Taking The Makeup Off, Coming Clean & Taking An Intermission from Social Media

Its time to cut the act, stop the performance, and strip my face of the mask I’ve put on for social media. Everyone does it. We all want our peers to like our posts, comment on our photographs, and manipulate social media to paint a perfect story that represents our lives. We want ex-boyfriends to miss us, people in high school to think we’ve made it big on Broadway, have a white picket fence, two children and a dog named Lassie. However, I’m done performing. I’m removing my makeup and taking down the pretend story I’ve crafted on social media. I’m not condemning anyone, I’m just coming clean because you deserve my honesty, and I need my honesty. In honesty comes freedom.

Although my pictures and posts may at times tell you otherwise, I’m not as far in my recovery as I had hoped. I didn’t think that returning to facebook after getting out of treatment would harm me, but recently, I’ve discovered how wrong I was. I’m not writing this to win over your heart or sympathy, I’m writing it for my soul, and perhaps to challenge you next time you post something.

Part of the reason I went to treatment for Anorexia, or a major part of it, can be contributed to the pressures and expectations of beauty I was bombarded with while auditioning for Broadway. I’m not blaming Broadway, I’m saying that the way girls appear in the media made me feel so insecure compared to the supermodels appearing on billboards all around me in Times Square or on the cover of Vogue that I internalized everything. I no longer wanted to be pretty. I wanted to be skinny. Skinny soon became looking like a closet hanger, and I almost lost my life as a result.

After treatment, although my body is for the most part, restored to a “healthy weight”, my mind and my heart are far from that. Photographs of me smiling and posts of country music videos can lead you to believe otherwise, but I’m coming clean.

Every time a post pops up in my newsfeed about “eating right, “going to the gym”, or “loosing weight”, I feel run over by a bus. Truth is, I’m still pretty broken, disappointed that I cant go to the gym because I’m on exercise restriction, and I liked the way I looked when I was anorexic, more than the way I look like now.  Although I’m “healthy”, I still look in the mirror and see “fat” and “imperfection”.  I get all sentimental and go through my old pictures on Facebook and fantasize, telling myself “Hanna, you were prettier when you were anorexic, if only you still looked like that”…How quick I am to forget that when those photos were taken I wasn’t sleeping, I was on the verge of passing out all the time, and I was slowly dying.

My latest journal entry speaks to how difficult recovery is, and I’m posting it in case you can relate and to come clean about how I’m really doing, with no editing. Real, Raw, Honest, Hanna.

“Who would I be without Anorexia? Who would I be without the compulsion to over exercise and desire to burn off everything I eat, suffocating from shame and fear of gaining weight and striving to look like a Barbie or Disney princess? Who would I be if I didn’t just eat foods I have deemed “Safe” and “Healthy”, if I ate what I wanted, with no guilt? Who would I be if I could eat pizza, make cookies with my dad and steal cookie dough when he’s not looking? Who would I be if I could eat candy from my Christmas stocking, without giving it all to my brothers? Who would I be if I went on a date to a hockey game and let myself have a beer without wanting to run five miles after? Who would I be if I didn’t have to measure out exchanges with measuring cups and report everything I ate to my dietitian and record it in my meal log? Who would I be if I could look in the mirror and like what I saw, instead of grabbing the skin on my body and convincing myself that fat has replaced my anorexic bones. Who would I be if I actually dressed up, put on makeup and brushed my hair, instead of wearing oversize sweatpants and sweatshirts to hide my frame? Who would I be if I believed that I was worthy of love and recovery regardless of what the number on the scale said? Who would I be if I didn’t give a damn what others thought? Who would I be if I didn’t cry when I step on the scale backwards at the doctors office to be weighed because I’m not allowed to know my weight? Who would I be if I didn’t have to drink pediasure because my metabolism is still messed up? Who would I be if I was free from the chains and false expectations of beauty modeled by the entertainment industry? Who would I be if food was simply food, and not my enemy? Who would I be if I made it out of Anorexia and crossed the finish line into full recovery?
As a result, I have decided to temporarily go off of Facebook, until I am further along in my recovery. The temptation to recycle pictures taken when I was sick and use them as my profile picture is too great, and I need to come to terms with my new “healthy” body. Obviously its going to take more than an intermission from social media to do that, but I think this is a helpful step.

I am so thankful for your love, grace and hope during this time. You all have proved to me that beauty is found in someone’s heart, and character, and goes beyond what someone’s face or body looks like even if its still hard for me to believe it. I hope that someday, I do believe it. Thank you for loving me, all of me, imperfections and strengths, and cheering me on. If you want to get a hold of me, my email is hannaryberg09@gmail.com, and I will still have my phone.

Farewell to Facebook for now,

Hanna

 

 

 

 

 

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Beauty from Ashes: Rerouted from Ireland to the Desert

 

This year, I will walk in freedom.

 

Today not only marks the start of a new calendar year, it marks a new beginning, a clean slate, a re-do, a new season. This August, I boarded a plane to live in Northern Ireland for what I thought would be a year..

 

Turns out,

God had different plans.

I’m not writing to throw a pity party, or seek attention, I’m writing in the hopes that this will help someone out their that reads my words.

This August, I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa a week before moving to Ireland. A diagnoses, that I was certain was a fluke…an accident..a bad dream or a practical joke. Surely, I could never be one of “those girls”..I wasn’t “skinny enough”. I just liked to conveniently skip breakfast… ..lunch and dinner…cry at the sight of deserts or carbs, and bike 12 miles in the pouring rain in Ireland on an empty stomach.

If I missed a workout, I would turn into an unbearable fire-breathing dragon. I woke up every morning at 1am with starvation pains in my side. I would tip toe into the kitchen, eat a banana and peanut butter, and go back to sleep.

I was convinced my behavior was normal, acceptable, nothing more than a minor quirk of mine. Surely the doctors had me confused with some other Hanna. Their medical degrees were just pieces of paper. They didn’t have a clue, and I wasn’t about to listen to their stupid, incorrect diagnosis. I was going to Ireland, and nothing was going to stop me.

Once I got to Ireland, I became more and more aware of how powerless I was over what I thought was a “fake” disease. I thought I could fight the urge to burn off all the calories I was putting in my body. I thought I could eat what my host family was serving. I thought I could focus on living in Ireland more than focusing on my weight or my appearance.

I thought wrong. After walking and biking around dizzy and weak for a month, fainting and dizzy spells, I came back to the states.

