Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Idealizing

Today's excerpt is called "Idealizing'


Much of my time on this planet has been about yearning for what I don't have.  Like a lot of people, I have had an active fantasy life about how I wanted things to be, which left me resenting the way things actually were.  When I was living this high-flying future life in my mind, it was a total bummer to wake up to where I really was.  The yearning was making me blind to the ways I was already living parts of that dream.

A couple of years ago, when I first moved to New York, I was about to go on tour for the first time in years.  I was on the phone when a friend, talking about the tour, and worrying about finding a job when I got back.  I was deep into complaint mode (which just means I was afraid and feeling helpless).  I was complaining about how I still needed a job and how I hadn't figured out how to make a living doing what I loved.  "But," my wise friend said, "notice how you already are making a living doing what you love."  It was at that moment that I realized she was right.  For two weeks, I was going to be working full-time as a musician.  Just because I had to get a job when I got back didn't mean those two weeks didn't count!

I started to look around to see other ways I was already living my dream life.  I was living in New York, in an apartment I lvoed.  I had a partner who tickled me silly, and an artist studio for the first time in my life.

Um, HELLO!  This is REAL LIFE TALKING!  Not too shabby!

As artists, we all have running fantasy lives about our future glory.  What do those fantasies contain?  What are the ways you can live them right now?  If you imagine yourself going to art school, how about paying a visit to that art school?  If you're like me, you might have a fantasy about what you will do when you get your first book published.  My fantasy was always to sign the large and extravagant book contract and then go to Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park.  Until I got the large book contract, the Boathouse Restaurant seemed out of reach and something to enjoy only in my dreams.  Then some friends surprised me by taking me there for dinner and it suddenly dawned on me:  The Boathouse was available for dinner now.  I didn't have to wait to go there - my life was special occasion enough!

Elements of your ideal life are happening right now and, in order for them to grow into the full picture, they just need encouragement.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Truth About Jobs

Excerpt from Summer Pierre's book...


The Truth About Jobs
I have never had a job where employees didn't have an ongoing list of complaints.  It seems to be the nature of work life.  The management is lousy or the employees are underapprecited or they are just bored out of their minds.  But here is the reality:

Your job is not the problem.

For me, I always believed my job was the problem.  I was an artist and I hated having a job, but I didn't know how else to live.  I tried different kinds of jobs:  art store clerk, nanny, and administrative assistant in various atmospheres.  I tried to get a job in something I believed in - helping the poor - and I was still bored and angry.  I tried getting a job working with kids - ditto the experience.  I decided I needed more money, so I got a job at a wealthy foundation - still frustrated beyond measure.  It finally dawned on me that it didn't matter how much money I was being paid, or what kind of environment I was in, it was still me coming to work:  depressed, sarcastic, adolesscent me.  I realized if anything was going to change, it had to start with me.

So I tried to quit working cold turkey - a few times - and something interesting happened.

I didn't do so well.

The magical life I thought being a full-time artist would entail dissolved the moment my coffee mug was empty.  I was still bored, still scared out of my mind, only I was lonelier than ever.  I still felt disempowered and like a victim of circumstance or of my own poor childhood or of whatever thing I could think of.  Also, and more important, I got just about as much art done as I did when I was working full-time.  I was still me and I was baffled as hell.

It turned out there were a lot of things that having a job did for me.  At a minimum, it gave me structure, accountability, and an opportunity to be around people.

If we are dissatisfied with work, we think:  "If only I could win the lottery and not work, tha twould solve all my problems" or "I wish I could just work from home."  But the truth is, work, like anything else, is a relationship that requires our own participation.  i assure you that if you didn't have to go to a job every day, you would have a whole set of other issues that would come up.  Consider how you are participating in your own job relationship.  How do you show up?  If your job really is the problem then get out now.  When you get another job, just check and see if the same issues keep coming up.  Are you still bored, angry, frustrated with your bosses and the management?   These things happen everywhere - that doesn't make them right, but ask yourself what is going to change with me?

Before we can find our ideal work environment, we must find out what about work works for us.  There are a lot of resons that we work for jobs, but have you ever considered how a job works for you?

.....

Try this:
Make a list of all the things your job actually provides for you - be as specific as you can.  Instead of "rent", say "two-bedroom apartment, with colorful walls."  Also include things that you use or enjoy that come directly from being at the job.  For me that would include tea, coffee, hot chocolate, Internet service, a social atmosphere, and the pen I am writing with.




For whatever reason.... I absolutely could not get this photo to upload so that it was facing vertical.  So... either tilt your head or tilt your screen.... and check out some nifty facts about Dr. William Carlos Williams, a totally "legit" artist as well as a doctor!
William Carlos Williams
Legendary poet, playwright & short-story writer
Totally "legit" artist
Influenced & inspired the beat writers!
Mentored many poets, including Allen Ginsberg
As a doctor, he delivered over 3,000 babies!
Wrote poems on prescription pads
None of his patients knew he was a respected writer
Won the National Book Award & the Pulitzer Prize!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Slave No More

I recently purchased a book called The Artist In The Office:  How to Creatively Survive and Thrive Seven Days a week by Summer Pierre.  I was browsing all the fabulous books that ModCloth.com and UrbanOutfitters.com have to offer... and I came across this find!  I decided to order it, figuring I could use some inspiration on how to be a creative person in the workplace.   As I read through it, I'm planning on sharing some sections of the book on here... so, today is the first day I'll be doing just that!  Today's excerpt is titled "A Slave No More"



"Once, at a party, I was asked the inevitable question: "So, what do you do?" I replied that I was an artist. After we covered exactly what "artist" meant, my new acquaintance asked me, "So do you do that full-time, or are you just a wage-slave?"


I hate the term "wage slave." To me, it implies a sort of victim relationship to having a job. It's as if, as artists, we are shackled to our regular paychecks. This is utter crap. Nobody pointed a gun to my head and said, "March into that job interview, make a good impression, and take the job." No matter what I'd rather do or not do, I made a choice to go after my day job. I'm also paid for it.

Often when we dream about being somewhere else - as in a full-time creative life - we can come to resent where we are and think of ourselves as victims or slaves to the system.

Break the wage slave mentality. Make empowering work choices and acknowledge your worth! "




Thursday, December 9, 2010

I don't love You, but I always will.

Staying in one place can be so hard sometimes... especially when you don't know why you're still here.

For a while I’ve been constantly pursuing finding a job in music, chasing dreams, having adventures and living life with passion. I haven’t always done a good job of that, but it’s been my hope to live a life like that…. And I’ve written about this before, many times.

