The Waiting Place.

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I’ve gone 4 days without updating this year. That’s not a good sign, is it?

I wish I could say I’ve spent the first 4 days of the new year doing something amazing.  But, all I did was stay at home and do nothing.  I did spend a productive morning watching the new Hunger Games movie…..if that counts for world-changing?

I also spent the first couple days  of 2014 (and NYE) complaining about my life and how miserable I felt.  And then, at 3am on Thursday night, I just got SICK of feeling so MISERABLE.  The whole last year was spent complaining and filling myself with resent, anger, and hate (self + others) that I’ve turned into the worst person ever.  It’s even evident in my blog posts.  I just can’t spend another 365 days drowning in that anymore.

So, I just picked up my Kindle and found a book from some unknown author, Cherie Hill, titled “Waiting on God”. I started reading it like I was starving and couldn’t put it down!  It was speaking to me in so many ways about being in this frustrating “waiting place” (see: Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go” for reference) and why I’m here and what I should do while I’m here.  

Where was this book a year ago, right?

I’m not saying that I’ve stopped complaining and I’m the happiest person ever — but I am determined to change my mindset.  Because even though I can’t change my situation or circumstances (or my surroundings, for that matter), I can change how I look at it.   I can either see it from the perspective of my window from the waiting place or I can look up and trust that God sees everything else outside of this waiting place…….and trust that when He’s ready to open the door and let me out, He will.

Here’s hoping that in 361 days, if I’m still in the waiting place, that I’m still as hopeful as I am today.

MMXIII

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8 hours away from 2014.

I am less hopeful and less optimistic than I have ever been before.  I used to look forward to the new year so much.  I would write pages worth of inspirational, spiritual, deep thoughts in my journal about what I hoped for the new year and reflect on the last year.  This year, not so much.  I am as pessimistic as they come.  Any hopes of something better coming does not exist in my mind.

This is not to say that God hasn’t blessed me this year, because He has.  I wouldn’t be sitting in my living room, on my comfortable couch, writing this to you if He hadn’t.  He has blessed me above and beyond what I could ever ask or deserve.  This is true for EVERY year, not just this.

But, this year has been a disappointing one, to say the least.  I’ve had lots changes, difficult ones, when it comes to friendships.  I’ve had to let go of a lot of people and it wasn’t an easy decision, but a necessary one.  And, although years from now, I may wonder if I made the right decision, I can say with full confidence that, right now, I am happy that I let go. I’m sad to say goodbye, but ready to fill my life with people who want to be a part of mine.

My job, as rewarding as it is, has been challenging to say the least. I’ve been pushed to take on more than I ever thought I could and I still find myself second guessing my abilities to do it.  But, clearly, God knows more than I do about what I can and cannot handle.

My passion to sing and lead worship has wasted away, which if anything, devastates me the most.  I fear that I’ve lost the talent and ability to do it anymore and I don’t know where to begin on how to fix that. Every day I wonder if I screwed myself up when I quit the worship team at church, because work was becoming too much.

I traveled more than years before.  We went to Cali for a couple of weeks and then to DC for a weekend. I hope 2014 holds more traveling opportunities for me.

I cussed a LOT more than usual.  The F word becoming a daily staple in my life.

I lost weight and gained it all back, successfully.

I spent WAY more money then I should have.

I’ve tried new styles in clothing.  I’m trying to stop dressing myself like a lesbian lady over 40.

I’ve realized how incredibly selfish and unforgiving I can be.

All in all, 2013 is a year that I’m willing to forget.  But, I’m not going to hold my breath for 2014.  I’m too old to keep hope alive for something that has disappointed me time and time again.

BUT…for you, my faithful readers (real and BOTS), I wish you all the best in 2014.  That all you hope for and aim to be, comes to pass this new year!