Irritated, lost and full of shame, I looked out  the airplane window and lamented and questioned God.

“Why in the hell would you send me to Ireland just to send me home?”

“You say you do good for those that love you…this feels anything but good..You’re punishing me”.

Then I packed my bags again to go to a place even more foreign to me than Ireland..the desert of Arizona. A treatment facility called Remuda Ranch. A decision that ended up saving my life. I was so malnourished my organs were starting to shut down, and I was flirting with death.

After a month of fighting for my body, my health began to improve. Little by little, I started feeling more like Hanna. Then I was sent to another facility in California, and finally was discharged and sent home for the holidays.

but the battle is not over. I’m still fighting daily with my appearance in the mirror, my anorexic clothes no longer fitting, resisting the temptation to ask doctors what my weight is, and battling the shame and heartbreak of missing Ireland and her people.

The battle is far from over, but I will not quit. I refuse to be a statistic. 

When I was auditioning in New York and not getting cast, I started to think that if I weighed just a little bit less, or slapped more makeup on my face, I would get the part. Running a mile every day turned into three, and then five.. till I blew my knee out. That injury should have been my first red flag, but I ignored it. As soon as it healed enough for me to walk,  I started biking. Five miles, then ten, and then twelve. Skipping a snack turned into meals. Days with minimal food began my game, and anyone who said anything, or called me out on it, was wrong or “jealous” of how “dedicated and healthy I was”. Food became my enemy. Exercise became my drug. If I looked perfect, I would get cast. If I looked perfect, I would get hired. If I looked perfect no one would tell how scared I was that my dreams (of Broadway, or working in International Relations in DC or Ireland) weren’t coming true..No one would notice how scared I was that I had no clue where my next pay check would come from when my post at the embassy ended. If I was just smaller. If I was just prettier. If I was just…

thin enough to be….gone.

The best anorexics they say, are 12 feet under, and I was flirting with my grave. Until God and His angels (my family, Cornerstone, and my friends) stepped in, and rescued me from my battle with the scale, the media, and the expectations of beauty placed on me by the entertainment industry. I was told that to be cast as Belle in Beauty and the Beast, at a height of 5’6, I had to weigh 100 pounds. I started striving to be that number, that “perfect” representation of beauty. I had no clue what I was dealing with by doing that.

Turns out, the mortality rate of Anorexia Nervosa  is twelve times higher than all other causes of death for females  age 15-24.

I wasn’t just fighting a cold, I was fighting for my life.

Girls. Don’t fall into the same trap. You are more than a number. You are more than a size, or a face, or a relationship, or a job. Beauty will fade and deceive you. Your heart, your spirit is what matters. If someone loves you only because you are a size zero, they shouldn’t be allowed to love you in the first place.

I thought that I could only be loved, or valuable, or successful if I was was a size zero. Size zero became more important to me than living, and I missed two years of living, because I was consumed with pursuing that.

Throughout this journey, I have learned, people do not love me for a size, or a number, or the makeup I paint all over my face.

They love my laugh.

They love my obsession with the Packers.

The love my heart.

They love my faith despite doubt, confusion, humiliation, anger and set backs.

They love that I can be BFF’s with a ten year old soccer player in Ireland, or a 70 year old woman.

They love how stubborn and driven I am, that I’m a fighter.

They love that I like to write letters.

They love how passionate I am for causes of Justice.

They love my obsession for peace and hope in Northern Ireland.

They love that I behave like a little kid and am happiest when I dance to Backstreet boys, play red rover, and act like a fool.

They love my voice.

None of these things have to do with my appearance. And they have nothing to do with yours, either.

I am so thankful for every single letter, every single phone call, every single care package, every single Facebook message or email sent to my parents, that you sent me in treatment. You are responsible for keeping me strong…keeping me fighting.

I am so thankful to have the most amazing God, parents, brothers, best friends, church, and support network I could ask for. I’m getting better because of your love, and I will forever hold your words of hope in my heart. I have a stack of letters of about 60 letters on my dresser from people all over the states and all over the world. God used each one of you to bring a smile to my face, and light to my life in the midst of all the darkness.

Girls I hope you know that you are never too much, you are always enough, and that the world would indeed notice if you were gone, I’ve experienced that first hand.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you should look like, or who you should be. Don’t let yourself be enslaved to perfection or compare yourself to edited photographs of women in the magazines.

You are more.

You are magnificent beyond description.

The fight isn’t over, I still battle this every single day. I still have to force myself to eat, look in the mirror, and be ok with what I see.

Who I am, what I am not. What I look like now, and what I don’t look like anymore, but I am stronger, and I will make this new year, better than the last. I’m not benched for being used, or making an impact on the world, and am capable of defeating this battle…

….and you are too.

You are worthy of recovery, and I am too.

“The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope, you give them their food as they need it..When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing..”PS 145:14-16

 

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On Following Your Heart And One Way Tickets

I cant even begin to articulate and process the journey I have been on for the past year. Last March, I bought a one way ticket to pursue my dream of being on Broadway. Last August, bought a one way ticket to Washington DC for a temporary position at the British Embassy, and yesterday, I bought a one way ticket to Northern Ireland. Life has constantly been in a state of re-arranging, adjusting, learning, smiling, trials, the unknown, blessings and growing. Getting lost in unfamiliar streets until they become my own, leaving and coming, goodbyes and introductions, and moving my boxes all over creation has become second nature. I have learned so much, and have had the privilege and honor of meeting so many wonderful people along the way. It would be pretty foolish, and quite too much of an undertaking to try to summarize everything I have learned…However, if some of these things that people, places, and dream chasing have taught me, helps guide you on your own  journey, its worth me stepping up to the plate, and trying to make contact with the ball.

All these different places have things in common. New York, DC and Northern Ireland look more similar to one another than I would initially think. The first thing, I have learned, is that life is more about people, than the place. You offer more meaning and significance to my life than the actual geographic location on a map in which I see you. Sometimes, I wish I could move every person that I care for to the same place, to eliminate the itchy nuisance or inconvenience that is long distance. Relationships are what saturate, flavor our lives and give it meaning.

The temptation at times, since I have always been in a state of moving/don’t know where/what I am going to do next, has been to check out, or only invest halfway in people, or halfway in my community or city..It seemed easier to be superficial and keep myself at a distance, in case I ended up packing my bags again…However, I am so glad I chose the other option. I’m so glad I chose to risk, be vulnerable and invest. Community and blessings come when you dive all in, put everything on the table, regardless of how much time is left on the clock. If I have one day left, or a year, I want to hear your story, and hopefully, be a part of yours.

