Trust is a curious thing.  Flimsy and weak yet solid and strong.  Each year that I grow older I become more aware of just how delicate it really is.  I tend to imagine emotions having physical characteristics in my mind; trust looks bright, fluid, and connective.  Almost like smoke, but clean.  Able to saturate and touch anything.  To me, trust also resembles this make-believe smoke in that it can be thick and overpowering or consist of only a few tiny wisps. 

Only fire can produce smoke, right?  Suppose that the fire supplying my imaginary smoke is love.  Some flames wild and untamed; others small and in need of tending.  But what if someone comes along and smothers the flames completely?  Do you start from scratch and rebuild it?  Or is it better to abandon it and start a new fire elsewhere?  Somewhere safer, perhaps.  More secure. 

Each year that I grow older, this dilemma becomes more and more difficult.  My imaginary smoke becomes more and more precious.  It's supply diminishing with each fire destroyed.  The fires I've preserved for many, many years keep my ambitions high to build the new.  They are strong, unyielding, and dependable.  Letting myself wonder if these fires will burn forever is the terrifying part. 

I'm feeling optimistic

I have worked a lot of different jobs.  Including but not limited to: a CPA firm, a restaurant, a vet clinic, a gift shop, and unforgettably-a funeral home.   I've had other jobs that I like to consider "starter jobs" when I was younger.  My first job when I was 15 years old working at a hamburger joint is one of those jobs.  I also consider the job I accepted working as a ticket taker at a local sports arena one of those jobs.  Not to sound like a flake, but they're just jobs that teach you things about what it's like to work.  They don't really matter.  It's not like I clocked in at the hamburger joint with the intention of winning an "employee of the month" award.

I guess that looking back on all of these positions that I've held in the past just sort of comes along with the job hunting process.  I've been in this position so many times that I can sometimes start to beat myself up about it.  Making myself feel like a loser is something I need to become worse at.  I guess sometimes I can't help but feel that only bums would have jumped from job to job like I have.  Although, today, I've decided that all of these jobs I've had have only made me a stronger person and potential employee.  I've been put in more crazy situations than I care to count.  Dealt with more assholes than I want to think about.  Been pushed to limit enough times that I know there isn't much out there that can stop me.  Not to mention, I feel like my interviewee skills are top notch.  I wish someone could grade me, seriously.  My Grandma actually advised me to call up places that I have had interviews with and not been chosen to ask them what they thought of me.  She said it would be a confidence boost because she knew I would only lose a position to someone else because of experience level or possibly a college degree.  Usually my Grandma says all of the wrong things at the worst possible times, but not that day.  Even though I won't actually call any of these places up to see what they think about me, it made me think about what they might say.  I think it's a really good thing that my Grandma is probably right about what their feedback might be. 

My first interview in about a week or so is on Friday, and I'm feeling good about it.  Although, I'm feeling better about the fact that whether it ends up being a miserable failure or my next position, I am confident about who I am and the abilities I posses.  Plus, a very special woman said a sweet prayer for me at lunch today.  30 minutes later I got the call for the interview.  Not to say that God wouldn't answer a prayer for any of his children; but I think her prayers would be on his "Favorites" list if he had an iPhone.  She's just one of those special people that you feel lucky to have met.

Wish me luck on my interview on Friday.  But then again, who wouldn't hire a Receptionist/Corpse Sitter/Sales Associate/Ticket Taker/Cashier?

Took a breather

A trip to Texas is apparently just what I needed.

Nathan and I packed up and drove to my hometown for the weekend.  I had initially thought that this road trip's timing was completely wrong.  Turns out that it was exactly what we more ways than one.  Both of us were in need of giant "Reset" button.  A break from various things going on in our own personal lives.  Most importantly, a little rejuvenation for our relationship-which had been heading towards being labeled as "complicated."  Thankfully, we were able to take on a new perspective and understanding towards each other, our relationship, and everything else on our plates right now.  When we left Texas on Monday morning we were both feeling refreshed and happy as can be.

Our time was spent having fun with friends and getting in some quality time with my family.  Life sure does seem more manageable when you wake up with nothing on your to-do list but "hangout."  I think that Nathan meeting my family and friends helped him understand me much more...and appreciate me more, too.  It was a good feeling.  Seeing him enjoying himself right along with me and the people I care about was priceless.

When we finally made it all the way back to tiny Hulbert, OK we were greeted by his crazy country dogs...all covered in SKUNK.  Nothing says "welcome back to the country" like a pack of carefree dogs whose curiosity is nearly tangible.  The stench was seriously so thick that I thought I might have smacked my forehead on it.  While the dogs were stuck outside for the night, Nathan and I hastily built a fire in his wood burning stove and cuddled up after our long drive.  A quiet conversation we shared revealed that our favorite part of the entire trip was the time we spent in the car.  A total of about about 18 hours on the open road.  Something about that fact made me feel indestructible.  A week ago I had been so worried about where this love I have found would end up.  Knowing that we both loved every moment of that long drive simply because of who was sitting next to us, allowed my doubts to dissolve. 

I was really able to appreciate a lot about Nathan and I's relationship- but one thing I enjoyed the most was how silly and playful we are.  During the drive, we kept each other entertained and laughing.  Nathan is a diehard participant in the "Slug-bug" game.  You know, you see a Volkswagon bug somewhere and call it out, always adding the color of the vehicle, followed by slugging the other person on the arm.  We play that game on a regular basis.  Whichever of us has the most points (Slug-bugs) at the end of each day wins.  During our drive to Texas AND our entire time there, Nathan was dominating.  It's like every Volkswagon in a 20 mile radius was magnetized to my boyfriend.  I got sick of all of his winning, and decided we were going to call out other things.  Started with roadkill.  None to speak of...oddly.  I chose cows next-which didn't last very long because there were THOUSANDS of them and I was screaming, "COW! COW! COW!" which ended up sounding like, "KA-KA-KA-KA-KA-KA!" because I just couldn't get out the word cow fast enough.  We moved on to Semi-trucks and finally, cops.  I WON.  Of course Nathan had to be sure to remind me of his record breaking Slug-bug score.

So, now I'm back in Tulsa.  I'm glad I can say that I am nothing but happy, content, and looking forward to the first Valentine's Day I'll be spending with Nathan.  Even though he made me use an actual map to navigate our routes instead of my trusty GPS. 

Bye, Texas!

This is what I get for saying, "Okay. Smile FOR REAL."

Stopped in OKC on the way back to take a look 
at the Chesapeake Arena-where the Thunder plays. 
Both of us are huge fans!