The Woman

Do you ever build fantasy lives in your mind? I do. All the time. It’s how I shut my brain up so that I can fall asleep. The act of focusing on painting a world in my mind calms the “you have to do this, this, this, this, and this, this, this….” side of my brain.

For a while, I thought I was a freak for this bedtime routine of cozying up in my pajamas, closing my eyes and telling myself a story with so many details that I could see and almost feel it. But thank JC! I’m not the only one. About a year ago, I found out that there tons of people like me, thank you Good Mythical Morning crew for restoring my belief in my sanity.

Anyway, there was one night about a year ago that I dived into my fantasy world and found myself in the following situation:

I was acne free and healthy (note the way I prioritized that – wow, Rach), had glorious long and healthy locks of hair, rocked a sweater dress and kimono and had kick butt high heels. I ran into my ex at a coffee shop and after a brief chat said “Listen, I must be off to my meeting with so and so, but this was nice.” before gracefully walking out the door and hailing a taxi – because I totally worked in the big city.

In that fantasy, I was literally The Woman.

Who is she? I’m so glad you asked!

She’s the woman we see walking down the street and, just because of her appearance, we imagine all sorts of things about her story. We picture her life from her incredibly successful career to her three wonderful children and handsome has-it-together husband.

She looks different for all of us, because what she actually is.. well she’s everything we wish we were. So for some, she a stylish world-adventurer and for others she’s a down-to-earth home maker. For me, it leans towards the former + plus a lot more.

When I first posted about this concept, I immediately came up with a game plan of who she is and how to become her. Since then, I’ve accomplished a lot.. and a lot has changed.

My first The Woman was a 9-to-5-worker who wears high heels on the daily, a U.S. traveler who occasionally indulges in other-country excursions, a downtown big city dweller who actively seeks out new adventures on the weekends, a college graduate with an ambitious exercise routine, and a black-coffee drinker who skips soda in favor of iced water with lemon. She had colorful girly clothes and was content with her life and though fully aware of her tendency to write run-on sentences, writes them anyway. 😉

Fast forward one year and I’ve accomplished a lot of that: I’ve been to several new cities and states, I live downtown (though in a small city), I’ve started school again and I dig iced water with lemon. I also learned that: I hate working 9-to-5 and heels are only great on perfect-weather days, I find drinking black coffee isn’t all that glamorous and soda is still a favorite, I hate wearing color and have learned to appreciate my black-white-occasionally-tan wardrobe, and I suck at exercise and active living.

It’s also amazing how much a year month week moment can affect your dreams.

Today, in this moment, I want to be The Woman who has her life’s purpose always at the forefront of her mind, who plays the cello so beautifully the heart can’t help stirring, who moves God with her prayers. I want to be The Woman who has been to so many places in the world, but doesn’t have picture proof because she lived in the moment and not behind the camera. I want to be The Woman who has memories and not things, whose worship inspires belief in people who never dared to dream of God, The Woman who speaks truth in love, who writes her heart and inspires action from her readers.

I want to be The Woman who dares to dream and pursue God in such a way that everyone calls her crazy and says that she is reaching too far and too hard.

I want to be The Woman who believes that impossible is a myth and will, without hesitation, go wherever God asks her and say whatever He tells her to say.

I want to be a lot of things. But what good is want if it’s not followed up with action?

So after a lot of thought and prayer, and a lot of scolding from JC (Jesus Christ) and confirmation from His kiddos, here is my new sort of plan. I say sort of, because God is always free to change the path I take and also because I really hope that someday I can add things like “get married” and “adopt a family” and “experience pregnancy” to my list.

Note: I won’t be updating this post in the future regarding where I’m at on the path to becoming The Woman, but you can follow my progress on this here page.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

THE NEW PLAN

Year One (2017):

  • Pay off remaining debt
  • Continue in school, working towards my AA in Human Services
  • Complete the German Mango Languages course
  • Walk/run a 5k (I’d like to run, but Lord knows I’m pathetic and walking is two million times as likely as running)
  • Finish writing the ebook on Chronic Illness, then self-publish
  • Visit Prince Edward Island with my grams
  • Begin fundraising and planning for Undignified Event 2018
  • Become a more consistent blogger and transfer to self-hosting

 Year Two (2018):

  • Buy a new (used) car with cash
  • Visit Alaska and 1-2 other new states
  • Buy a cello with cash (if my friend hasn’t come through by then with their offer to give me an old one for free) and start taking lessons
  • Finish writing my (I think) hilariously dramatic memoir and try to get it published through a more legitimate source
  • Save for first year of part-time Self-Employment as a blogger and full-time Ministry
  • Host Undignified Event 2018, plan and fund-raise for Undignified Event 2019

Year Three (2019):

  • Become Part-Time Self-Employed through blogging and go into Full-Time Ministry
    • Write to INSPIRE.
  • Take that month long, cross-country road trip I’ve been dreaming of for years and visit at least 10 new states (perk of it happening in Year Three- my kid sis will be old enough to go with me)
  • Graduate with my AA in Human Services and decider whether or not to pursue my BA in History (if yes, what era will I study?)
  • Host Undignified Event 2019, plan and fund-raise for Undignified Event 2020

