Happy Father’s Day!

When I was nine, we took a three-week road trip out west. We packed everything into our white suburban the night before we left, got our journals ready, and brushed up on our history. Everyone was beyond excited, including our captain, Dad. This was going to be the trip of our lives!

Early in the morning, we climbed into the car. Thad and myself jammed in the very back seat (probably so that mom wouldn’t have me talking in her ear the whole time), and left for the open road. About ten seconds later, Dad ran over our cat.

Dad, I really loved that cat, but I love you more. I love that you’re basically Ron Swanson, but with a manlier laugh and an even greater respect for the Constitution. I also love that you felt so bad about killing Grease Lightning, “Grease” for short. I’m thankful for you and the crazy-great stories you’ve given me. Love you! Happy Father’s Day!

 

Dad and me

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This Week

I defended my master’s thesis in front of people I really respect. Of course I questioned importance of Kermit the Frog as both a cultural and story leader.

Ten minutes before I left my house for that thesis defense, I got a job! A real job!

Five minutes after my thesis I sobbed on the phone with my mom about how great life is. It wasn’t just a bit either. I was honestly quite worried about making it down the Pepperdine mountainside without vision.

I witnessed a miracle. More on this during my next post.

I went to the beach, the pool, the beach, and the pool. (And have the uneven tan lines to prove it!)

I went on a successful run (as well as two other unsuccessful ones). Yes, it was a short run, but I was fast having a blast vomiting running.

I tried to pour wine with the cap still on. (I had not consumed any wine at this point.)

I contributed approximately one and a half answers during an entire trivia night, surprising myself and others with my informational prowess. Be afraid, Trebek. Be very afraid.

I ate a quarter of a watermelon.

I laughed and laughed and laughed.

I played with eyebrow gel for the first time.

This was a week to remember (perhaps solely because of the eyebrow gel).

watermelon eater

Sea Glass at Last

I have good news, but first…

I’m unemployed. I don’t where I’ll be living in August. My hair has been perpetually in an “awkward phase” for two years. (I continue to blame the stylist I visited in June 2012.) Sometimes when I call my family, they don’t answer because they claim to be “at work” during the day. Ha! My right arm is kind of sore. I think I slept on it wrong.

This was the way I was thinking about my life a month ago. I was a complainer.

Then, I kind of sort of a bit realized that maybe my life is pretty much almost practically… awesome.

I’m finishing my master’s degree at 23. I have a bright, cheery apartment for at least the next two months. I have hair. I have an incredible family full of goofballs who leave silly voicemails. God has a crazy good plan for my life, and my right arm bends and looks good doing it.

This is the way I’m choosing to think today. I have an astounding amount of blessings, and I’m so grateful for this life.

Where was I going with this? Ah, good news! The thing about good news is that it needs to be recognized.

There are some writers who think of story ideas constantly. I used to think they were crazy, but then I made a conscious effort to hold onto the ideas passing through my head somewhere between “my arm hurts” and “is this milk okay to drink?” Over time (and it’s still a working progress), I trained my brain to recognize an idea as it passes. Although I’m not to the constant-idea machine level, I am much better.

The same is true with good news. A month ago, the good stuff was hidden under a smog of life and frustrations, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. I just had to clear that other stuff out. I needed to train (and am still training) my brain to recognize the amazingly good things in my life.

I had a bit of good news yesterday, but I almost didn’t recognize it; I found my first piece of sea glass.

(I know I’m jumping around a lot. Welcome to my world.)

I won’t say that I’ve been looking for a piece of sea glass my whole life, but ten years sounds about right. Maybe you’re thinking that if I really wanted to find a piece of sea glass, I would have scoured every beach and found one in a week. I live next to the ocean, for crying out loud! Well, maybe you geography nerds out there might realize that it was a bit hard to find a beach with sea glass in my previous location of Indiana. (After 90 seconds of research, it has come to my attention that apparently you can find sea glass at Lake Michigan. I apologize for the snark.)

But, guys, I haven’t been obsessing over sea glass. Who do you think I am? [Insert famous sea glass artist here]?!

It’s been more of a casual pursuit. On vacations I would look, and now that I live close to the ocean, I half-heartedly scan the shore as I walk. Then, yesterday, my brother and I were looking for cool rocks (because we’re cool like that).

Rhett at beach

Did someone say RFK?

(I realize that JFK is usually considered to be the better style icon, and therefore some might feel that he is the one to reference here, but since I have an unexplained preference for RFK (I think it’s the teeth), I chose him because it is my blog. Thank you.)

PS We found some really cool rocks (because we’re cool like that). Look at these things.

IMG_1405

Then, I picked what I thought was a frosty, white rock out of the sand. Rhett said, “Hey, sea glass,” in a chain-smoker’s voice (read: Mama Fratelli).

(Note: Rhett doesn’t smoke or have a chain-smoker voice, but this is my story.)

I took another look at the vaguely triangular object in my hand. Could it be? After years of searching, could I have actually… not even recognized that I had sea glass in my hand?! Yes. Yes, it was. Yes, I didn’t get it. Yes, I’m entirely too thankful to have a brother who’s better at identifying tidal leftovers than I am.

I have my sea glass at last, and you know what? I’m not exactly sure what life lesson to draw from finding it.

But since writing the sentence right before this one, I’ve had a thought. It’s been really fun looking for sea glass for the past decade. The beach is a pretty amazing place. It was a lot of fun finding sea glass yesterday. It will probably continue to be a lot of fun finding the next piece and the one after that and the one after that. Life is full of beautiful pieces of sea glass, and sometimes the piece I want is right in the palm of my hand. I just have to recognize it.

 

I apologize for the number of parentheticals in this post. (Seriously.)