Occupational Hazards of a Life Planner

picking peaches

I am a major planner. I planned my entire college course load at the beginning of freshman year in order to be able to finish early, and I did indeed graduate a semester ahead of the rest of my class. I planned internships in publishing for myself throughout college to give me the necessary experiences to more easily get a job after graduation, and I in fact attained a position at a university press within months of graduation. I have gone so far as to plan my life ten years ahead—all tentatively, of course. I know that life often gets in the way of our best laid plans, and God often has alternative plans for us. But it’s just something I can’t turn off in my head. I partially blame my mom—she’s made certain family vacations happen that sound like total fantasy when she concocts them, and she made my wedding happen with fairly little outside help. What can I say, I learned from the best.

But this need is hard to turn off, which makes it really stressful when life gets entirely unpredictable. And my life is about to enter the stage of entirely unpredictable.

Don’t get me wrong. I do like having a little spontaneity and variety. But I need stability, and the fact that I have a full time job with a consistent schedule, salary, and vacation time seems to bode pretty well for me. So, the notion that this lifestyle which has become so normal to me in the past year could very quickly completely change is kind of really throwing my planning brain for a loop.

I should explain. Ryan is a month away from finally completing his college career, and is attempting to foray into the real-life engineering world. We don’t know when his efforts will pay off and he’ll receive a job offer. We don’t know where the offer will come from. We could be looking at relocating to a different city, or we could be looking into buying a house here. But we don’t know.

That scares the crap out of me. How am I supposed to plan for the next steps in my career when I don’t know what city I may live in within the next few months? How am I supposed to decide whether we should renew our lease next month, or for how long? How am I supposed to know what kind of vacations I can plan for next year? How can I shop for patio furniture if I don’t even know whether the goal of earning a yard and patio within the next year will be feasible?

So many unknowns. It all turns my brain into overdrive when I begin thinking about it. That’s when I have to remind myself to find joy in the journey, and trust that soon enough, these unknowns will become known, and soon enough, I may find myself nostalgic for this time of great change and potential. If I can’t plan anything right now, why not enjoy this time as if it’s time off?

marcelpagnol

via

I love this quote because it is so true, and a good reminder of how to appreciate life for what it is, and find happiness with what you have. By the way, did anyone associate the photo of peaches above as metaphorical for looking up at something just out of reach? Just me? I tried.

 How does the unknown frustrate you? Are you as terrible dealing with it as I am?

love always, Delia

It’s a love story v.2 // that time when my husband and I weren’t dating

it's a love story

It’s been awhile since my first installment for this supposed-to-be series, when I talked about how I met my husband when I was fourteen. I did get some really positive feedback from the first one, so I’m sorry to all those I’ve made wait this long for the second chapter! To those newcomers, hope you enjoy following along, and don’t get too sick from the sap :)

I couldn’t have known what an impression I made on Ryan the night we met. I could barely believe that a boy, moreover the boy I had picked out as cutest in the crowd, had given me the attention he had. Ryan tells me that he remembers seeing me in my cat outfit that night and thinking I was the most beautiful girl he’d seen. He tells me that that night, he vowed to himself that one day he would make me his.

He eventually did, but there was work to be had. A few weeks passed by and we advanced from talking over MySpace to talking on the phone. I learned that he used to date my friend Aspen, the hostess of the Halloween party where we met. I learned that the relationship had ended badly, but somehow they were now on okay terms. I learned that his favorite color was orange and his favorite band Led Zeppelin, and he learned that my favorite color is blue and my favorite band the Goo Goo Dolls. A little over a month later, he invited me to his best friend’s birthday party.

At that party, I had my first real surge of bravery regarding any crush on a boy. I made the bold move to lean on his leg as the whole party was watching a movie in his friend’s living room. I know. Truly brave of fifteen-year old me. I think maybe my heart stopped for a second, but I’m not sure.

After that, things pretty much fizzled for a while, though. He liked the single life, I think. He started dating someone else, then I started dating someone else. It seemed like we had maybe forgotten about each other. But then new developments started popping up. I saw him again at another of Aspen’s parties, and as we reconnected I realized that I secretly hoped he was jealous that I had a boyfriend. A month or two later, things seemed to be going a bit downhill with my boyfriend, and I ran into Ryan again. I was with a friend of mine who happened to hang out with Ryan’s two best friends a lot. The three of them dropped by our school to see the two of us after our track practice. My friend told me beforehand that they were coming by, and that Ryan wanted to see me. She told me that Ryan asked about me a lot, and that he said he thought I was really pretty. I imagine I blushed deeply at that. The idea that he still liked me made my heart beat kind of funny. I wondered if that could mean I still liked him, too.

It should have been pretty clear to me that day that it was true; I did still like him. But it was several weeks before my relationship finally ended, and I felt emboldened to follow his bid to call him up. I was a stubborn, loyal girlfriend—though I knew I probably had feelings for him, I had a relationship to uphold, and was not going to just call him up any time, like he often told me I could do. When the boyfriend didn’t return my calls for a week and then broke up with me via AIM, though, I threw all cares out the window; I called Ryan a few days later.

Then, he called me the next day. I called him the day after. And he called me the day after that.

This time, seven months later, the calls did not stop. Though I had thought initially that I was just calling him out of my neediness, rebounding from my break-up, that notion was quickly swept aside. He gathered my shattered confidence from being dumped, my doubts about young love, about true love, and put me back together that summer. The rest of the road before becoming “official” was a windy one, to be sure, but it’s our road and I wouldn’t change it. But more on that next time ;)

love always, Delia

It’s a love story // I met my husband when I was 14.