#bossmanBing

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I am not going to lie to you.  I like being in charge.   It’s not because I want the limelight or the glory.  It’s really because of my control issues.   I know it’ll work out the way I want if I’m in control.   It’s not because I want to manage other people or control the way they do things — it’s just that I need them to do it the way that’ll work for my OCD tendencies.  Do you know what I mean?   I don’t like being bossy (and I hope I’m not).  I like that people come to me for help, because it makes me feel needed and validates this need in me to know that I what I can say/do is of some value.   I like all that.

But what I hate is feeling like a wet blanket.   Like Chandler feels in this clip of Friends.  I don’t like being seen as “Boss man Bing” — being seen as “uncool” or “unlikable” because I’m the leader.   That’s how I feel right now.   Sure, people like me.   They laugh at my jokes once in a while, but I’m not sure people see me as much more than just “team leader” who makes all the decisions, makes all the schedules, organizes everything, and tells everyone what to do.

I didn’t realize that being a team leader meant I’d end up being that person. You know, the one you don’t invite to go out to eat with the rest of your coworkers because you want to talk about them.   Or invite them to fun outings, because they’ll be the Debbie Downer of the group.   The worst part is that I’m NOT Debbie Downer!!  I’m a ball of fun!  I’m hilarious and I love to let my hair down.  I sing really obnoxiously loud and imitate people inappropriately.  I’m not serious 24-7.  Guys, my 1st language is sarcasm!  I’m freakin fun!

…….It’s just that no one wants to give me a chance to see that side of me.

Nowadays, if my phone is being blown up by texts it’s about work and helping them with something or answering questions.   And deep down inside I want it to be texts from people who want to just hang out with me.  “S, are you busy tonight?  Let’s go watch a movie!” not “Hey, what Math lesson are you teaching this week?”  or “How do I login to our website?”

The truth is, it’s not that I want THESE people to be texting me.  I’m okay with keeping my coworkers, just that.  I don’t see myself being friends longterm with any of them.  They’re all younger than me, married  with/without children, or engaged.   I can’t relate to them and they can’t relate to me.

So what’s my point for all this whining?

Ugh.  I am just lonely.  I want some friends my age.   And unfortunately, my career doesn’t allow me any time to go out and meet people.  The one day off I have is spent grading/lesson planning/or laying in bed trying to recuperate from the week I’ve had. There’s no desire in me to go out and about.

I’m in a huge rut socially and I don’t know how to fix it. Any suggestions?

Unapologetic.

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Apparently, I am supposed to be feeling “guilty” because I didn’t attend a family member’s engagement ceremony this morning.   Keep in mind, said family member hasn’t spoken to me in 3 years, let alone had a relationship of any kind for years  before that.   We grew up together, I took care of her and her sisters when they were younger, and I invested a whole lot into them because I wanted to have some semblance of a family.   But as we got older,  they didn’t want much to do with my sister and I, so we let them go.   So, why on earth would I attend her engagement if I haven’t spoken to her in 3 years?   To keep up the facade of what a close-knit family we are?   To fulfill some sort of BS obligation?  Forget you.

I’ve spent 30 years fulfilling obligations and being somebody I’m not so everybody else would like me or out of fear that they’d leave me because I wasn’t good enough.  I’ve come to learn, that no matter what I do — right or wrong — they’re going to leave.   What’s the point of holding on, then?

Look, I’m not trying to paint this picture of me as being a victim.  I am not a victim.  I am far from perfect when it comes to relationships and friendships.  I will freely and willingly admit to my shortcomings — I don’t lack in the shortcomings department at all.   But, what I will say, in my defense, is that no matter what relationship it is, I give myself 150%.  I try to go above and beyond because I want to do everything I can to keep them in my life.   No one has ever tried to earn my love or earn my friendship.  I’ve always been the one doing the giving and hoping I can earn THEIR love and THEIR respect.

For once in my life, I’m going to sit here  and you’re going to have to come HERE.   You’re going to have proved YOURSELF.   You’re going to have call.  You’re going to have to text.  You’re going to have to set it up.

