Whatever It Is

Friday, April 29, 2011

"Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." 
(Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

So here's the deal... 

I don't like to make decisions.  I mean, I'm fine with dinner options (always Mexican food or pasta) or which spring dress to buy (get them both).  I am just not very good at big, major, life-changing kinds of decisions.  I tend to over-think things or get really concerned about little details instead of seeing the bigger picture.  If I could hire someone to make all my major life decisions for me, I definitely would.  Think Rachel and Monica on Friends.  Come to think of it, I am in the market for a dating-decision-maker...call me if you're interested in the job.  Last night, I tried to get Baby Sister to make a really major decision for me...even offered to buy her dinner in return (that's fair, right?).  Too bad the only person worse at decision making is, in fact, Baby Sister (it's bad, people...real bad).

So, without a full-time decision maker, I did what any other twenty-something professional does. 

I googled "online decision making."

Here are a few of the results...

"Universal Decision Maker" said no, but just by a little bit.

"Fastest Decision Maker" said yes.

"The Crystal Ball Has Spoken" said "you set us up."  Um, what?

"Random.org" said tails (which I had previously decided was no).

"Random Decision Maker" said yes.

Finally, and most reliably, "Online Magic 8 Ball" said "better not tell you now."  I shook it again, just to be sure.  "Cannot predict now."  Best two out of three?  "Ask again later."  I am not making this up, people.  It seems the Magic 8 Ball is just as indecisive as I am.

One last try with the Magic 8 Ball... 

"Outlook Good"

So what comes next?  Sure would be nice to know...

Speechless Sunday

Sunday, April 24, 2011

(Ground Zero Cross made from World Trade Center beams.)

God Of This City

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You all know how much I simply adore New York and all things related to it.  Talk about it a lot.  Really just can't get enough.

But there are two places I just really do love more.

And today is just a strange day.

And this week is just a strange week.

I've lived a lot of places...New York (a post September 11 New York), Philly and Italy for a summer each and a few other brief stints thrown in for good measure.  But there are only two that feel like home...

Waco, Texas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma will always be home, each for different reasons.  I am
blessed to have so many amazing options and opportunities in my life.  At the end of the day, if I was in one of those two places, I would be a happy girl.  If I raised kids in either of those places, they would be (fingers crossed) happy kids.  So it's rather strange to live in Oklahoma City, where what happened 16 years ago today will never be forgotten, knowing that for six years of my life I lived in Waco, where what happened 18 years ago today will never be forgotten. 

I can't really explain it. 

Even more, I love the life of student affairs, higher education, and the idea of being a perpetual college student.  It's really a fabulous lifestyle most of the time.  College students are awesome, special, ridiculous people.  8.5 days out of 10, it's a pretty fun job.  You should try it sometime.  But beyond the unexplainable odd feeling that comes with April 19 is the uneasy feeling of this entire week.  Eleven years ago tomorrow, I was sitting in sophomore world history when everyone suddenly knew exactly where Columbine High School was located.  Four years and just a few days ago, I returned from a higher ed planning and culture class, turned on my TV, and knew my life in higher ed would never be the same.  Because it wasn't just Virginia Tech...it was every single person who lives, breathes, and loves college life.

So even though I secretly want to take this week off of work every year, hide under the covers, and watch Lifetime movies all week, I don't. 

Because they are worth remembering. 

And You're the God of this city.

And greater things have yet to be done here.

"We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity."  (words etched on Oklahoma City National Memorial)

When The Truth Is Told...

Monday, April 18, 2011

My iPod kept shuffling to this song on the way to work today.  Somehow, it's exactly perfect for life these days.  That Billy Joel is one smart guy... (Stop laughing now please.)
Slow down, you crazy child
You're so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you're so smart, tell me
Why are you still so afraid?

Where's the fire, what's the hurry about?
You'd better cool it off before you burn it out
You got so much to do and
Only so many hours in a day

But you know that when the truth is told...
That you can get what you want or you can just get old
You're gonna kick off before you even
Get halfway through
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?
Slow down, you're doing fine
You can't be everything you want to be
Before your time
Although it's so romantic on the borderline tonight
Too bad but it's the life you lead
You're so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need
Though you can see when you're wrong, you know
You can't always see when you're right. you're right

You've got your passion, you've got your pride
But don't you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?

Slow down, you crazy child
And take the phone off the hook and disappear for awhile
It's all right, you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize... Vienna waits for you?
And you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want or you can just get old
You're gonna kick off before you even get half through
Why don't you realize, Vienna waits for you
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?
If you're a praying kind of person, I could use some this week.  More details to come later, I'm sure.  In unrelated news, I just tried to unlock my office with my car's keyless entry.  Happy Monday friends...

Speechless Sunday

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hello World

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Well you do know how much I love a good New York weekend...

Over the weekend, I had a few school details to take care of.  Never one to shy away from "responsibility" and "doing the right thing," I made the difficult sacrifice of attending to these things in person.  It was the noble thing to do.  The Chief and Baby Sister (also known as "moral" and "support") sacrificed their weekend plans of "This Old House" and ballet class for the sake of the cause.

I know, you already feel so sorry for us.  

