the fitting.

the dress is beautiful…my favorite bridesmaid dress thus far.
as i unzipped the side and stepped in, i have to admit that i was a bit nervous.
“please fit, please fit, please fit” i repeated to myself until i had the dress fully zipped. and fit it did…almost perfectly.
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glad i spent useless energy devising a game plan just in case.
glad i spent all that time worrying the dress would not work.
just glad it fit.
glad i feel good in it…and glad i feel good about how i look in it.
now i can’t wait for the main event.


trek home.

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photos from the trek home…home from the birmingham airport to montgomery.
the much anticipated stop at peach park…much to our disappointment there was no homemade peach ice cream to be found.
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but blackberry cobbler and strawberry ice cream—not together, of course—filled in as substitutes.

sweet home alabama.

margit calls while i’m sitting on the plane in dallas, waiting to take off.
“are you in dallas?” she asks.
“no,” i reply, “i think i’m in hell.”
literally, surrounded by no less than 10 mary kay reps—most dolled up in pink paraphernalia—returning from a conference.

i spotted them as i walked up to the gate. i wasn’t aware that they were affiliated with mary kay from their appearance but i immediately labeled them as southern. sidenote: i wonder if i’m so easily identifiable.
dressed to the hilt in their matchy-matchy outfits.
although they weren’t dressed alike, they somehow looked similar…somehow cookie-cutterish.
hair done.
matching jewelry (or jewery as one pronounced the word, in southern fashion).
made up (of course…with their mary kay products).
and the drawl…it was sure enough thick.
yes, ladies and gents, i have officially arrived in the south.

margit mistakenly said, “that’s dallas for you”…until i corrected her by informing her all these ladies were from my home state.
sweet home alabama.

while waiting for take-off the conversation centered on the pink ring won or the car earned. The girl clad in her cute pink linen dress could not get out of the seat next to me fast enough, moving to be close to her make-up cronies. i was relieved…although i couldn’t help thinking if she was repulsed by natural more boho look (dressed in natural hues, fleece, flip-flops, no jewelry save the long earrings dangling from my ears—and the cartilage diamond stud, unprocessed hair, sunburned face now flaking off, and no make-up…what a tragedy).
maybe repulsed,
maybe intimidated,
maybe a perfect candidate for her services,
maybe beyond her help.
maybe i should have asked for some moisturizer to soothe the layer(s) of skin falling off my neglected-to-wear-sunscreen-at-the-beach-yet-again face.

at any rate, i couldn’t wait for the announcement that electronic devices are now allowed.
ibuds in ears and ipod equipped with garden state soundtrack, drowning out any further discussion of make-up in what might be assumed by outsiders as turned-on southern accents.

causing me to realize i just never quite fit in here, did i?

where i want to be.

as i have written postings over the past few weeks about work, i have definitely had a specific location, store, and position in mind. after finally making it known to my district manager–and, once again making it known today after her counter-offer–i have made my final ambition known.
montana avenue
it is where i want to be.
it is where i have wanted to be since i first heard of its opening six months ago.
it is where i have wanted to be since i first declared to jena and alisa, “i totally am going here. can’t you just see me here?” a question that elicited no response…none needed.
it is where i have wanted to be since i took my entire family when they were in town for graduation. i wanted to show them my dream.
it is where i have wanted to be–even still–since hearing other great options before me.

and i hope it is where i will eventually be.
continuing to hope…even though i’ve been given the affirmative.

the aftershocks.

i got home less than an hour ago and cautiously entered my 290 square foot cove i call an apartment, scared to see if the earthquake had left its mark. well…
the ironing board laying across the floor, barely allowing my door to open.
a le creuset lid across the room from the kitchen cabinets from whence it had flown.
picture frames overturned.
6 bundt pans now residing on the floor, falling from their display on my wall.
1 broken dish.
no casualties, i thought, as i sat down to check my email…thankful that none hit my macbook, which sits underneath the only remaining bundt pans on my wall.

i decided i should check the other 70 square feet and entered the hallway, and then the bathroom.
a purse falling off the hook on the wall.
still no big deal.
and the bathroom…
i find most of the items that were on the shelf in my bathroom now floating in the toilet.
the clock water-logged and keeping time at 11:40.
numerous dried flowers, making it look like a centerpiece.
“proud of who you are” plaque…so proud you’re now in the toilet.
and the angel figuring mom recently sent me now headless, missing one arm and the star.

but still…no casualties.

the quake.

in case any of you live under a rock and did not hear, there was an earthquake today in southern california…one that registered 5.4 on the richter. i was actually walking out of target with my friend lydia when it occurred. we heard a few very odd noises–one that sounded like a cat screech as it fell from the roof into a tree beside us and one that sounded like a sliding door shutting loudly on a run-down van. i turned to the side of the building–where the cat-like noise was occurring–and it looked to me like the building was shaking.
i looked at lydia and said, “what was that?”
“sounded like a cat to me,” she replied.
” a cat? i’m not talking about the noise, i’m talking about the feeling. either that building was just shaking or i was” i said.
“what feeling? you’re crazy,” was her final response.
“crazy…whatever. maybe i just had an outer body experience,” i stated, as i dropped the subject.
but i knew…i knew something had just happened but i didn’t know what.

we quickly got sidetracked by the old lady who pulled out in front of the truck headed towards us in the middle of the street. the lady would have totally got pounded by the truck if he wasn’t slowing down for us…and he was only slowing down a little. we almost for real felt a shake as we would have gotten a piece of that one. lydia’s comment: “that’s why they shouldn’t let old people drive–my parent’s included.”

fast forward a few minutes as lydia is taking me to work. we tried calling work voicemail several times but couldn’t get through…weird, never happened before. then i noticed all the people out and about walking on the street.
“what are all these people doing?” i questioned.
“well, jen, it is lunch time,” lydia chided.
“i realize that but i come this exact way every day and there are never this many people simply walking around. and look, they are all on their cell phones. something’s going on,” i predicted.
“whatever.” [a minute or two passed by as we continued to see mobs of people standing around outside of the buildings, most trying to contact someone by cell phone.] “yeah, you’re right,” lydia concluded. “something is going on.”

we pull up outside of work to fernando, the ground’s keeper of the shopping complex…still clueless.
“fernando, what’s going on?” we asked.
“a 5.8 one [as was suspected at first]. didn’t you feel it?” fernando questioned.

“told you something was going on. and you thought it was just a cat,” i said as i turned around to lydia.

proving it.

Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.
~Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the U.S.

a few days ago, margit said she would like to take on a new challenge at work…if we thought she was capable. i responded not to the capability part, but the desire part. of course she could do it, she just needed to hone that desire into learning and drive. i told her to start learning how to do the job she hoped to assume. margit knew she needed more…so she made a declaration to obtain it, asking me to train her for that role.
i had a similar conversation with lydia a few weeks ago, telling her i want her to teach me everything she knows. lydia is in the position i hope to attain in the future and i want to be prepared. i want to be an asset, not a liability when the time comes for me to assume that role.

it is planning.
it is learning.
it is foresight.
it is drive.
it is turning desire into reality.
it is preparing ourselves for what we hope to occur.
it is taking that which we are responsible for in our own hands, leaving the results to someone else.
it is showing others that we mean what we say.
it is proving our promotability.