I’ve been called selfish.  I’ve been called a b–ch.  I’ve been called overemotional.  I’ve been called lots of things.  And today, I will happily accept ALL those names — if it means I’m looking out for myself and surrounding myself with the things/people who I want to.   If it means I’m selfish that I don’t want to attend functions for people who I have no relationship with — then I’m selfish.   If I’m a b—h because I don’t beg you to talk to me or hang out with me, then I’m a b—h.   I don’t want relationships in my life that require me to give more than you give me.

I will not apologize for being selfish anymore.

I will not apologize for wanting what’s best for myself anymore.

I will not apologize for loving ME more than I love you.

Because for 30 effing years I sat and allowed you people to make me feel less than and not good enough or worthy enough.  I am obese and unhappy because I allowed people like you to be the criteria by which I lived.

No more.

This selfish b—h became even MORE of a selfish b—h.  And I won’t apologize to anyone for it.

Deal with it.

In Transition.

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“The hardest thing to put up with is transition — it takes us out of our element, our comfort zone, where we are sure — we cannot control everything when we are in transition.” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

I find myself in a place of transition. A very difficult, uncomfortable place of transition. In fact, I feel like I’ve been in this place for a while now — at least since the fall of 2012.  It seems to me that it has become more obvious since I turned 30 in May.  I’m more aware that I’m right on the precipice of something — what that something is, I have no idea.

At the end of the school year, last spring, I felt like I was getting ready to jump into something else.  Usually, by the spring semester, I am prepping for the new school year — mapping out how I want my classroom to look, things I want to change.   I’m always planning what I want to buy or change.  Last spring?  Nothing.  I couldn’t even force myself to think about it.   It was really freaking me out.  I had never been so NOT invested and the thought of it made me believe that I actually wouldn’t be coming back to teaching.  I didn’t make extra copies of things to use for the next year, I didn’t do any of it.   I had believed that I had come to the end.

I didn’t resign — I refused to unless I had a 100% reason to. I took a leap of faith the year before by resigning from my previous school.   I wasn’t ready to take another leap just yet.  And since I hadn’t seen/heard anything from God, I figured I’ll wait to resign until I did.

So summer comes and goes, I get news about becoming my grade level chair/team leader, as well as taking other leadership positions with technology/web.   I didn’t understand why I had all these responsibilities when I knew I had to get out.

That’s usually how it goes right? We see what we want to see. We think what we want to think.  We believe what we want to believe.   But God’s plans are always so different — and not because we’re wrong — but because He sees so much more than we do.

I have convinced myself that I’m ready and I’ve learned what I’m supposed to learn. But as the school year has started, I’ve already experienced so many lessons and have realized so many of my own shortcomings as a person and as a leader.  Things like, I need to be able to delegate responsibilities, not act like I have to do everything, quit putting so much pressure on myself, communicate with everyone on my team, and lead by example.

Every day, I beg God to take me out of this place and change my situations.  But I can’t beg Him anymore.  I have to accept where I am right now because there has to be a purpose for it. And there is!  All those lessons I have learned (and am continuing to learn), will be lessons I carry with me when I go on to lead worship teams or ministry teams — and even my own family.

So, yes, this place of transition is hard.  It’s frustrating.  It’s a long and weary road.  But, Bishop T.D. Jakes said something the other night that has stayed with me, “We were not born to stay where we started.”  And I’m so grateful that I am not where I started and I won’t end up in the same place, either.

I’m no longer sharing the journey of turning 30.  I’m sharing the journey of being in transition to something bigger and higher.

I’m now a 30-year old in transition.

Say Hello To My Little Friend, the “F” Word.

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As of late, I have taken up a bad habit of mine that I thought I had under control for a long time.  But it’s crept back into my life and now I feel powerless to stop it.  It’s like a part of me.  Second nature.  I do it without a care in the world.  I love it, but I hate it.  It’s freeing, yet a burden.  

What is it you may ask?  

Cussing.