Spring in New York is amazing.  Saturday was the first nice day after a winter of blizzards and downpours, and New Yorkers were out to celebrate.  After brunch on Central Park South, The Chief, Baby Sister and I spent the afternoon at the Central Park Zoo.  Baby Sister simply adores the zoo, especially her new friends Gus and Ida (the polar bears).  I am not so much of a zoo fan (I know, shocking).  Luckily, the Central Park Zoo is just the amount of zoo I can handle...a tiny little blip on the larger park scale.  It's definitely worth an hour of your time on a beautiful Manhattan day.

After a stroll to the west side of the park, we hopped the subway to Columbia's campus.  Baby Sister and I spent a day there in the fall, but this was The Chief's first trip to the Ivy League campus.  I imagined this magical moment...getting off the subway at 116 and Broadway, walking through the stately iron gates, and arriving on the classic quad...blue skies and birds chirping and all.  It was going to be perfect.  The Chief was going to fall in love.  

Here is what happened instead...

Students were playing beer pong on the quad.  

Yep.  That is how my mother (who works for the Baptists) experienced my beautiful, perfect, Ivy League campus for the first time.  Fantastic.  

The Chief and Baby Sister got to see Teachers College, where my classes will be held.  It was the next best thing to walking me to class on my first day of school.  (I did have to prove to Baby Sister that my first love will always be my true love...note the Baylor jacket and Sic Em happening.)

We spent the rest of the weekend moving from one great New York restaurant to another, adding a little shopping in between to feel better about ourselves.  I even stumbled upon a place called "The Best Chocolate Cake In The World."  (Insert Buddy the Elf moment here.)  Clearly, I was obligated to try this best chocolate cake in the world.  And people, it did not live up to the actual best chocolate cake in the world.  Not even close.  Good thing Max Brenner is always there to save the day.

Baby Sister learned to navigate the city solo.  Be proud.  Monday morning I had to turn The Chief and Baby Sister loose in the concrete jungle for a few hours.  I left detailed lists of things to do and cross street locations.  I put them on Broadway and told them exactly where to stand for a taxi.  By the time we met up for a late lunch, they had done nothing on my list, but had walked from 83rd and Broadway to 49th and Park, stopping at every major landmark along the way.  Even took the subway by themselves (which sister quickly corrected me, specifying that she took the 6 train to 77th and Lex).  Way impressive.  

Just remind me never to fly commuter jets out of Newark ever again.  

Until next time...

Good to see you again.

Have A Little Faith

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hey, remember that time I came back from Spring Break and quit my job? 

No?  It's just me then?

So here's the deal...

The rumors are true.  Over the last month and a half or so, I have felt more and more that working full time while I pursue my degree is just not the right thing for me to do.  I can't really explain it, but it's been pretty much a constant nagging feeling lately.  I ignored it at first, writing it off as being totally, 100% irresponsible.  And while I often dream about being irresponsible, we all know that's not really me.  The longer I felt that way, the more I started to wonder if maybe there was something to it. 

I spent a great deal of time praying about what direction God had in mind.  I talked to a lot of people I really trust, all of whom confirmed that maybe I wasn't so crazy after all (at least about this...they still think I'm crazy).  I began to research options for having something more than negative $10 in my bank account should I choose to actually do it.  Mostly I just kept praying that God would help me figure out the next little step, even if I couldn't know the whole big plan right now. 

And somewhere along the way, I became really, really confident that this is absolutely the right decision for me right now.  Here are some things that led to that confidence...
  • I currently work about 50 hours a week.  Love what I do, but that's a lot when you consider throwing studying into the mix.
  • My degree program at Columbia is a full-time program and I'll be a full-time student.  I'm just only on campus part-time.  So I'll be taking a full-time doctoral level course load with at least one research class each term.  Research and I are not friends.
  • I was pretty much going to max out all my leave time, leaving no wiggle room for travel delays like weather or birds or whatever.  Plus, my program has a no excuses attendance policy.  Be at every class or leave the program.  The thought of not having any extra time in my travel schedule (just in case) is kind of scary.
  • The most intensive part of my program will be in the summer.  The most intensive part of my job is in the summer.  Problem.
  • I kind of really like the people in my life.  Obviously, it will still be a huge time commitment, but I am hopeful that this decision will allow me to maintain some sense of balance in my life.  I love higher ed and learning and all.  Love the idea of this new adventure.  Love my people more.  Full time work plus full time school left negative amounts of time for relationships.  (Plus, at some point in the hopefully not too crazy distant future I really, seriously want to add "wife/mom" to "sister/daughter/friend/awesome person" and need the balance/time/sanity/clarity to be present in my own life.)
  • And yeah, there's still the whole Ivy League epic-ness happening.  No pressure.
So I literally came back from Spring Break and quit my job.  Bright and early, 9:00 a.m. Monday morning.  Higher ed friends...there was a whole lot of a NASPA-high happening here.  You understand, right?  It's like when you come back from church camp and are so fired up about life and missions and telling people about Jesus.  Being around people who understand the field and understand me gave me the final little push to take the leap.  I officially resigned from my current job.  It's ok if you think I'm crazy.  My last day will be May 31, and I'll head to New York to start school June 3.  I do have really solid career/money/not being broke options to fill in the gaps, and I'll share more details about all that later.  It's going to be good. 

In mostly unrelated news, {the ivy project} will be broadcasting on location this weekend.  Magnolia Bakery is calling my name...

Hope Floats

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will..."  

Speechless Sunday

Sunday, April 3, 2011