Monday, April 30, 2012

Real Talk- Unemployed for Now

All of my posts are truthful. I have a lot going on in my little life and love to share it. But this one is going to be deep. It's not written as humorous or page turning entertainment. But as a way to share a thought process, and as my way to remind myself of something that is vastly important. 

Today I saw a super sweet email from my Internship supervisor announcing a reception in my honor because I finish up my time there on Friday. Time flown by, check! She is so very, VERY busy and I am beyond humbled that she would do this for me. However, about 2 minutes after reading the email I had this thought. And it's an ugly thought wrapped up in fear and personal pride. I began to think...."Oh a reception is wonderful, but I am going to be SO embarrassed to tell people that I don't have a job yet." Sigh, for all the ways that I have had to grow up recently around this topic of being unemployed, it still butts its ugly head into my mind.

For the first time in a long time I wanted to yell at myself. Sabrina, what is wrong with you! Those are the exact kind of self-destructive and prideful thoughts that are going to make this journey miserable! Get it together and just stop it already. Stop being so down and frightened! 

But yelling never added anything significant to an already bad moment. So I took another path. I did a replay. First, I quickly admonished myself , "Stop thinking that way Sabrina. You are far better than that." Then I took a deep breath and reread the email again slowly. Then I reminded myself of how thankful I am for my Internship experience! I thought for a few moments about how much I have learned and experienced in this whirlwind of an amazing year. I found solace in thinking of my faithful God. I wrote this blog post. Took another deep breath. And now I am going shopping for a graduation outfit:) I have this cool green skirt and it needs some shoes, a top, and accessories to make it fabulous! Crisis (meltdown) averted!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Tunes

* For this month I will feature artists I would love to see live in concert. In honor of my birth month. A time when everything seems possible!*  Well it's the last Friday in my birth-month. It has been wonderful and blessed with lots of get togethers with friends and promises of soon to be family celebrations. To close out the month here is a clip from John Legend (I have actually seen him opening for Usher before he hit mega popularity). I also just saw him on campus last week:)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

26 was....

My birthday is on Saturday and I will be 27! It's exciting:) I like thinking back over the year to what it was.

26 was...
busy. Between many commitments, work, etc. I stayed VERY busy and on the go during my 26th year. I look forward to recharging this summer because 26 has been days stacked upon days of things to do.

26 was...
challenging. On a personal level I have had to grow up more this year. Life gave me some situations and I could not just contentedly float along. I had to make decisions, and expand my strong opinions. In the end it was all for good. But I can't say that 26 was simple.

26 was...
up and down. There have been some moments where I have laughed until I cried. There have been still moments of pain as I shared burdens with people I love dearly. There have been some disappointments as I realized life can be lonely. Then there has been great joy in new-found groups and friends. So up and down and up and down the year has gone.

26 was...
wishful/hopeful. I let myself dream this year. And I wished and hoped and prayed for many things. I relaxed more in some ways and took time for bright dreams and wishes for some delightful things.

26 was
future focused. I have given a lot of thought to this season of life that begins on my graduation day. For a whole year it seems like I have thought about the future and what lies ahead. In the end I learned in order to truly live a faithful life you have to let go. Let go of places, people, and pre-conceived ideas in order to really get a look at your core. And then not be scared of what you find there, but instead embrace some things and wave some things good-bye.

If you were wondering. Here is what I wrote last year as I left 25 to head to 26.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Help More 2012: update

In December I wrote this post. In it I said that I wanted to help one charity a month, and also send at least one encouraging card each month. I wanted to help more, step outside of myself more.

 I have been able to get writing. And each month the one card has blossomed into more with the needs of my family and friends. Soon, I will get contributing again for the month of May. I think that is what the Bible means about ask and you shall receive. It is not talking about strictly material things. If you ask to help more, well God will show you the ways and provide the means to do just that.

I am actually really looking forward to the rest of this year and experiencing how vowing to Help More can really uplift your life. 4 months down and 8 more to go!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Each moment

*THANK YOU to everyone for all of the ways that you have encouraged and motivated me in the last few weeks and months. I love you all and appreciate you deeply!*

Each moment of this life is precious. Just ask anyone who has suffered through loss. Just ask those who grieve or live in a cloud of disappointment. Each moment matters. And along the journey the ups and downs count too. Both things stressful and amazing make up our life moments. But the wonderful thing is that life for me is more than just moments.

Because I am trying to live a life that is obedient to Jesus Christ, my moments are stitched together with a thread of hope. It's a strong thread and the only way it will snap is if I do the cutting. I am coming to realize again and again that there is a higher and better purpose to life. The world is literally going crazy. I wonder sometimes am I the only one who see's how we are killing each other, and how we are killing ourselves? I know that I am not alone in this feeling. But the extreme sadness of this world makes me look higher to the ultimate source of my "sense". During this birth month of mine I am having to readjust my sight. Looking up to a mighty God who made all of this. And looking deeper to a mighty purpose that is not tied to things, feelings, comfort, and money.