I have been swearing like a drunken sailor and  I can’t stop myself.  My favorite word to drop is one of the worst ones of all — the “f” word and all variations of it.   The good Christian, the wannabe praise and worship leading girl in me hates this about myself.  Hate is an understatement. But for some reason, I can’t find a better word to adequately describe situations, people, circumstances, etc., without dropping the F bomb.  I’m not going to lie and pretend I’ve got it all together.   This whole idea that Christians don’t cuss or get angry makes me even more angrier.   I know swearing is a bad thing, and quite unnecessary if you’re a good Christian, at that.  

But man, when I’m venting, that F word sure does me a lot of good.

I hate to say that it probably brings me as much joy as chocolate and rom coms/hindi movies do when Aunt comes to visit every 4 weeks.  (And, by aunt, I am assuming you’re able to piece together who THAT is).

To be honest with you, 3 things have stayed loyal to me in my life — God.  My sister. And the F word.   None of those have let me down.   Forgive me if I choose to not turn my back on it either.  

Do I want to stop?  Of course I do!  I want to be a model citizen, woman, role model, and leader.   

But does it make a horrible, terrible person if I say it?  

I mean, it’s not like I bust it out in casual conversation.   It’s not like I’m at the dinner table with my parents and say, “OMG this is so f—king good!”.   I mean, c’mon.   I’m not THAT bad.  And if you know my mom, then you know that would NEVER happen.  She freaks out when I say hell.   She’d have a heart attack if she ever heard me say the F word.   I only invite the F word when I’m really mad or when I am venting about something that makes me really upset.    I would love to hear what all these other perfect Christians say when they’re mad.  I can guarantee that none of their words can hold a candle to F.

I’m torn on whether or not I should feel bad about the fact that I’ve taken up cussing again.  I’m sure when this blog becomes public and I’m famous and leading worship in places, people will bring this up and try to haunt me with it.  But, I’m going to own up to it.   

I cuss.  I get so mad and frustrated about things that sometimes I have to cuss.   Sometimes I say it a lot.   And at the end of the day, if my cussing is the WORST that I’ve done all day, considering all the other things I have been accused of doing/being/saying, then it’s the least of my concerns.

 

The Big M.

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I’ve always wanted to get married.  If I pull out journals from the past, all you will read about is how desperate I was to find “the one” (even at the tender age of 16).  To me, getting married was the high point of a person’s life.  And, to delve even deeper than that, finding my “soulmate” would have convinced me that SOMEONE out there loves me, not just my mom.

But the older I’ve become,  the more I’ve learned what marriage really is about.  In actuality, I wanted the wedding MW3_My_Parents_Divorce_and_Video_Games1all those years. As I got older, I realized marriage was more than just the 3-4 hours on a Saturday you spend in a white dress with a bunch of people.   It’s way more.  More than I think I am ready for.

I don’t know anything, really, about marriage.  So, doling out any advice about it would probably be really pointless. I know that marriage is about compromise.  I know that it’s 2 very different people living together, putting up with each other’s idiosyncrasies and annoying habits, and learning about who that other person REALLY is.  Cause the truth of the matter is, EVERYONE looks cute and perfect when you’re dating.  Heck, they still look like that 6 months after marriage.   That’s a huge problem I have with those people who get married and post pictures and stupid statuses about their “amazing husband” who pumped gas in the car because it was going to snow the next day or their “sexy, beautiful wife” who cooked Shake & Bake for dinner after working 8 hours.   I’m sorry, but is it wrong to think that’s what they’re SUPPOSED to do?  Aren’t spouses SUPPOSED to take care of each other?   I’m not saying wives are SUPPOSED to cook or husbands are SUPPOSED to be the mechanics…. but those things that these annoying people are posting are things that make marriage sound so idyllic.  Why don’t you see those statuses like, “Man, I love my husband, but if I walk in the bathroom and see his underwear hanging on the doorknob one more time, I swear to God…..” or “I love my wife, but she sucks at cooking” (this would probably be what my husband says).   I want to tell these obnoxious people, can you talk to me in 10-15 years after you’ve LIVED life? After you’ve had kids with health issues?  After you’ve got into some sort of financial crisis?  After one or both have lost your job or have some health crisis?   Or how about when your kids have grown and moved out, and your left with this stranger that just years ago you were gushing over about how well they put gas in your car? Please don’t tell me how amazing your significant other is a week/month/year after the honeymoon is over.  Call me in 15 years. (PS: Is it just me or does the honeymoon stage seem to last a lot longer than 6 months nowadays?!).