I promised that I would delve into some personal stories on the blog, so here goes! Introducing my new series,

it's a love story

The night I met Ryan was the night of my first high school party. It was Halloween in 2005, just before my 15th birthday. I spent the earlier part of the evening getting dressed in my black leotard, tights, and skirt ensemble, complete with some ears and a tail for what I hoped was a just-sexy-enough black cat costume. (Which in hindsight was probably pretty conservative, seeing as my dad let me leave the house, and I was never that scandalous anyway.)

I was nervous. Though I didn’t know I would be meeting the boy I would end up marrying, I was fully aware that this was the first social event I would be attending as a high schooler. And I knew that probably, most of the people there would already know each other, because most of my classmates had begun their years at our school in sixth grade. Meanwhile, I didn’t know the majority of those people who knew each other. It’s the shy introvert’s nightmare.

But I was also kind of excited. After all, Aspen had invited me. And another new friend of mine who was also a new student at our school could be my new person buddy. And it was my first “real” high school party.

So I showed up pretending to exude confidence in my little black outfit. And I stared about the room at all of the unfamiliar faces smiling behind costumes. I noticed one boy in particular amongst the crowd. My first image of him remains so clear in my memory now, and yet, for some reason I couldn’t tell you what exactly his costume was. He wore some sort of long, blonde wig, along with a white sleeveless shirt and jean jacket. But I don’t really remember seeing anything other than his big brown eyes and toned arms shown off out of the sleeveless shirt.

I watched him from across the crowded room. I overheard him flirting with a few girls, one of whom being my fellow new student companion.

But the night went on, and I was able to lose myself enough to dance freely in the dark, party-lit room full of strangers with my new friends. I danced and laughed and danced some more, and at some point I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to face the big brown eyes I’d been watching from a distance. “Do you want to dance?” he asked. It was the first time a boy had ever asked that of me.

Of course, there being no other answer, I said yes. And as we danced, I wondered what might become of this. Would he try to kiss me? Would I let him? Would this become into anything? Or would this just become the most G-rated of all one night stands—a good story to tell friends about the cute boy I danced with that one time? I could have had no idea.

He didn’t try to kiss me—which was frankly a relief, since being a never-been-kissed fourteen year old, I would have had no idea what to make of it. But he did ask me for my name.

“Delia,” I said.

“I’m Ryan,” he said. Then he asked for my phone number.

I panicked. I’d never been asked that before. Does it show desperation if you give a guy your phone number? What if he’d take that as me being an easy catch and he never called? What if he did call and my dad answered? Even back then, I thought too much.

So I told him I didn’t give out my phone number. But I did tell him that he should find me on MySpace. (Oh, the time of MySpace.)

He proceeded to make sure that he knew exactly how to spell my name so that he could find me. His friend who was with him at the party likes repeating this part of the story: “D-E-L-I-A. D-E-L-I-A. Ben, don’t let me forget. D-E-L-I-A,” Ryan supposedly chanted to him after I left.

Don’t worry. He didn’t forget.

to be continued…

Revelations on Blogging

I’ve been reading a LOT of blogs lately—seriously, it’s gotten distracting—but I guess that’s what you start to do when you start to take your blogging efforts seriously. One thing I’ve noticed in many of my new favorite blogs is that the writers tend to delve into their personal lives at a leisurely but thorough pace through multiple blog posts.

That’s something I hadn’t really thought about doing for myself before. I guess I was still stuck in the mindset of, why would anyone care to hear so much about my personal life? or why bother going into so much detail about myself, isn’t that kind of self-absorbed? But the truth is that when I’m reading these posts by other people, these thoughts are never what cross my mind. I’ve realized that talking about your personal life is actually a way of reaching an audience, and at an intimate level, at that. Some of my favorite posts and general articles to read have to do with the personal lives of their authors. They’re relatable. They’re inspirational. They make me feel like I’m not alone. And they’re addictive to read.

Funny how I’d never thought of it that way before. I claim to be a writer, and I have the rule, “write what you know” deeply engrained in my head, and yet I haven’t fully dedicated myself to doing just that. I know that my favorite authors and songwriters all make a point of sharing pieces of themselves with their fans through their writing (heyyy, T Swift!) and that’s what makes them so great. It’s art, and it’s what makes us human.

So, hi, this is me.

So, hi, this is me.

Sure, not everyone cares about my love story with my husband, or how I felt going to college, or how I’ve ended up where I am today with my current career and future career goals. But someone might. And isn’t that where to start? Without the idea that maybe someone else in the world can relate to and be helped by one person’s words and experiences, those writers we admire would not have reached the success and fanbase they enjoy. We would not even have them around to admire.

And that would just be sad. Writers need readers, and readers need writers. Writers need someone to appreciate what they have to say, and readers need someone to write about something they want to read. It is a codependent relationship, and I feel like I can finally see that clearly.

I’m going to make more of an effort now to really write about myself. I’ll keep writing other stuff, too. But there is really too much to learn about me than I can fit on my About page, which I’ll confess, I worked on for a good while. I want my readers to know me like I feel like I know my friend Taylor Swift. And if I only reach that one person, I’ll be content.

So, here’s to getting to know each other better. Here’s to writing what I really know. Hope you enjoy the ride together!

Do you ever hesitate to write about yourself, or have any blogging revelations of your own?

love always, Delia