Sunday, February 8, 2015


A week from right now - 6:30am on Sunday - I will be on a plane (alone) to State College, Pennsylvania. In February. Brrrrrr.

It's the final step in my application process to Penn State, and I think, my final MFA interview of the year.

After that, we wait - for one offer, multiple offers, or no offers at all. And based on those offers (or lack thereof), we will make a decision on what we need to do moving forward. For Jason, this will be based on places that he has not seen. He is trusting my gut instinct, which is well honed, but still - the pressure!

Are we leaving Florida for my graduate degree? Are we staying so I can continue to teach at Florida Southern and figure out how to get my MFA part time? Or is there something else entirely different on the horizon?

It's an exciting time - full of possibility and uncertainty.

You see, I don't believe in accidents or coincidences. I believe that things have a purpose, and if you keep your eyes and ears open and are willing to walk down the next path, that adventure is waiting. But if you hide from change, or close your eyes and stick your fingers in your ears, you will stagnate. And stagnation is, to my mind, a huge waste of the gift that is life.

We are in a holding period right now, closing in on the end of the "what if's..." We've been in this place for months now, waiting for the answer of what's next - so we can make the right plans and move forward.  The blessing of this time has been the opportunity to imagine the possibilities. The unfortunate part is that because we are preparing, we are being frugal - saving money for the big change that's coming (and grateful to be able to do so) - but all the "saving" has made us feel a little stuck. Like we work all week for the weekend and then don't do anything big with that weekend because we are planning ahead.

I'm so grateful, though, to be in this waiting space with a partner who is so patient with me. I'm constantly rehashing the "what-if's", and he never complains or tells me I'm repeating myself or asks me to stop. Instead he plans to build furniture to replace what we gave away when we moved across the country, spending days preparing reclaimed wood boards so I can have one of a kind pieces. He listens to me talk about this essay I have to write, or this scene I have to prepare to direct for the millionth time, or how much I love teaching college (again) and goes right on loving me.

He agrees with my crazy plan to squeeze in as many vacations as we can in the next few months (another reason we are being so frugal), and he forgives me for getting stuck in my head so often, sometimes unable to listen when he really needs it. I am so incredibly thankful for the grace my husband shows me every single day.

So - this is really a letter to my partner, my better half, the love of my life, for going on the journey with me. For stepping on the same path. For seeing me, flaws and insecurities and all, with such incredible grace. For loving me unconditionally.  For adventuring together. For creating beautiful art. For being my best friend. For building a strong partnership. For expanding my horizons. For believing that I am good enough. For standing bravely beside me through my health issues. For loving my loved ones. For reasoning with my crazy. For staring change in the face. For trusting my gut on a huge decision. For letting me love you so ferociously.

I love you, Jason. I appreciate you, Jason. Thank you for the man you are. Happy Valentines Day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"Writing in Pencil"

I'm supposed to be working on one of my last grad school application essays this morning, and I will get there, I promise I will.  But I just read something, and I need to share and unpack it in a way.

"Everything is interim. Everything is a path or a preparation for the next thing, and we never know what the next thing is.  Life is like that, of course, twisty and surprising.  But life with God is like that exponentially. We can dig in, make plans, write in stone, pretend we're not listening, but the voice of God has a way of being heard... it moves us to different countries and different emotional territories and different ways of living.  It keeps us moving and dancing and watching and never lets us drop down into a life set on cruise control or a life ruled by remote control.... full of flashes and last-minute exits and generally all the things we've said we'll never do." -Shauna Niequist, COLD TANGERINES "Writing in Pencil"

I HATE change. I truly do. For someone who hates change and uprooting and packing and unpacking as much as I have, I've moved a TON in my adult life, and they haven't been moves across the city.  First to Michigan, then back home, then around the country on several regional theatre gigs, then home again, then to Wyoming, then to Florida, and now to ______?  We're going, we think, but we don't know where.  Jason is planning to leave his very good job so I can get the MFA that we believe I'm supposed to have, and we still don't know where.  We have some idea, but the "where" isn't confirmed yet.  We don't know what Jason is going to do when we get there.  But we believe it's time to go, that the doors are opening, and that just as He did when we moved to Wyoming and Florida, God will provide.  As long as we have continued to go, God has continued to bless us.  That's absolutely a fact.  Each of these places has seemed temporary, an interim time, and the next one will be interim as well, I think.  Now that we've been at it a while, I'm coping better with the flexible nature of our journey.  But it still kind of sucks.  Then I remember the true remarkable uniqueness of each place we've been, and the incredible people that have come into our lives in these places, and I wouldn't change any of it for the world. Nor would I change the people and places that are to come, because I think that each stage (in some way) defines a piece of our character and our heart.

I gave up planning my life in indelible ink a while ago - everything that I "planned" has been marvelously, beautifully different.  Now, I plan in pencil, trusting that when the plan goes off the rails and I have to erase, that it will be so much better than I ever imagined.

So, here's to a good eraser, a spirit of adventure, and never getting too comfortable.  Bring it on.