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I’ve moved. I wish I didn’t get so stressed out over these things, but I do. And even though I’m settled in and unpacked, it’s such a new situation (despite being an identical apartment), that I’m still feeling it. For some reason, I decided to set up my room differently. I like how it looks, but even that “little” change is something to get used to. My roommate is, well, she’s not my old roomie (I miss you, roomie!). It will be quite the adjustment, and she’s not half as particular about things as I am, so that will be interesting. She’s also much more extroverted than I am, which can be tiring for me, especially when I am already so tired.
I sincerely hope I can find a job that will pay me enough so that I can live on my own. I desperately want to have my own space.
In other news, Jury Duty is going well. 4 out of 20 days down. Weekdays, that is.
And I have a friend coming this weekend. Not many of my friends have come visit me (although, more, I suppose, than I should expect), so I’m always excited when one does.
And finally, swing dancing last night was disappointing. But at least I went.
Last night I stayed out until 4am dancing. Well, I didn’t go out dancing until midnight. I know I’m almost 30, but apparently I’m trying to recapture part of my youth. The part that I never captured in the first place.
I also woke up at 7:30am (earlier than I intended) and held babies in the nursery at church. They were sleepy; I was sleepy. It was a good match.
I meant to take a nap today. But it was so beautiful outside that I decided to clean my apartment. I know, weird conclusion, but it’s how I work.
And then I had to cook for the week. My stewed chicken is tasting delightful. It’s going to be another good week of Dominican dishes.
I also meant to finish homework, but I’ve decided that if I don’t get straight A’s, it’s okay. I am not defined by my grades.
I’m not ready to face the week.
I presented at the gender conference today. And it went great. I was worried that folk wouldn’t get into the discussion or engage, but they completely did! I had great questions, all throughout the presentation, and several of the attendees told me afterwards that they had never thought about the Trinity or the gender of God (as beyond gender) before, or in the ways I was talking about. It felt so affirming. My opening questions did exactly what I’d hoped. I didn’t forget anything. I presented coherently. So glad.
The only bit of constructive criticism, which was really helpful to hear afterwards, was to not apologize for what I’m talking about, but to present confidently. I had to laugh at that bit, because I know my insecurities got the better of me. But it’s so true. You should never apologize for your passion. Everyone knows that I’m not the be all and end all of this topic, and that my views will continue to grow and change as I grow and change.
To reward myself, there is a free outdoor swing dance today, and I am going to go. Woo hoo!
In three weeks, I can dance again (I think). However, I’ve decided that in the interest of living consistently with my faith, I can’t go blues dancing anymore. While I love it (truly love it), it’s not exactly the most clean dance. In fact, it’s pretty much pure sketch. However, swing dancing, in my opinion, is a better option anyway. My goal this summer will be to go dancing at least once a week, maybe twice if I can manage the time. But probably just once. And it will be great exercise, great fun, a great detox.
Speaking of healthy living choices (of which I think dancing is superb), I am trying to eat healthier. I know, I know. I say that a lot. But this time I mean it. My dad is doing the Atkin’s thing. I don’t want to go hardcore Atkins by any means, but I do think that limiting my total carbs can’t hurt. Especially the simple carbs, which really means sugar since I rarely buy anything ‘white’ anymore.
One of the staff members here that I’m friends with doesn’t eat anything that has sugar listed in the top four ingredients. It has to be fifth or more.* That seems like a really simple rule for limiting sugar intake, something I definitely need to do. I think I’m going to try it.
Now, of course, the thing is that I’m not a food waster. So I have to work my way through some of the food I have here and will just make a slow change to healthier eating.
This could work.
[*I asked about things like peanut butter or yogurt. Apparently you can grind your own peanuts at Fred Meyer to make peanut butter, which he claims is better than any peanut butter he's ever had, and there is a carb smart yogurt or something that doesn't have any added sugar. He also threw in a tip about the Simply Fruit Jam by Smuckers, but I already buy that because I prefer natural sugars anyway.]
This next week is Spring Break. I have hopes of getting in around 8 hours of homework every day, in order to catch up and get ahead. I think it’s possible, especially since every person I generally spend any time with is gone this week. Sad, right? But with any luck, if I can keep busy during the days and find things to do at night, I won’t be too lonely. Sometimes when I’m left alone for a long time (more than a day is considered a long time), I make bad decisions…
In the interest of NOT making bad decisions, I’ve already found a few dance venues: there’s blues dancing both Tuesday and Friday and swing dancing both Thursday and Sunday. That only leaves Monday, Wednesday and Saturday to fill. Unless, of course, my arm/tattoo doesn’t feel well enough to have sweaty men touching it by Tuesday, in which case I will have to postpone dancing. Or if I don’t quite gather the guts to try out blues dancing here. I’ve heard that where I live, the blues dancing is pretty dirty, so I’m slightly hesitant, but only slightly.
There’s also the zoo, the science museum and a local cheap theatre ($4 tickets). I’m too wimpy to hike by myself, even if the weather cooperates (animals don’t scare me, but creepy men on trails give me pause). There is bouldering any of those nights, and if I go on Saturday, maybe I’ll meet that blue haired man who was so nice last time. He said if I come back on Saturdays, he’ll see me, but sadly, I keep forgetting to go.