  But today, I’m not sure where God wants me. I met with my pastor yesterday and he said to me, “Megan, for whatever reason, God obviously wants you here right now… You have been putting so much effort into finding what’s next, and nothing has worked out!” I have to admit, when he first said that, it felt kinda like a punch to the stomach. I felt like my failure was being rubbed in my face and I felt mocked. But I know my pastor right… for whatever reason that is still a mystery to me, God’s not letting me leave. This isn’t some new idea to me – I have known for a while that there is a reason that God hasn’t let any of these possible jobs work out in California or Texas or Nashville. It was weird, however, to hear someone else say it. And I think that’s why it hurt a little bit…. Before it was simply a method of coping and trying to keep myself thinking positively…. But to hear someone else say it, meant that it might actually be true. That God might actually want me here, in Grabill, Indiana.

  I don’t think I could ever put into words how insanely frustrating that last sentence is to me. I long to live in community with musicians and creative people who use their art to influence the world. I long to be inspired, and in turn to inspire others. I want to become better at my craft… to be challenged by working and playing alongside incredibly talented creative professionals. My heart literally feels empty when it thinks about trying to pursue the life of a musician here in small-town Indiana. And yet, I am still here. And I am terrified that I will be stuck here.

 I am yearning so deeply for something I have been working hard for over the past 6 or more years. I’ve spend countless hours and thousands of dollars. I’ve tried to stay positive and looked for opportunities to take advantage of that might get me closer to getting a job in the music industry. And all of a sudden, it hits me like a brick wall that I’m still here, in the middle of nowhere, not getting any closer to the music industry job I’ve dreamed of.

 Maybe God is slowly breaking me… I certainly feel broken and abandoned.


 I hate to break it to you, but I have no positive resolution to this post. I guess sometimes it’s ok to have that. I’d ask that you’d consider praying for me. I’m in a lot of emotional & spiritual pain thinking through all of these things. Pray that wherever God leads, or wherever He keeps me, that I would set aside my desires for His much greater purpose. Pray that through these discouraging and uncertain times, that I would be able to find joy in serving Him and praising His name. I don’t cry often, but it’s hard to keep the tears from coming when all I have are questions and confusion to bring before His throne. I wish it were as easy as saying, “He’s my Father, and I will serve Him joyfully.” Right now, it’s anything but easy, and I have suffered a lot of guilt when I try to lead a worship rehearsal or get up in front of a congregation each week and lead them in singing praises. I do still love singing those songs and leading those rehearsals…. But I can tell my heart just isn’t it in like it used to be. I guess you can suffer a broken heart in a spiritual relationship heart as well.


It seems appropriate to end with this song by The Civil Wars, “Poison & Wine”.  If this were a song about God and I.... well.... it'd be very appropriate.




You only know what I want you to
I know everything you don't want me to
Oh your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine
Oh you think your dreams are the same as mine
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
I always will

I wish you'd hold me when I turn my back
The less I give the more I get back
Oh your hands can heal, your hands can bruise
I don't have a choice but I still choose you
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
Oh I don't love you but I always will
I always will
I always will
I always will
I always will
I always will

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Regarding Relationships

Regarding relationships, people are generally in one of the following 5 categories:  single, dating, engaged, married, and divorced.  Nearly all of my friends are in one of the first 4 categories.  The older I get, the less friends I have in the "singles" category.   In fact, I also see a significantly less amount of friends falling under the "dating" category as well. 

I'll be the first to admit that being single can have some pretty frustrating consequences (though that may not be the appropriate word to use).  For example.... being the 3rd, 5th, or 7th wheel.  Constantly having people saying "Hey, (insert guy's name) seems like a great guy... attractive, creative, fun, and loves the Lord.... what about him???".... to which I kindly remind my "in-relationship" friends that we single people don't go hunting on the weekends for other single people, and unlike some desperate singles I do know, I don't plan on spending every waking moment plotting how to get more attention from other men.  Also, there's always the family vacation scenerios where each couple is supposed to cook a meal for the others... or each couple gets a date night out... or each couple gets their own bedroom, but the single person must sleep on the couch in the basement (true story).  How about weddings?  Do you take a date?  Don't you?  To answer that question, you first have to ask every other single person you know going to find out if they are taking a date, realizing the whole time it is absolutely ridiculous to feel the need to do so.   I usually opt out of taking a date.... mostly because, revisiting paragraph #1, I have very few single male friends..... and, I don't like taking guys who will get awkward about it (yes, I'm talking to all of you Taylor University, or any other Christian college students, who were shamefully bred to react this way in social situations).

Now, since I'm a musician, I do spend quite a bit of time with other guys, even in one-on-one situations.  A lot of times other single girls see that as some sort of "step ahead" of the rest.  If I'm around guys so much at rehearsals, shows, church, in the studio, etc.... then surely I am more likely to meet someone, right?  Wrong.  The reason I can say this with so much assurance is because I have been single for 5 years now, and have been spending even more time with male musicians than I did when I was dating (there may actually be a correlation between those, since my last boyfriend wasn't exactly thrilled about my spending so much time with other male musicians).   I would also say that when I'm with those guys, my mind is so focused on the music that I usually don't even give the whole "are they dating, or single?" question any thought.  They are my friends... my colleagues... my bandmates... my creative sounding boards... my fellow dreamers.   In fact, I can be somewhat over protective of it... I don't like it when other girls come in and try to steal the show, because that whole "craving fame" thing is not what we're going for either.... we're artists trying to create, not famous musicians out for the stardom (though, I doubt any of us would argue if it were handed to us).  Luckily I have had the pleasure of working with a handful of female musicians who get that, and who don't use their position as a musician to try and get boyfriends (trust me ladies, it ain't gonna work like that). 

Basically, being single can be a royal pain sometimes.  But there is something beautiful about being single:  freedom.   I'm not here to make those of you who are dating, engaged or married feel depressed about the things you've had to give up to be with your special someone.... God has blessed you with that person, and you can find so much joy & companionship in that relationship.  However, from a single's perspective, God wants to use me just as much as the two people in a relationship.  And, for that matter, I think God blesses single people with the gift of freedom to allow us to experience life more fully on our own.  For example.... I love to travel.  Any of you who know me at all, know that I am gone all the time on some new adventure.  I only worry about my schedule, my money, my wants, and my needs.  I can be selfish with everything.  Ok, not really.... [insert some church answer about everything is God's, and nothing is really my own].... but in a narrower perspective, yes, I can be selfish.  I've been able to pursue music as much as I want... and not have to worry about some jealous boyfriend sitting at home.  I've also been able to try new things, and not feel the need to run it by someone else first.  For example:  moving to California for 3 months on a whim.  Maybe a boyfriend wouldn't have said not to do it.... but I know it would've been even harder to just pack up and leave so suddenly, and I probably would've felt guilty or something for doing it.  Also, I don't have the distraction of someone else in my life to take away from what God is trying to teach me and show me through this time of my life.  I'm so glad to know that while I'm growing into the person God wants me to be, knowing that when the time is right, God will bring a relationship into my life.  I happened to see someone write, "I'm ready when God's ready" the other day.... and that is exactly what I think the single person's perspective should be.  We fail, a lot, to maintain that mindset.  But wouldn't you agree that the gift of being single can be powerful, inspiring and freeing

I'd like to challenge two groups of people....

