The New Normal

If you had told me four years ago–even six months ago–that after obtaining my BA, I would move to the small town of my alma mater, where I would run a non-profit and work at a gym, I would have laughed hard enough to bring tears to my eyes. But that is exactly what has happened.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Two months ago, I was a freshly diploma-ed  freelance writer who was living with her parents. It was a comfortable in-between, but it wasn’t somewhere to be permanently. While I love my parents, my temperament is different from theirs, which makes for uncomfortable living arrangements, especially since they were both retired and I worked from home. Also, all of my high school friends had moved away, had gone to college or gotten married or some such, so I was rather alone. I made friends with ladies at church (great friends), but they all have children my age, and so it wasn’t the same as friendships with my peers.

So when I received a phone call from my freshman roommate informing me that she had heard of a job opening in the town of our university. The program director of the local literacy council was retiring and sought a replacement. I then discovered that another friend had an acquaintance who was hiring at the gym she owned. A few weeks of unbearable tension later, I was moving into a one-bedroom apartment and starting two jobs.

It’s been a crazy two months, but I’m learning to adapt. My schedule means that I don’t have much free time in the evenings, so any errands have to be run in the morning before work. Being the program director of a literacy council is definitely something that has required adjustment:  I have more responsibility than I’ve ever had before, and much is expected of me. At the gym, I am studying for my certification to become a fitness instructor. If you knew me as a teenager, that is quite laughable–I skipped P.E. throughout much of junior high, and haven’t attempted a sport since elementary school.

There are good changes, too. I live in a town where I know several people, so I have the opportunity to be social (although almost all of those people are married, so I am a perpetual gooseberry). Having time away from my parents has improved our relationship immensely. Having full-time employment is invigorating, if at times exhausting (a paradox, I know, but it’s true).

In short, the past two months have been terrifying, but I finally feel that I am beginning to be an adult–or at least that I am beginning to pretend.

Excuses and Happy Accidents

“[T]he moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but I have a good excuse, really.

Over the years, there has been an ever-growing list of things I wanted to be when I got out of school and had to join the real world. The list was as varied as my interests were: Egyptologist, secretary, editor at a major publishing company. Under all those things, though, was my love of books and writing. More than anything, I wanted to be a writer. I knew, however, that writers didn’t make money (neither did archaeologists or secretaries, for that matter), and so I needed to find another profession, one that could feed and house me. After all, I am fond of food.

When I accidentally became the on-site coordinator for RJ‘s wedding (and loved it!), I realized that I could be an excellent event coordinator. It requires organization, the ability to multi-task, and flexibility when it comes to working hours. In many ways, it is the perfect job for me. Those of you who know me know that I tend to take on too many projects at once. I love being busy, and I like to be actively involved in organizations of which I am a part. This lifestyle of acquiring stray assignments means that I have all of the prerequisite traits of an event coordinator. The only flaw is that I hate crowds; parties, therefore, are not my ideal setting. I was determined, though. I had found a job that I could do. The only thing I needed was a client base (and a network of vendors).

Then one day, around two months after I received my BA, I was approached by an acquaintance of mine who owns a business. He needed someone to write articles and do website maintenance for his business, and a mutual acquaintance informed him that my degree was in English, and that I enjoyed writing. This began my career as a freelance writer and editor.

Since that time, I have been working to build a website to advertise my freelance services, as well as taking up writing and editing jobs that come my way. The work that has been my dream since I was eleven has finally become reality, partially through hard work on my part and partially through happy accident (also known as God). I now have the job that I have always believed was my calling.

What do you think? Is it a good enough excuse?