The second thing I have learned, is to follow your heart. I moved to DC with the intention, with the hope of finding a way back to Northern Ireland. It didn’t wear the costume I thought it would, but in ways, it’s better.  A couple months ago, when my term at the Embassy ended, I was tempted to throw in the towel, and bury the Ireland dream in the grave. I had loved my time at the Embassy, I learned so much. I learned that I loved some aspects of the job, and disliked some of it as well. For example, I really enjoyed the prison visits, and learning how the British Government aids those in natural disasters. However, I also learned that I didn’t thrive, and was bored to tears with all the paperwork. Processing destroyed visas that a British sixteen year old had “washed in his trousers pocket” on accident, and accounting was not my idea of a good time.

This job also taught me about my strengths and weaknesses in the workplace. The embassy re-affirmed that my strengths are in relationships. I needed to be in a position that highlights this. I learned that if my heart breaks for the kid that has a history of getting involved with gang violence, or in trouble with the police force, I am probably not going to get the opportunity to serve him if I work for the Department of State, or an Embassy.. I need to target a smaller organization for employment, instead. This left me very confused, as I thought a career in Foreign Affairs would be my ticket back to Ireland, but God had something better in mind, that fit my gifts/talents/who I am like a good pair of running shoes.

After the embassy, I searched for jobs like crazy. Whenever the person conducting the interview asked about my goals, I would tell them about Ireland. This comment produced a lot of skeptical looks..but also produced some encouragement and honest advice as well.. For example, I had a job interview on the hill, and the interviewer told me : “Hanna..its great you have a specific interest…but it is also a large burden… It will limit you to the opportunities you take, but, if you stick it out, could perhaps happen. Hanna, I am going to be honest with you, if you take a job here, it will kill your dream…The chances of Legislation or issues centered on Northern Ireland coming your way, is slim to none. Even if your in the right building, its a shot in the dark…Sometimes, if you want something specific, your choice is to fight for it, or settle for something to get you by.. You have to make that decision.”

I also had an interview at a coffee shop, and he looked at me and said “Hanna…I know you would serve us well, but I can tell that your heart is in Ireland, and I want that for you. We are going to go with a person that wants a career in hospitality, I want to save you, for the right opportunity. Don’t waste your gifts, when there’s a better job out there for you, that will use them, and need them…

After those interviews, I continued to google random organizations in Northern Ireland, meet with people at the Northern Ireland Bureau, and volunteer at events put on by Irish Network DC every chance I got. I went to an event called the Belfast Beltway project, where they bring over kids from Northern Ireland to compete with kids from DC. Its a cross cultural experience through sports, and also raises money to change their lives, and their communities. This taught me, that organizations that do the type of work I wanted ,or dreamed about, do indeed exist. I was thrilled that an organization in my city  serves kids in the place I care about, and alters their futures! I also learned that attending these things can set the stage for introductions that can alter your future as well. Just by going and folding t-shirts like it was the most important task I had ever been assigned, I was introduced to a politician that worked alongside Bill Clinton and was involved in the Peace Agreement that was signed in Northern Ireland in 1998. He is also good friends with Tony Blair…Just by showing up to fold t-shirts, I was introduced to someone significant in  my area of interest.

Weeks turned into months and I became weary of my dream. Northern Ireland became a distant place in my heart and felt like an impossibility. I got so tired of emailing random people in Northern Ireland, and reading emails that said, “Sorry Hanna, visa’s are difficult..”, or “we don’t have any positions”, or “the UK’s rules on working here are near impossible to navigate”…

I had two options: One, I could continue fighting for what was in my heart…or Two: take a job with a real estate agent, or temp agency placement and sit at a desk and wake up every morning to go to a job I hated. But I decided to not let the opposition stop me.

After emailing the entire staff Cornerstone City Church in Derry, I finally found an open door, a “yes”,”your cast, you got the part….We’ll get you the visa, You were made for this”, and just like that, everything started to fall into place. But it took months of emailing and being stubborn about my dream, to make it come true.

At times I felt burdened by being who I am. What good is original when its a pain in the butt to be? Being original meant that I would be moving again, and that would produce more hard goodbyes… I felt ridiculous that I had this specific dream of working in Northern Ireland. I also started to feel insecure about my gifts. I envied my friends that were gifted in math, or science, and hated that I had an opera voice, or a gift with people.

At times I would say “Lord, why didn’t you give me a talent that’s useful? Like the gift of doing taxes, or problem solving? Why did you give me a voice if Broadway wasn’t the right thing, or the desire to get a Masters in Peace Studies? Who in their right mind wants or does those things?” I started envying my friends too, that were “Settled”…The friends that had worked the same job for a year, had a house, or had met the love of their life, or lived in the same place for more than three months at a time..but, then I discovered that comparison is the thief of joy…and had a bigger realization…

Each person has been given a specific mission or assignment to complete by the Lord. He has placed specific talents, passions, and dreams in you that make you unique, set apart, valuable and  important. I would fail miserably if I tried to accomplish your mission. If I tried to play the role of you, who would play Hanna, or complete her mission? If I tried to be an architect, the foundation of your house would fall down. If I tried to be an accountant, you would be in prison because the numbers would be off..So why should I worry about being someone else, or somewhere other than Northern Ireland, when maybe it is the exact place I am supposed to be?

To sum this up, here are my two words of advice. Number one: Don’t feel pressure to be anything but who you are. Follow your heart..Even if it takes emailing everyone that lives in Northern Ireland, folding t shirts or turning down a job. Follow your heart, don’t settle, for the right thing, may exist. The 100th email  you send may be the golden ticket…What if you quit at email 99? Can you live with that for the rest of your life? I certainly can’t, and I’m glad I didn’t.

Number Two: Its better to have a lifetime of hard goodbyes. Although its going to be so hard to say goodbye again when I move, I would much rather leave with memories and months of great conversations, than a lifetime of being alone or being “safe” or “guarded”, or “isolated”. Its lonely, sometimes because I’m always moving, and sometimes I wonder if prince charming will ever be able to find my location, but I know that the right relationships, will not be limited or scared away by miles. The right ones will fight through the miles, and I will fight through the miles to be in  yours.

Thank you for loving me, and walking this season of dream chasing with me. Your love and encouragement has clothed me with strength..And regardless of where I go, you are hiking this mountain right by my side.