I think I can keep myself entertained? The problem is that I need my alone time, but once I have it, I want people. This is going to be a long week.
I am due for dancing. If I can get enough work done, I think I will go tomorrow night. And I think I will go to the lesson, even though I don’t need it: mostly because the cost is included and then I get an automatic in with more of the guys, since they will feel more comfortable asking me to dance if they’ve somewhat met me. (Silly, scared boys who don’t like asking.) I must remember to wear a skirt, though, as every time I wear jeans I realize how hot it gets. There is nothing worse than sticky, sweaty jeans when you’re trying to dance.
Alright. I must get on homework. I’m estimating I have around 6-8 hours worth, and if I can finish it all today, then I could start working ahead tomorrow. I really need to get ahead so I have time to work on my thesis preparation. yikes!
I have a Greek final tomorrow. I haven’t studied yet. It’s 10:40am. And I’m still in my pjs, drinking coffee. I have nothing to do today except review Greek, until work tonight.
Speaking of work, I was offered a better position by my supervisors, so I’m accepting it. Next year, instead of cleaning the gym at night, I’ll be on carpet crew. I hear that it is the best cleaning job on campus, plus it’s more hours, but only on three days (instead of five). And the best part is that I don’t have to work Sundays anymore, so I can go dancing on Sundays. [Side Note: When I dance on a regular basis, I am even happier single than I usually am: all that male attention--who would need a significant other?]
Also, I was drawn from the list to be able to apply for healthcare from the state. Praise the Lord. Now I just hope I am truly eligible. Next, I plan to apply for food stamps. Here’s the thing: I used to be against state aid, feeling that you should take care of yourself. Well, here I am, at grad school, working the hours I can manage, and I can’t make enough money to feed myself and I certainly don’t have health insurance. (My folks have given me money to buy groceries every month.) I’m a hard worker; I don’t intend to be on government aid my whole life, just until I can get a bit more self-sufficient. And I’ve paid into it my whole working life.
Oh, and I’m thinking of looking into Mission organizations and perhaps applying.
Let it be known: I should be in bed.
That said, I was dancing in the parking lot on my way home after work. I haven’t been swing dancing since August, and I miss it. I miss the physical exercise; I miss the people; I miss the sensuality. I might get to go over Christmas break (here’s hoping), but now I’m worried that I’ve forgotten how to dance. And so, I must take my opportunities and practice my footwork.
I like being a free agent. I like my independence. I like doing what I want, when I want. I like not having to check in with anyone. I like being able to flirt with the men at the mall. I like taking myself on dates. I like being by myself.
I know that God said “it is not good for man to be alone,” but I’m pretty sure He actually meant men, not women. Take that as you will.
I’m going to bed.
I had my first private dance lesson the other day. I spent the lesson learning foundational exercises for dancing. And I can feel muscles I didn’t know I could use. My dance instructor (we shall call him KB) also told me that as a follow, I have the right to only dance with leads who will make me look good on the floor. But I am afraid of being a jerk. However, I understand the purpose of KB’s words: if a guy cannot lead and/or has no rhythm, my dancing with him will only serve to make me feel like I’ve wasted a dance, and goodness knows I have no chance of looking good if I can’t follow him.
My practicality has often prevented me from doing these type of things in life. I look at the time involved, at the money involved and I tell myself that if it is not what I intend to do with my life, it would be a waste of my resources. But I look so much to the future that I forget to live in the present. And I believe that God intends for us to live in the present. To live there and to enjoy it and to use what He has given us. Not that our purpose on life is to be happy, but that God intends for us to enjoy His good gifts.
So dancing has become my outlet. In a way, I am reclaiming the previous 6-7 years that I very much wanted to take music lessons of one sort or another, but never did because of the associated cost. I am reclaiming all the years that I said no to fun activities because I had obligations to fulfil. There will always be work to do, there will always be obligations to fulfil, there will always be a future to consider. But in the meantime, I want to enjoy today.
You know that feeling you get when you think you’ve forgotten something important or like you’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop? You know, that kind of anxious sort of feeling in your core? I’ve been feeling that way all afternoon and evening, yet I can’t think of a reason why. Maybe it’s just general anxiety over not knowing what will happen after August 6. (Did I mention? Only 9 more work days to go!)
I tried out a new recipe today: Tiramisu. I’ve never made it before, and apparently it tastes best if given around 48 hours for the flavors to meld and settle. So now I’ve made it from scratch (even the lady fingers), and I have to wait two days to know if it’s any good. I have fears that something terrible will happen… like, I don’t know, maybe the whipped cream part will separate into liquid awfulness. But the recipe was highly rated, so here’s hoping!
Swing dancing is still going well. I am getting better at relaxing when I dance and letting my lead actually lead me. So instead of wasting energy trying to anticipate their moves or figure out what on earth they wanted me to do, I’m spending my energy on not doing that.
One of the reasons I think dancing will be good for me this year is that it is just for me. It doesn’t benefit anyone else. There are no obligations, it’s not an act of service, it is purely and selfishly for me. It’s good to have those type of things in your life. It makes me feel saner about the rest of my life, especially when the rest of my life isn’t going how I wish it were.
Positive thought for the day: Sooner or later (and hopefully sooner), someone will hire me. I am hire-able. I have good things to offer future employers. I hope! :)