I probably have about a million posts titled "reflections", and if I don't already, I most certainly will. As the great Joel Willitts so aptly said it, I "think a lot." I spend much of my free time thinking, in fact (when I'm not reading or playing piano). It was a very astute observation for him to make.
This post is about the last two weeks and what they have done to me!! I learned so much about life, and even though they were painful and difficult at times, these weeks have been a positive experience overall. I will begin with the more practical aspect: house-sitting for my supervisor taught me how to take care of a house and its many many plants. I learned that if plants get less that one inch of rain per week, you need to water them a LOT. Also, if they get four inches of rain in two days, you don't need to water them until about a week later. I learned that security systems only serve to decrease a certain level of anxiety, and if one experiences higher levels of anxiety, said security systems are not much help. I also learned how to operate the security system, and how to use the seven or so keys that belonged to that house. Floorboards can be very creaky and very noisy, but one can cover up these noises with a very loud movie. AND, some toilets can be yellow or blue, and shower "curtains" can be oddly curvy plastic sliding doors that squeak loudly when you open them. And old lace curtains give a house a very odd smell. And having an icon of Jesus by the front door is about the coolest thing you could do to your house.
What I learned about myself: I need at least an hour of alone time every two days, which I hadn't noticed because this is really the first time in my life that I experienced a forty-eight hour period when I was constantly with someone else. I love natural light in the kitchen. I like making refreshing, simple dishes for myself, and I don't mind the occasional hot dog roasted over the gas flame on the stove. Walking through neighborhoods where the people are so old that their lights aren't on after nine o'clock creeps me out. Oh, and I'm more easily creeped out than I thought--I had not prepared for my utter inability to sleep in a strange house by myself. I tried many things, and the help I found was in my good friend who came over to sleep there with me so that I could actually sleep. When she wasn't there, I kept a frightened vigil with my hand clutched around my keys and my cell phone, and with unhappy parents being called at all hours of the night to kill time while I waited for intruders that would never come.
I gained so much knowledge of relationships also. I learned that I am very stubborn, and that I greatly appreciate stubborn people, even when their hard-headedness makes me irritated and/or uncomfortable. And that stubbornness reveals tenderness and care. I learned once again that it is possible to spend too much time with a friend, though after years of too many sleepovers in a row, you would think I'd pick up on that! I found that people can surprise you and say really nice things when you least expect it, and that these suprises can wipe away any negative feelings you might have been having toward that person. A mixed crowd of eleven people can get along perfectly well, but there's always going to be that someone who has to bring up a personal problem in group conversation, thus creating an awkward situation for everyone else. But then there will be someone to make a joke of it, and it will all be back to normal. I learned that I really wish that I was friends with a cool, moderately older married couple, and that I would like to find a female mentor. And I learned that we can bother people without meaning to, and that even I have trouble opening those wounds after a night of letting them fester, despite my usual ease of manner in confrontation.
And I learned about God--prayer is so powerful. Especially praying aloud. I am terrified of praying aloud when others are around, but when I'm alone, it's just about the most wonderful thing on the planet. When I am anxious, praying aloud brings peace and confidence, and when I am broken, it brings healing (though sometimes painfully). I like to talk to God when I'm walking around the house, cleaning, cooking, whatever. God takes care of me in better ways than I ever could have imagined. This last bit is really about my whole summer--I went into this summer expecting to work thirty-five to forty hours a week, but I ended up working twenty-five or less, but that allowed me to visit my friends more. I grew closer with people that I wasn't expecting to befriend, and I grew away from some old friends. Also, my group of friends has shifted, and it has brought a myriad of beautiful changes in my life. Then I lost my job, which was a whole adventure in and of itself, and that allowed me to house-sit, which brought about all of the aforementioned learning. So yeah, I would definitely not have orchestrated this summer in the way that the Almighty saw fit, but of course, my plans consistently fail while his exceed all possible expectations. Praise the LORD!
That's enough reflecting for now, but I promise there is more to come. =)