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I Dreamed A Dream

I dreamed a dream back in 2011, when Northern Ireland first captured my heart. My Undergraduate studies and internship on Ireland’s emerald shores, sparked a love affair, a passion, un-matched by anything else I have every experienced.

From that point on, every essay I wrote in college, every book read or purchased –even my music playlists on itunes, pointed back to this special place. The land, the people, the history, everything about it–is beautiful, but what impacted my heart the most, was the fragile brokenness that I observed, that still impacts peoples lives. I didn’t know why, or how, but I wanted to play a part in it, and felt drawn to Belfast and Derry City. These places gave birth to my interest in peace and reconciliation, and I started to dream about working with youth through sports, peace centers, or serving a church over there someday.

Ever since I left Ireland, I have prayed that the Lord would either remove this passion and re-direct me, or open up a door to take me back. My intellect constantly battled with my heart. I reminded myself that it was inconvenient, unrealistic, and blindly foolish to want to live in a country across the pond. Lack of Irish Citizenship, finances, and  my degree in theatre and communications, certainly were not the correct ingredients to make my pipe-dream a reality.

So, I buried the dream and pursued my other passions. The past year, since graduating, I have been trying on cities and occupations like shoes. First, I moved to New York. Chasing makeup and fame, I longed to see my name above a Broadway theatre in lights. After months of auditions, nannying and dogwalking, I found the NYC actress life, anything but fulfilling. I wouldnt trade my NYC experience for anything- I learned so much, and gained two of the most significant relationships in my life, a relationship with my Aunt Beverly and Cousin Emily. However, by trying on the actress occupation, I found it just wasn’t the right fit. So, I buried my Broadway dreams in the graveyard, to search for a career and way of life that was more edifying.

Washington DC was the next destination on my map. I wanted to audition for a new role- to play part of political scientist. Perhaps, a career in a foreign government would enable me to re-visit my passion for Ireland. I took a position at The British Embassy,  hoping I could find a way back over there and lead me to a glamours career in international affairs. I wanted to be the next Tony Blair or William Wilberforce. Although, I had a great experience at the Embassy, over time, I discovered government didn’t completely fit, or serve my gifts or interests either. I found that the church, or small organizations, are the ones that are impacting people/doing the specific type of work I want to be a part of. Upon making this discovery, I felt a nudge inside me telling me that perhaps I belonged serving a church, or or serving an organization promoting causes of peace and reconciliation. Again, I tried to talk myself out of this idea. How in the heck was I supposed to chase a career in Ministry or Conflict Resolution when I’m trained in the iambic pentameter of Shakespeare and can sing Sound of Music?

More confused then ever, the contract at the Embassy ended in December, and I found myself buried alive in a pile of unfulfilled dreams, and roles that seemed to be performed better by someone other than me. I started to feel as if my passions and dream were something God carelessly drew out of a hat.

Or so I thought.

Three weeks ago, I thought I was going to throw in the towel and close the chapter on Washington. Like New York, it started to feel like it didn’t fit..but then everything changed. First, I found an incredible job, with incredible women, that have not only invested in my life, but have affirmed my dream of returning to Ireland. This July, I had already planned on going on a mission trip to Derry with my church for a week and a half.

When I first agreed to the trip back in February, I started to dream again. I thought to myself, “What if I could  just throw all caution to the wind and stay in Derry this summer, after the mission trips conclusion, and volunteer over there until I can get my Masters?” After my track record with dream chasing, this seemed like a stupid idea, but I went for it anyway. Being the stubborn girl I am, I wasn’t ready to quit on Ireland like I had quit on New York and Washington. I have sent emails to random organizations, and the church we are partnering with on the mission trip for months. No responses. No responses for weeks, that turned into a month, that turned into six months. Then, one email two weeks ago, changed everything. An email lead to a skype conversation with the head pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Derry. One miracle lead to another, and  I discovered that Cornerstone had a 12 month internship program, and they took American applicants. Within three minutes, the Pastor said He felt like I was the right fit. He went on to say that I would be doing theatre and music in assemblies with children (resurrecting my theatre dream), meeting with people that work for peace and reconciliation groups (resurrecting my conflict resolution/Irish history interest), and working with youth through sports outreach.

God performed a modern day miracle. Being the dream giver, He said “no” to Broadway and “no” to Washington, because he wanted to give me the “yes” I have wanted all along. The “yes” that combines all the “no’s”. The “No’s”, were only “Not Yets”. All along, He was saying “my daughter, I didn’t give you just Broadway, or just political science, or just Ireland, or just working with youth, because I wanted to give you an opportunity that is beyond your wildest dreams-combining them all”.

I am so pleased to announce that a dream I dreamed in 2011, has been transformed into a reality. This summer, Cornerstone Church in Derry has offered me a place in their program. Housing, living expenses, and a 12 Month Visa are provided. They said I can just stay in Northern Ireland and start the program with them this July. Instead of coming back to DC, I will exchanging my ticket for a one way ticket. The only thing left to do, is raise the funds, which I have to give them up front. 14008$ is the only thing keeping me from my dream. The program itself (everything included costs $8505.17 USD, but my goal is to raise enough funds to pay off my student loans while I am there as well. I know that God will continue to provide and carry this dream to completion. Never say never. Never bury your dreams or settle. You know your dreams better than anyone else, and you, are the one that has to relentlessly fight for them. You are the one that will have to live with the choice of giving up on them. Design the life you love, and don’t quit at the first, or second or third “no”. Don’t quit after the 300th email you send to Ireland. The 301st email, may be the one “yes” you’ve been waiting for.

I would appreciate your prayers and continued support as I continue on this journey of dream chasing. I am so thankful for your love, your guidance and your confidence throughout this whole season. Love is everything, and I am absolutely wealthy beyond belief in love, and I am immensely privileged and grateful.

gofundme.com/stsg5w

^ this is my support link. I would love your continued prayers and support. Can’t wait to see what happens. 🙂

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When Life Gives You Lemons, Go Stay At Grandma’s House

My post at the British Embassy ended December 30th, and I was faced with a decision: the decision to move to Maryland and apply for jobs in DC and keep fighting for my dream of working in Europe, or move back to Michigan with the comfort of friends, family and the familiar. After much soul searching, I decided to go with the first option.

