Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Green, red, and white

Lightbulbs. That's the theme of this post :)

Green, red, and white lightbulbs - ok, so - I'm over it. I LOVE Christmas. I am THAT person that pulls out the decorations and puts on the Christmas music as early as she can. And thanks to consumer America, I'm right in sync with every store and shopping center. After bumming over some difficult memories and feelings that I thought would loom around this Christmas to make it a little difficult, those have left my mind, and I am very much looking forward to the holidays. I will be with people I love and it will be the kind of holiday that I've always wanted. I can't wait. And I can afford to buy people presents this year! Not to mention, I cook now, and food always makes the spirit bright ;) As for Thanksgiving, I am totally psyched for that. Can't wait. Soo glad it's next week! This is going to be a great holiday season.

As for other lightbulbs - well, the lightbulb finally went on with ME! I have written previously about how God worked a series of events that led me on a journey I have been on this fall season in rediscovering my true passions and talents and finally incorporating them into my life. One of them is writing. I have been writing since I was 5. Well, long story short, I am in the process of launching my freelancing business. I'm so close, I can taste it - and that's amazing to me! The lightbulb going on wasn't just in realizing that I had permission to pursue my passions and talents because God gave them to me, but in realizing just how perfect a career in freelancing is for me!

So many things add up to a career in freelancing making sense for me:

- I have wanted to start my own business for three years.
- Um, I majored in journalism =p (A major I ended up having to create myself - showcasing my entrepreneurial spirit!)
- I hate the 9-5
- I hate having to GO to work. I want to stay HOME on snowy days!
- I hate working for other people!
- I desire and cherish being able to make my own schedule
- I am passionate about teens, have always wanted to write for teen magazines, and this allows me to do that.
- This will allow me to write for faith-based publications and organizations, which could lead to the writing/speaking ministry career I dream of.

Basically, a career in freelancing somehow magically puts together all of my dreams, preferences, desires, and goals in ONE. I'm not even quite sure how it all works out that well, but it does!

So, this was one big lightbulb week :) And I am so thankful for lightbulbs!

I have managed to put together all the pieces of the starting-a-business puzzle together in approximately one week - almost less than that. Now I am just waiting until Dec. 1st to determine what my budget will be so that I can afford the incorporation fees. And then I will be in business, baby!

I am so thankful and lucky! YAY :)

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Silver Bells

This past Friday, I had some extra time before I had to tutor. I quickly took advantage of the time to browse all of the new Christmas goodies at the Target around the corner of where I had to be in an hour.

Christmas is my favorite holiday by far. I love the decorations, the food, the music, the spirit of it, the family, the celebrations, and of course, the reason behind it. And Target is one of my favorite stores for buying half of that stuff!

As I was browsing the aisles, I came across a snowman mug that was reminiscent of one I had during my childhood, and then it started - a familiar sadness I have felt around the holidays during recent years.

As a child of divorced parents, the holidays have been discombobulated for some time now. My nuclear family is never all together; in fact, not even a majority of them are. Each member of my nuclear family is often in a different location for the holidays now. And since I have moved far away, I haven't been able to join my family for the holidays going on 3 years in a row. So the holidays bring a sad longing for the family togetherness that is supposed to fill the holidays with joy.

Additionally, this is my first Christmas after spending my last two with my ex-husband. Those were both of the Christmases that I was not able to see my family, and as the joining with my husband was the start of a new family, I worked hard to make those holidays memorable - even sacrificing my father's Christmas gift to put toward my husband's. So, understandably, these holidays are going to be doubly hard.

I am anticipating the difficult moments, but I am also looking forward to this Christmas as a time to start again and make new memories. Thankfully, though it won't be mine, I will have a family with whom to spend the holidays. As I move forward through the holidays this year, I am depending on the Lord to get me through the hard times and praying that it will be His son's birth that gives me the most joy of all.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I Love Music

Last night was awesome. Wanna know why?

Last night, I picked up a guitar while finally having a productive source to teach me how to play it.

Why is that so important to me?

Because I have wanted to play for YEARS.

Something not many people know about me is that I am incredibly passionate about music. I've been singing since I was around 4 or 5 (with grandpa's homevideos to prove it), but only where and when other people couldn't hear me - church not included, however,I don't belt it out at church like I do in my car, and you can't hear me above the instruments and everyone else anyway =p I wasn't confident in my abilities, I'd had people (my siblings - I'm not sure they truly count) tell me I was bad (though I've had others tell me that I'm good), and I was deathly afraid of being rejected over something I cared so deeply about.

Since about the end of August, I began babysitting for a woman who is a Christian lifecoach. Life coaching is something I'd been wanting to do for a few years, as I've struggled to figure out where I was supposed to be going with my life and career and exactly what God had made me for. So, I asked if we could do a service trade - babysitting for coaching - and she agreed.

Early in the coaching (using a workbook she had written filled with various exercises), I completed an assignment of creating a timeline filled with various experiences and events and also a story of my life 5 years in the future. The timeline made one thing very clear: I had passions and abilities that God had given me for writing and for music that I have not fully developed or even pursued. I was immediately struck with a conviction that this was dishonoring to God. It also made me quite sad that I had neglected things that were so important to me and inherently part of who I am. I had quietly tucked my dreams about singing and songwriting in a "not-doable" folder years ago, and while I definitely wanted writing in general to be part of my career future, I hadn't pursued it like I'd truly wanted to.

Instantly, I felt liberated to pursue these things and to be who I am. And that is exactly what I am doing now. I have purchased tools to assist me in developing a freelancing career as well as a songwriting career, and I am not withholding the truth about myself any longer. I am unashamedly pursuing the things I love no matter what negative things people may say about it. I feel that pursuing the talents, abilities, and passions that God has given us is our duty as children and servants of God, and I intend to do that. Where that will take me and what God's will for using those things entails, I do not know. I only know that I have formulated progressive and realistic goals, and I intend to achieve them.

My passion for music outweighs my desire to be a freelancer, but I desire both. Right now I am concentrating more on my music. But as I pursue it more and more, I am filled with even more satisfaction, excitement, and joy, and I just can't keep it to myself anymore - I LOVE MUSIC.

And as I indulge my true passions and pursue them, I am convinced that pursuing the things that God has put inside of us - our natural talents, abilities, and passions - is what leads us to live fully as ourselves and to glorify God to the best of our abilities - far better than if we lived our entire lives denying those realities.

I also have realized that if I had continued to deny these passions because of sheer doubt, I would have DEFINITELY arrived at the end of my life regretful. I am young, single, childless... besides the bills I'm responsible for, this is the ideal time for me to pursue my dreams, and whether I land a songwriting contract or a full-time career as a freelancer or not, I will be fully satisfied that I lived as fully myself and did my best to achieve my dreams.

And I encourage everyone to do the same :)