First, to the people in relationships, engaged, or married.... continue seeking how God wants to use you together as a couple, but also as individuals.  I don't believe God has called people into marriage to forget who they were before.  Cherish the person you're with for who they really are.  Also, don't hesitate to encourage your single friends.... don't pressure them by suggesting they pursue that eye-catching person across the room, but rather encourage them by showing interest & excitement towards what they are doing with their life.  My friends have been SO great about doing that for me, and words can't even explain how encouraging it is!

Second, to the single person.... first and foremost, understand that it is OK to feel lonely and frustrated, as long as you trust God to use you regardless.  If you're in your mid-20's or 30's, you're at the age where people tend to put the unnecessary pressure on you to find someone.... but I challenge you to embrace this gift of time & freedom, and do something extraordinary with it!  Create, experience, indulge, inspire others, volunteer, and allow God to shape you into a better man or woman who can be used for His glory.

Till I write again.... 

                                              .... here's a picture of me with this cutie (Owen)
  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanks.

I’m glad that I can sit here and be somewhat overwhelmed at how much I have to be thankful for. So much so that I’m a little unsure of why I’m even writing this list, because I could write and write and write for hours and still not have everything down. At the same time, I think it speaks a lot about a person when they write the top things they are thankful for. I’m not entirely sure what my list will say about me, but I’ve decided to at least mention some of the big ones for me this past year:


I’m thankful for (in a not-so-particular order):

1. Faith
2. Family
3. Friends, both near and far
4. A job where I get to learn cool programs like Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator
5. The opportunity to be a worship leader at Crossview Church
6. All the traveling I’ve been able to do in the past year
7. The new adventures I’ve embarked on
8. Meeting new people and building new relationships
9. The ability to write, rehearse, record, and perform music with other musicians and on so many different instruments
10. The freedom at this point in my life to literally pursue whatever I want
11. Art, in every form it comes in
12. Photographs and the memories they bring back
13. Being able to meet on Sundays with other believers and freely worship our Savior
14. Electricity…. seriously
15. People who trust me and who believe in me
16. My adorable niece and nephew…. They never fail to bring a smile to my face
17. Prayer, and knowing that even when we are alone, God is with us
18. Taylor University, and how those 4 years shaped who I am today
19. The food on the table every day
20. Legos… because they are just that awesome.


 
What are you thankful for?



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Three Years

I recently had to write out my professional goals for three years from now for a job I applied for.  It made me take a look at where I would like to be, a little more specific than what I'm used to thinking about.  I normally just say "I want to be in a job I can be passionate about".  Ok, who doesn't want that?  So, I had to get a little more specific than that, and I thought I would share what I wrote with you...

In three years, I would like to be working for an established company in the music industry, with a position that allows me to be involved in creative marketing, event planning and music production.  I want to be able to work with teams of creative people to brainstorm ideas, develop goals and produce results.   My goal is to remain versatile, and to obtain a job that requires skill in music, business and design.  I desire a position that will allow me to collaborate with other music professionals, learn new skills through hands-on experience and work directly with the music and artists who are performing it.  I have a wide range of interests, and hope to be in a position that will allow me to channel these all into the work I do.  Apart from working in the marketing and management side of the music industry, I also want to be active as a songwriter, performer and worship leader.  In addition, I desire to help inspire and educate students and young adults who are interested in pursuing a career in music.  I want to be able to mentor and influence others in a positive way whether that is through my professional job or in my personal life.  As a Christian, my professional aspirations take the backseat to where God leads.  While I have hopes for where I will be in three years and even further down the road, I am trying to surrender those desires to God’s will and His calling.  Above all, my biggest desire is to be in a position where I can use and strengthen the gifts God has given me to ultimately make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I want to stand in awe.

I haven’t known my whole life that I would want to spend my life traveling. I grew up traveling around the country with my family. We took vacations to wondrous places…. traveling through the states, eager to discover something new. Sometimes we drove. Sometimes we went by train. Sometimes we took our RV. We did a lot of camping. We did a lot of driving. Rarely did we stay in a hotel. When I was younger, I didn’t fully appreciate these circumstances. I did love traveling in the camper though. If you never have, you are really missing out.



The point is… I’ve grown up, at least a little bit. And as I’ve grown up, my appreciation of all the travels I did when I was younger has also grown. Little did I realize back then how much those travels would transform the way I viewed the world, and the way I viewed life. Not everyone gets the luxury or privilege of traveling, and for that reason I feel very blessed for having had those experiences. At a young age, my mind and imagination were captivated by ideas of promise and potential. It was everywhere:  in the landscape, in the history, in the open roads and flowing rivers.  I don’t know about you, but for me it’s impossible to stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon, see the crystal clear & aqua blue waters in the Bahamas, or watch a sunset at the top of a mountain and not have some sort of epic song playing in my head, accompanied by a sense of awe, wonder, joy, appreciation, and the presence of God. It opens up your eyes to how much bigger this world is… and just how much bigger our God is. It’s made me look at life as full of possibilities, because I’ve seen them… I know they exist.



“Embark”. If any of you read the blog entry I wrote towards the beginning of this year, this word was the focus. It was right before I left to work for FILTER magazine in California, and it really became the word I have tried to live by this year. I saw it as embracing change, creating & living adventures, and even challenging myself to step out in faith and to experience the unknown. I can say, with much honesty, that I’ve struggled in many areas of my life this year… but that I have been successful at embarking on many new journeys. I have traveled more this year than any other year of my life. I have experienced independence in a very new way. I have stepped out of my comfort zone in many ways…. Travels I’ve had, new ways I’ve started serving others and the church, stretching myself musically, financially, and even letting go of things or people that I held on to for far too long. There is not much for me to say about all of these things except that it’s been an incredible year. It’s been very tough… stressful… lonely… confusing… inconsistent… and many more things. But, looking back over the year, I can’t help but think “Wow. That was incredible.” I felt like I lived with passion, an appetite for adventure, if you will.



