Monday, December 15, 2008

reflections from the desert: part one

And here I am. Sometimes I have moments when I remember that I actually do exist, that my name is Heather and that I have friends and family and talents and work to do. I had one of these moments recently and I realized that I hardly recognized myself anymore...and it was a good thing.

Normally, when folks say they don't recognize themselves anymore, they mean to say that they have hit one of these reflective places and they realize how sinful and backwards they have become. I mean quite the opposite, but I am just as confused as to how I got here. I guess I really shouldn't be confused. Perhaps I should say rather that I would not have planned my life to go this way this year, and especially this last semester. I am quite appreciative today of how God's plans always work out so much more beautifully and intricately than I could ever have planned or imagined for myself.

So, you may remember that this past spring semester I was having a very difficult time with all of my schoolwork. I was completely bogged down, unsure of what I wanted to do with myself and unsure of what God wanted me to do with myself, and full of questions. That semester turned out well and I survived, so I thought that things were good. At the end of the semester I applied to be a summer RA and that didn't work out, so I was a bit upset, but I figured I would just go home and work and visit my friends at school a LOT.

This I did. Quizno's had by that time been transformed into "Tastee Grill" (clever, right? that was my boss's brilliant plan) and was not doing well. I'm pretty sure that at one point we were not even making enough money to cover labor for the week, let alone pay all of the bills. So, work was slow and I didn't feel too bad about going up to the city every two weeks or so. Then, at the end of June while my family was in Seattle, all of those unpaid bills finally piled up and exploded in our faces, resulting in a shut-down store and weeks of worry about bounced paychecks and future employment. I applied to about five places before I realized that it was useless for me to try to get a job for six weeks. I mentioned this to my boss in the Writing Center at school and she hired me to house-sit for her for two weeks.

Those two weeks were the beginning of the end, really. I was very anxious the whole time because I had not been prepared for how creeped-out I'd be that I was sleeping in a room with so many windows and the back door right in front of my bed. I hardly slept, and only really when my good friend Christina was there...It was also during this time that I began to feel very badly about what I have and will continue to refer to as "Bob the Onion". I had not yet told anyone about Bob, but I really felt like I should, and really felt like I couldn't.

The girls and I moved into our apartment in early August and made the necessary adjustments to apartment life--cooking, cleaning, locking up, sorting out whose stuff goes where. School began and the first day of class I dropped my Opera Scenes class. This was the first in a series of unsettling events that led to what I now call both my worst and most painful, and also my best and most beautiful and healing semester of my life.

To be continued...

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