I suppose in a lot of ways I'm still in the same place. Instead living on my mom's couch, I'm now living on a mattress in my best friend's parents house. Instead of working a temporary job at the local high school, Wednesday I begin temporary work at the local museum. Instead of the flatlands of northcentral Indiana, I'm now in the beautiful hills of southwestern Ohio.
Ah, but life is different.
I'm back in Cincinnati. It may not be my hometown but it is my heart-town.
I chose Cincinnati 10 years ago to be the location where I would start my life when I began attending Cincinnati Christian University as an overconfident freshmen who was set out to take the world by storm.
I returned 10 years later as a barely confident, single, childless woman with no great world domination to speak of, who sees the magical number 30 a little more each day.
However, since my less-than-triumphal return, things have definitely been looking up. It's much easier to pick yourself up and dust yourself off when you are in a constantly bustling city surrounded by good friends and fresh ideas. This is a place where you can feel something is around the corner. There is no room to wallow in self-pity and self-inflicted self-defeat. There is too much "self" in that. Here is about others. There is always a place to pitch in. Help a friend. Help a neighbor. Help a stranger.
I have been focusing on embracing where I am in life:
Am I single? I enjoy it! I can travel and explore and change plans at a second's notice.
Am I childless? I babysit my friends kids. Most of them are happy for the break. And I'm happy for the kid time. I still really miss my boys in Chicago. It's been a over year and they are still forever embedded into my mind and soul. Thankfully there are some adorable distractions here in this community. (I should take a moment here and state the obvious: I know that being childless at 28 does not mean I will be forever or even that I'm weird or whatever. However, at this moment all of my friends, sans one girl, are in committed relationships, married, pregnant, and/or already a parent.)
Am I, for lack of a better phrase, barely-confident? I am starting to put myself out there again. I'm trying to remember what I am good at and focus on that. When did I get so off track? I'm starting to realize that every hero has this downturn part in their story. Where would Joseph have been if he whined about the unfairness about his time in jail and sat pouting in the corner of his cell the entire time instead of interpreting the dreams of his cell mates? Where would Moses have been if he kept grazing sheep when he ran away from Egypt instead of heading over and checking out the burning bush? Where would Peter have been if he hid from Jesus after denying him instead of jumping out the boat and swimming toward land the moment he saw him? Sometimes I forget it's all a part of the ultimate story. I feel like I'm running out of time. That's the biggest lie I keeping believing. I get swept up in the crappy part of the story I'm currently in and forget that even in the dumb parts, there are bright moments of foreshadowing. I can't possibly know yet which part is the foreshadowing. The story isn't over. When I remember these simple truths, my confidence returns and I am ready to face whatever the world throws at me next.
Now that I've realized what's going on/where I am in the story. It's time to move the plot forward. I've been being reprogramming myself to do just that. The number one way to do that is Time management. The hardest thing about being unemployed for a long time is not letting yourself become a vegetable. It's really easy to do nothing but watch tv shows on Hulu, stalk wonderful craft ideas on Pinterest, and play dumb internet games like the Sims on Facebook. (not like I've done any of those things...today...okay, fine, in the past hour...) I'm now trying to create daily schedules for myself to ensure I use this time to enjoy the opportunity I've been given. So I schedule things like "go outside and sit on a blanket for an hour" (seriously, best October weather in years!) or "take your camera and shoot a place you've always wanted to document" (Cincinnati has amazing stuff to capture!) or "create something for someone else." This leads into my second step in moving the plot forward: create!
In the past month, one of my close friends has begun calling me "Martha Stewart" a lot. Ha! Let's not kid ourselves, I'm no where near Martha's level. Nor do I want to be. (that lady scares me) However, I realized if I'm not currently creating on stage, I do still need to be creating somewhere. I am an artist and I need the outlet. It's been crazy. I've made everything from t-shirts to surprise Christmas presents. Last night, I threw a huge halloween party and made everything (aside from the witches' hats) for it! yes, yes, I'm insane. Thankfully, my friends and little sister are amazing and helped where they could. Seriously, the menu: mini mummy dogs, skeleton & coffin dip, pumpkin dip inside a pumpkin, sugar cookies, ghost pretzel rods, witches hats, worms, broken glass cupcakes, shrunken head cider, blood punch and spiders in the ice cubes! I also created over half of the decorations: specimen jars, mummified pumpkin, vampire pumpkins, and skeleton guess jar. Perhaps sitting around on Pinterest is helpful after all. haha!
Well this, per my usual, is getting long. Perhaps I'll post a few how-to blogs. I did take pictures along the way. And then my camera died....just as my party started...d'oh!
See you next time, cyber friends and random internet stalkers.