I know life won’t always be like this… full of opportunities and adventure. Or is that a belief that we’ve fallen into? Can we continue to live life with this kind of eagerness? I sure hope so. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Haven’t we been given the gift of life, and the ability to live it abundantly and to the fullest? I’m sure some of you think I’m na├»ve. I’m still young… I haven’t been married… I don’t have children… I don’t even have a real career started… and I still live with my parents. It’s true I haven’t experience a lot of life’s hardships… but on the flip side, all of those could also be reasons for me to get discouraged (and believe me, I do get discouraged almost daily). So, is that going to determine the choices I make? When it comes to the big picture, will I still pursue the extraordinary? Yes. The answer is yes. And I hope it will always be yes.



There will always be excuses to stay put and stay comfortable…. But I don’t buy it. Why risk it? That type of lifestyle seems a lot like conforming to the patterns of this world. Why not say, “God, I’m going to do something extraordinary. I don’t have to be the most successful. I don’t have to be good at it. I don’t have to make sense to other people… but, I’m going to do it, because I want you to reveal yourself to me in new ways, through new people. I want to stand in awe.” It’s that mindset that I hope to hold on to my entire life. I want to live life to the fullest… I want to see the possibilities… I want to be captivated… I want to stand in awe.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Heartache, How I've Missed You

Call me crazy, (and trust me, I feel a little uncertain writing what I’m about to discuss), but doesn’t heartache feel good sometimes? Have you ever heard athletes refer to their sore muscles by using the phrase “it hurts so good”…? Well, I’m not going to say that the heartache I’m facing right now actually feels good, but in a way it’s encouraging.

Before I explain too much, let me start from where this all stemmed from. I’m usually pretty good about handling disappointment… and I can’t tell if it’s because I let people walk all over me, because I expect the worst in situations, or if I’m naturally forgiving and capable of adjusting to unexpected changes easily. I’ve always seen this as a good thing – I just roll with the punches, and take what comes my way and learn to adjust. In some, or maybe even most situations, this IS a good thing. However, one thing I’ve learned about myself just recently that has really left me feeling a bit distraught is summed up in these lyrics by Ellery:

The best things are the hardest sell, 
We mostly love, then run like hell. 
It’s easier to let it go - 
To leave before you’re left alone.

Translation: I typically keep myself at a far enough distance from people so that I don’t get hurt.  Part of me is just an independent person who isn’t afraid to step away from the everyday and pursue the extraordinary (and thus not staying in one place for too long), But the other part of me loves people just enough to get the warm, fuzzy feeling of friendship… yet I am terrified to put my heart on the line. A lot of this is probably because there have been a few times I have tried to take that next step and it’s blown up in my face. I’ve had my fair share of experience of getting left or mistreated by people I was once close friends with.  I'm not saying this because I'm bitter... I have forgiven all of those people and have no grudges again them.  Everyone makes mistakes and I'm sure I have hurt people in the past without realizing it.  I simply point out those experiences to say that they may have played a big part in how I handle relationships with people now.  I’m actually thrilled to say that for the first time in a long time, I have many very healthy and encouraging friendships… and that is such a blessing.  But, there is still this issue of how past experiences have shaped the way I handle things today. I’ve struggled to allow myself to care deeply about someone or something, for fear of being left, being hurt, or being embarrassed. Some people care too much about everything and their heart gets trampled on every day…. I, on the other hand, forgot what it felt like to feel heartache altogether.


Until now.


When I flew out to California for the job interview, for the first time in a long time I was incredibly excited for something and was putting my whole heart into it. I put so much time into preparing for that interview and could hardly contain my excitement. It was like I finally found a dream to pursue that made every fiber of my being shake with anticipation. And then… I didn’t get the job. Not only did I not get the job, but I didn’t even get the 2nd interview. I was crushed. I still am. And, on top of that, my heart has been longing to be in California for a while now – I have made great connections and friends out there – and so getting on the plane to fly back to Indiana once again made my heart feel like it was getting torn into pieces. Now that I’m back in Indiana, I’m still struggling… a lot. Sure, I’m trying to keep my mind off of it… I’m back to leading worship at church, which I love… and I am now going to be leading the high school girls’ Bible study at church, which is going to be a new, exciting, and challenging experience. I’ll be playing volleyball on Tuesday nights again, and having my lunch dates with friends when possible. Of course, I'll be practicing guitar, piano, saxophone and working on writing some new songs, as well as trying to collaborate with other musicians around the US, and yes, even around the world (I'm currently collaborating on a project based out of Malaysia!).  I’ve found a routine that helps me to “survive” through this heartache… but my heart DOES ache. Every day. I don’t feel content – I feel like my heart is elsewhere… that only my body and mind are here in Indiana. For the first time in a long time, I actually feel somewhat miserable and desperately want things to change.   


Here’s the up-side to all of this. I’m feeling the heartache. My heart is longing, very much, for something… for someone… for some place… for some experience. I’ve found things I care deeply for, and I put myself on the line for them, and I don’t regret it. I am so glad that I know this feeling again. I am still left longing after many things that I don’t have right now…. Friendships, a job I love, opportunities to perform & write music regularly with other musicians, a special someone, my own apartment, a new vehicle... My own life. I still feel stuck where I’ve always been. The home I grew up in, in the same town, a lack of music opportunities, a lot of the same people, and therefore all the same expectations of me. It’s making me claustrophobic, and it’s driving me crazy. But, for the first time in a long time, my heart is actually yearning for something, so much so that it hurts. I want to use my abilities, my passions, and my faith and make a difference in people’s lives. I want to give and to receive love… and I want it to come so naturally that I know I’m in the right profession, with the right person, and in the right place. When I was in California, I really felt like that was the place…. Like it is a place I could call home, at least for a couple years.  I've placed some roots there... now I'm just waiting to see if God is going to water them and allow them to grow into something more.


I don’t know where God will lead in the upcoming months or years… but one thing I am certain of is that this struggle I am going through is making me absolutely miserable and yet filled with so much hope for what is to come.
 
Heartache… how I’ve missed you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

California. Sunday. September 12.

This morning is a grey and somewhat chilly day in San Diego, but I don’t mind the lack of sunshine at all. In fact, in a weird way, it’s almost a relief to know that California weather isn’t actually perfect all the time. I think I’d really miss wearing sweatshirts if it were warm all the time… but now that I know it does get chilly, I don’t need to worry about that at all! Planes are flying overhead… quite loudly… but I can’t see them in the cloudy sky. I’m staying in Ocean Beach (OB) at a friend of a friend’s house. Thank goodness for friends. I would’ve most likely had to stay in a hotel had it not been for my friend Jay McCann being willing to pick me up from the airport and find a place for me to stay this weekend! It’s also so nice to see a friend before going into Monday. It helps me feel a lot less anxious. This morning I’m going to go to his church, Flood, with him…. I’m looking forward to it! So far my time in San Diego has been spent eating at a couple local places by the beach, going to an improv comedy show, figuring out car rental details, preparing for my interview, visiting the OB Jazz Festival, and watching Good Will Hunting curled up underneath multiple layers of blankets since I made the poor choice of not bringing a sweatshirt with me.