Although this month has been lined with constant resume editing, cover letter drafting, job and fellowship applications, and random emails to everyone that may know of an open vacancy or have career advice, it has also been accompanied by one of the greatest gifts of my life. The gift of doing life with my grandparents. I loved seeing them first thing in the morning as we sipped coffee by the fire and laughed with them in the evenings before we retired to go to sleep. As I was packing this morning, i realized something quite liberating. Yes, jobs are important…But the relationships around you, hold more weight. At the end of your life, the memories, laughter, tears, conversations and quality time with those you love, (will hopefully) mean more to you than any job, pay grade or salary ever could. I have learned so much from their servant minded hearts, and their unconditional love for me has been saturated with grace. They love me weather I am the next US ambassador to Ireland, or if I work in a bakery, love is not determined by occupation, or lack there of. 🙂

I am so extroverted that being in Maryland, at times has been difficult, but it has taught me the value of self reflection. This month, through all of these conversations, wise council, and the process of trying to figure out whats next, has given me an idea of what I want. Although the opportunity has not yet presented itself, I have discovered that I want to live and work in Northern Ireland. I will do whatever it takes to make this a reality, doesn’t matter if its through an international government, or missionary organization, or if I have to obtain my Masters from an Institution in the UK first, I will patiently wait to see how it manifests. It would be convenient if my dream was less immaculate, or was easier to obtain. Sometimes I wish I was created to dream of working in this country, where it makes logical sense, where I possess citizenship and have support from family and friends if I fall on my face…However, “Faith is chasing a dream that is doomed to fail without Divine Intervention”. That is exactly what the dream of living in Northern Ireland is. I literally can’t accomplish this on my own. I can do the best I can, but God has to carry it to completion if He wants it for me. That takes the pressure off. God will remove it and redirect me, if its not meant to be, but will open doors if it is. God will also get all of the glory, because this dream is impossible for me to achieve by my own accord. So, I’m leaping.

I had hoped to secure a job before moving back to DC..but sometimes, opportunities don’t come as soon as we like..So, I decided last week, that I am going to move back to DC today without a job, move into a house, and search for any and every opportunity that may get me to where I want to be.

I still have no idea what that means, or where that is, but I can’t sit around and wait for opportunities to open. There is a giant possibility that this plan will fail, or is doomed, but I have learned that others will extend a helping arm should I falter.

Believe in yourself, and allow yourself the opportunity to be changed  and strengthened by the loved ones around you.

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Potential and Papercuts

An adventure is an understatement. 2014 was a year of adventures, changes, laughter, lavish events, trial and error, heartbreak, victories, dream-chasing, self-discovery and growth. In the past year, I had the opportunity to live in two of the greatest cities in the world and chase my dreams. Last march, I bought a one way ticket to NYC to chase the dream I’ve held in my heart since age nine-the dream of preforming on Broadway. I dog-walked, nannyed, worked in a sports bar, bakery and attended giant cattle call auditions for Les Mis, Annie, Beauty and The Beast and several touring companies. I took classes at Stella Adler and studied with a private acting coach. I ran & played on a softball team in central park, watched the Yankees on opening day, and cheered on the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. I lived on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, with the most adorable second family a girl could ever want.

After three months, I hung up my ballet shoes and tucked my scripts and monologues away. I decided to chase my other dream- a career in International Relations in Washington DC. I moved all of my stuff across the country–no job contract, just the opportunity to interview–to interview at the British Embassy. Only forty five minutes after the interview, I was offered the position. Two weeks later, I boarded another airplane, signed a lease at a boarding house, and moved to the Nation’s Capitol for a part-time job serving the British Crown. I witnessed the vote for Scottish Independence, distributed Passports and Emergency travel documents to British Citizens, visited those in prison, moved boxes and sent out mailings. I learned how to navigate the work place–reach out to those in Leadership positions above me when problems arose, and made the most out of the tasks I was given. Even if I was moving boxes, or got paper cuts from opening envelopes, or stood for hours at the paper shredder, I tried to do each task with joy in my spirit. As I would feed the paper into the shredder, I would remind myself that everyone starts somewhere. My somewhere was the British Embassy…Even though I wasn’t writing policy or changing the world, I still had potential–a mind, and skills that someday will be used for a greater purpose and it was the experience and opportunity of a life time.

I made best friends at work, attended the Christmas Ball at the Ambassadors Residence and often had to be rescued by security for getting stuck in doors and buildings. I worked alongside the most incredible set of co-workers and bosses I could have ever imagined and got to run with my boss during lunch on Tuesdays. Unfortunately, the position at the embassy was only temporary and my position ended December 30th, but I couldn’t be more grateful for the organization, the people I met, and the memories created along the way.

I have no idea what 2015 is going to bring. I’m searching for more jobs in Political Science in Washington, but am open to whatever the Lord has. If He decides to open other doors in other places, I am more than willing to pack up and go, but I am also willing to unpack and stay.

The most important thing that I have learned in chasing dreams, is that you have to trust yourself. Believe in who you can be, instead of who you currently are or what you are doing at present. Even if you are serving beers in sports bars in New York or feeding passports into a paper shredder at the British Embassy, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and say,  “this will get me to where I’m going. I am damn proud of the face looking back at me”, regardless of if I am cast on Broadway, mopping the floor in a coffee shop on the Upper West Side, or the next US ambassador to Ireland.

Support is everything. I cant imagine moving to NYC or Washington without the cheerleaders like you in my life. The constant text messages, prayers and love and encouragement from people near and far has been held in my heart every step of the way. The world can be scary when your a 23 year old college graduate, navigating unfamiliar cities and meeting unfamiliar faces…but with practice and support from God, family and friends, you can conquer Goliath. What seemed so bleak or unknown, turns into light, laughter and new memories. Remind yourself that you are braver than you give yourself credit for, and that its about enjoying the journey. One day you will reach the destination, but take heart and appreciate the memories and people you meet along the way. Thank you for being an angel in my life and walking this path with me. I am honored and incredibly privileged to have you in my life.

