Anniversary.


It’s my anniversary today. Thus, my blog and I have been going steady for two years.
This is the part where I give a teary speech about how much I love my partner, Journey To Who I Want To Be and recount all the good times. This is the part where I say, “you…..complete…..me.” and beam.
You could say it’s like a relationship, me plus this partial, public extension of my brain. We’ve had ups and downs, good days and days where I just sat and stared at my computer screen. Sometimes I fought with WordPress to make my posts look like I wanted them to, and it took me a few tries to find a theme that I like.
Have you been with us these two years? If you have, I have to extend my heartfelt thanks to you. I’ve received so much support and affirmation about my writing from you. You have confirmed my calling, over and over again. Jesus said, Write. And so did you.
I hope that your experience here has been as affirming. I hope that I’ve probed into your mind a bit, made you laugh, brought something new to light, or shown you beauty. The best thing about this blog is that it truly is a journey to who I was to be – which is the person that God wants me to be. I’m not pulling posts from my endless store of knowledge and insight, which you could probably tell since they often end in questions, and I’ve likely changed my perspectives over these two years. I’m journeying. Usually even a single post is a journey. I start with a sentence and a vague idea and end up somewhere I didn’t plan to be. Often I proofread and find that there’s a deeper meaning than I intended, which just shows that words have a life of their own.
I thank God for you today and for this blog. I can’t imagine a better group to have an anniversary with. Cheers.

City memoir.


After being back in my beloved suburb for a couple weeks, my two trips downtown for my internship this week were like coming home.  Ah, tall, shiny buildings.  Pedestrians galore.  Business people everywhere.  It fits me.  I appreciate quiet and green trees and the many lakes of my homeland, but I’m still a city lady.

I’m a city lady who is a copywriting intern and writes press releases.

I just finished reading a collection of essays (really more of a memoir) entitled, I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley.  Her funny and poignant recollections got me thinking that maybe I have enough interesting life experience to write a memoir.  Or a collection of essays.  Granted, I think everyone has enough material to write a memoir, and – because I love reading memoirs – I wouldn’t complain if there was an influx.

When does one start writing a memoir?  Do older people scoff at you if you start one too early?  (Not that that would keep me from writing one, but…) For another matter, when does one start sending things off to publishers?

I still sort of feel like an impostor when I refer to myself as a writer. That might sound silly.  Or maybe you think I am an impostor, in which case, I politely request that you find another blog to read.  (ooh, there’s some sassiness!)

If I send something in to a publisher, which I am contemplating doing this summer (not that I have anything to send yet… I’d have to write it first), I won’t tell you.  Sorry. I’ll buy myself a Writer’s Market and secretly send things off to Canadian magazines and obscure bird-watching magazines first, and I won’t tell you so that I won’t have to tell you when I get a rejection letter.

That’s not me being self-deprecating, people.  Stephen King got tons of rejection letters.  Everybody gets rejection letters.  They make good stories later when someone else accepts the manuscript, and it becomes a bestseller.

I’ll let you know when someone accepts something, a few years down the line though.  And you can say that you’ve been with me through the whole journey (even though I’ll keep all the rejection letters a secret from you).  You’ve still been here.

By the way, I don’t say this enough, thanks for being here.  Thanks for reading.  Thanks for sharing this with your friends.  I’m glad to have you here.

2012 in review.


It’s been an incredible year here at Journey to Who I Want to Be.

And I say that like it’s a big production.  We all know it’s really just me and Matilda here, which makes one live person.  One of my favorites parts of being on WordPress is that the “monkeys” (I have no idea why they call it that) at WordPress prepare a year-end report about each blog.  There’s a small excerpt from it below, and you can click the link to see the rest.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

The big numbers are all very exciting.  It’s incredible to me how effectively the internet can bring people from all over the world together.  You have something in common with people in 52 countries of the world – this blog here.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading.  And not just for reading, but for your kind words as well.  Many of you have told me how much you enjoy reading my posts, and each time it affirms my calling.  I’m so thankful to you.

