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.

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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.)

 

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star-brother wars

You know that thing I did a couple of times where I related a favorite movie to a favorite person?  Oh, you don’t have my blog memorized?  How dare you.

 

Well, I wanted to relate a movie to a person, but I almost feel bad connecting this movie to this particular person. However, this person used to put his finger in front of my eyes and repeatedly tell me, “I’m not touching you,” so I don’t feel too bad.

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Star Wars Episode !: The Phantom Menace.  For a long time I was completely behind this movie.  I mean, up until my most recent viewing in July, I was completely behind it.  I now will concede that it could have been better.  However, to Hil at 8, this movie was… epic.

 

This was the first midnight premiere the Millers went to, but Mom determined I was too young to go to it on a school night. Mom wisdom strikes again!  I was upset, like really upset.  I remember being at Thad’s baseball game when Mom told me I couldn’t go and thinking about how sometimes life isn’t fair.  I think this says something about how I was as a child; I didn’t get rude that I couldn’t go to the Star Wars midnight showing, I got introspective and philosophical.  I was a joy to be around.

Enter Rhett.

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Rhett is my older brother (the oldest of the two). (Also, it was his birthday on Saturday– Happy Belated, bro!) Rhett said he would take me to the movie the next day.  Granted, at this point, Rhett still thought this film was going to blow his mind.  After the midnight showing, the fam was a bit disappointed, particularly the older half who were less impressed with Queen Amidala’s wigs.

 

Rhett didn’t think it was good either, but he still took me.  I think this says a lot about the person my brother is.  He’s the person who sat through Episode One twice in theaters just so I could see it.  He’s the person who played Wheatus’s Teenage Dirtbag on full volume just so he could use his whiny voice to make me smile.  He’s the person who helped take care of me when I stayed home sick (including the clean up of the most projectile of all projectile vomits).  He’s the person who would do anything for the people he loves, who is a great uncle, who literally makes everyone’s day better, and who will make a fantastic husband and father someday.

 

Gear switch. Once, when we were watching The Polar Express, I asked Mom what the four of us siblings would do if the train stopped at our house.  Would we stay? Would we hop on? She went through everyone until she got to me and said that I would do whatever Rhett did.  I can only hope this is true in real life.  I’d love to be anything like the guy I’m so lucky to have as a brother and so proud to have as a friend.

Did I mention he watched Star Wars Episode One twice in theaters?

I’m not touching you!

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