jen in the real world.

sent this text to a friend on my way to work:

cute new haircut,
favorite outfit,
finished with school,
no more sickness,
well rested,
early to work.
watch out…jen in the real world!

somehow, it just felt different…i felt different.
i felt liberated.
i felt energized.
i felt inspired.
i felt calm.
i felt reassured.
i felt comfortable in my own skin.
i felt assurance to be who i am.
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and it paid off.
i took responsibility for my actions. i managed. i actively sought out learning new things. i took charge. i handled situations. i was truly able to be me.
how refreshing that actually felt.

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life playlist.

my final project for my theology and pop music class was to compile a music biography, my life through music. i wrote a book. and as my table of contents, i included the following playlist:
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each song has a unique place in my life.
each song tells a story.
each song has somehow shaped and formed me.
each song corresponds to my theology at a specific time in my life.
each song is a part of who i am today.

although there is no text to accompany this playlist (like there is in my book), i thought it might be interesting to tune in to my life through music…for all of you millions who read my blog!

done.

that’s right…i’m done.
d-o-n-e. done.
not officially, but i might as well be. i just have 2 more classes left, physically turning my project in, and the formality of the graduation ceremony, but in my mind–you’ve got it now–i’m done.

i finished my final project yesterday, which is how i can say i’m done. i’ve finished the work i am doing for this quarter…and for my seminary career. i guess that’s why this, my final, project took so much of my time and energy. it spoke of more that just this seemingly simple assignment to my time at seminary as a whole.
and just to top it off, i turned in my last paper yesterday and picked up my cap and gown.

what a relief…one i’ve needed for weeks now.
done.

excuses.

i would’ve but…
i only did it because…
if ___________, then i would have totally…

i have seen myself in several conversations lately…
conversations where friends attempt to place the blame of their actions on others or on various circumstances as to why they were guilty, unable to do a certain thing, or in order to make themselves look better.
speeding, because the other cars would surely run them over on the freeway.
speeding, the officer ignorant of the actual speed limit (which doesn’t dismiss the fact that they, were in fact, guilty of breaking the law of safe travel).
extensions, other activities seeming to crowd out the alloted time.
extensions, because something better came up.

i am certainly not picking on any of the friends in the situations mentioned above, it just caused me to realize my lack of accepting responsibility for my own actions.
i just lost track of time.
there was only one lane open on green…again.
this clock is fast; the one in my car shows i got here right on time.
she zoomed passed me so fast i didn’t see her.
i left something in my room and had to go back and get it.
traffic.

all of these may certainly be true, but it usually isn’t the only reason. it is usually something deeper.
why do i try to mask the real reason with something more pleasurable? why can’t i just say…
i couldn’t decide which of the 18 shirts looked better with these pants.
i had to shave my legs so i could wear the skirt i wanted to wear.
i thought i had time to stop at the store on the way…apparently not.
i just wasn’t paying attention.
i was too occupied to turn and look to see if the other car was coming.
i was running late so i had to make up time by driving faster.
i didn’t feel like it.
i knew you would extend me grace…yet again.

i think i will try to make less excuses and own up to my own behavior…
seems a lot more truthful and admirable.
there will always be another reason–or excuse–but i think i’ll choose against it.

munchies…menchies.

after church tonight, jena took emily and i to her favorite yogurt place…menchies. DSCN9908
and it just so happens to be on the way back from church…how convenient. she had described it to me several times but i still didn’t quite understand what it was all about…until i experienced it.
it is this frozen yogurt place where you can choose everything, and do it all yourself.
i love the instructions that are listed throughout the store…painted on the walls, hanging from the ceilings.
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it seems like a continuous circle, a roundabout, of sorts.
first, you pick up some tasting cups to get a sample of the 8 flavors of yogurt…of which i choose 3–cookies and cream, peanut butter, and cake batter. tough call, but i made the decision to go with the peanut butter. wise choice.

enter the circle again.

then, you choose your cup size and go to the yogurt machine of your choice. i stepped up to the peanut butter machine and pushed down on the lever. i totally had flashbacks of the daily treks to the yogurt machine in the caf’ at samford…not wanting to fill my cup as high as the guy we termed ‘yogurt man’ with his mile high yogurt cup.

continue on in the circle.
toppings!! but which topping will taste best on your yogurt creation? there are at least 3 sauces (which i discovered AFTER i finished my creation), 10 various fruit toppings, and at least 2 dozen other options between nuts, granola, cereal, and candy. i choose the crushed chocolate peanut butter cups to adorn my peanut butter yogurt. what tastes better with chocolate than peanut butter?

the circle cedes.
it ends upon arrival at the center registers where you must pay for your much anticipated munchie.
you put your yogurt creation on the scale and you fork over the cash. not bad…$3.25 and this yogurt isn’t even soured!

…eating time.
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respite.

just what i needed in order to make it to the end…
to finish up school in these next 3 weeks,
to make it through this transition at work until we hire another manager,
to allow my body, spirit, mind the space needed to rest.

i didn’t run.
i didn’t go to lift at the y.
i didn’t go to the farmer’s market.
i didn’t go pick up my shoes from rei.
i didn’t get in the shower at 11:25ish, only giving myself 25 minutes or less to get ready for work.

instead,
i slept in…until 7:30.
i laid in bed, under the covers awake…debating on whether to go back to sleep.
i had refreshing conversations on the phone.
i baked…just to bake, for no reason.
i listened to a new playlist i created…of my may favorites.
i took a bath…never doing because it is so time consuming.
i shave my legs…a luxury when you’re always in a hurry.
i started a new book…even if it was just reading the acknowledgments and 2 pages of the introduction.
i gave myself ample time to get ready for work.
and i wrote a blog about it all…

just what i needed…
for today,
for the next few,
until i reach the ‘end’…whatever that looks like, whenever it may come.