Thursday, July 21, 2011

RVSP Options

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

2 years later

Two years after I have decided to return to school for a degree, things are wrapping up. I have one final paper to write- that I have been putting off for about a week now, because when I finish writing it I will officially have nothing else to do- and then I will feel even less secure than I do at the moment.

I don't remember being this nervous about life the last time I graduated. I moved home for the summer- saved up a bunch of money-and moved back to S. California where I knew that any old job would work for my needs- I started out by temping and finally got into accounting full time an was making a decent salary in three years time- but I was unfulfilled and unhappy, so I went back to school, and here I am again.

But this time- with a lot more debt to my name- and a job market that looks bleak to say the least. I tell David that I am worried and scared and he says that it won't help me at all to worry. I agree. I won't help. But I can't help it.

Now, not only do I need to find a job to pay my bills and my rent- but I also have to find a job to prove to myself that the last two years of my education and my debt were worth something to me. I mean in reflection, of course they were worth something- but when I enter the job market and don't feel as though there are many openings that relate to my field- what is it really worth. It seems scary that two years after leaving the accounting field, I am thinking that accounting doesn't sound too bad- IF I can get a job doing it...

In all actuality I know that something will work out and something will come up and that worrying won't help- It's just that two years later this is all a lot to think about. Being on the precipice of adult life once again- I always thought that it would be hardest to transition from working full time to going back to school, but I am starting to think that the harder transition is going to be going from being in school full time to working again.

Funny how it works out that way.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Quakerly Engagement

David and I are Quakers, and this is the fourth Easter that we have spent in Julian, CA. It is a small apple farming and historically gold mining town in the east of San Diego County. The Orange County Friends go there yearly to a Episcopal Campground that values organic cooking, gardening, and nature. We hang out, play games, spend time with each other, eat wonderful food, and talk about Quakerly themed things.

This year we went back to the roots of Quakerism and talked about the core Values of Quakerism. They are Equality, Unity, Simplicity, Community, Integrity, and Peace. We had several discussions and reflections on these values, and I have to say that I really think David and I's engagement was a reflection of several of them.

The engagement was planned. It was something we had discussed for a long time- a mutual decision. I gave David lot's of overt clues because I still like a bit of surprise- but the decision to commit to each other in this way was something that had been discussed and agreed upon in advance.
On Sunday morning, while the children were going on the Easter Egg hunt we took a walk in the woods, and unfortunately as we were about to stop we realized that the awful smell around us was several large compost piles- so we walked a bit farther into the woods. Then David handed me a letter- he said that as a writer this was something he wanted to choose his words carefully before (but that I shouldn't worry because he would still do the knee thing at the end)

The letter was wonderful, and warm, and I think most important to me it was honest and real. It reflected on why he loves me, and the growth that we have seen through the years of our relationship. I think this is my favorite part of the letter.
I don't think you can ever really be certain about what the future holds. But I've let go of my need for certainty, for surety. The process of living is full of risks, full of doubts, full of challenges and compromises and failed ideals. But it's possible to find someone who can help you through all that. And then, when you do meet your goals or fulfill some of those ideals and dreams, you can share that joy with another person, and it's even possible for that other person to help you along the way.

When I finished the letter and crying he got on his knee and I said yes, and cried more and we hugged a lot. It was great and private and real and honest-all of those things.

Then we went back and popped a champagne bottle with the rest of the Friends and had a toast and many hugs and congratulations. After this we had our silent meeting for worship and there were several messages given that included the topic of marriage. I also shared something at meeting. I spoke on the fact that our engagement was evidence of our Quaker values.

Many people gave me a hard time about pre-planning something that is traditionally a surprise- but I think that because equality is at the heart of our relationship it was something that we very much wanted to be mutually planned and mutually decided upon. I am okay with David getting on his knee and giving me a ring, but as far as the traditional surprise element went- I just don't think this goes along with our relationship. We take care to make important decisions together and for us this was one of them. (I am not insulting anyone who has been surprised, I just think that this was right for us.)

I had discussed this topic of engagement with a Friend the day before and she shared with me the process by which her and her partner were engaged. She understood our mutual planning and related to it- this drove home to me the fact that getting engaged and celebrating with the Friends was something that was important to me because I knew that they would understand and support the emphasis on equity in our relationship.

Another value of Quakerism that I felt was emphasized was that of simplicity. I chose a simple ring, but besides that it was a pretty simple engagement. It involved nature, a letter, Friends, and two people who loved each other. Nothing extraneous was needed. The words David used were not over the top or utterly romantic. They were simple and honest- and that is certainly things I want base my relationship in.