Well, tomorrow is the big day. Interview day. (insert dramatic sound effect)


I’d really appreciate your prayers going into this! I know that the competition for this job is probably pretty big… but I’m trying to stay positive and remind myself that they wouldn’t have had me fly all the way out from Indiana if I weren’t VERY qualified for this position. At least I would hope not! I’m so excited about this interview, but I also know not to get my hopes up. I want to go in with a positive attitude and show that I would work hard and would be very passionate about working in the position of Concert Hall Manager. I know I could do such a good job at this job if given the chance. Please pray for clear thinking & speaking, humble confidence, enthusiasm & positivity, and the ability to remember well and draw from past experiences both in the meeting with the committee members and while I’m working on the computer to complete whatever assignments they are having me complete in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Word, or Publisher. Also, please pray that everything with the rental car works out and that I make it to MiraCosta without any major problems! Here’s my interview info:

Monday
September 13th
1:30 pm (California time)
4:30 pm (Indiana time)
Oceanside, CA at MiraCosta College
Position: Concert Hall Manager


Thanks again for your prayers and I will be sure to keep writing updates throughout these 2 weeks in California!


P.s. I am currently listening to a playlist my friend Val wanted me to make suggestions for based off of the song “They’re in Love, Where am I?” by the Weepies. The following songs are on that playlist:

1. They’re In Love, Where Am I? - Weepies
2. Around the Bend - Greg Laswell
3. Sitting, Wishing, Waiting - Jack Johnson
4. The Guy That Says Goodbye To You Is Out Of His Mind - Griffin House
5. Go Easy Little Doves, I’ll Be Fine - Brooke Waggoner
6. Wake Up Alone - Amy Winehouse
7. Much Afraid - Jars of Clay
8. I Miss You - Coldplay
9. All For Believing - Missy Higgins
10. Why Do They Leave? - Ryan Adams
11. Strange and Unprepared - Copeland
12. Alone Apart - Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
13. Say You Miss Me - Wilco
14. It’s Alright - Ellery
15. Where In the World Are You - Great Lake Swimmers
16. Long Drive Home - Bjork Ostrom
17. Closer To Me - Future of Forestry




(OB Jazz Festival)

(On the pier at Ocean Beach)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Attaboy

I feel the need to say that I just found out that Avalon's manager stole the song "California" from a band called Attaboy from Huntington, IN.  I heard Attaboy's version yesterday and I think I actually like it better than Avalon's.... so.... let that be a lesson to all you music-stealers out there!  The originals are almost always better, and shame on you for trying to take the credit for it!

In other news, my portfolio is coming along slowly but surely.  I actually set my alarm on Labor Day so that I would wake up and get work done.  Wow.  I think this is the first time on record that I've done that.  It kinda seems anti-"holiday"-spirit to be working so hard on Labor Day... the day where nobody works (false:  lots of people still work, which I deem unfair).  Shouldn't I be at the lake jet skiing, playing volleyball, laying outside tanning, shopping, or going on a day-trip somewhere?  Well, not this year. 

Happy Labor Day friends.  Be sure you get to enjoy at least a little bit of relaxation today!  :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

California.

If you had the chance to read my last post, you know that I'm flying out to California at the end of this week to interview for a job!  It's been a whirlwind and I find myself still very overwhelmed with anxiety, stress, awe, and excitement.  It's still hard for me to believe that I'm actually flying out there to take a chance on this job. 

As you know, music has always been a huge part of my life, and I am so thankful that music is something you can do quite literally from anywhere.  I might not be able to make a career out of music living anywhere, but I can always put the guitar over my shoulder and start strumming a familiar tune and I instantly feel more at home wherever I am.  Yesterday was a particularly rough day for me -- I haven't been sleeping well with all the various thoughts and emotions I'm dealing with, and so I was completely exhausted.  I had hoped to spend the whole, around 10-12 hours, working on my portfolio.  After a mere 4 hours of working on it, I was overwhelmed with exhaustion and collapsed on my bed for a 2-hour nap that I don't think anyone could've waken me from if they had tried!  I felt discouraged... How am I going to be able to prepare for this interview and journey out to California if I can't even keep myself focused and energized to do 4 hours of work?!  I knew I needed some form of encouragement... and I knew music would probably be able to cheer me up! 

I decided to peruse the Itunes store and search for songs having to do with California, Los Angeles, or San Diego... where I will be spending 2 weeks for this job interview and visiting friends & family.  I found a much larger selection of songs I actually like than I had anticipated finding!  One song in particular really caught my attention when I heard it, because it describes exactly where I am right now with this whole California thing, and just with life in general.  The song is "California" by Avalon (a band I don't actually typically like haha), and it talks about wanting to follow where God leads and to rebel against living a comfortable, stagnant life.... but instead to be the hands and feet of Christ, living outside of my comfort zone and to ask God to use me wherever I am.... whether that be here at home, in California, or somewhere else.  I definitely like the words better than the song as a whole, but either way it's a really great reminder to surrender everything to God and to His will.


I'm going to post the list of songs about California that I've been listening to that have helped me hold on to the excitement of this experience, and to maybe help relieve some of the stress I've been facing!  I've also posted a YouTube video below so you can hear the song by Avalon that has really encouraged me!  Here goes:






And here's the YouTube video of "California" by Avalon:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An update for those who would like to know...

I know many of you are curious to know what all is going on with me and the job search, so I’ll just update you here!


Well, yesterday was quite the whirlwind of events. I had my interview at Intellitek yesterday morning… they are a software company that sells an e-business solutions software. I’m sure you are thinking the same thing everyone else thinks…. “Why in the world is Megan even applying for this job?!” haha. Well… I’ve been working part-time ever since returning from my internship in California and there are expenses that are coming my way that I can’t afford – like health insurance, a new car, and of course, car insurance. With those expenses moving their way closer and closer each day, I knew sometime soon I’d have to bite the bullet and take on a full-time job, giving up my free time to do songwriting, recording, and traveling. However, there are other things I’m possibly looking ahead to, like maybe grad school, or a major backpacking trip across Europe, or biking across the US or Japan or something awesome like that. Some of those are probably more dreams than anything – but it’d be nice to be saving up some money and in the future be able to actually do one of them! So, that takes us back to why I was interviewing for the job – financial security. Also, it was an outside sales position, so I would gave some valuable experience in sales which always looks good on a resume. The interview went really well and I was shocked to find out that the CEO used to live in Nashville and was trying to start a Christian record label and music promotions company!!! What are the odds?! It gave me such a good feeling knowing that I would be working for someone who not only is a Christian, but also tried to make it in the music industry… so he’d most likely understand my dreams and future goals. After the interview I talked through it with my parents and we decided that yeah, it seemed like a good opportunity and there wasn’t too much risk involved – or at least risks that I wouldn’t’ be willing to take. So, I decided to accept the position, IF offered one!


