The title sounds dramatic, which is actually a perfect way to sum up events from the past couple of weeks. Or years. I had two interviews on Monday for library media specialist positions. Both interviews went well, and I know that I did not get one of the jobs. The principal was extremely encouraging, and if you want to know more, just ask. Afterwards, though, I became extremely confused. All of a sudden, I realized I was upset because this means the chances of me going back to the job I had last year are even greater. After going through a series of emotions, I again decided that I will do whatever I have to do to get by until Ryan finishes school in May. In summation, I'm okay. :-) My current (and past) crisis is that I cannot, for the life of me, determine what it is that I even want to do. I know I can do whatever it takes to get to wherever--that's not the issue. The issue is determining what it even is.

My mom bought me a book a couple of years ago that I finally decided to pick up and read yesterday. It's If you Have to Cry, Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone. I read half of it yesterday, and while it is perfect for me right now, I can't recommend it with a clear conscience. She is quite bold, and says many things that are just not based on a solid foundation. If you can read it while constantly weeding out the bad parts (she made up her own religion, uses plenty of foul language, etc.), you might find something good in it. The title of my blog post comes from a chapter she named, "It's not a breakdown, it's a breakthrough." The truth is, when we meet resistance, we have a choice: breakdown, or breakthrough?

A few bits of wisdom, if you will:
"You'll find as you set out after your dreams that most people don't really want you to transcend the situation you were born into. Perhaps they're scared for you, perhaps they don't believe in you, or perhaps they're just nasty, negative naysayers. Whichever it is, I advise you to stop sharing your dreams with people who try to hold you back, even if they're your parents. Because, if you're the kind of person who senses there's something out there for you beyond whatever it is you're expected to do--if you want to be extra-ordinary--you will not get there by hanging around a bunch of people who tell you you're not extraordinary. Instead, you will probably become as ordinary as they expect you to be. ...when you're the most happening person at the party, it's time to leave."

I love what she says here. I have been quite determined about my future before, only to have it squashed by someone to whom I told it. I realize much of what Kelly has to say in this book, and particularly in the passages I'm sharing with you, seems cynical. If you read it in the context of her life story, or of my own, to be honest, it will make more sense.

"...sometimes in life seasons don't come in order; instead of fall, winter, spring, summer, we get three winters in a row. But that doesn't mean spring won't come eventually."

"You can either let someone by protected from reality or let them be sculpted and birthed by it. I firmly believe the latter option is best. We're constantly getting these messages to mind our own business and look the other way if we want to be well liked, to not tell the truth or speak our mind or say anything too intense. Well, I'm telling you here that this approach not only makes you party to other people's crimes against themselves but is a prescription for mediocrity and delusion."

This one really challenged my thinking, although if you know me, you know these words could have easily come out of my own mouth. Clearly there has to be a balance, but I found it interesting nonetheless. It is so true that we can either be protected from reality or be sculpted by it. I love that.

"...as you move through your career and your life, you will have to learn that if you're not what you do, then what you do has no business keeping you entertained at night."

I have always, always said that "my job is what I do, not who I am." I know people--many people--who are their jobs. They let their jobs define them. I hope I never will. I couldn't help but smile as I read what she had to say.She's right: your job is not who you are; you should never lose sleep over it.

I'll share more passages as I continue to read. Again, it is a good book, and if you want to read it yourself, by all means do. But please do not recommend it to somebody if you haven't read it yourself...especially to someone who is not very well-grounded in the truth of Christ.

And so you can see a little bit of what I've been up to:
  • Lots of dates with Ryan before August arrived. He is living out of town this month for a pharmacy rotation. Today I realized there are five weeks this month. Torture!

  • The picture below is from our anniversary. We had the most wonderful date at a fancy local place, Bordino's, and I was so upset that we didn't get a good picture together. I asked a lady to take one, but quickly realized she was not in a state of mind to take a decent picture. So we took one in the mirror when we got home. Sad. 
  • I've had a difficult time finding a way to decorate my dining room table, and dining room in general. Here's what I came up with:

  • Below is the view from where I'm sitting right now in my living room, peeking into my dining room. I painted those frames black. If you look at my previous blog post, you'll see they used to be a variety of pretty colors. I loved them, but it simply wasn't working with everything else. I'm really, really happy with what I've got going on now!
  • While I was reading outside in my back yard yesterday, I got a funny feeling and started looking around me for snakes and such. I didn't see anything at all, and continued reading. When I finally got up to go back inside, this was in front of the door! Weird, huh? My friends on FB assured me that it's a King snake and will eat other snakes. I wasn't scared at all, but it did strike two or three times in the opposite direction from where I was standing. 

Happy August!