I'm reading this book, African Friends and Money Matters and I love it. I alluded to it in my last entry when I write about African ways of doing things and how much more relational they are and how much more they value community. It was a valuable lesson I learned while in Mozambique and the sole reason I agreed to the recent roommate thing. I am not in need of having someone share my expenses, as much as I am in need to learn to live life with others and not be so incredibly selfish. I have no patience. I love living alone. I love "me time". I love it all too much. I love my peace and I love my quiet and I love my life and I am rarely lonely. Sometimes I do need help around here and there is the choking hazard thing, but for the most part my life is wonderful. Yet, how can I face a life of missions or any true life if I can't live with others around me, taking up my time and space? I really need to learn a life of sacrifice. I don't want to become a hermit and not know how to handle noise or how to share. I am so incredibly spoiled. And this is coming from the girl who had a puppy for one day. 24 hours. I took him back because he kept looking at me and following me around and it drove me insane. And yes, I am laughing as I write this.
I am loving African Friends and contemplating what I can learn from their culture and make it a part of mine. Meanwhile, I am worn slap out. I am in a new season of all sorts of new things and honestly I look at myself in the mirror these days and ask, "Who are you?". Recently, I felt like God was telling me to get busy. I was living a very quiet, selfish life. I have a wonderful job, and many hours on my hands in the evenings to do whatever I choose and weekends free to go wherever I'd like. I trained for a half-marathon with all that time last year and wound up running 3 of them and loved every minute of it. I dedicated a year to just coming home and running. After being in Africa this summer I began to re-evaluate things and wanted to set some priorities. I decided to enroll in 2nd Year of Bethel School and was assigned my own personal life coach. He and I sat down and started mapping out goals and discussing dreams and it became apparent to me that I needed to get busy. My daily routine of living a selfish life of loving on myself and doing whatever I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it and making no sacrifice or investments in others was not the route I wanted to continue to take. I wanted to be able to invest in all sorts of things and wanted to start to take action and go after it and not let life just happen to me, but me happen to life. I stumbled upon this little second job. It has turned out to be much bigger of a time investment that I anticipated. I work all the time. Between the two jobs and Bethel School, I am never home and I am absolutely exhausted. I have not one single day to myself. My feet hurt. I don't anticipate this going on for forever, so I have complained very little. Also, it has been extremely benefical in supplementing my income and I now have this new little account to fund all sorts of dreams. What I didn't anticipate were all the side effects.I work in a country club. The first night when the first woman, who was about my age, asked me for something to drink, I honestly looked at her with the expression, "Who, me?". My whole life I have been on the other side. I am the one in evening attire, placing my order and anticipating fast service. It has been YEARS since I have waited on any one else in any way. And to have this woman in her Diane von Furstenberg ask me for a glass of Pinot, threw me off. I had this huge conversation with myself...."you have to go and get it and bring it to her and smile at her and be nice and you can't take a sip". Oh my. "You are not invited to the table. They don't want you to sit down and talk to them. You are a waitress". Who me? "Yes, you. Girl in the necktie and starched white shirt. Go get the woman her wine". "Excuse me, miss". MISS!!!! I am your age, dude. As a matter of fact I kinda know you. You are a lobbyist, like 36. You're friends with some of my friends. Actually, we all went to a dinner together last year at Rathbun's. Oh, please don't recognize me. Whew. He didn't. And don't call me Miss". Needless to say you can see how this has rocked my little world. Serving others. In a necktie. And a name tag. Yesterday, I actually got to go outside down by the tennis courts and monitor a group drinking beer from plastic cups. Some kinda regulation thing and alcohol laws or something or another. All the women were in their cute little tennis outfits and they completely ignored me. I wanted to say, "I have that Tory Burch sweater". But I didn't say anything. I just stood there thinking, "this stinks". I started referencing them all as "the rich folks" to myself of course, and I just classify them all together. I know this is not right. I should see them for the individuals who they are, but it is so much fun to just call them "the rich folks" and make judgments about their predictable behavior. Yet I reckon I only do it because they make me feel so utterly invisible sometimes. I honestly have all the validation I need and I am so incredibly happy and life is good and jokes on them for not getting to have an exchange with the most amazing human being on the planet, so I am still able to strut my stuff and be happy and just have conversations with them in my head and comment back to their conversation about their weekend at Serenbe or Sea Island vacation and put in my two cents on the pimiento cheese sandwiches at the Bakery at Serenbe or the Georgia Sea Grille on St. Simon's. Then it suddenly hits me. I do this too. I don't see people at all. I order my drink and expect to just get it. I special order my food and just say "thanks", but I really don't always mean it. I don't think for one minute how little that poor girl makes or what her day has been like or anything. Oh no. This is not good. This is one of the reasons I am here. I need to learn to be sympathetic. I need to learn patience. I need to learn to love and see people's hearts, not handbags. I want to have compassion on everybody and truly SEE others and not be accused of ignoring anyone. And even though I crack myself up with the imaginary conversations I have with "the rich folks" I need to always remember what being invisible feels like. This has been a great lesson for me. I want to see beyond the Tory Burch and see their hearts, their humanness and learn to serve that Pinot with a smile that is genuine. I am trying. It is not easy. It is actually very, very hard. God has totally set me up.