Well, I went back home to work and of course was anxious all day to get the phone call telling me whether or not I was being offered a job at Intellitek. My cell phone rang shortly after 5:00, and it was a number I didn’t recognize – so of course I assumed it was the job agency telling me whether or not I’m getting the job! I answer the phone, and instantly know it’s not my friend Kara (who hooked me up with this interview) from the job agency… and am shocked to hear the woman at the other end of the phone say “Hi, Megan… I’m calling from MiraCosta College in Oceanside, California, and I am calling you because we’d like to invite you to come out to California in 2 weeks to interview for the position as our Concert Hall Manager!”….. Uhhhh WHAT?! Haha… I had applied for this job almost 2 months ago was under the impression they either already found someone or I wasn’t a candidate they were interested in, since I hadn’t heard from them. In fact, I had pretty much completely forgotten about the opportunity all together, assuming I wouldn’t have even a chance to interview for it! So, I’m pretty sure the first words out of my mouth weren’t even words, but rather “uh… wha…uh… are you… huh?!” She could tell I was shocked, so I explained that I had just interviewed for another job that morning and she was like “oh wow, well… are you still interested in this job?” and of course I was, so I told her that I just wasn’t sure what was happening with the job I had interviewed for and wondered if I could call her back today or tomorrow. She said that was fine, but allowed me to go ahead and select an interview time just in case. Since I am one of the only out-of-state applicants, I was the very first applicant she called to make sure I could select an interview time that would work well for me and give me enough time to purchase a decently priced plane ticket.


Ok, so… Intellitek chose another guy over me for the outside sales job and he hasn’t declined or accepted yet (at least the last I heard)… but I have decided to decline for now and say that maybe in 4-5 months if I haven’t gotten this job in California, I might be interested in joining his sales team if he is looking to hire again… but for now I just HAVE to give this job in California a chance! I mean, I DID after all go to school for music business…. And this sounds like a job I could be really good at and really love!


So for those curious to know what exactly a Concert Hall Manager does, below is the job description for what I will be interviewing for. My interview is on Monday, September 13th, at 10:30 a.m. (California time) (1:30 p.m. Indiana/east coast)…. Please be praying for me as I prepare to fly out there, and during the interview process that I would just be able to represent myself well, and accurately, to the committee I will be interviewing with. The initial interview is a 2 hour interview… the first 10 minutes I am given a piece of paper with the questions I will be asked on it so that I can briefly prepare myself and think about what I will say. The next 40-45 minutes I will be sitting in a room with a committee of 7 people who will be conducting the interview questions. Then, I will be taken to a room with 2 computers – a Mac and a PC (my choice of which to use), and I will be asked to complete a task using the software provided on the computers. I won’t know in advance what task they will be asking me to do, but I am guessing it will be some sort of poster/flyer design assignment, writing a professional letter or e-mail, or creating a spreadsheet of some sort…. Or all of the above! Again, I’d greatly appreciate your prayers – this is a really exciting opportunity for me and I feel so blessed to even have the opportunity to interview for it!

Thanks again for reading this and for keeping me in your prayers. Below is the job description if you want to read it!

- Megan



http://www.miracosta.edu/

INSTRUCTIONAL ASSOCIATE – MUSIC
Concert Hall Manager



POSITION AVAILABLE:
One regular position, 40 hours per week, 11 months per year (August through June) on the main Oceanside campus. Work schedule will include nights and weekends as needed. The person selected for this position will be subject to assignment to any district facility during any hours of operation.




BASIC FUNCTION:
Perform prescribed duties of a House Manager for musical performances and college presentations in the Concert Hall with responsibility for audience safety and smooth logistical operations in accordance with the Civic Center Use policies and procedures. Under the direction of the Performing Arts department chair and Music discipline lead faculty, perform prescribed duties of an Instructional Associate such as assist in rehearsal, pre/post production, and strike needs; prepare and process purchase orders for production and classroom related supplies; prepare and process personnel requisitions; and monitor Music discipline budget.




REPRESENTATIVE DUTIES:
(E) = essential job functions


1) For the Concert Hall, maintain the reservation calendar, and receive and process usage requests in accordance with the Civic Center Use policies and procedures. Open, close, and secure the Concert Hall. (E)

2) Maintain Concert Hall lobby according to professional and presentable standards, and coordinate lobby displays as requested.

3) Update announcements on Concert Hall marquee. Create posters, flyers, and programs for musical performances, productions, and curricular programs, as directed by discipline lead or department chair. (E)

4) Communicate with various college departments for needs related to events in the Concert Hall including: facilities department about equipment requests, set-up, custodial services; Media Services about media requests; and college food services or other college departments about special requests for performances, presentations, or receptions. (E)

5) Train ushers in up-to-date safety standards.

6) Participate in hiring campus aides and independent contractors, as directed by department chair or discipline lead.

7) Provide information to students on learning resources and support services available to them. Assist instructors, staff, and students in the use of a variety of equipment, materials and supplies in an instructional laboratory/studio setting. Monitor students in class work procedures; demonstrate safety and emergency procedures in class and studio situations; assure security of studio equipment, computers, and software. (E)

8) Assist with purchases and other expenditures needed for musical productions and performances; maintain records and prepare related reports for these purchases. (E)

9) Assist with ordering, receiving, cataloging and storing instructional supplies, materials, and equipment; direct and participate in inventory of equipment and materials assuring that adequate quantities are available for instructional use; mark equipment with approved identification. (E)

10) Facilitate pre- and post-production needs for rehearsals and performances, including strike. (E)

11) Work with faculty to set up a schedule for studio lab time for courses in recording arts and sound reinforcement; maintain appropriate records. (E)

12) Assist in organizing and maintaining learning environments in a safe, clean, and orderly condition; make minor repairs and adjustments to equipment, as needed.

13) Perform related duties as assigned.



KNOWLEDGE OF:
1) College-level subject matter in music performance, sound reinforcement, and recording arts. 2) Instructional and tutorial techniques. 3) Computer software such as Microsoft Office and design software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign. 4) Online research techniques. 5) Basic reference materials and effective study techniques. 6) Tools, machines, and equipment used in music performance, sound reinforcement, and recording arts. 7) Recordkeeping techniques. 8) Modern office practices, procedures and equipment. 9) Proper methods of storing musical equipment, materials, and supplies. 10) Health and safety regulations and practices. 11) Correct English usage, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary. 12) Technical aspects of sound reinforcement and recording arts. 13) Interpersonal skills using tact, patience and courtesy.


