing shooting drills, but for another I have to respect certain boundaries that coaching for the YMCA, now a completely secular organization, imposes. But you know what I can do? I can love those kids with all my heart for the 6 months that they are in my life. I can make them something that is a priority. I can play with them and let them know they are important. Many of these kids have no one to do that. Their parents work, their teachers are too busy with 20 other kids. They crave love and discipline and that is something I am more than happy to give them. I can be a friend that actually cares what the highlight of their week had been and I can be the first one to give them a highfive for a job well done. That is sharing Christ and a big part of me. As you know from previous entries I struggle with giving too much of myself but with these kids I don't know that that is really possible. Anyone interested in the biggest reward of your life? Love a child to Christ. There is nothing better.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bouncing around the country




So - since I don't know how to stay in one place for more than about a day (and frankly right now a bit afraid to do so) I set off to Minnesota for the holiday weekend. I don't have much to say about it other than the weather was gorgeous, there was a lot of laughter (tinyclothes.com, drinking gloves, everybody's favorite Peruvian, 6 blocks 3 blocks, straight hair and the northshore, etc) and I have begun to think about a potential move back to the cities, including looking at a few houses in South Minneapolis on Monday. Don't get your hopes up or down based on that comment, but it is there - nagging away at the back of my brain. Here are some pictures I wanted to share. I am a bit tired for anymore than this tonight. More "profound" thoughts coming later. Enjoy the pics!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

NYC Baby







Four words you don't want to hear when on an airplane: running out of fuel. But, I heard those words on Friday May 19th and lived to tell the tale. After being placed in two holding patterns trying to get into JFK I guess the plane was not going to make it so we were rerouted to Syracuse for fuel and then back to JFK after a five hour flight turned into an eight hour one. The good news though is my friend Erin who was traveling with me on a different flight had the same problem and we still arrived at JFK within minutes of each other. The adventure of a lifetime was in front of us and I loved every minute of it. Friday night we met up with my dear friend Matty and his adorable fiance for a great New York Italian dinner. Matty might fit nicely into the NYC skyline but he is still the Matty I have always known and loved and seeing him was on eof the highlights of the weekend.

The reason for the trip is I was part of a 250 voice choir that sang at Carnegie Hall, so early Saturday morning we had our first four hour rehearsal. It is amazing what a group of voices that large sounds like. I was blown away. Not only was it a beautiful sound but there was a number of friends there who I hadn't seen in many years. It was wonderful. Saturday night of course led to a great night out which didn't get Erin and I back to the hotel until around 5:00am and involved another amazing restaurant, about four different bars that couldn't have been anymore different from one another, attempting to go into the United States' last existing Speak Easy (closed for the night - I guess 3:30am was too late for them) and seeing one of the countries or maybe world's skinniest houses. Random fun was definitely had by all.

Throughout all of this Erin and I continued to do a lot of site seeing and I had a total of eight hours of rehearsal for the concert that was held on Monday night. Performing in a venue that is as special as Carnegie Hall is definitely something I will never forget. To think of all the greats that have been there before us was humbling and made the performance more of an honor.

I have a list of approximately 100 things I want to do before I die. I put perform at Carnegie Hall on the list a few years ago thinking it would never happen and low and behold the opportunity arose. Had I not had a list to go off of I might not have grabbed the opportunity and would have missed out. I definitely encourage all of you to sit down and do something similar.

So, I am back to reality today - working and pinching myself on occasion just to make sure it wasn't a dream. Amazing what taking advantages given to you when they come along can mean in a life. Grab hold to those that come - who knows, maybe the next thing you know you will be seeing those dreams unfold before your eyes.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Clarification

Based on some concerned responses there are some things to clarify:
1) I am NOT checking into a nunnery.
2) While I have had a difficult month I am still sitting at my computer smiling this very moment.
3) I have not gone off the deep end.
4) You don't need to call anyone with a white jacket with long sleeves.
5) You all can't get rid of me THAT easily!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What does it all mean?

So lately I have gone through a period of "when it rains it pours". Within two days I had a very dear friend move out of the country, the end of a dating relationship that had been making me very happy and lost a grandparent. If that doesn't make you say what in the world is going on here I don't know what does. Also, if it doesn't make you a prime candidate for a mental breakdown, I don't know what does. BUT - thankfully, I have a group of friends and family who are rockstars. They saw my need and low and behold stepped up beside me and carried a good portion of my burden. It didn't make the pain less but it sure did increase my ability to carry the load.

So through a lot of introspection and to be frank talking things through probably too much (hello I am female) I have learned some valuable lessons in the past three weeks or so. One of the big ones is that to stop being hurt I have to stop caring so much about people. I told a friend of mine this very thing a few months ago when she was entering a relationship that had trouble written all over it. I told her to post a guard by her heart (I think we named him Peter). Well evidently we made a big mistake by making him male because he failed miserably and she now has to deal with a very undeserving broken heart. She isn't the only one either. It seems lately there has been a rash of breakups, some of them easier, some of them harder but all of them lame - including mine which was inevitable but still not fair.

So what can one do to combat the problem of pain. I have come up with three steps:
1) Become selfish. Throw yourself into work. Set a goal that is so outlandish it takes all of your time but make sure it doesn't benefit anyone but yourself.
2) Cut off all modes of communication with human beings and any type of domestic animal. Forget the English language and don't learn a new one.
3) Grow a penis. OK that isn't entirely true (and sorry mom and dad if you read this and this word scares you, haha). I have a lot of men friends who are very sensitive and would prove this statement very wrong but sometimes that is how it feels.

So how do you do that exactly? Well it appears to me the only way is to become a hermit or a nun and since I don't have the will power to do it on my own I figure I will commit myself to the local convent. Forget about the house I am buying that I really can't afford, forget about the car I should buy to match my job title that I can't afford either and just take loss in one fatal swoop - lose everything at once and commit myself to my relationship with my Savior. Ironic isn't it? Isn't that what we are supposed to be doing everyday anyway? Maybe through all of my searching that, in reality is the answer, put it all on his shoulders. So, you can find me at the local nunnery.

For the next week anyway.........

The pain of fashion

Why is it that shoe designers have yet to figure out how to make high heels cute AND comfortable? It seems like it would be easy enough - I mean seriously, I spend my day trying to save people in the world of legal problems which at times means saving them from themselves (often an impossible feat) and shoe designers spend their day drawing and dreaming up funky ways to make people's feet look better. How hard is that? Spend ten minutes of your day adding a little padding to that cute heel. Help a sister out.