I find my Alabama self in the California desert, yet again, hands up, eyes toward Heaven, my very eloquent prayer at the moment is pretty much…”Um, Ok, Now What” (said with much reverence).
I love to listen to Joyce Meyers’ sermons. I happened upon her audio book of “Battlefield of the Mind” years and years ago, listened to it in the car driving about hollering “Hallelujah” left and right! This was written for me, I’m sure. I have subsequently purchased the book and refer to parts of it at times. At this moment, one part of this seems particularly scientient. She refers to Moses and the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years. The analogy being that although God provided manna from Heaven , they were moaning and complaining about said Manna, they were allowed to basically wallow in the desert until they opened their eyes, took their hands off the wheel (“Let’s just go back to Egypt slash what I know even though it s u c k s (pardon my French) instead of trusting you) and followed God .I note a pang of recognition here
I find my Deep Southern self, with all that that entails, in Southern California. In my experience, this is a totally different culture/continent in every way. The food, eating habits, the fact that you CANNOT get a grocery bag for your groceries even though they still pay the kid to stand at the end of the checkout lane to watch you struggle with your cans (I digress), definitely driving habits. I am so loving the lack of weather here. I watch Dallas Raines (best name ever for a weatherman) daily tell us “beautiful, sunny, warm today” with his perfect teeth and perfect hair. I have finally learned to stop speaking to everyone that I meet and I try not to make eye contact. If I did this back home, I’d be smacked upside the head for being uppity. I’ve been told that people have a hard time understanding what I am saying and my sense of humor usually does not quite translate here.
I came here for work – I am/was an ICU RN. Sounds great, right I have seen places I could never have imagined, met fantastic, interesting, inspiring people. But..the transient nature of working this way necessitates a certain distance be maintained both personally and professionally. First, I am the outsider in every way. The onus is on me to figure out the culture of the area and in the hospital where I work and attempt to fit in – with very interesting results. We all know that I am only going to be here a short time and very few people take any time to get to know you or even worry about your assimilation. It’s the nature of the business. Luckily, I’ve been a nurse long enough that I have a set of tools and skills that enable me to drop in and do a good job. Thank God!I I control what I can in this lifestyle I’ve chosen that lacks standardization. For this reason, I have spent the last three years basically flying over areas, swooping down for a bit to sample the goodies and I leave, never seeing or pretty much hearing from those I met again. There are some really interesting folks that I have been blessed to call friends, but it’s different than home.
I’ve known for a while that it is time to change, but it felt safer to stay with what I know.-Finally, I’m ready to admit that I am actually powerless (read no control) over the situations and people in my life. Hmm. Not an easy thing, but I’ve been told that the sun will still rise, the earth will continue to orbit even if I don’t tell it to. Imagine that.
The new adventure is to stop spinning like a top, stand still and listen . I’m trying, really. I’m praying, looking everywhere for the burning bush. Most likely, it’s right in front of me. There is still l so much to discover personally, professionally. Travel is mandatory. That being said, I’m ready to wade into the next abyss, the waves have parted, God is holding my hand and I think I see green pastures up ahead. NAMASTA Y’all and #ROLLL TIDE!