In each moment I am answering the question. "Who do you want to be when you grow up?" Because, ready or not, it's here. Grown-up is here and it is not a stable place. It's beautiful and free, but it's rocky too. And in some moments the ground is literally ripped from under your feet. And in some moments those same feet are climbing to the pinnacle of a mountain. That's what grown-up is like. It's not like what I had imagined. But it still can be.

Each moment and each breath are new. Bringing us closer to our future. I was stressed about my future. And I know the doubts will creep in again. Because they are pesky and they do their job well. But for as many moments as possible, I want to be better than that. I want moments of peace because God cares for me and will provide......he will show me what really matters. If I will trust him. I want moments of happiness. I want to be gloriously happy like the birds that wake me up in the morning. Just chirping away! There is a newly emerging natural and elemental part of Sabrina who LOVES nature. Not camping mind you, but nature. And one solution to some of my problems is to take as many moments as I can and be in nature.

Each moment is special. Each moment holds opportunity. And though I  have this kind of amazing knack for messing up moments, God is redeeming them and me. He is in each moment and as I learn and relearn that, the moments finally, finally mean something more than a neverending grasping for the wind.

PS- I say all of that to say this, though I still care about the job search and want the best job for me. I am choosing to get off of the emotional rollercoaster and instead take the path of "adventure". Maybe I will have a job by July or maybe I will be bunking down at Melanie's place as I continue to keep looking. Whatever happens I refuse to make a job my modern day idol anymore. I had to open my eyes and examine what was freaking me out about possibly being unemployed. I had to read some familiar Bible stories to remind me to chill out and instead care about things that matter more than my personal comfort and happiness. It's been interesting to say the least. I'll keep you all updated:) Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Tunes

* For this month I will feature artists I would love to see live in concert. In honor of my birth month. A time when everything seems possible!*  Seeing Adele live is on my bucket list for sure. Somewhere near the top under my big travel wishes. Enjoy your Friday:)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Regular Celebrations

                                                                               from here

Is the term regular celebrations an oxymoron? Hmmm, not sure.

What I mean to say is that when you acknowledge your entire birth month like me. Well, then you come to see "regular" things as a celebration. Because celebrating is a mind set anyway. Not just parties and amazing gifts (though those are always appreciated!).

Entering into this 27th year, here is what regular celebrations have been like for me,
*Wednesday night yogurt and chat after a fabulous Zumba workout
*Lunches and dinners with friends and plain, good, old fashioned conversation
*Weekends with the sister, and celebrating her new job!!!
*Crafting and a little planning for graduation parties, and a babies shower
*Taking naps, and reading books for pleasure
*Being aware and grateful for the beauty of this gorgeous Spring
*Laughter shared with friends
*Surprises in the mail!!!
*Growing in faith by being tested with new and challenging things

Yeah, it's things like this that have made this month great already! And I just realized that I will be at the lake with my cohort for my birthday weekend. So I won't be alone on the night before the big day, YAY! See last year I wrote here about a kinda lonely welcome to 26. SO excited that will be different this year!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Tunes

* For this month I will feature artists I would love to see live in concert. In honor of my birth month. A time when everything seems possible!* Have a blessed and magnificent Friday! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Do Nothing

                                                                Yep, The first 2 lines are me

As hard as I try, I have this way of charging in. Getting involved/taking over.
Planning, re-planning and fact checking. List making, phone calling and project tackling.
The list could go on and on and on.
BUT there is something I realized today.

If I ever am to fall in love one day, I am going to have to cut back on this autopilot reflex.
In fact, I really think I am going to have to do nothing. I am going to have to understand that when it's don't have to plan it to death. It's a man we are talking about, not an event, like a triple baby shower (yeah I am planning one of those at the moment;)

I'm not saying that I am aware currently, of any possible/perspective friends that would turn into boyfriends. But this simple little nugget would be a departure from my regular way of functioning. Melanie has often (in a more real-talk, sisterly way) told me this same truth. I have gotten the exasperated "Sabrina!!!" more times than I will admit. I think she fears for my spinsterdom hahaha! Especially now that she is in a serious relationship herself. I think the cosmos can only handle one Stewart sister being in a real relationship at a time;) I shall strive to keep the blog updated if there ever becomes any news to report. You might have to help me stick to this idea of doing nothing. Because it feels like in my life I draw a line between do nothing and do everything. Guess which side I almost always end up on? Ding Ding.....maybe a change is gonna come!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Some Closure (Ideas)

Groups, groups, groups. Do you realize just how many groups you are a part of? A lot probably. More than you actually think about if you sit down and list them.
Part of counseling of course is working with groups on a plethora of things. Anger, Friendship skills, College prep, and Addictions just to name a few.

I'm in the last stages of some of my academic and social groups up here in Athens. There is more to be said about that at a later date. The emotional stuff, you know, the feelings that come up for me surrounding having to leave a great place and people.

Today really quickly I wanted to jot down some ideas for closure with a group. Maybe you will find them helpful. Or have ideas to share with me.

Of course you could have food. To me food is comforting and kinda happy. So whether having a breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert extravaganza, food does help mellow the atmosphere. People don't always want to discuss leaving and by eating, there is something else to do besides grab onto someone and make them promise to never, ever leave you;)

Poetry/Quotes are another avenue. This of course depends on the depth of the group. However, almost everyone has a favorite quote or life saving. Poetry can also be used to express what we can struggle to say. I loved the idea that someone gave in class of using the Frost poem The Road not Taken, and having the group members sign it and then framing it for a group member who had to leave the group early.

