Sunday, August 19, 2012

Designing Heidi

We've been told that everyone is different, everyone is unique, but lately I've had my doubts.

People follow patterns: it makes life easier to live. Making decisions, even stupid ones like "Apricot or strawberry jam on my toast today?" add up, and can be exhausting. So, we tend to make the choice once, and then repeat it. That's why people have a favorite donut --- "oh, I always get the chocolate covered bavarian" or a favorite soda '---"diet coke, please?" --- but they don't tend to stray from that often, if ever.

I've had moments of odd realization, like "I always use THIS stall in public bathrooms," or "why do I always walk this way to school?" and I don't really have an answer for myself, except that it just seems like it would be exhausting to have to pick a different john or walk an alternative yet equidistant path to class.

It doesn't stop there.

If you zoom out on your life and look at the macro-vision of what you've done, you might find that you're living life a little bit like you write a paper. First, you get an idea, brainstorm it, an then write an outline. As you draft, you follow the skeleton outline you've already envisioned to help you make important decisions about the shape your paper is going to take. You get to a point somewhere just beyond adolescence where everything has been outlined, and if nothing goes wrong, you can feel comfortable with the steady ebb of life's big decisions (many of which tend to happen just beyond adolescence. Isn't that interesting?).

You know, I've actually written that outline. You probably have, too. Really, anyone who's written down their goals or "5 year plan" has outlined, at least in part, their life. That is the major shape of your life which you will live.

When I'm writing a paper, I mean a really long research or argumentative paper, I can't possibly succeed without an outline. It's weird when you realize that you're writing your own life, but last time I checked, life is long. It needs an outline the same way a long paper needs an outline -- you can't possibly succeed without it.

Individualism is overrated. Why be an individual, when you could be successful? Success is a pattern that we can weave into the outline of our lives. Not every life is the same, but successful lives are all similar: those who live successfully are satisfied with what they have done with their time here on earth.

Sure, they've done different things. They've made different contributions, and they've said different words. That's not the point: they've all lived life fully, and found satisfaction in the end.

Are you satisfied with what you've done?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Utah? Well O.K.!

I can't believe it, but I got the most amazing job!

I will be teaching 7th grade langauge arts and creative writing at Syracuse Arts Academy in Utah. It is a dream come true. I am extremely excited. I really can't tell you how far over the moon I am for this job!

I also bought a new car: yes, Baby had to go. Remember the little ford focus I was so enthralled to find last summer? It passed away loudly on my way home from a YSA conference my good friend Ivan put together in Gettysburg (which was incredibly fun, by the way! I probably should have blogged about it, but... oh well! haha). We got it towed (if you don't have towing insurance, get it. It usually only costs a few dollars more per year, and it just saved me $200.00, so it was well worth it!) back to Montgomery and worked on. Then my Mom took her for a shake-down cruise (again to Gettysburg and back) before heading out to the wild, wild west, and it started having a different problem, so I decided to trade her in for something a little more reliable.

Meet Olga, the Olympian.

She's awesome. She gets about 38 miles per gallon on the highway while burdened with all my worldly possessions (she even got a little over 39 once). She steers like a dream, is incredibly comfortable, and smells like a brand new car -- which makes sense, because after all, she's only 2 years old.

By the way, I have an amazing credit score (yes, I am bragging. It was quite surprising, and I'm delighted).

Anyhow, I'm back in Utah with Olga. I didn't really want to come back to Utah when I graduated, but luckily Utah and Provo are actually two very different places, and I'm excited to spend more time with my sisters and cousins who live out here, too. Not to mention my very good friends (you know who you are)!

And honestly, I'm actually very excited to be back in the Beehive State. As my good friend Brigham once said, "this is the place!" ;-)