Today, is my 49th year on the planet. Some years have been okay, some pretty rough and most fantastic. The last few years have been an extraordinary time of personal growth. I attribute the extraordinary years to three thing 1) When I purposely (finally) took my paws off of the steering wheel of my life, lo and behold, God immediately took over and Wow! what a driver. Thank you Thank you Thank you. 2) I’ve made it a habit to step OUT of my comfort zone. One of my biggest fears/obstacles has been heights. I am a nurse and once my children matured and were beginning their lives, it became time to expand my career/life and get my rear on a plane! I sat at the airport back home repeatedly over the course of years watching grandmothers and 5 year olds confidently board and deplane and I was terrified! Finally screwed up the gazongas to board a plane (carefully choosing mid-plane inside row away from windows) and my life changed! I love flying. Now I press my face to the window and watch and listen to take-off and landing – marveling every time it is happening. It’s beautiful up there, I can’t imagine never experienceing it. Fying opened up the world to me, truly. I’ve met the most diverse , interesting people from all parts of the world, experienced cultures that I would never have imagined. Yes, I have seen beautiful places and I am grateful. The people that I have known in these 49 years are like exotic flowers in a beautiful bouquet and I love love love them! This has been such a blessing. 3) Life sometimes gets overwhelming/stressful (surprise). It turns out that when I focus on others, helping or caring about them, my problems get really small. Life gets bigger and better. May I now request my birthday present? 1) Face your area of discomfort or fear head on! Look at one area in your life that you think “I can’t do that, I am afraid to do that” and just do it (thanks Nike). I have heard wonderful sermons that state “Your blessing is in the area that you are most afraid.” This has proven to be true in my life. Take one small step and your life is going to change, I promise.. 2) Travel!! Look around you now and realize the beauty and diversity of the landscape and the people. Experience other ways of approaching situations and life and appreciate it all! 3) Find a cause that you are interested in and believe in and get involved. Chase your passion. Keep at least one pair of new, thick socks, a new toothbrush and toothpaste in your car and GIVE IT AWAY to a person in need. Thank you for 49 wonderful years! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, your friendship and your time. I am truly blessed! Thank you God for my wonderful children! Thank you for my Beloved! Let the party continue…
I have a mortal fear of speaking in public. I go completely blank. Here’s the thing. It’s kind of necessary. I had an epiphany about a year ago and did everything required to teach CPR, everything until it came time to be monitored teaching a class on a subject that I have specialized in for 15 years – I froze! I love Zumba, survived 8 straight hours of intense Zumba instructor training and earned my certification. Have I taught it? Nope – freeze.
So, I joined my local ToastMasters recently, they seem like a knowledgeable and friendly bunch, right? I volunteered to be the “speech timer” person tonight and was certain that bought me safety and anonymity. Um, no. I was called on in front of everyone in the room to give an impromptu speech of about 2 minutes regarding travel. I know travel. My face beet red, my heart racing, I gracefully (not) ambled up to the lecturn and proceeded to babble something about travel,” no I won’t sue Toastmasters for calling me up here” and I’m pretty sure that I jumped in my boots when the green sign was up to tell me I was done. At the end of the meeting, they are giving out awards for “table topics” “prepared speeches” and “evaluators” and I hear my name. (insert Da Da Da) I froze, turned beet red, cackled in disbelief and worst of all, teared up. Oh no! I was shocked. People clapped and my body again gracefully (not) floated up front to have my teary face photographed. These people were being kind. But…I did it.I
Last week, my Beloved and I performed with a Flash Mob in a fancy schmancy hotel in Los Angeles with fancy schmancy dressed up folks to the tune of Pharrell William song “Happy” with Flash Mob Nation. That was wild and fun. The black jacket and scarf are to cover up the bright orange T-shirt we are all wearing. There were about 600 attendees at this charity fundraiser and we were interspersed with them. They are still mingling (kind of where we need to dance). There was this nice young-ish couple that I had been talking with a bit while waiting for our part. The music started , so I said “look up there” as the core group of mob was beginning their dance at the top of the stairs. I begin unbuttoning that jacket as I have to jump up behind core group in a minute and the look in that ladies eyes was priceless! “I knew it!! she exclaimed. Beloved and I took our places and proceeded to bust a move. It was a blast! BTW, I will be 49 years old in a few days and life is fabulous!
“Life is a Highway and I Wanna Ride it All Night Long!!!
I have seen this picture numerous times and not until this very moment – post meeting with a group of fabulous, well-dressed, bejeweled ladies – did I happen to notice THOSE BOOTS! Ha ha. I love it. My 90+ year old, sharp as a tack, funny, sweet, quiet and slightly shy grandmother was definitely a fashionista! What a sweet gift she is sending from her perch on the cloud up in Heaven. I have embraced/resigned to my place in this world as an ambassador for the outfit-challenged, destined to forever admire those upon whom the fates have smiled upon and given the ability to at least put together a decent ensemble (suck in your cheeks when you say that, please). Me, not so much.
Granny is perhaps saying..”hold on – there IS hope. You CAN rock the world – you DO have a unique voice, a unique style”. Thank you Granny.