So, November happened. And I was so ensconced in October that I totally missed it, marking my first failure to start and maintain my blog-post-a-day schedule in November (NaBloPoMo) since 2010. And a lonely tear drifted down my cheek.
I didn’t mean to flake out on this November journey of ours. In fact, NaBloPoMo really makes “blogger” a term that kinda loosely describes me (I can see all those super-disciplined and big name bloggers rolling their eyes at me and I really can’t defend myself). But this year has been a big one for me, so I hope you can understand why this slipped my mind.
Where to start? ALL THE THINGS.
- I started (and have kept) my New Year’s resolution to maintain healthier eating habits. And it’s been eye-opening! Turns out that just because a company puts “healthy” on the label, doesn’t mean it’s ACTUALLY good for you. And – I learned this the hard way – not all yogurt is created equal. I decided to use the Weight Watcher system and you know what? Sticking to the plan hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be! Now, I’m still pretty scared of cooking chicken and killing myself with salmonella. But I’ve made strides in other areas…promise! #halotop
- I left one job and started a new one. I made the difficult decision to leave my job in publishing, which I never thought I’d do. I still love and respect people who I worked with at my previous company and miss several aspects of that job itself. However, I realized that particular environment when mixed with my personality (and weaknesses) ended up not being the healthiest place for me. That’s perhaps an overly simplified version of what happened, but that’s it in a nutshell (Help! I’m in a nutshell!). So, I took a job as a Segment Manager at Compassion International. That’s right, I am now in charge of managing oranges. (Segments…get it??) JUST KIDDING! My new position is technically a marketing position, but mostly in serving the folks at Compassion that interact with donors. To be clear, I’m not the one that makes it rain, but I have finally learned where they keep the paper clips, so that’s progress right? Being on this new path took some getting used to, but I’m really grateful to be where I am. And honestly, I’m super eager to learn what the Lord has for me in this new phase of my life and existence.
- I went on a blind date. Some dear friends set me up on a blind date with a friend of theirs. You guys, it was such a good experience for me! I wore eye shadow and everything. After four dates, we realized there wasn’t any future in the relationship and amicably parted ways. I got to know someone who I wouldn’t have normally met and it was really a big boost of confidence to know that my friends thought me worthy of their friend. 🙂 Now, at the same time, I was: considering leaving my job, interviewing at Compassion, and being asked by my landlords to consider moving out of my town home once my lease was up in August. So, I kind of wish all of that wasn’t going down at the same time. Let’s face it, my head was an over-analyzing mess because…well…I’m me. Overall, though, I’m glad to have had the adventure.
- I bought a house. My landlords were always really clear that they didn’t want to be landlords forever. So, when a friend of theirs was interested in buying my place it looked like I was going to have to move out. When that situation fell through, I knew it was the right time for me to be a grown-up and finally put down some roots. I had conversations with lots of wise friends, gathered my life as it exists in financial paperwork, did more math than I was comfortable with, and memorized the hold music at the IRS. And here I am! A home-owner. I’ve already been to two HOA meetings and can I just say that I think it’s wise that they make people purchase their home first before interacting with the HOA in any meaningful way. Because…people be crazy. My mantra every time I had to sign a super-intimidating piece of paper? “Amy, remember: You like this place. You want to live there. Remember the cross breeze? The great insulation that keeps you from hearing your neighbors? The location right next to Starbucks and down the street from Target? You can do this.”
- I became a book reviewer. When I left publishing, I found that I really missed being a part of the book world. So, I reached out to Book Reporter and they looked at my writing samples and took me on! The site is mainstream, but if you like that kind of reading and want to read any of my reviews, the links are below:
- I went to hear a 3rd-party presidential candidate speak. Without getting too far down the rabbit hole, I’ll say this: on a personal level, I walked out of this election cycle more informed and prepared to vote than I ever have before. I engaged enough to know what I wanted my vote to count for and how I could cast it and sleep at night (a personal decision for every single person in our country with many justifiable outcomes). I educated myself on local ballot measures. I tuned in to the debates. I welcomed the levity that Jimmy Fallon and SNL brought to the proceedings. At the end of the day, there’s something deeply satisfying in knowing that I performed my part in being a citizen of this country. That I thoughtfully took part in this zoo of a process. Without taking a stance for any particular party, I think a few things are pretty clear: (1) the media has been a bit irresponsible with its awesome duty of reporting the news without bias (2) at an individual level it’s our job to denounce hate and choose love, always, no matter who is in power (3) sometimes, stepping away from social media is a good thing.
As politics so often does, this whole season reminded me of a quote from the incomparable Aaron Sorkin.
America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the “land of the free”. – The American President
- I took more steps on this faith journey of mine. This, also, is complicated for me. This year I’ve wrestled a lot through things I used to have a pat answer for. What does Christian community look like when the church “formula” doesn’t quite work out? How can I shed some of my legalistic baggage yet still lean in to faith? How do I inform a lens of discernment that filters out well-meaning but often-wrong Christian rhetoric? What can I do to have a spirit of love and care for believers that would be easier to judge? How can I rip Christianese from my lips and instead be authentic and grounded? How can I have a relationship of love and care with those that disagree with me, have taken a different path from me, or might judge my choices in life? The answers are out there. I believe they are. But as I mull these issues around in my head, desperately cry out to God in prayer, and talk about all of the above with trusted friends – I’ll be honest – it’s kind of scary. In an exciting way, I suppose. It depends on which day you ask me. 🙂
- NETFLIX ANNOUNCED A GILMORE GIRLS REVIVAL! And I immediately had to take a deep breath because, it turns out, I’m friends with FAR too many #TeamJess and #TeamLuke advocates. DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED.
I have cautious optimism after watching the trailer for these new episodes. Sometimes I feel that a story suffers when a show comes back for “the fans” instead of being pursued for the story itself. But I hope I can trust Amy Sherman-Palladino’s writing and Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel’s acting chops. If you need me on Black Friday, I’ll be scrolling through Amazon deals and watching my dear friends take the stage again. Realizing, of course, that they are FICTIONAL friends. FICTIONAL. But they’ve gotten me through some rough times, so the love is real. Even if the posters do make me feel awkward. #deadeyes
Other highlights include: discovering Fixer Upper and visiting Magnolia Farms with my Mom, experiencing Newsies on stage with my friend Jessica, and meeting two families new little ones that are brand new to the world. But you’ve stuck with me for 1580-some-odd words. So I should be done now.
More posts coming! Just not one every day.