If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.

~ Lewis Caroll

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Matrimonial Merriment

Ahh...it's time for another round of weddings. Since I have three to attend (and one in which I'm an attendent!), marriage has been on my mind. I'm so very happy for my friends tying the knot and am thrilled to take part in one girlfriend's ceremony. However, it raises the question of whether or not I'll ever join the world of matrimonial delight. I've often thought of how I'd do it, or where, who would be there (who wouldn't), etc. But it's strange how lately I think more about the after part of a wedding. What will marriage be like? In many ways, marriage seems like a tired convention that no longer has a part in modern society, but I still like the romantic notion of being a part of someone in a spiritual and emotional way. While I pride myself on being a modern, self-sufficient woman, I still am pleased as punch when a gentleman holds a door open or offers his seat or looks offended if I offer to pay for my own drink! It's these ties to historical expectations of the sexes that keep me intrigued by the idea of marriage. Plus married couples have the added benefit of extra financial security, and we can't get enough security these days. After careful consideration I am stating that I am pro-marriage (if you want it). If you don't, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have lived a happy life of non-marrital bliss, so there is an alternative that seems as fulfilling. So congrats to my friends and I wish them a lifetime of happiness and compromises and hope. Maybe one day soon the Little White Chapel will be calling me to Vegas, so until then I'll choose to believe in the tradition and happy endings.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I'm a lifetime lover and proponent of public libraries. While I love to own the books I read, they aren't always affordable. Great books should be available to all! Please support your local library. They run mainly on donations and community support. A poorly stocked library can turn into a great one with a little help from its patrons. Almost all libraries have a "help us out" website or club. Consider joining or just donate what you can. Even if its a few books they might need or want.

"Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries."
-Anne Herbert

If you happen to be in Nashville, here is the link to the Nashville Public Library's foundation:
http://www.nplf.org/support.aspx.

Keep the love of reading alive and strong in your community.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No New is Good News?

After a couple weeks of the Michael Jackson media takeover, I started to miss the real news. Don’t get me wrong, I love MJ as much as the next. I played his records on the turntable in tribute while I cleaned my apartment. However, full-time media coverage shouldn’t preempt everything else happening in the world. I even missed the fluff pieces that the Today show regularly intermixes with hard hitting news stories. However, now that the news is back on track, I’m wondering if I wasn’t happier with a one-track newsreel. The murder of those parents of sixteen children, soldiers dying in the war, airplane crashes . . . it’s all so disheartening. Yet, it’s the way the world works. Bad things happen every day and ignoring them doesn’t make them impact you less, it just leaves you less prepared for when something hits too close to home. So that said, “no news is good news” simply isn’t true. We have to take the good with the bad. Every once in a while something inspirational will slip through to the front page.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Shopping Substitutes

I’m an addict. I love, love, love to shop—especially for clothes and shoes. Having recently moved into a new apartment, home d├ęcor is back on my “to buy” list. Now I know that I’m far from the only one suffering from this (I’ve watched the MTV special on shopaholics), but I’ve decided to reform. After reading Confessions of a Shopaholic and watching Isla Fischer’s performance in the film, I have to admit that I’m reluctant to stop my couture compulsion. You know how it is, you work hard (or you work) and bring home a paycheck only to find yourself making meals of Lucky Charms and olives at the end of the month. Where does it all go!? My money apparently goes on my feet. In order to curb the desire to purchase (and actually bring my card balances down), I thought I’d come up with some distractions.

I’ve decided to take up hiking. I love being outdoors, but I’m not too into sports. I golf, but you can sit down and drink beer, so it doesn’t count. And it’s expensive. I recently purchased a new golf outfit—precious and pink! It also benefited breast cancer research, so I feel it’s justified. Anyway, I checked out two books from the library (another hot spot for the money deprived) on hiking in Middle Tennessee. There are some fantastic looking parks and hiking trails within two hours of my house. Even better, it’s basically free! I’m planning a hike for next Saturday. I’m taking my boyfriend and our dog (they don’t know it yet), packing a lunch, and lacing up my tennis shoes. I thought about investing in hiking boots, but I think I’ll see if I can stick with it first. I think it will do wonders for me. Besides saving money and killing time otherwise spent at the mall or by the pool, I’ll be getting exercise, and who doesn’t want killer buns earned from climbing rocky terrain?

I’m totally pumped about kicking my addiction. I also went through my closet and pulled out everything that I never wear, or just doesn’t fit (seriously, by the time it does, I can just buy something new), and am taking it to Plato’s Closet to sell. I made $300 the last time I sold to them, so maybe they’ll want my merchandise this time around. It’s freed up my closet so I can invest in some quality items. That’s the key. My Manolo Blahnik patent leather mary janes have gotten me through three fall/winter seasons and look like new. It’s amazing how affordable they seem when you get to wear them for years and not throw them out. Well, that’s my rant for the day. I say this as I have $93 left until payday, but hey, at least I have a plan!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Back on Track

This is my first attempt at blogging. I always have random thoughts, rants, or raves that I usually keep to myself, or dole out to whoever happens to be with me at the time. Now I can write it here for all (or a few) to read.

I finally hit a milestone in my “career” yesterday. I say that in quotes because I hardly call my employment history a career. I guess it’s common for twenty-somethings to be indecisive and not have a life plan, but that was never how it was supposed to be. I just knew that once I went to college I’d somehow know what I was supposed to major in, who I was supposed to date, what direction my life would take . . . like hopping on a train and just riding to the end of the line. Of course my train derailed many times. I finished my B.A. (in English, no less) and discovered that my career choices were limited. I continued to waitress (something I’m surprisingly good). I thought about going to graduate school in Boston. A boy took precedence. I know that happens, but for anyone out there, don’t let it happen to you! It worked out because six years later we’re still together, but still you never quit thinking “what might have happened?” Anyway, I finally got a job in marketing where I minimally put to use the things I’d learned in college. After a while I was unhappy with my choices and went back to the same school to pursue my M.A. in, what else, English. After all, I can teach college with that! Who can beat the hours of a college instructor! So I worked full time and went to grad school until finally the big day, graduation, had come! I donned my cap and gown, quit my job and thought my train was back on track. I’ve never been more wrong.

I went through the best and worst year of my life. I remained unemployed because I had no experience teaching, and the rest of the job market was a wreck because of the economy. Slowly a year passed since I got my M.A., and I was resigned to the fact that I’d probably be a waitress again. I love waitressing and have complete respect for the food service industry, but it wasn’t what I wanted. It’s hard to have something so close and not be able to touch it. Finally, I got an interview for a technical writing job in Nashville. Needless to say, I took it. It’s a great company, and I enjoy the writing, but I never got over the blow of working so hard at something and not getting what I wanted from it. I started my new life in Nashville in April. A few weeks after I moved the greatest thing happened. I received an email from Nashville State Community College. They needed adjunct instructors for the fall term! I pretty much got the job through email, and then yesterday was officially hired! I have textbooks and a syllabus and two classes waiting for me in August. I’m researching teaching methods and composition 101 assignments online. I can’t begin to explain how elated I am! It’s only a small-paying gig (really just for the experience), but it’s not about the money. It’s about finally feeling like I’ve accomplished something I set out to do.

No matter how hard things are, they're totally worth it if you reach your goal. Maybe I’ll be a great teacher and finally have a career. Maybe I’ll hate it and have to start from square one. Either way, I’m proud to say I did it. And as backup I’ve already applied to grad school at UT for the Library & Information Sciences program. Hey, being a librarian might be cool.