December 31, 2009
If I Could Be Honest
If I could be honest with you for a moment...
This has not been a good year. And, as much as I'd like to post a list of the greatest moments of this year now almost past, a list of some good things will have to suffice.
This was year number three of my blog.
There's something to be said of this accomplishment, even though my blog today is a far cry from its beginnings. As I read more bloggers, of varying styles, my own inclinations of what is important to report seem to fine-tune. I do believe that everything I post is post-worthy, and I hope you find Fear & Trembling a good source of elsewhere ill-reported news.
However, I do hope to get back to more original work as the year begins. I can't promise much in the way of spiritual insight (as the early stages of F&T offered), but I would like to do more creative writing in the form of both personal narrative and "tying it all together" pieces. I have a personal goal of writing familial stories for my Dad - at his request - and I'd like to honor that by posting them here.
I started my own business.
I majored in art from my freshman year and was committed to being a "professional artist" as a career; little did I know that job would become desperately scarce with overabundance of the pool of artists, the twists of modern artistic taste, and the economic downturn. But I always loved every stage of the creative process and knew I would find a way to incorporate it into my adult life. My concentration was fibers/sculpture in school, and now I am making fabric baby toys as a side business! Who knew it would come full circle like that?
I've also discovered a real entrepreneurial spirit within me while setting up my etsy shop, butterbean. From designing the patterns, choosing fabric and the actual construction to marketing, advertising and networking, I have found a genuine interest in selling that I wouldn't have guessed I had. At first it was hard to imagine that anyone would think my products were cool, useful or fun. But that's just the self-deprecation that overwhelms me. When I reassured myself that I'm making quality items at reasonable prices, it became a lot easier to be confident!
I finally got a real job.
Well, I don't know if anyone else counts "admin asst" as a real job, but since it is at a reputable company with possibility for job growth, it counts for me.
I am extremely thankful that I was able to find work - and good work at that - in this economy. I was unemployed for two and a half months, but it was so grueling and awful that my heart breaks for those who have suffered it longer. And as much as I've complained about my bachelor's degree giving me no more clout than anyone else who has one, I think it played a major role in my getting this job.
My degree is not just a "piece of paper," it's a guarantee that I can work hard for intangible goals, that I can use my mind to solve complex problems, and that I have the ability to work through tedious steps of a process to get a job (which I may or may not agree with) done. If you've been to a liberal arts school, you know what I'm talking about!
I am very thankful for the opportunity to excel in this company. And if we meet in person, I can tell you everything I've already learned about long term care insurance. Just be warned, I've always got my salesman's hat on. =)
Nic earned his Master's from Western Michigan University.
Many people seem to not know this happened! I guess it went over without a bang, since he didn't have a graduation ceremony, and he then went straight to another program (PhD) at Wisconsin shortly thereafter. However, if earning a bachelor's (which many people do) is a big deal, then a Master's should rank pretty high on peoples' lists.
There is a popular misconception that, if you choose what you "do" in life (meaning, a career), that you should have absolutely no complaints about it, and it should be easy for you. But just because you had a say in the career choice (meaning, it wasn't the only job available) doesn't mean it won't be hard. In fact, academia is taxing both mentally and emotionally in unique ways.
I'm willing to put out there that jobs requiring a high level of abstract thought are NOT easy. Keep in mind that, just as you can only train your body into a certain level of performance, so goes it with the mind. And how do you train your mind to "do" philosophy? Beats me; I ended my philosophical career path at the b.a. level, after realizing I did not have the mind capacity for it. For everyone else, Nic included, you read hours of complicated philosophical text in hopes of grasping at an iota of comprehension. Then you do it again. And again. And again... Even your "breaks" are comprised of catching up on reading you didn't have time for/didn't understand the first go around. It's truly exhausting... and I'm just a spectator!
All this is to say that Nic earning the higher degree, applying for and getting into a great PhD program for philosophy, applying for and getting a fellowship (the highest honor) for that program deserves recognition, praise and, probably, a nice bottle of wine from me as well.
Nope, that's it. I know, it's a short list. But the other "big things" from this year aren't really much to talk about. I've moved so many times that it's old hat, wishing for a house instead of an apartment won't bring me one, and having the money I want for pretty much anything else I'd like to talk about is just a matter of saving. For now, the apartment is fine and the bills are getting paid, so what else can I say?
I hope this year was great for you... I've been reading that it has been for many... and this new one brings some ease to any discomforts you are currently feeling. If you are a Christian, I hope for your growth in Christ and to find a good Reformed church to go to =)
Happy New Year to you all.