Favorite Memories of 2014:
Easter weekend/ living with Beverly and Emily in New York’s Upper West Side
Opening Day at Yankee Stadium
Rangers games and Capitols Games
Navy/Hilltoppers football game with the Petersen family!
Cooking Lessons/Apple Picking/Alexandria adventures with Christie
Adventures and conversations with Ed and his family
Long distance phone calls with Michael, Stephanie, Kelly, Char, Maddie, Angela, Gigi and Stephen
Every single one of my co-workers at the embassy. All the lunches, coffees and laughs at the Bus Stop
Softball games in Central Park
Any memories with Amy and Hannah
Meeting Bronagh and all the lovely people at the Northern Ireland Bureau
Singing with my Grandpa at Christmas and taking selfies on the Airplane back from Georgia
All the conversations and Packers love with Aunt Kathy
Girls nights with my little sister Emily
Christmas in New York City, Rockefeller Plaza and Fifth Avenue
Front row seats at the Military Bowl in Annapolis for the Cincy/Virginia Tech Game
Fourth of July at Maddie’s
Working with Nicola, Pat, Misha, Kim, Shannon, Kate, Maria and Michelle
Coffees, conversations and memories with the clayton family
The Black and White Party
Easter, Christmas and all the new memories with my Grandparents
Hiking/bbq/Georgia for Thanksgiving
Ice Skating in the sculpture Garden with Chelsea in Washington
Seeing Newsies and Jersey Boys on Broadway
Going to explore beautiful Mount Vernon with my new Friends
The Halloween Party at the British Embassy and all my adventures with Katie
The Ambassadors Christmas Ball
Going to Pennsylvania for fall fun with Cara
Parties at the New Zeeland Embassy
All my new friends in DC
Monuments, memorials, lunches and coffees with Linds
Christmas Trees, Hockey Games, Packers Bars and adventures with Jackson
Walks and coffees and Girls Nights with Chelsea and Gigi
My 23rd Birthday Party that Maddie Planned-She made a birthday cake shaped like the British Flag!
Angela and Cassie coming to visit me in Michigan over the Summer
All the conversations at the bus stop and over lunch at the British Embassy
Nats/Braves Game
Shannon’s Birthday in Alexandria
All the conversations, meals and adventures with Dave, Helene and Maddie- my second family
Bennett’s High School Graduation
Katie’s Bachelorette Party
Football group and Freshmen in the City at NCC
Cooking Lessons with Aunt Lucy over Thanksgiving
Hiking with Georgia
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On Scottish independence, angels in disguise and wanna be world changers

The past several weeks have been jammed packed with lessons. Some political, others occupational or personal. The first “lesson”, or experience observed, took to the polls last week. The question of Scottish Independence was not an issue debated or discussed across the pond or on the BBC, its fingerprints were evident all over the British Embassy. All over the lives of my co-workers and the larger organization itself. I am not writing to encourage a political debate or convey my opinions or allegiances. I am merely recording how fascinated I was to be around the issue while it was center stage. Foreign Affairs-more specifically European Affairs, or Ireland is the subject written on my heart. Written not only on my heart, but on all my political science exams at University, the subject of my senior paper, and the destination of one of my dreams. That being said, it is known that I am not employed at the embassy as a diplomat. I have not waltzed into a occupation where my job is to write policy, or discuss relationship goals or issues between allies. I am sending passports back to British Nationals that sent their mail to the embassy by mistake, or need a renewed one because they accidentally washed it in “their trousers”.  I am not writing to complain, or play the “entry level victim card”, as it is a necessary stepping stone. This entry level position, is the reason I am in the room in the first place. This position is my “passport of sorts”- enabling me to hear these foreign affairs discussions. They are being talked about all around me, in the cafeteria, in the Ambassador’s weekly meetings and among my co-workers. That alone warms my heart. That alone confirms that I am in the right place. That alone makes every sent back passport or photocopy I make an honor to be a part of.

When you graduate from College there are several things I didn’t wrap my brain around. I didn’t wrap my brain around the fact that it may take several years of entry-level positions and trying on different jobs/different cities like clothing, in order to springboard to your dream. After New York and Washington, that is exactly my reality. Not only is that my reality-but it is the reality of most twenty-somethings in this city, which I find great comfort in. One of my co-workers informed me today that one of the things He loves about this city, is that it is full of young college graduates that moved here to fight for a cause to bring about social or political change or to take the next step in their career…But that also creates a problem. As a result, this city is over-stocked with capable, talented, young men and women that are competing for the same jobs. Some individuals come to DC for a season, or a semester. A semester as an intern, on a fellowship, paid, unpaid, part time, full time, on the hill, off the hill, it all varies. Everything is always changing as a result and I am finding that it is hard to keep track of who is where and for what or how long. I am one of hundreds of wanna be world changers that moved to DC to find a way to do/work toward/find a career (that pays an actual salary) to do exactly that. Yes its overwhelming, but it also means-there is strength in numbers. I have the opportunity to be in a city with young men and woman who are walking down the same path I am/experiencing the same crazy excitements and anxieties.

The other thing I have observed is that Angels are all around, even in the most unlikely of places…These angels, always seem to know when, and at what time, you need them to show up the most. It is like someone wrote down my schedule ahead of time. Informing them that “at 3 pm on Tuesday Hanna will be overwhelmed and homesick”. That precise moment, is when they put on the halo and superman cape to embark on a daring rescue mission. My first angel works at the embassy. She is Indian and speaks very broken English, but I smile at her every morning and ask her about her life. She has taken to showing me pictures of her daughter. Her daughter is 5 and loves Disney princesses and swimming lessons. This embassy angel never misses an opportunity to compliment my makeup, tell me that she is praying for me, and that I should drink all the coffee I want, as much as I want. Simply because I smiled and asked about her day, she is inviting me to participate in her life. I am so blessed to have met the coffee shop angel. Who knew the British Embassy had one? The second angel, is a woman that cleans my room at the boarding house. Lets be honest, I am about as good at speaking Spanish as I would be at football if I were to be drafted as a lineman for the Green bay Packers. Nonetheless, I make every attempted to ask her how she is in Spanish every morning. My room is scheduled to be cleaned on Tuesdays. A mistake? I think not. Tuesday also happens to be my least favorite day at the embassy, because it is the day I work on accounting. Mathematics is greater than or equal to the feeling of throwing up, or being drowned in the Potomac. I came into my room to find an incredible surprise. For the second time, My cleaning angel had folded all of my dirty clothes, organized all of my shoes, books and makeup. Not only did she do all of that, she also tucked my beloved teddy bear, Guinness, into the covers. Her acts of love, grace and incredible generosity brought tears to my eyes. She probably spent forever doing all of that. What an incredible woman. Both woman are incredible. Imagine how many incredible people you have the opportunity of meeting if you just smile at them, ask them how their morning is in their native language, or about their daughter? Every conversation is an opportunity to be blessed or to be a blessing. Regardless if they are a coffee shop angel, or the President of the United States. Smile, be nice to people, and make the most out of sending lost passports back. It is as if you are sending back gold or buried treasure instead. It’s a passport to be in the room, to discover yourself, and work toward your dream job.

