Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 27 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 27: your day job versus your passion

Well almost three weeks have gone by, so I guess I have to admit that the 30 days of blogging did not in fact occur in 30 days. Ah well, I'd like to finish it anyway.

It's funny, because this topic is at the forefront of my mind most days, which you would think would make it easy to post about, when in reality it almost does the opposite. The thoughts are very fresh if you know what I mean, just coming to the surface slowly, and I'm not totally sure I'm ready for all of them to be public yet, but I'll give it a shot. So there's your fair warning, this will be pretty long, and still in pretty rough around the edges.

When I just told Matt the topic, he said "I guess at one time you thought your day job would be your passion" - meaning that I would bring my knowledge into a classroom full of beaming students ready to discuss the wonders of literature. Yeah, that didn't really happen. The full story is obviously more detailed, but that's more of a conversation for real life, or at least not for right now.

As my dad notably pointed out to me in a Las Vegas taxi this Christmas, sometimes its hard to determine how the things we love translate into the things we do. He told me he always loved cars, and is great at figuring them out, but doesn't want to be a mechanic (although he considered it). The same is true for Matt, who loves preparing food, but decided being a chef wouldn't allow the life he wanted (thank goodness!).

So now, I'm navigating the space beyond the obvious (loving English, and loving teaching, means you have to be an English teacher). I am integrating my passion for "education" and knowledge into my current job and I am finding spaces for growth and improvement there. I am considering what type of training might help me along in this "translation process" as I learn to combine my skills, my prior education and goals for the future. To be honest, it feels a lot less "determined" than I'd like it to. But, I want to take some time for the journey, and not just rush into another degree because it'll make me feel like I'm doing something.

I've just started reading "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller. It's been a long time since I've picked up a book by this guy. The book is about the process of making "Blue Like Jazz" into a movie (don't worry, this had me scoffing too), and how he started considering his life as a story. It made him wonder what kind of story he was living. I've heard this kind of premise before (DCLA anyone?) but it's been hitting home with me, given the context above. So now I'm starting to do the same.

Here's what I figured out so far:

- I'm passionate about people - I always have been. When I consider the situations I have loved most in my life, it's almost always to do with who's there.

- I'm passionate about growth - both in myself and in others. Although I'm usually afraid of change, I long for it, and I want to look back and see how I've overcome obstacles and grown from them.

-I'm passionate about ideas and learning - I love the process of learning. I love how new ideas can spark in us and cause us to imagine. I also love what good teaching can do, and having people along side to facilitate the process of learning.

-I'm passionate about relationships - with my friends, with my family, with my co-workers. While this might seem similar to my first point, I stress here the "relationship" part, meaning a long-view of what we're meant to be for one another, not just a one-off moment here and there.

-I'm passionate about stories - no, I just didn't write that because of Donald Miller. Although maybe a bit (credit where it's due) I wrote it because I hesitate to narrow it to "literature" or "books". I'm more interested in how what we read and what we imagine and that interacts with how we live.

So that's a start - maybe a vague start, but a start nonetheless. When I read the beginning of this post to Matt, he said he wasn't sure I really addressed the topic, and maybe I haven't, but the truth is, it's because:

I'm working on it.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Day 26 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 26: list 10 things you are thankful for

1. Having a Job: not only having a job, but having a job where I can wake up in the morning, and be happy that I'm going there. I also get to see people I love there everyday. Not bad.

2. Health - I used to think this was a very abstract thing to be thankful for. And it mostly only appeared on lists of people over 45. But since last fall, I am very thankful for a functioning, healthy, recovering body. It's a scary thing when that is taken away from you even for a few weeks, so I'm glad I have it back.

3. Matthew - I'm not sure how I got so lucky, but I really love that guy.

4. The Lower Mainland - We're an Olympic city. We have beautiful cityscapes - mountains, valleys and ocean views. I love having so many options - so many places I can explore without ever getting tired of it.

5. Friends - I've always known it, but it became very clear to me again last year how great my friends are. So many people helped out us out with various aspects of the wedding, and then continued to support us all the way through the crazy fall we had. I feel extraordinarily blessed by our friends.

6. Travelling - sometimes when I consider how much travelling I have already done at the age of 26, I feel a bit silly. It seems like an embarrassment of riches. I feel very fortunate to have seen so many places already. I am also thankful for people around me, who help make these dreams possible.

7. Education - I had the very rare pleasure of doing an undergraduate in something I love very much (English). If I didn't have to worry about paying the bills, I'm pretty sure I would be a student forever. That's the great thing about studying something you like. You don't ever really have to regret it - because you loved it while you're doing it. Hopefully I'll get to do more in the future.

8. Family - I've said in this blogging list already, but I sure do love my family. I see them every day and I still like them - that's pretty good right? But seriously - I am very blessed to have supportive parents (on both sides).

9. My Straightener - yep, I just put that on the list. It was starting to look a little too "canned". Like I typed "thankful list" in google or something. So I thought I'd throw this one in to keep you awake. Sometimes when I look back on photos from the past (as I did with Lavonne yesterday), I wonder how anyone was ever friends with me pre-straightener. That little device is a fantastic invention for those cursed with wavy hair.

10. Matt's Roast Beef & Yorkshire - or pretty much anything that man cooks. He made that delightful meal on Sunday, and I'm not sure it could get much better. Somehow, I found someone to make up for my vast deficit in cooking skills. It's a good thing I have other qualities to make up for it.

Well it started off a little slow, but at least it got a little crazy at the end right?

I'm going to get through these 30 days yet!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Day 25 in "30 Days of Blogging"

Day 25: what would we find in your bag

1.Altoids - Matt has convinced me that Peppermint can cure many ailments, so I always like to have it on hand now

2. Moleskine Journal - I like smaller size with the elastic on the side, no other journal has really ever compared.

3. Vanilla Frosting Lipsmackers - been going strong with this flavor for a good 12 years

4. Coupons - this one feels a little silly to admit, but I usually have a good number clipped out, and saved in my purse for when the occasion arises. It's just such a satisfying thing when you pay less for something you were going to buy anyway.

5. Pens - I love having a good assortment of pens in my bag. It's pretty much a panic situation if I need to write something down and I haven't got one in there. Right now, I am loving the "Seven Year Pen" that I got as a gift from my friend Aimee.