Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Ocean

One thing I love about Jacksonville...I can get to the ocean in less than 15 minutes.

Last weekend Greg and I decided to go to the beach in the evening. It was a little overcast, but not bad. We got on the highway and after just a few minutes, we were just hit by this wall of water. Pounding rain comes out of nowhere here. The windshield wipers were on full speed and we could hardly see for the storm. We considered turning back, but it looked like the rain let up in the east. So we kept driving, and in just a few minutes, the thrash of water was just gone. We had out-chased the clouds. 

Here I find the opportunity to wax metaphorical. Is that even a thing people say? No, I don't think so. But anyway...we are getting good at handling storms. 

There was no rain at all on the ocean, and there wasn't anybody there, either. A full beach crawling with people can be fun. There's a kind of friendly hype in the crowds that I truly find enjoyable. But an empty beach is gorgeous. The water is large and the world is big. However, it wasn't too long until the sheet of rain caught up to us. We got a lovely picture showing the way the storms are out here, the way they just roll on over you out of nowhere: 

Amazing, right? One second, clear. The next second, storm. 

Here is us when there was still sunshine. Greg's eyes are so freaky blue. Cute, right? 

This is what rain looks like on an ocean. Before we moved here I had always wondered: 

As the clouds come: 

As cool as lightning and ocean are together, Greg thought it probably wasn't all that safe, so we ran back to the car getting soaked. I will never forget how pretty it was. 

This week Greg is out of town doing training in New Jersey. He's having fun, but I'm lonely. So I've been going to the beach more often than usual. Look what I came across the other day: 

It didn't really look like a nest to me, but I wish I could be there when the turtles hatch. Apparently you are not actually supposed to take pictures of these things for some reason, but I didn't realize that until it was too late. Whoops. 

I really love the ocean. Not because it's fun to get tan and not because I love to swim, although those things are great. Lately I've been going there to think. I'm still trying to figure out what's up with my life...what kind of job I should be looking for, what I want to do with my time here in Jacksonville, what's going to help Greg and I be happy and busy as we try to remain cheerful even when things with our family don't always turn out the way we wish they would. Need a place to think? Move to Jacksonville and settle yourself right down on the sand. I'm not saying you'll find an answer, but at least it's a pretty place to be confused.

One day I'm going to take a surfing class with all these pre-teens: 

Me and Greg can be the creepy old people in the class who have no clue what they are doing. It will be epic. 

And that is all. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

What To Do?

This phrase has been running through my head all day.

What to do... what to do... 

It's funny, because you hear people talk like this in the movies, but I've never actually walked around saying something like "What to do?" But I did today. I drove to Wal-mart, and the radio wasn't on. I sang to myself. What to do? What to do? 

I've had some inner turmoil in the past few weeks. Our move to Florida has been lovely. Greg likes his job. We're back in the ward we love with people who we consider to be good friends. Things are great.

Except for I have no idea what's going on with my life.

I have a degree in English, some pretty good work experience, and half of a Master's degree. So...what do I do with it all? English degrees do a marvelous job of teaching you to think critically and write effectively, and an English degree is excellent preparation for grad school. And when I entered college, that's what I thought I would do with my life. Go to grad school. I never dated anyone seriously in high school. Never. I figured I would go on a mission when I was 21, rock my undergrad, and go to graduate school. I knew I wanted to marry eventually. I wanted it very much. I just didn't think it would happen so soon.

So when it did, my plans changed. And I was 100% okay with it. Greg is incredibly supportive. He wanted me to go to graduate school if I wanted to. He wanted everything for me. But logistically, with Greg's fantastic internships and the time frame of when we would be in Provo, it just wasn't tenable. I decided to give up grad school. It broke my heart a little bit. But it was my decision, and I was happy about it. In fact, I was more than happy. I was whole. I had Greg, and we knew we wanted to have a family. That was my job in life. I knew it.

If you've ever happened to read this little blog before, you'll know that things didn't turn out as we planned. And now, here I am, sitting in my quiet, lovely apartment in Florida, writing on this little blog that I've been neglecting for the past few months. What do I do now?

I've actually started graduate school. It's great. I like it. It's online. It's not as challenging as I wish it was. But it was the right decision to make for the time. My classes start up again at the end of August.

But I'm lost. Ideally, if things had worked out the way we wanted, I'd be a stay at home mom right now. I'd be taking a toddler to the beach, I'd be trying to figure out how to stay sane with two little kids, I'd be doing all sorts of things. Hard things, but good things. All sorts of things that I'm not actually doing.

But you can't mope forever. I need something to do all day, at least for this summer. I've been looking for jobs. It hasn't been going badly. I have an interview lined up for tomorrow for a spec writer position, thanks to a friend from church. It's the logical solution, right? Get a job. You want to be busy? Stay happy? Okay, so get a job. Duh. 

But it doesn't feel right. Nothing feels right.

Okay. So a job isn't financially necessary, and you're a student? So don't get a job then. Take a break. Work on your classes. Duh. 

But that doesn't feel right, either.

What to do... what to do? Interview for this job. Go from there. Write? Research Ph.D. programs? Take the GRE? Okay. Stay at home. Don't stay at home. I don't know.

I know this post is totally not cohesive. But that's how I feel. Nothing is cohesive. I feel crappy about any decision I try to make.

My gut reaction is that things will work out better if I put myself to work, try to actively change my situation, become productive. I wish it was just that easy. And maybe it is that easy. And maybe I just haven't realized it.

Maybe everything would be easier if having children wasn't an element in the mix. And to be honest, it sort of isn't an element in the mix anymore. I've been trying to keep busy, but essentially I've been waiting around for a few years to have kids. You can't live your life like that. You just can't. You have faith. You have hope. But one day you realize that having faith and having hope might mean letting it go. I had a small surgery earlier this month. Less of a surgery, more of a procedure. Results came back fine. I didn't care. It didn't seem to matter. The best part of the whole thing was the anesthesia, and the fact that one whole day all I did was sleep. And while I'm sleeping, I don't have to be worrying about what the purpose of my life is and what I am supposed to be doing right now. That sounds incredibly pathetic. I'm aware of it. It's just how I felt.

What to do? What to do?