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When You Find Yourself Carrying Your Suitcase Down The Broken Escalator In The Nations Capitol

Beautiful white buildings, British accents, the towering presence of Honest Abe as he sits powerfully and courageously on his throne overlooking the National Mall are just a few of the sights and sounds that have been my reality. I have been living in The Nation’s Capitol for three weeks now.  As, I try to navigate my way through building a career, new relationships, and even little things–such as finding the nearest grocery store, or transferring my prescription to a local pharmacy, I find that in doing so, I am learning so much. These findings will shape my present, and my future. 

Lets talk about blessings. The number of doors I have already had the pleasure and honor of walking through, and the people I have had the joy of meeting in this short amount of time already, has been almost dream-like. I love my boss and his New Zeeland Accent, my colleagues in the office, and that I am only a mile and a half walk to my favorite monument- The Jefferson Memorial. On Monday Evenings, I can perch myself on the steps of the Capitol and hear the Air Force or Marine Corps bands give a free concert in the moonlight. Two Fridays ago, my boss showed me the gardens at the Ambassadors Residence. One of his hobbies is bee-keeping, and he attempted to explain the process to me. I felt a little silly standing at the bee hives in a pencil skirt in the mud of the gardens, but I loved every minute of it. 

In addition to blessings, mishaps happen along the way to change the course of your journey, and its inevitable. There are so many beautiful things about being a college graduate, but on occasion, its lonely to be in a new city when your only twenty three. Sometimes I long for the familiar–long for stability, to be established, to have a city full of friends and a road map of the job opportunities ahead, or the names of the people that will waltz their way into my life…Some-days, I have the joy of meeting up with old friends, or lunch with my co-workers, but sometimes, its just me in a city of strangers. I’ve learned to embrace this fact. Last Monday, was one of those moments. I was coming back from visiting my grandparents in Maryland, only to find the escalator at Union Station was broken. Suddenly, I found myself carrying my heavy suitcase up two flights of stairs. Although I was hoping Superman would come out of nowhere and offer to carry it for me, I found the beaded sweat all over my forehead makes for a good laugh. 🙂 Your twenties aren’t always pretty or glamorous. There are times to be the belle of the ball at a gala given by The Scottish Affairs Office, or to feel important when you walk through the security procedures at the State Department (yes, I only dropped off mail, but hey, I still got to walk into the dang building), but there are also times when you are the new girl carrying your suitcase up the stars at the metro. Your twenties will include both, so you might as well embrace them both. 

The most important thing I am learning though, is that the only one who can make a career, or figure out what you want in life, is you. No-one can tell you what jobs to take, what shops to walk into, what networking opportunities to attend–its all a crap game. You have to just trust your intuition and invent the life you want, which sometimes involves, living in a boarding house you don’t like, so that someday you can live in your castle. Right now, I am living in a boarding house, I get my own room, but seeing bugs the size of a grape, is a regular occurrence, especially in the laundry room. So you learn to squish them with your flip-flop and remind yourself that someday (in my case) by living here temporarily, you will be able to live in that cute cottage in Ireland or that hip-artsy flat above a coffee shop in San Diego, or have a two car garage and a golden retriever in a suburb of Atlanta. Those places are to come. For now, I have been given the opportunity to live on Capitol Hill, so the grape size bugs in the great scheme of things is no big deal, because its part of my journey.

 

Another important thing I have learned since college-is to learn to embrace Hanna time, and enjoy my own company. This is no small feat as I am am probably in the running for most extroverted female of all time. Talking and laughing are hobbies. But, the reality is, that you will be spending a great deal of time by yourself, and its good for you, so I am learning to embrace Hanna time as well as other people time. We have this weird thing associated with being alone. Being alone is scary–or it means no-one likes you/ you smell/ or something else…The reality is, that’s not what being alone means at all. Being alone is part of the journey..And even though sometimes I long to see a familiar face when I’m lost or scared, I am also finding that I enjoy going on dates with myself. Going on dates with yourself? What does that mean, you ask? Well, let me tell you. Its actually quite fun, probably good for you. It didn’t kill me, either. Not only did I come out alive, but I came out refreshed. This morning, I had the opportunity to go on a date with myself to the American History Museum. History was my favorite subject in school and I took my time meandering through the exhibits on the Emancipation Proclamation, March on Washington and WWII and Civil War Exhibits.

As I read the brutal stories of the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, Slavery and fight for freedom and against Hitlers Regime, I found myself deeply moved by all of these events. Even though I have heard these stories before, I was reminded of how lucky I am to have rights and freedoms that so many longed for–are still longing for in other parts of the world at present. Yes, all of these wars happened at different times, different places, and for different reasons, but the need for freedom/ to fight against injustice was at the root of them, linking them together. I am so glad I got to go on a history date with myself and see Bob Dylan’s leather jacket on display, waltz through the butterfly gardens and enjoy a cup of coffee at Ebeneezers.  It really is all about the little things-being able to walk through these museums for free, to get on a train and spend the weekend cooking in my grandparents kitchen, or yell at the television as my Georgia bulldogs secure a victory over the Clemson Tigers. Sometimes, I long for my own house, my own kitchen, my own family. But that’s not the chapter I’ve arrived at. I have to enjoy the blessings of the present. That means, embracing living in a boarding house, turkey sandwiches and grape sized bugs, but the blessings far outweigh the mishaps. And someday, I will have my own castle. 🙂

 

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Defying Gravity…in Political Science?

Three months ago I sat in a Manhattan coffee shop. Tears in my eyes, I felt like the biggest failure in the world. I had come to NYC with Broadway hopes and was leaving empty handed. No roles, or casting offers, just a suitcase of broken dreams and a smaller bank account….

or so I thought.

Now, I sit on my couch in Michigan and my situation has changed significantly. In the past 24 hours, I was offered, and accepted a position with the British Embassy in Washington D.C. Bought a plane ticket, and found a new city and a place to call home.

I have two loves. Two degrees. Two fields that I am passionate about. Ever since I have Graduated, I have been searching high and low, trying to figure out which one I would spend my life doing. In March, I took a leap and tried on the role of actress. I learned so much, and discovered some incredible things, but I also learned, the shoe didn’t fit perfectly.