WordPress put together a list of the top 5 most popular posts, but for tomorrow, I’m going to give you my top 5 favorite posts – the ones that were most exciting to write, the ones that hold the most meaning to me.

In the meantime, I’m curious.  Do you have any favorites?  Comment with a link if you do.

And thank you again, all you wonderful readers.

Giving thanks for the graduate.


I didn’t blog yesterday.  It was weird and abnormal and unfamiliar, but I just didn’t do it.

Instead, I cranked out six pages of exegesis and hermeneutics.  Now all that’s left before I will have conquered finals is a test.  And what’s one little test?

Today, one of the writing prompts I read online (I don’t always just think of this stuff off the top of my head… just most of the time) was about what life would be like for you if you were an only child.

Woah.

That was a mind-blower.  And since I’ve only have one cup of coffee, I’m going to change it up a little bit.  I don’t think it’s as exciting to read about all of the things that my life would be missing if I didn’t have Brooke, my dear sister.

Instead of talking about how strange of a person I would be without my sibling, let me list all the reasons that I’m thankful that I have a sister.

1. She set the bar high:  This girl was making her own PB&J by the age of three.  She’s the queen of organization.  She’s kind to everyone.

2. I always had a playmate.  I have countless memories of playing with her.  We’d play with my dollhouse, and I’d try to rearrange all the furniture – just to spice things up a little bit -, which wasn’t really the way Brooke did things.  We played mermaids in the pool.  We wrote songs together, made up games (Fox and Goose… some of the most frightening memories of playing in the snow), and made an entire town out of paper and cardboard.

3. In most respects, she went first.  She went to school first, started band first, went out of the country first, had a boyfriend first, GRADUATED COLLEGE FIRST (hurrah!  this is a new addition to the list)… Thus, I always had an example of how to do things (and how to do things differently).

4. I remember few instances where she didn’t share her friends with me.  I have so many memories of being included in her playtime with her (older than me) friends, even to date she doesn’t treat me like I’m just the baby sister.

5. Without her, I wouldn’t have my very best friend in the whole world.  I don’t think its possible to understand someone as well as we understand each other without 18.75 years of time living in the same house.

That’s not all of the reasons that I’m thankful for her.  Right now, I’m mostly just extremely proud of her since she just finished up her last semester of college, working hard up to the last.

God knew what He was doing when he made us sisters and friends.

And now, on to conquer that last final.

The annual Thanksgiving extravaganza post.


8:59am

I’m celebrating my second Thanksgiving of blogging – currently from the comfort of my very own bed.

Last year, I kept a running commentary of everything that went down on Thanksgiving day and posted it at the end of the day, with pictures of course.  If you want to re-live (or read it for the first time) the joy of that day, be my guest.

Eventually I’ll get out of bed so that there are more exciting things to share with you.

11:40am

I kept my promise and got out of bed.  And, let me tell you, it was worth it!  It’s my daddy’s 50th birthday today, he made pancakes (it seems backwards, but he enjoys making breakfast.), and Brooke and I gave him a subscription to a really neat gift-of-the-month club.  They’ll send him a box full of fun, gourmet snacks every month for the next three months, AND with every box they give him, they’ll donate a meal to a child in need – in MN they give them through Second Harvest Heartland.  (Interested in giving that? Got a foodie philanthropist in your life? check it out here)

At breakfast there was more catching up, which was great, but – more importantly- there was BUTTER.

there were pancakes. and, as always, my daddy put chocolate chips in some, just for me.

that’s real butter. so good. sooo good.

Since breakfast ended, I’ve been continuing to take advantage of the free laundry offered at this Bed & Breakfast (I like that… I might start referring to this place as the Home B&B. we’ll see if it catches on), rollerblading around the neighborhood, running into neighbors who stop their cars to graciously chat with me for a few minutes – until more cars come, and breathing in deeply the aroma of home.

It’s nice to be here.

Next up: shower, another cup of coffee, and getting ready to go to Stella’s for the food extravaganza of the year!