But I digress.

What I do know about marriage, and I believe this more today than ever before, is that I want my husband to be my friend.  I want to be able to look at him and say that I genuinely like him.  That if we were two strangers thrown into a room, I would like his company.  I never want to say that he and I aren’t friends and we don’t like each other.  To think that those are words that I could possibly say to my husband scares me.   This is why watching these young 20-year-olds getting married lately gets me so riled up.   I am 30 years old and feel so cautious and anxious about getting married.  How is it so easy for these kids!?  What do they know that I missed?  Was there a class I was supposed to take as an undergrad? How is it that suddenly they’re ready to MARRY this person?

I blame Facebook and Pinterest for this.  Weddings LOOK perfect.   Marriages SOUND ideal.  Of course hanging out with other young married couples for game nights SOUND fantastic.  Congratulations, you’re in the married club!   But, have you and your spouse had the conversation about what kind of parent that person will be?   What kind of plan do we want for the first 5 years?  What’s our goal as a couple?  As individuals?  As a family?   What will happen if we’re strapped financially?  What are our weakness in communicating with each other?   What are our strengths?   What if one of us gain so much weight that we’re not attracted to them?   Can we have honest conversations?  What if we’re unhappy?  What if one day we look at each other and realize we don’t like each other?   Are we willing to get help or are we going to throw in the towel?  Is THIS the person you’re willing to fight tooth and nail to keep at your side for the rest of your life?  That even when THEY want to give up, you won’t??  What if you lose a baby in miscarriage?   What if you have a child with special needs or health problems that require your full attention, that your marriage suffers?   What if the skeletons in your closet, that you so effortlessly pushed into the closet, come back to haunt you?   What then? I wish these were questions and conversations that these people have had.  Perhaps, they have.  Maybe I’m being too judgmental.  Just because I’m not ready doesn’t mean they aren’t.   So I shouldn’t compare myself to them.

All I can speak for is myself.  All I know is, once I make that commitment and covenant in front of God, there’s no turning back and that’s a vow I may not be ready to make just yet.

May God be with all those who have made it, are about to, or are in a place where you’re thinking about asking.

Better you than me.

Grumpy Old (Wo)Man

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Today marks just one month until I am officially 30.  And I think I spent most of my day complaining about where I live, what I do, and the people around me.

Which makes me sad…….for me.  Because I never envisioned myself turning into this person.  This is not how I want to live the rest of my life.  And what makes me sadder is that I have no idea how to CHANGE this.  Also, it makes me upset that I’m spending most of my time complaining about what my life LACKS when the truth of the matter is, my life is full of so much good that I am supremely blessed beyond measure.

This week the world was rocked with the devastating events in Boston and Texas, as well as around the globe, with deadly earthquakes in Iran and China.  While families deal with the aftermath and try to rebuild their lives from having it shaken to the very core — I am complaining about the fact that I still live in the same state for 27 years or that I have a good job with steady income, and that I’m surrounded by a community of Indians that I’m not too pleased about being around.   God, how petty I am.

If I want to change my life, then nothing is stopping me.  I could change it.  I can always make excuses or say that I don’t take risks because of the fear of the unknown, and although that is halfway true, the other (harsh) reality is that maybe I don’t take a risk because the safe choice is to stay where I am, doing what I’m doing.  It’s a lot easier to complain about life than to actually change it.

It’s true when they say that you get mad at the choices other people make because you’re frustrated with your own life.  Just this morning I was talking about a girl who is my age that is still acting like she was in high school and I kept throwing the word “stunted” around.  The truth of the matter is, in a way, I am stunted as well.