ABILITY TO:
1) Perform at a college graduate level or experiential equivalent in performance, sound reinforcement, or recording arts. 2) Instruct or tutor students effectively. 3) Set up, design, and operate assigned departmental equipment with skill. 4) Read, understand, interpret, and apply department or college rules, policies, and technical materials relating to assigned responsibilities. 5) Plan, schedule, train, and review the work of student workers. 6) Use a variety of audio-visual equipment and materials. 7) Generate enthusiasm for learning. 8) Provide excellent customer service. 9) Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with others. 10) Exhibit excellent interpersonal communication skills using tact, patience, and courtesy. 11) Assess student achievement. 12) Provide instructional assistance and technical advice to students on the availability and uses of instructional materials and equipment. 13) Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. 14) Design and produce promotional materials, programs, and multi-media materials. 15) Operate a variety of equipment related to sound reinforcement and recording arts, including specialized and highly technical equipment and software. 16) Analyze instructional situations and customer service situations accurately and adopt effective courses of action.




DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS:
1) Experience in recording arts, sound reinforcement, and musical performance productions.

2) Experience in house managing a facility for performing arts.

3) Experience in creating promotional flyers, posters, and performance programs using computer design software programs.
4) Experience in providing instructional support for music courses, departments, or programs.
5) Experience in providing concert support.
6) Evidence of strong organizational skills, written communication skills, detail orientation, and interpersonal skills.

7) Experience in customer service and dealing effectively with the general public.

8) Experience in working effectively on a variety of tasks concurrently while meeting established deadlines and changing priorities.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Colored Countries

From Greenland's icey mountains to farr-off Borneo,
There are countries of all colors where I should
     love to go.
(I shouldn't mind geography if I could travel so

But I must sit upon my seat as proper as you

    please,
And stare at maps upon the wall all full of pale
    blue seas,
And pink and purple countries -- (Do they really
    look like these?)

O Dear!  I'd like to sail away
And find the purple ones some day
I'm sure that I should like to know
Geography that's studied so.

-- Annette Wynne

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I have but one voice, one heart, and one sacrifice... so won't You take this life laid down and be glorified!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'll Fly Away

I beg you to listen to Jars of Clay's version of "I'll Fly Away":

Some bright morning when this life is o'er
I'll fly away
To a home on God's celestial shore
I'll fly away

When the shadows of this life have gone
I'll fly away
Like bird from these prison walls have flown
I'll fly away

I'll fly away, O Glory
I'll fly away
When I die, Hallelujuah by and by
I'll fly away

Oh how glad and happy when we meet
I'll fly away
No more cold arms, shackles on my feet
I'll fly away

I'll fly away, O Glory
I'll fly away
When I die, Hallelujuah by and by
I'll fly away

Just a few more weary days and then
I'll fly away
To a land where joy will never end
I'll fly away

I'll fly away, O Glory
I'll fly away
When I die, Hallelujuah by and by
I'll fly away


Here's the song on YouTube... Sorry I couldn't find one with a nicer video to accompany it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

To Live a Better Story

On February 6, 2010 I wrote a blog titled “Embark.”

On February 7, I did just that. I flew to Los Angeles. I lived with a stranger. I worked at a music magazine. I flew to Washington. I drove to the Grand Canyon. I walked the stars, and even met some. I embarked.

Upon returning home, I have felt this need to live a better story… to live a life that catches people’s attention. Part of it may be a reflection of the Los Angeles mentality of self-centeredness and fame. However, I know myself better than that… and I’d like to think that this feeling is rooted in something that has always been a part of me: a desire to change people’s lives. That’s a pretty broad statement, and I’ve been putting a lot more thought into what exactly that means for me right now.

I don’t know why we need stories, but we always have. I’d say it’s just that we like them, that they’re entertaining, but it’s more than that. It’s a thing in us that empties like a stomach and then needs to be filled again. This is how it has always been.(p.80, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller)

I don’t think it was any coincidence that I finally picked up Donald Miller’s book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” that had been sitting on my shelf since the day it was released, and read it cover to cover in a couple days. It put everything I had been thinking and feeling about living a more intentional life into a new perspective for me. I felt like I sat down with a friend for coffee, and a few days later realized we have had some of the same revelations… except he used much better metaphors.

Here’s the truth about telling stories with your life. It’s going to sound like a great idea, and you’re going to get excited about it, and then when it comes times to do the work, you’re not going to want to do it. […] People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain.(p.100, Miller)

What story do I want to live? I have had a few things on my “to live a better story” list… things I have weighed the obstacles of and know would take significant amounts of perseverance in some cases. First, I want to travel to Australia before I turn 30. I would also like to go on a significantly long bike trip… anywhere from 1-3 months long, perhaps across Japan (No, this is not an idea I stole from the book… I’ve been wanting to do this since 3 years ago when I went on my first 60-mile bike ride and loved it). Within the next couple years, I want to release my first full-length album of my own original music, and book a tour to promote it.  I want to become Adobe certified, specifically in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. And while doing all of this, I want to build up my blog and write consistently about people I meet, places I go, music I hear, things I learn, and things God is revealing to me along the way.

There are many obstacles…. Most obviously, financially. I mean, my part-time job right now is great for pursuing music and traveling on the side, but how will I fund some of these experiences? Thank goodness blogging is free!  Traveling is an obvious pricey pursuit… and flights to Australia are at a minimum $1,000. My hybrid bike certainly wouldn’t be a good choice for hundreds or thousands of miles of biking…. So a road bike would need to be purchased. Recording music, promoting it, packaging the CDs and artwork design… all of that adds up. On top of all that, taking courses to get training in those Adobe programs is another obvious financial obstacle. I’ll also need to purchase those programs for my own use to complete the training! Have you ever looked up the price of those programs? I could fly to Australia a couple times! Money can be such an unfortunate barrier sometimes. I also need time to do this… or rather, the ability to set aside time for it. So how can I let this NOT become a barrier? Do I need to give up the “luxury” of part-time work (a.k.a. extra free time) and get a full-time job, even if it isn’t in music, creative marketing, or other media-based jobs? I dislike the idea of not using my college degree in Music Business to help me pursue a professional career. I guess in order to live a better story, I am going to have to make changes, sacrifices even... and make smarter decisions while hoping for some extra blessings along the way to keep me moving forward.