The third value I feel was emphasized was community. Having our Friends there to celebrate us and support us meant the world to me. In many ways the people at this meeting have watched us grow. Several specific Friends have been there for us in times of struggle to support us an encourage us on our way- so we felt that it was only appropriate to share something like this with the community that is like a family to us. This week we will continue the celebration with other close friends- because we value the people who love and support us as a couple.

I am not writing all of this to toot my own horn, so to speak. It took a weekend of discussion and conversation for me to truly understand how our values were reflected by the choices we have made in our relationship and in this act of engagement. Because of this reflection and the realization that everything about what happened this Easter was such a good reflection our values as a couple, this act of engagement means more to me then I really ever knew it would.

I am kind of on cloud 9 right now. I am so excited about the future and a relationship with someone who shares this core values with me. We have grown so much ins 3.5 years that I can't imagine the growth that could occur in a lifetime together.

I will leave you with the comic David included in the letter he gave me before he asked me to marry him. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I have been in such a non-productive funk for the past week. I used my birthday as an excuse for a while, and then I even bought a Chinchilla which has served as a lovely distraction, but I have this sense of nagging in me- I have to finish my thesis in three weeks, and I have to do school work, and eventually I have to graduate, find a job, pay student loans, and the like. I am pretty overwhelmed by the end of this two year vacation of sorts, and I feel like the fact that it is ending quickly has caused me to slow my pace immensely, and the bottomline is that at the moment I am pretty scared shitless of the real world- I lived there before and I was okay, but now I have a ton more debt, and I have to get a job to legitimize that- and I am freakin scared.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One upon a time...

I went to Bulgaria, but I had to write a thesis and go to class, and maintain a romantic relationship and friendships--- so I didn't have a ton of time to write about my adventures. Barely even time to show you pictures- It was a wonderful O'Neill Christmas in a far away land, and while we struggled to get there, we did get there eventually, and seeing my Hermanita made it worth all the strife of getting there.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

D and I have very different feelings about the holidays. I love them, and he does not. This has been something that we have both adjusted to as a couple. He kind of let's me make a bigger deal out of things than he might like, and I try to restrain myself a bit in order to make him feel more comfortable.

For me, the holidays are about tradition and family, and they are pretty soft traditions in a lot of ways. Generally they meant piling into the car and driving for several hours to eat a large meal with my extended family. Sometimes we would all sit around the table to enjoy the meal and other times we would grab a place on a sofa with a tv tray. The setting that I remember most is my aunt tinas old house that had a basement where the kids could hang out. I don't know if it was a holiday or not, but I have been told that one time my sister fell down those long dark steps to the basement in her baby walker, and she survived...

For me the holidays are not about gifts. They are about loud people that I only get to laugh with a few times a year, and trying to sneak some of my grandmas cookies before dinner time. It's been years since I lived on the same coast as my extended family. I know that since then I have really not spent many thanksgivings with them. I spent a few with my sister out here, which was nice, and one in Chile....or I think maybe on a plane to Chile and that was a pretty surreal experience.

Last year david and I cooked more food than it was possible to eat and had leftovers for days. I think I remember it being a quiet relaxing day which is kind of a new one for me, but also a good thing.... I guess maybe we are starting our own traditions now, which is weird to think of... I think that whenever I get the chance to spend the holidays with my extended family, I will cherish their novelty, and when I am with anna and mommers I will usually feel the most at home. It's comforting to establish a new familiarity with david... and also because he is not super into the holidays I don't think he will be quite so sad when I chose to spend the time with my mom and sister. So cheers to new traditions, definitions of home, and in about a month, a very Bulgarian Christmas...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

i like coffee and tea. i like harry potter and saves the day. - 22‏

Three years ago, I was home for a week after I dropped out of the credential program at Vanguard. I was waiting to go back to work full time and I was bored, so I thought I would look for some instant entertainment by posting a CL personal ad. Below is the response that I got from one gentleman caller. You have to understand that this is an extremely stark contrast to most of the responses I got, which just asked me to come hook up for the afternoon, but didn't ask in such un-crude terms. (I said it was for entertainment.)

I'm intrigued by your ad. I'm a single 25-year-old male who would like a meaningful relationship with a woman. I can't say that I'm familiar with any of the bands you name--I'm more metal than punk and indie rock--but I'm almost ashamed to admit that I do know quite a bit about Harry Potter. If you want to get some idea of who I am, you could take a look at my journal. Feel free to contact me by email or on AIM (Anima Umbrae), or to exchange pictures, if you want. In any event , I wish you luck with your search.

Anyway- I guess it was meant to be, because I responded to this email and three years later here I am. D and I have had wonderful and challenging times, but I have to say that overall it has been incredible, and I am so extremely happy to be with someone I love and respect as much as D. I have most of the emails from our first exchanges saved, so I might post a few (non-embarrassing) things in this coming week to celebrate the anniversary of three years of dating and loving one another.