27: It Is What It Is

When I was 20, I packed my bags and headed to the Northwoods of Minnesota. I met some amazing people, made some horrible decisions, and grew to love the moonlit starry nights unmarred by city lights. I also learned lessons that I recall often.

One of the girls there was 27-28. I remember her making a statement about the age 27. It was something about how people go through big changes at that age. Usually something like a new job, a big move, etc.

This summer I read an article in the post about the 27 Club. For those of you who are unfamiliar, what do the artists Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison have in common? Yep. That’s right–lives ended young. That kind of life-changing event isn’t preferred to the before mentioned astrological version…

And now here I am. 27. When I was 20, I thought this was old! If it is a year of changes then I can’t wait for 28 to come around. It makes me long for 20 again. When I was innocent, unshackled by bills and “real life.” Real life sucks. Big time.

The only good thing about getting older is when I think of how my spiritual struggles have changed. Things that used to be such a struggle don’t really seem to be a problem anymore, and the desire to “fit in” with my peers has all but disappeared. I value more and more the hand of God in my life, and I know his plan is good. I just wish I didn’t have to go through the wilderness to get to the promise land. I’m remembering something that was spoken at Pulaski: Not one person died because of the dangers of the desert. The ones that fell suffered from unbelief. I feel like the man in the New Testament who cried, “Lord I believe! Help thou my unbelief!” I believe that there is a plan. I believe that there is a reason for everything. I believe in answered prayers–even if the answer is heartbreaking. I believe that, and yet the doubting, analyzing, woman part of me needs help with my unbelief.

So 27 thinks it can break me, scar me, whoop me? 27 thinks it can pull a fast one, blindsiding me with life changes? 27 has something coming if it thinks that my blood-pumping muscle will be added to the club. 27 better watch out for me, because his days are numbered (haha)! 28 can’t come to visit fast enough…

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Because this is what I feel towards you, 27. And he does a better job showing it. (Plus he’s a cutie…and somehow makes me seem less cynical about “real life”).

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I Left My Heart in North Virginia

So, one of my biggest flaws is my impulsiveness. I have a long history of impulsive decision making examples, some of which turned out good. Some didn’t…
1). After high school, I moved to Nebraska.
2). When I was home about 10 months, I decided I wanted to leave. I found a job online, applied, interviewed the next day, and was in MN less than a week later.
3). It snowed the third of October, and I turned my notice in that week.
4). I decided I should go to college. I graduated two years later, because I couldn’t get through fast enough.
5). I moved to Florida. Ugh.
6). I moved back to TN.
7). In the car on the way back, I decided to go to grad school. I called several, but it was too late to apply.
8). I talked to my sister, and she said, “Why don’t you come up here for a year?”
9). I moved to Virginia.
10). This August I quit my job.
11). A couple weeks ago, I decided to move home. I had big plans.
12). The next day I gave my notice to the apartment complex.
13). The next week, I moved home.

I realized something when I was in meeting (church) on Wednesday. Someone said, “You must be happy to be home!”. I replied, “I feel like I belong there now–I know I will go back.” I’ve said to people all week, “I feel like I’m just on vacation–not like I’ve moved!” At this convention, when people ask where I’m from, I always get a little tongue-tied. Where am I from?

They say “Home is where the heart is.” Well, I left my heart in Northern Virginia, and now I can’t wait to come home.

Sweet Home Alabama

Made it! Jake and I decided on Wednesday night that we would drive to Fosters for convention. I’m literally huddled under the blankets typing this on someone’s saved bed. Who saves a bed for just Saturday night? I guess I might have to move tomorrow…

I never realized how desolate this state is! We went through one “city,” if you could call it that. I think it’s growing on me! The good news is that the directions are so simple, Andrea knew them by heart!

I’m looking forward to the next couple days. Turns out that what I suspected was, in fact, the truth. If you sit with a family of Blakleys at convention it is hard to pay attention. I blame it on the adorable Mexican kids, although in all honesty, my sisters were the distracting factors! I think they need some time on the front row, and I need some time paying attention at another convention!

Oh! The best part of the trip so far: Mama gave me her card to pay for gas. Her Sears card…

Hangin’ in the Ol’ Hammock

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Today was such a crazy busy day. Now, I know you’re probably expecting news of a job or at least a job search. Nope.

This morning I had my list of housewife jobs to accomplish: make potato soup, look beans, whip up some cornbread, and make an apple pie. The soup is bubbling in the crockpot on low. The beans are simmering on the stovetop. The cornbread just went in the oven. The apple pie is cooling on the porch rail. Oh, and me? I’m just hanging out in the hammock, enjoying the fresh air and awaiting Mama’s arrival.

Turns out that when you close the door, it automatically locks…

Detour This Way —–>

I threw in the rag.  Ditched it.  Packed my bags and hopped onto a jet plane.  I quit my job.

It’s weird; teaching has been my identifying mark for a while.  My friend said, “Jania, you’re still a teacher.  You just aren’t practicing.”  This break is totally what I needed.  The reality is it was time for me to move on.  I didn’t want to be one of those teachers that sticks around when she’s miserable (we all know them…)  I will go back to education, but it’s the perfect time for a break.  Maybe the Department of Education will get it together while I am gone.

So, while I was painting a fellow teacher’s nursery, I had an epiphany.  Or rather, she smacked me in the head with a reality check.  After saying that I always wanted to travel, she replied, “Jania, what’s holding you back?”  I realized that not one thing could hold me back now.  I mean, I have bills, but…

Well, I’ve found my way back to Tennessee.  It’s been years since I’ve lived here–over four.  It’s like another planet here.  I don’t mean that completely negative:  it’s like I tell Isaac, “Life is slower here.”  I am signing up to substitute teach so that I can save my money for my next big move.  In the meantime, it’s the daily grind (southern style) for me!  By that I mean, this is what my week has consisted of:  meeting, hanging out with the Mexican nephew, cooking, hanging out with my Mexican niece.