Different venue. It is at the end, when it can be important to change things up a bit. If the group has been meeting at a specific location. Find somewhere new for the last meeting. Some groups follow a certain pattern, shake it up a bit and introduce something new at the end of the journey. It just makes everything more memorable.

Book Swap! If you have readers in your group, this one is fun. Have everyone bring a book that they already own. Or they could buy a book if need be. Then during the last group meeting put 'em all in a pile and swap. Have each person give a little blurb about the book they bought. Everyone leaves with a "new to them" book. And hopefully another reminder of something tangible that they got from being in the group.

Positive Affirmations. This is probably my most favorite way to close. Again, you need a certain type of group for this to really hit the spot. The same type of thing could be accomplished with a scrapbook if only one or two members of the group are leaving. Anyway, positive affirmations are a time to take the things that we are always thinking about a person and actually write them down so that person can keep the words. From quick sentences, one word tidbits, to long letters, sharing positive affirmations about other people is freeing. You know that girl who is the most caring person you have ever met? Well now you get to let her know that!

Like I said to start, groups, groups, groups. They are special, unique, and lovely. Taking time to close them and bring them to a successful end is refreshing:)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Tunes

The Fray. I love them!
A new album. I can't wait!
This is my new obsessive song. Happy Friday!  
* For this month I will feature artists I would love to see live. In honor of my birth month. A time when everything seems possible!*

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hold my Hand

An open note to my friends and loved ones,
 Hi everyone! There is no way to work my way up to this so here I go.
 I need you more than ever. I am searching for jobs and there is quite a bit (insert a vast amount) of uncertainty that rushes upon me like the waves of the sea. SO many questions that do not have an answer yet. And not having answers makes me worry and fret. And because of this, I need you more than ever.

 Keep inviting me out to yogurt. It makes me happy. Keep calling (or texting if you prefer) me, even if just to say you can't talk now, it keeps us close. Keep praying for me whenever you can, because it works! Keep reminding me that it will all be OK. And giving me those ego strokes (thoughtful words) that I can't seem to come up with on my own. Keep giving me hugs that say loud and clear "Sabrina Maude, you are loved and understood." And I will hold on tight and hope you can feel my appreciation.

Some of the best parts of me thrive on planning. You know that of course if you know me at all. And I can't plan right now. It's kinda knocking me for a loop. I am holding it together because I have faith. And I know without a doubt that God will provide as he has done in the past. But I want to be better than just holding it together because that is kind of a fragile place to inhabit.

But I still need my friends and family. I reserve this as my time to ask you for help knowing that it won't be the last. Hold my hand through this time. And I bet you can figure out how to hold my hand without actually "holding my hand" (since I am kinda geographically far removed from some of you).

There is a part of me that would hide this request. That would leave this post unpublished. But the needy,authentic part of me won't let that happen. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. And obviously I need to relearn that lesson. OH, and by the way, as you help me. Let me know how I can help you. Please.  I don't need to focus all this energy on my own little land of Sabrina. I need to look around and out. So let me know how I can help and I will be glad to hold your hand a bit as well.
With TONS of love and gratitude,
PS- It's actually this type of thing that makes authentic relationships. Having needs and having people in our lives to help us out. Kinda old school I know, but that's just the kind of girl I am;)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

From there to now

This is how it started. I began this blog with this post about getting into grad school at UGA.
That was in January of 2010. Now it's March of 2012 and with 5 weeks of school left, all I can do is say WOW!

It's amazing that 2 years..... 2 years, could go by so quickly.
It's incredible that I have almost done it, completed my Masters degree and had amazing learning opportunities all wrapped up into one.
It's hard to believe that it's time to seriously start looking for a job up here in Georgia. If I was to land south of Atlanta, a little closer to the big city and my little sister, well I would be so fantastically happy!
It's awe inspiring the chances I have been given to "listen" to others. It's kinda nice to be the neighborhood mental health "professional" for friends and family.
It's refreshing to be at this point where a new path is emerging. I waver between fear and hope but for this moment hope is winning. Take that irrational fears!
It's challenging to want to finish strong, when I am pretty exhausted. But it can be done that is for sure.
It's been a reminder to bask in the present joy. Take time for friends now. Enjoy Athens today. Prepare myself as much as I can by living boldly in the moment.

In that very first blog post I looked ahead a bit. To some things I expected to happen. And I was spot on.  It has been quite the experience, this grad school thing. And it has been well worth it. The busy parts, and debt, and stress have been glossed over by the new knowledge (about myself most of all), the new friends, and the vibrant experience that is too hard to tackle and fully describe. Trust me when I say it has been good, and unforgettable.

I pray and I hope you will too, that I soon have more great news to share. The job hunt is not fun, but it's necessary. And I am about as prepared as I can be. This blog will of course have to change in some aspects as I enter the working world. For there is a fine line between sharing my story and confidentiality etc. But I think we can make it work;)