Friday, May 29, 2009

Never Settle

Where You Settle Is Where You Die

My life in DC has been interesting to say the least. I love the social aspect of my life here. I am starting to love the city, though I struggle with the corruption that clouds the atmosphere here. I am learning to like the people, though they are warm in a different way than the Floridians I am used to. I like having a regular 8-4 routine on the job. I love our apartment. I am blessed by all the things the Lord continues to do for Mikhail and I. I am thankful for our church and the people that have invested in getting to know us and love us, although I can avoid really getting to know others. I am thankful to be pursued by so many great people and to live in such a great town.


About a 1000 times since I took this job, I have had a thought: academia ruined my ability to sit still. I can't. Not only that, academia taught me about freedom. Here, I don't have any. Academia made me feel intelligent, like my thoughts mattered, here they do not. So herein lies the tension. As a professor I tell students that they matter. However, then they go out into real world situations like this and they struggle. Was I wrong to encourage them to change the world?Perhaps it is the people who believe they matter who actually do change the world? Maybe this is not the arena for me to plant seeds in. One can only plant on fertile ground. So this place needs water. How in the world do I bring that here?

I have learned a lot of things. One that reoccurs: Never Settle. Where you settle is where you die. I don't like to admit this, but I knew that all along. Still when faced with the opportunity to take a risk or to take my current job, I took security. What I obtained, while I learned some valuable life lessons, were months and hours of misery. One should not stray from where one knows that he or she should be.

I was created for freedom. I will use this freedom to be free, rather than be entangled by the yokes of bondage.

I look forward to earning my PhD this fall. I look forward to summers off, except when I want to teach. To late nights of grading. To long days in my office inspiring students to realize their potential. I miss reading, class, research, study groups, writing and proof-reading. I am so bored here that I even look forward to my dissertation, however long and tedious it will be.

Mostly, I look forward to time. While I will spend the next 4 years getting this degree. I will spend the rest of my life enjoying the freedom the degree gives me.

I look forward to that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spring into Summer

Life is sweet. Spring is a time of new beginnings, of fresh starts. It is a time of becoming. Spring is a time of thawing out. All that was frozen inside me during winter is falling away. I feel myself on the verge of something amazing.

Spring into Summer.

To make this transition, I continue to train for our 4 mile marathon. It is one month away and I am up to 2.2 miles. They are not easy for me. Mikhail is almost at 4. In fact, he very well may have hit 4 today. Not me. It will take me the rest of the month to get there. But I am committed. Running reminds me that life is not easy, it is about the long haul. Running has ups and downs. So does life. Lately, I've learned that I am a lot more like my running path than I ever thought before. I too, have my ups and downs. Sometimes I get so carried away with the scenery that I miss the challenges, other times, they are my focus.

For the past few months, since I took my last job, I focused on the obstacles. Going to work was painful. It still is somedays. However, Spring brought forth a new thing. I will be working full time on my PhD this fall. I am really excited about this. Not only that, but I will be teaching too. Teaching was one thing that added passion to my life last fall. I miss it. Especially when I go to my job everyday just to complete mindless tasks. I look forward to more.


Fear is a funny thing. It paralyzes us. Sometimes, I feel paralyzed by fear. But not anymore. I am saying no to fear and yes to loving and living life to the fullest. With that said, my PhD program is going to be tough. I fear not being good enough. I fear the workload, as terrible as that sounds. But I got my masters, and I know what I am getting myself into. Becoming a doctor, well that is a lot of work. It will take time. Effort. It is a long run, up a long hill. At the end, the view is glorious. But the hike, well, it is a long one. So I do not fear the workload. I need to be honest. I fear failure. Maybe it is because I know my weaknesses. I know how I work. However, I know that I have a lot to learn. And my mind, well, it is a sponge. That is something to celebrate.

Cheers to the God who is the door, who opens doors, who turns a no into a YES. I am thankful for this opportunity, it taught me that Jesus makes streams rise up in the wilderness. Faith. Getting to this road may have been a struggle, but I have faith that is worth running the race for.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What's With the DC Weather?!?!

So this is Spring.

I woke up this morning to what I would consider cool weather. In fact last night, Mikhail and I opened the windows to enjoy the fresh air. And then I thought, "Awe, it feels like fall in Florida." Except it is not Fall. And this is not Florida. Last night Alexandria had a low of 45 and today, the high may be 65. Now I am not complaining about the weather, well, I guess I am. However, it is cold here. And this Floridian has been chilled since December. I keep waiting for summer. I keep waiting for 90 degrees. When, will that day come? Here in DC, the summer weather will not be as hot as my Florida weather. It is always a few degrees cooler, even in the warmest seasons. Which makes me feel, well, cold. Still. And it is nearly the end of May. Cheers to 40 degrees in May.

The mini-marathon is still on. Come to find out, the nice easy little mile run that Mikhail and I were running, is actually 2.2 miles. And we run up several hills. This was a super exciting fact for my life. I am training to be a runner. I think I may be able to run 3 miles on flat ground since I can run 2.2 on hills. I feel accomplished. I love running with Mikhail. This is just one way he contributes to making me a better person. Running is difficult. However, what I am learning about myself is beautiful. I am impatient. I want to quit when things get hard. I get tired and talk myself out of things that I really like to do. I suppose I did not need to run to learn this. But nevertheless, I welcome the lesson. And I welcome the flat stomachs we are both developing.

Work is work and work is slow. But memorial day is coming. And I get 5 whole days off this weekend, Friday - Tuesday! So I am pretty excited! The race is won by those who endure to the end. So, I will endure. My life is on the line. And living life is definitely worth it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Our DC Life

So I work in the city. In fact, I am here almost 50 hours a week. City Life is a much different ballgame. We just moved to the metro DC area. July will mark a year for Mikhail's and December, will be a year for me. City life sure is differnt.

For the most part, the city is a fast-paced kind of place. Everyone has somewhere to go, someone to meet, or something to do. If they don't, you will find people on their Blackberries making plans and keeping in touch with the outside world. This is nothing like my sweet hometown of Oralndo, Florida. There the people are going somewhere, but they wont run over you on the way to their destination. Traffic is calmer. People move slower and speak sweeter. Perhaps the best thing about my hometown is that it is 45 minutes from the beach. How I miss the ocean.

Life Lessons.

Since arriving here, I learned the meaning of the term: Not-For-Profit. You see, I work for the government during the day, and I teach at a Community College at night. University life I was used to, however, working for the government is another story. What does this have to do with the term Not-For-Profit? Well, the government, our efficient government is Not-For-Profit. I have found this means that government moves slow. I understand why the post office runs as it does. After being here, I can only hope that healthcare does not end up being less efficient than the postal service. Then we would really need healthcare reform.