Thursday, September 10, 2009

Who knew?

I wrote this for something else (and mostly for myself), but I thought I'd share it with you too.

I was living every good Mormon girl’s dream. I was finishing my B.A. at BYU (class of ’05!) and discussing marriage with the perfect man. Life couldn’t be better. Until, four days after my 21st birthday (because he didn’t want to ruin the actual day for me), he just wanted to be friends. I thought my poor little heart was broken forever. When my missionary came home that summer (yes, I was one of those girls) and, within a few weeks, told me the same thing, I knew I was a goner. Those were two of the worst days of my life. For the next year, I had convinced myself that no one would ever love me again and I might as well just sit like a lump on the couch.

And sit I did. How else does one watch all ten seasons of Friends in less than two months?

The Lord, however, had different plans and, in July of 2006, I found myself driving across the country to take a job just outside of Washington, D.C.

Turns out that those horrid days from which I thought I’d never recover are actually a blessing in disguise. Had I married either of those young men, I would probably now either still be in Provo or Madison, WI, doing whatever it is the wives of graduate students do. While I have nothing against more regular access to amazing hikes, Wisconsin cheddar, or being a stay at home mom, and heaven knows I would love to be married, I am extremely blessed that I get to live my own life for a while first.

The immediate blessing is the scads of free time I have to myself. There’s no weekly coordinating of schedules. Dinner is when and what I want. I am the only one I have to consult with when deciding what movie to see. Spur of the moment weekend road trip? Bring it on. Would it be more enjoyable to have company or to have someone be decisive when I can’t, at least once in a while? The time I drove to and from Nashville all by myself (24 hours of driving and a wedding in three days, yikes!) says yes. I’ve learned, though, that I don’t mind doing things on my own. Having someone to talk to after seeing a movie together is certainly nice, but since you can’t really talk during the show and the only people paying attention to who is around them in a theater are others who came alone, it’s perfectly okay to fly solo to a movie or anything else. (I have also learned, however, that if I want restaurant food for dinner, I call in an order for pick up.)

Even more important than having the opportunity to do what I want when I want is the time I have had to really learn about myself and who I am and how much I can accomplish on my own. I didn’t know, for instance, that I wanted to be a librarian when I grew up. Luckily for me, the chance job that moved me to D.C. is a librarian position. Not only have I loved my job for three years now, I just completed my Masters of Library and Information Sciences. I was able to do an accelerated program because of my single status. Of course, now that I’m a librarian with her own apartment and even a pair of reading glasses, I’m only short the cat owner part of being the crazy cat lady.

I’ve been to Europe, twice. I’ve put over 18,000 miles on my car in the last 15 months alone. I read 54 books last year. I’m learning how to rock climb. I am making friends with dozens of really fantastic people, both men and women. I’ve gone on some amazing dates, and some not so amazing.

It’s possible, even probable, that I would have learned and experienced some of the same things with a husband in tow. I know women who have. But, the last three years have been incredible and someday in the future, when I am finally married with a multitude of kids, as long as I make the most of all this “me time”, I won’t look back and think “I wish I had _______ when I was single.”

Is it easy? No. Do I have this perfectly optimistic attitude all the time? Of course not. But with Heavenly Father’s help and my own faith, I know that all this wait will be worth it. In the meantime, life is for living, and I’ve got a lot of it to do.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tomorrow, tomorrow

In library speak, I was hired to plan and carry out a retrospective conversion of the entire library, getting everything onto the computer according to MARC standards, and provide a more automated library system. Of course, my boss doesn't actually speak library speak, so I was just asked to "update the library" and "get everything on the computer". I was shown around for a day or so and then let loose.

After three long years of planning, self-training, hundreds of questions, cataloging, item building, shelving, sweat, tears, and yes, blood, it's completed to a level satisfactory enough that I'm ready to start letting teachers use it. I'll be unveiling it tomorrow during the annual fall inservice meeting.

The library system may be ready, but I'm certainly not. I am little worried about the 15 minute (except I was asked today to keep it to 10 if possible) 40 slide Powerpoint library instruction presentation, naturally. I'm more concerned about the system. I'm still doing a lot item building (getting the circulation system to point to the catalog records) on the fly, so requests are taking a little longer than usual and not everything is going to show up in the online catalog yet and my phone is going to ring off the hook and everyone is going to hate me.

Except they won't. Everyone is on my side. Library catalogs aren't exactly rocket science and most of them won't really be learning anything new tomorrow. The teachers have known this is coming for as long as I've been here and have been just fine with little changes I've made along the way. It won't be a seamless transition, not by a long shot, but it should still be rather smooth.

This project is my baby, and now it's time to trust other people with it. And it's going to be okay.

Of course, it would be great if I could have another month before school started, but that won't happen. Also, it would be really helpful if I could get a good night's sleep tonight, but that probably won't happen either because two things that keep awake at night are stress and knowing I have to get up really early in the morning. Both at once? Could be interesting.

Now, while I'm having a stressful work week, I'm having a great music week. I spent a lot time last week cleaning up my personal music collection, and even found some great things I'd either forgotten about or didn't know I had in the first place. I'm rather pleased about that. I've also discovered a new station on Pandora (Glee Cast Radio) that's just delightful.

And this song, Aicha by Penn Masala. I love vocal a capella and they do it well. Plus, there are even some Hindi and/or Arabic verses here! As always, I hope you like it as much as I do, though I apologize for the poor quality.

So, if you could think positive thoughts for me around 9:00 AM EST tomorrow, that would be swell.