1:11pm

As my blood sugar got low, I caved and warmed up leftover macaroni.

No regrets here.  I’ll be just as hungry as I was a few minutes ago in about 30 minutes.  Yay for metabolisms.

1:42pm

If my dad is ready, we’ll be leaving in about 3 minutes, with 6 or so dishes of food in tow.  Most likely that won’t happen since my dad is notorious for not being ready to go on time.  But, since it’s his birthday, we don’t give him grief for it.

7:36pm

Garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, whole wheat rolls, quinoa salad, pumpkin pie, meringue cake, and turtle cake (no turkey for the only vegetarian at the table).  Now you know how I spent the last 6 hours.  Just add one of my favorite families, great conversation, and a snowstorm, and you have the whole afternoon.

I’m so thankful for those traditions that stick around year after year, like the garlic mashed potatoes and meringue cake and Thanksgiving with people who aren’t family by blood but are integrated  into our hearts like family.  Tradition is great in times of transition.  I’m thankful that my family includes food in every tradition, nearly.

Yet, along with the tradition, I’m thankful that my life isn’t stagnant.  I’m grateful that God is taking me places – literally and in my walk with Him and in my imagination – that are new and fulfilling.  I’m thankful for new friends, for the transitional experiences with them that build us together.  Transition seems key to growth, at least when I look back at my life.

Garlic is close to the top of the list, but I’ve got so many more meaningful things to be thankful for.  You’re one of them, since you’re taking the time to read this.  It’s nice to have companions on this journey.

Rejoice always; pray continually, giving thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tweeting and thankfulness.


In case you didn’t already know, I’m a slight social networking junkie.  It’s not a debilitating condition, so no need for worries, folks.  So, this morning, when I wanted to tweet about Jesus, twitter told me that my account “may not be allowed to perform this action.”

um. It’s a twitter account.  I got it for the purpose of tweeting.  I’ve done this over 4,000 times.  I think my account is allowed to tweet.

Oh, Wednesday morning problems.

Today is a day when I’m a little tempted to get anxious over all the things that need to happen.  I’m also a little bit tempted to think that I’m never going to go home again, even though I know I will be heading out in exactly a week.  You could say that I’m wasting my time with these worries, which would be totally accurate.  I am.  I’m wasting time and emotion over this.

If you’ve been around for a while here, you might know what’s coming. Yep, that’s right.  My list of things that I’m thankful for this morning.  It’s almost Thanksgiving, so this is even more appropriate than usual.

1. I am so darn thankful that God is charge of my life, that I am not behind the wheel.  I’m thankful that I don’t need to worry about a single thing.  And I’m thankful that God is worthy of trust.  Otherwise that whole thing would be hard.

2. I’m thankful for instant oatmeal.  It’s so nice to be able to make a warm breakfast in my dorm – without need for stovetop or microwave (both of which are contraband in my building).

3. This won’t be news, but I’m thankful for coffee.  We all know why.

4. I’m thankful that tonight I’ll get to see some friends from Minnesota — a couple of whom are BABIES, which is exciting because we have a shortage on campus (which is a good thing) — and not have to eat dinner in the ARA.

5. Speaking of ARA, as much as I dislike the food there and dislike the fact that it makes me feel funny, I’m thankful that I don’t have to eat cereal, instant oatmeal, or boxed macaroni for every meal.

6. I’m so so so so so thankful that I get to go home in one short week.

7. I got an email this morning that one of my classes isn’t meeting today!  Hallelujah for a free hour.

8. I’m thankful for my job and for my boss who made Thanksgiving week optional.

Sometimes I feel like I’m not really free from anxiety or fear or distress.  But then I remember that in Christ I’m not a slave to my sin or to the chains of anxiety that hold me down.  In fact, I’m the only one keeping me there.  I’m binding myself when I was made free.

Also, sometimes I feel like I can’t just make a list of 8 things, that I have to make it to ten since everyone else tries to do that.  But then I remember that bucking trends is fun.

Happy Wednesday, people.  We’re at the hump of the week.  Let’s make the most of today.