Stunted means to retard the growth or development of.  Here I am, almost 30, and I’ve missed so many opportunities to get out and experience life.  And instead of being proactive, I’m stuck at this place of resentment, where complaining is more comfortable than changing.  We’re all stunted in some ways — some refuse to grow up, I refuse to change.

If that’s the case, then I have no right to complain.  Instead, I should look at my life, be grateful for what I’ve been given so freely and undeservingly, and live my life in gratitude of it.   All while keeping that line of the Serenity Prayer in the back of my head:

God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

The Trapped Rat Conundrum

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I have a couch in my living room that I hate.

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I, honestly, don’t know what was it that made us buy THIS couch. Why did we pick it?  I regret it deeply.  Because it is the worst couch EVER.  It’s not comfortable by any means.  Perhaps, this is our fault, because it was fine when it was in the showroom.   But, as you can see, after our fat butts have sat and sat and SAT in it over the last 4 years, it has lost it’s comfort. (I wish I could blame my dog, but she only weighs 4 pounds, so there goes that theory). There is a lot of wear and tear in it.  Now I wonder will anyone ever want this couch?  How the heck are we going to get rid of it?  Are we going to be stuck with this couch forever?

I equate my life, currently, with how this couch looks.

It’s not comfortable anymore. It’s time to put it out of its misery.  (Don’t freak out! Keep reading!).

I have lived in this state and in this town for the last 27 years.  Guys, I’m turning 30.  You do the math.

I am a teacher in the same district that I went to school at from 1st grade to my senior year.

I am teaching with teachers that taught me.

I am teaching students of people who I graduated with in 2001.

I am surrounded by people who I’ve known far too long that I get irritated by the mere thought of.

I attend a church that served its purpose for me when I first came, but I’ve outgrown it — and now I don’t know what to do or where to go.

I haven’t sang and led worship in almost 9 *NINE* years. (The clothes in my closet and my shampoo bottles, however, have attended many impromptu worship services).

And I’m over it.  Put me out of my misery, please.  I mean, is THIS sick cycle what my life will be forever?  This is what I’ve hoped and dreamed for myself?

I’ve sat and sat and sat here that I’m not comfortable anymore.

If you’re a Cosby show fan, you’ll remember a scene with Sondra and Elvin, after they and their twins had moved in with the Huxtables and were getting frustrated with the lack of space and privacy.  After some frustrating moments between the two families, Elvin claimed that he felt like a “Trapped rat”.  To which Cosby responds with: “If you’re a trapped rat…gnaw your foot off and get out!”

God, I wish it were that easy!

I feel like that trapped rat. But the scary part of this is, I feel like the older I get, the slimmer the chances are that I will be able to get out.   I have this paralyzing fear that I have missed the opportunity to go out and TRY things, or move away from here and experience life.  It’s the worry I have if I give up this couch..that no one will want it.  If I try to gnaw my foot off, then what?   I’ve got a mortgage. I’ve got a profession that I can’t just decide to give 2 weeks notice when I’m ready to leave.  Frankly, I’m at that age where my “logical” thinking is my downfall.

I sat at church this morning and I almost fell over thinking that this same time next year, I could be sitting in the same seat, same row, watching the world go by.  I’ll be waking up every day at 5:20, and run through my same predictable routines, drive the same way to work, do my job, stay late, drive back the same way home, sit on the aforementioned couch, do more work….and repeat.

And I just don’t think I can do that.

I cannot go into 2014 doing the same thing anymore.  I just can’t.   God, do you read blogs???  I can’t do it!

Please don’t get me wrong.  I am ETERNALLY grateful for the blessings that I have.  I get to do a job that I wanted to do since I was 6!  I’m a homeowner and rather than get married and bust out children like every other East-Indian girl my age, I get to live my own, independent life.   I count my blessings every day.  My “problems” pale in comparison to what others suffer on the daily.

The problem here is, here is a great opportunity for me to go OUT and do something with my life….and I may have missed the chance. But a part of me still believes that there HAS to be more than this.  There just has to be.

I’ll start gnawing on my foot now.