When I came home from New York, I was afraid and heart broken. I started to wonder if dreams were achievable, or if I would ever hear the words “your hired” or “your cast”. I thought about staying at home and giving up, but then, my friends and family reminded me I had another option. I could give up, or, I could reach for my other dream-my dream of working in Foreign Affairs. I could try on the role of working in government.

A couple months ago, while I was still in New York, I applied for a position at the British Embassy in DC, never thinking I would never hear back. Last week, I was proved wrong. They offered me a telephone interview, and a skype interview..But after consulting my best friends and family, I made the decision to drive 10 hours with my mom on Sunday to Washington DC for the interview. If I wanted my dream job, I was going to have to fight for it.

I walked in and fought for it. To my greatest delight, on the car ride home, not even an hour after the interview, it was offered to me. Three months in New York- insert Cricket Noises. One interview in DC-Grand Prize.

The one thing I have learned is to NEVER GIVE UP ON YOURSELF. If it was meant to be, it will be. Never believe that your passions and gifts are a waste. Keep searching, keep fighting, keep dreaming. But it is up to you to achieve it. I had to decide to drive to DC with my mom, no guarantee of the job, or what to expect, but I got in the car anyway, pumped the gas and packed everything up in boxes and drove it to my grandparents house in Maryland. I wanted to see what was possible. I have learned that if you believe in yourself, and in God, that He created you to be who you are for a reason, in His timing, you will “Get the part”.
You have to try. You have to take risks, and on occasion, jump off the cliff before looking. I absolutely had to go to New York first. There were things I needed to learn, to try, to test out, before I could figure out what was next. New York, lead me to this opportunity in DC. It shaped who I am and made me stronger, more prepared for what lies on the road ahead. This dream job in DC I didn’t think was possible. Not only was it possible, it was possible an hour after the interview!

I had to go to NYC first, in order to find the grand prize in DC later..Maybe I wouldn’t have been ready for the opportunity if it had happened sooner. Maybe I wouldn’t have taken the risk and just have done the phone interview instead of taking the initative to drive all the way there to meet them in person. Who knows. But it doesn’t matter now. The timing is perfect, and a new chapter opens next week when I board that flight.

I never would have thought I would be defying gravity anywhere but the stage…But between all the recent circumstances, opportunities, new passions, and opened doors, it is obvious that God had a different stage in mind. God wants me to be on the political science stage. I have no idea where it is going, Sometimes I am nervous or scared that I don’t know what I am doing, or that I am not qualified..But if I fall on my face, and do mess up, which is inevitable, I can dust myself off, and get right back up with a smile on my face and keep going. I will always love theatre, but through all this soul searching, I have discovered my passion for foreign affairs is greater. I just want to serve and love people, and see the world, and this job can take me there someday. I am excited to see where this journey takes me, a new adventure awaits and I am incredibly honored to have such a great support system. Thank you for believing in me, for loving me and walking this journey with me. Love is everything. I am overwhelmed by all of the text messages, prayers, hugs and phone calls I have received over the past 24 hours. It is such an honor to have the incredible support and love from angels like you, that are all around me. Thank you for investing in me, reminding me to dream, and walking this journey with me. You are loved, you are valuable, you can reach the sky.

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The Answer Is In Transit

About a month ago, I left The Empire State, and so I thought it was time for another post. Some days, New York seems like a dream.  I no longer wake up to the sound of taxis, or stumble upon window washers outside my window at 7am, when I venture into the kitchen to make my morning coffee, only to find that I am only dressed in a robe. The men in the window look confused as I pretend they didn’t see me and casually go hide in my bed until they have finished.  Running in Central Park, racing Emily up the stairs in the apartment, rehearsing my audition songs, frantically searching the apartment for my lost metro card, all seems so distant. Everyone  and their mother seem to ask me, “What’s your plan now, Hanna?” & The more I reach to find the answers, the more I stare at the 9-5 jobs on Monster, or sift through audition postings in other cities, the more I realize…maybe the answer is in transit. My friends are getting married, closing on houses, getting promotions, and lives all around me seem to be “settled”…But the more I think about it, that though that may be true, when is life ever 100% settled? You can plan out the next five years of your life till you give yourself an ulcer, when the reality is, you may only have a year left on this earth. So make it count as if its your last. Yes, apply for jobs, be productive, go get what you want, sprint after it and never let it go, but not to the point that it destroys you. I have wasted so much of this month stressing , feeling as if I am never going to find employment, or start “my life”. I have been so consumed by the future, that I have missed blessings in the present. The reality is that I am 22. I’m in the in-betweener stage. Half of my body is in high school: the girl that loves Friday night football games, slumber parties and dancing to backstreet boys and dressing up for prom. The other half, is the adult half. The adult half that is dying to open her email that says “Congratulations, You’re Hired! You will work for us for ten years, get promoted, marry the man in the cubicle next to yours that looks freakishly like Aaron Rodgers and have one boy and one girl, and relocate Connecticut. You will live in a New England Cottage,  have a golden retriever named Lambeau and a white picket fence and a two-car garage.” Although it is true that I would probably sleep better at night knowing my Bachelors Degree will mean something, it doesn’t work like that. I will be able to play catch with my children someday, and walk down the isle in a church to say “I Do” , even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment. Maybe I’m not ready for that. Maybe I have things to learn and experience first. Although the only isle I walk down right now, is the isle in the grocery store where the jars of Peanut Butter and Protein live, the reality is that I need to learn to embrace it. Maybe I’m not ready to hold the key to a new home, or take a child to the pediatrician to get his vaccine for the chicken pox.  I need to embrace being 22. It’s acceptable that I want to go skiing in the alps, try new foods, audition to be a Disney Princess on a wimb, go stand on the top of the mountain and gaze at the endless horizon and bury my toes deep in the sand. The doors of the world are open to me. I’m young. I can explore, I can try something-a job-a new city-a new country-anything, because I’m a twenty something. Yes, there are bills to pay. Yes I’m scared.  Yes, I am spazzing that I don’t have a job, or can’t pay off student loans and haven’t gotten cast in anything.. Freaking out and embracing fear and the lie that I’m a hopeless college grad with no future , isn’t going to give me the answers either.  Because its not true. The reality is that God will reveal his plan as He sees fit. Regardless of what I plan, or don’t plan, it will happen the way He ordains it to be.  Each new day, with it, will eventually lead to the answer. In the meantime, the answer is in transit. All I can do each day, is embrace my reality-all the unknowns, all the fears, and all the blessings of being a twenty something. Take heart, your time will come. You will find your answer and the life you were created to live.

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