Friday, May 15, 2015

It's Been a Year

A year. One whole year!

It was exactly one year ago that I had just graduated from Indiana Wesleyan, said goodbye to all of my friends, and was on my way home for a new adventure in life. An adventure called waiting.

Now by the time I actually post this article, it will have been a bit more than a year, that being because I am posting my "short" story every week (Come on guys, it's only like 20,000 words).

But it has been a year, and a lot has happened in that year since I came home a depressed and heartbroken college graduate, thinking that my life was over. Let's review, shall we?

So I came home and went on a fantastic vacation. A three day vacation, two of which were mostly occupied with driving. We had to take our baby car (the tiny one with no cruise control) because daddy had the other car cleaned out and it reeked of chemicals. Quite the humorous situation.

Though it was probably the shortest vacation we ever took, it was one of the best, and I really savored those few days in the warm Virginia sun, spending time with my family and taking pictures.

We left only two days after I got back from Indiana. It was so good to have something to do. Because then I came home for the rest of May and June, struggling to remain occupied. I left my numerous friends, my three jobs, and my busy class schedule to come home to a few friends (who later ALL moved to Buffalo!), no job, and no purpose in life. Except to find a job, I suppose.

Is that our purpose in life? To have a job? Paul says to work and not be lazy, but that does not necessarily mean to have a job. It means to work. To do something that you believe in, that you see a need for. Maria Albrecht, in her blog "We Can All Be Bright," quoted her father, saying, "Your how you earn your income. It is not how you earn your worth."

I'm still working on that one. I don't even have a career. I find it quite confusing when people ask me what I do. What do I do? Well, let me try to break it down for you.

At the end of June I went up to Delta Lake (woot woot!) to work as a counselor for camp. I stayed up there a little over a month, got "married," decided to move back to Indiana and work in the dining hall again, had to jumper cable my car (never done THAT before), and came back home, more lost and confused than before.

I never went to Indiana, in case you didn't know. But that decision not to go (because I prayed really hard and thought that perhaps God wanted me to stay here), gave me an excuse to text my "husband" from camp. And after a few text messages turned into a phone call every night, the heartbroken girl who left Indiana Wesleyan and thought she would never meet another guy again, not only has a "husband," but she's got a boyfriend as well. Not sure how those two really fit together, but for real, she has a boyfriend. A very nice boyfriend.

Now around that time, she also got a job. A part time job, like 15ish hours a week, hanging out with kids in an after school program. Let me tell you, NOT the job I would have picked for myself. I wanted to work in the restaurant business, get more hours, make more money, not have to deal with kids. But God called me here. God definitely worked that one out, and as much as I've hated it throughout the year, I am grateful.

For one thing, the after school program has taught me some things. Like how to handle the crazy church kids when we started our Christmas play rehearsals. I had never seen them so wild! But I was totally prepared because I am used to wild. I suppose I can say, working somewhere I didn't want to work also taught me to trust God and be obedient to his calling, even when I don't want to.

But because I worked such a minimal-hour, and also very consistent-hour job, I had plenty of free time for all this other amazing stuff to happen. Let me fill you in.

I started posting my "recipe of the week" blogs on another website I found, Hubpages. It's actually run by a company, and it's fantastic for people just starting out in the blogging world. I started posting a few things, getting a few views. One day, I got TWO comments on a post. THAT was exciting. Or so I thought.

Until I came home from my glamorous job one day, and had like 10 comments, an email informing me I was going to be a "hub of the day," and another email from the CEO of Hubpages informing me of a possible job opportunity.

So now I do freelance photography for other bloggers, who write really awesome stuff, but don't know how to take pictures. I get reimbursed for all the stuff I have to buy, so I got a couple of free pairs of shoes, and a free piece of cake. Yeah, I actually got paid to make (and EAT) a three layer caramel cake! And I can do it all on my own time, from my own home. Best. Job. Ever.

So that took up a little bit of my free time. Bible quizzing also helped take up some of that precious time. I cannot tell how much of a blessing it has been to be a part of our area Bible quizzing team this year. I got to quiz master a few times, which was fun (and also resulted in getting a bag of m&m's as a thank you at the last quiz meet!), but most importantly, I made friends.

As if that wasn't enough, I met other people's friends, too. More specifically, the friend of a friend who owned a local newspaper, and because of my beautiful three-hours-a-day-in-the-afternoon schedule, I could start writing for her. It's super awesome because I get to meet local people who run all these local businesses and just hear their stories. And then tell them. In my own words. I love it.

And now I've met a friend of a friend who was looking for a product photographer for his local wares, and hey, that's me! And I just returned from my first trip selling my artwork. And I actually SOLD some! That's exciting.

In addition to all this craziness, I've found opportunities to serve at church, occasionally play with a local band, I've done some other freelance writing jobs, and I've been able to go on many adventures, visiting friends and even my alma mater. And this summer, I'll have to make time for another adventure, when one of my best friends gets married, and all of us ex-roommates get back together for one more dinner with the exes.

God is good, folks. That is all.

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