So, there’s this conference in Portland, Oregon that I would absolutely love to go to. It’s the Living A Better Story seminar, put on by Donald Miller. I can’t quite think of a better place for me to go and gain more insight into this whole “living a better story” idea. I guess that is why they called the seminar that. :)  If interested in reading more about it, check it out at Donald Miller's Website.  Unfortunately I hear that it is basically sold out, and with my recent trip to the east coast and my future trips to Nashville and the Bahamas planned for music events, I’m afraid my finances can’t take much more of a hit to get me to Portland… so I’m entering this contest to try and win a trip to this conference! If you’re in the Portland, area, however… you should go to this seminar and take notes for me… I’d owe you big time!


Here’s a promo video from Donald himself, talking about the seminar!




www.donmilleris.com/conference


I’ve set goals. I’ve been dreaming. I’ve planned, discussed, weighed, and hoped. I think it’s time to start making things happen, no matter how hard it may be. I did it with moving to Los Angeles for those three months, and despite feeling scared to death during the days leading up to it… it proved to be one of the most exhilarating, meaningful, and growing experiences I’ve had so far. I want to live my life filled with meaningful experience. I want to write a better story.

And life no longer felt meaningless. It felt stressful and terrifying, but it definitely didn’t feel meaningless.(p. 176, Miller)



Living a Better Story Seminar from All Things Converge Podcast on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A brief challenge.

I say that God has blessed me abundantly when life is going well, yet I struggle to say those same words when life seems to be a mess. How often do our spiritual lives revolve around the ups and downs in life? How often do we twist our view of the church, God, and other Christians, warped because of our own selfish desires to be satisfied and happy. Why is it that we so often cling to our own happiness, rather than seeking the radiant joy that is found only in Christ? There is joy for the persecuted, the sinners, the abandoned, the outcast, the sad and lonely, the youngest child and the oldest grandparent. I recently wrote a song with the words saying "I'm trading my sorrow for victory, hoping that they will see Christ in me." How could I write such words, when I so often reflect the world, rather than Christ? Then I realize that even though I am a hypocrite, who is far from living a life that is 100% sold out to Christ, He can still use me in my weakness... and that is reason enough to have great joy!

I'm challenging myself to give continual thanks to our Creator who never leaves us, and who is constantly pouring out his grace and mercy on us, even when we refuse to see it. Lately I've had so much joy and have felt the freedom I have in Christ filling my life... but I think of all the times before in my life I've had this joy in my heart and have let it fade gradually. I want this joy to stay... because I want my joy to be based on the love of a Creator, not the allurements of the world. Nothing good in me is without the touch of His hand. Everything sinful in me is the touch of the enemy. And how often do we forget to pray, in God's name, that the chains of sin would be broken in our own life? Only recently have I taken those prayers seriously, and it is only since then that I have felt this freedom. I am still sinner. I still deal with issues of trust, jealousy, lust, forgiveness, negativity, pride, and so many more... the sins are disgusting, but our Savior has promised us new bodies that will not be captured by sin, but rather captivated by His holiness. I am yet again filled with joy.

I know I will still stumble and fall... but I have felt challenged to choose joy, to defy what the world says and to rejoice despite sufferings, great or small. I pray that you will challenge yourself to do the same, because there really is no greater name than the name of Jesus.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

B.R.A.T.

No, I'm not annoyed with anyone.  B.R.A.T. is referring to the famous diet that you go on when you're sick.  Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast.  Unfortunately, I am supposed to be on a diet right now in which I cannot each bananas, rice, or applesauce... and only cardboard diet bread.  Why am I even talking about this?  Well, last night when I went to bed I was freezing cold.  It's the middle of June, and I slept in socks, long sweats, 2 shirts, a sweatshirt, and camped out under 2 thick blankets... and somehow I was still cold.  I don't even sleep with that much on in the winter!   Hmmm... something is up.  So anyways I woke up this morning, like I have the past few mornings, with a sore throat and stomach ache.  Except this time the stomach ache was much worse, and I just felt sick with absolutely no appetite, for fear of throwing up.  Knowing that my mom (a.k.a. boss woman) had little sympathy for my pain, I just toughed it out and went to work.  As I was sitting at my desk, my head started to hurt a little bit.  All of a sudden, I thought, "Wait. What if this is a migraine???"  Eager to make an early diagnosis, I immediately googled "Migraine symptoms" (as if I really needed to do this - I've suffered from migraines for 8 years now, so I should be able to tell if I have one or not).  Lately, within the past year or so, my migraines have been acting differently though... so I just thought I'd refresh my memory.  My head really didn't hurt THAT bad - not compared to my stomach.  I read a little bit but then felt guilty doing this at work, so I just went back to working on some photo editing.  All of a sudden, a wave of panic ran through my body as I suddenly lost all feeling and got extremely light-headed.  It didn't take much for my mom to quickly realize what was about to go down, by the horrified expression on my face.  Yes, I was about to pass out, at work, onto a hard cement floor.  Excellent.  She ran to me and forced me to put my head between my legs just as I was about to fall out of my chair, and after blacking out for a brief moment I instantly burst into tears - out of adrenaline, pain, and sheer annoyance.  Ah yes, Megan passes out yet again.  You see, the same head "injury" that caused me to now get migraines, is the same injury back in high school that caused me to start passing out more than the average person.... sometimes even accompanied by seizures.  Oh trust me, we've had tests done - plenty of them.  I've had tests done at 3 different hospitals, going through 4 different doctors.  Scans, stress tests, blood work, diabetes test, tilt test, EEG's... those were the things that defined my sophomore year in high school.  It's somewhat ironic that it was my best year in softball - I had been moved up to varsity, was the top hitter on the team, starting 2nd base player and back-up short stop player, and was name the All-Conference 2nd base player.  I could bench 150 lb., which is pretty good for a girl at the age of 16.  I'm not sure how I managed to pull that off... but one thing I do know is that my health issues have stayed with me, while my softball skills and weight-lifting stamina definitely have not.  There are days I wish it were the other day around.  Oh wait... I always wish it were the other way around. 

So here I am, laying on the couch in my living room, going between hot and cold (not a normal migraine symptom for me), feeling light-headed, and cheating on my diet by enjoying a nice slice of cardboard diet bread with peanut butter and bananas on top, accompanied by some chicken broth.   Ithink I might treat myself to a Diet Rite soda, about the only really flavorful thing I am allowed to drink on this diet.  It's not really that good, but desperate times call for desperate measures - a.k.a. - drink the soda.  I'm sick of water.

In other news, it is a beautiful day outside and I get to watch the trees sway in the sun while I lie here.  I've made a list of music suggestions for my friend Bree, and will be sharing a select few with her each week.  I might as well share them with you as well!  Here's this Thursday's music suggestions...

- Copeland album "You Are My Sunshine"
- Priscilla Ahn album "Priscilla Ahn (EP)" and "A Good Day"
- Franz Ferdinand album "Tonight"
- Loudon Wainwright III album "Strange Weirdos: ..." (title is too long)