Year Four (2020):

  • Go to Germany with my mom, which I’d say is a long-time dream for both of us
  • Possibly start BA in History, look for opportunities to join research teams and maybe even (dreaming big here) an archaeologist dig
  • Host Undignified Event 2020, plan and fund-raise for Undignified Event 2021
  • Start planning and fundraising for an International Undignified Event
  • Start writing a book about Undignified Event and everything I’ve learned about Worship over the years and try to get it published, bare minimum self-published

Year Five (2021 – 27 years young):

  • Continue saving for early retirement (goal: semi-retire by 30, fully retire by 40)
  • Host Undignified Event 2021, plan for Undignified Event 2022
  • Continue planning and fundraising for an international Undignified Event
  • Schedule a book tour from church to church, I want to inspire youth to dream big and work hard
  • Visit 12 new states, a minimum of one per month

*BONUS – Year Six (2022 – 28 years young):

  • Visit Hawaii and any other remaining states that I’ve never ventured
  • Possibly graduate with my BA in History and decide whether or not to continue on to my Master’s
  • Host the first Undignified Event International!!

What are your dreams and plans for the future? I’d love to know what The Woman looks like for you. 😉

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The Woman

IT.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog lately (of course, you’d never know it with the lack of posting). I suppose you could say I’ve been going through a quarter life crises.

After clicking “schedule post” for the hair care routine a couple months back, I started browsing through my previous work.

There was a lot of it…

but it didn’t amount to much.

I can count on less than two hands the number of posts that I’m truly proud of, posts that truly meant something to me as I wrote them: one, two, three, four, five, six.

Six posts. Six posts out of the hundred-something that were published.

While the other posts may have been helpful, inspired readers, or even taken hours to write, they just don’t have ITIT is a tiny little voice in the back of my dusty heart screaming “SPEAK UP! SOMEONE NEEDS TO SAY THIS!

The sad thing is that I hear the IT screaming in my heart all the time, I just ignore the shouting because I don’t think people care to read what IT has to say.

That’s a sad thing, isn’t it? To silence your voicebecause you think people won’t want to listen?

The serial stupid part of all this is that every time I caved to IT’s demands, the posts got more attention. They went viral among subscribers and one went viral around the world.

So why do I hold back? Why do I ignore IT? Why not let the tiger out of its cage, the monster out of its closet, the cat out of.. the bag?

The truth is, that in an effort to be honest, I have satisfied myself by occasionally sprinkling “honest posts about me” in a mix of informational posts that I think readers will actually enjoy.

About a year ago, I re-branded Rachel’s Creative Outlet (throwback! who remembers those days?) to Rachel’s Rambles. I did it because I realized that my blog wasn’t a place for printables and DIYs like I originally expected. Instead, it had become the chronicles of a young adult learning how to do life.

I wanted to embrace the newness of the direction, but I was timid. I didn’t think my life or thoughts could possibly be of interest (I realize I’m a walking cliché as every blogger in the world goes through this and posts about it after).

I posted loads of how-tos and lists, each written based on what I thought my readers would find intriguing to read. Most of the posts flopped with only a few site hits that I suspect were “click on post, skim first sentence, close post” interactions.

The funny thing is that, away from the screen, I’ve never been intimidated by speaking up. I am infamous for telling everyone what I think and feel about everything, including things that are absolutely none of my business. I could sit down and have a four hour debate on whether we made it to the moon and whether veganism is the cure for humanity with no nervous reaction. But if I sit down to address that on a computer screen, words blazed on a foreign terrain that will forever speak of my character.. well, I just freak out, then ramble on about using day planners and making the perfect hot cocoa.

I want to be my truest blogger me, and that means I like to tell stupid stories about my life, talk about the hardships of chronic illness and the ever-developing journey of my faith. I like to address things in the world that hurt me or hurt others by speaking up on sensitive topics with love.

Because of this, I have decided that I need to write more honestly. When IT starts having a panic attack and screeching, I’ll give IT a microphone. I’ll work hard to make sure to follow the new guideline that it matters what I write, because what I write matters. IT may not matter to everyone, but IT matters to some and that is beyond enough to satisfy me.

I recently told a friend of mine, over a warm mug of coffee of course, that I’m called to write. I know that I am. I don’t always know what to write or the perfect way to write it, but with the teeny effort I have put thus far into my blog, God has already used it to speak to tens of thousands of people. That just boggles my mind.

There are so many things in this world that need addressing in loving compassion. I’m not saying this will become a soap-box blog (God knows we do not need more of those), but it will become a more accurate representation of me.

Can I get really real for a second? I’m so stupid tired of the number one Christian voices heard on media platforms being hateful and condemning. There are Christians out there who love and don’t think that sin counts you out. If it did, we would all be lost. I’m so stupid tired of moats being taunted through beam-blinded eyes.

And I’m equally tired of the number two Christian voices heard on media platforms celebrating “do whatever you want, there is only love and grace!” There are Christians out there who believe that sin is wrong and that God died to save us from that sin and that we do not have to keep choosing sin. I’m so stupid tired of the trend in our culture that every man and woman can do what is right in their own eyes.

But aside from those things, there are so many stories in this world that need told. I’m amazed every time I have the opportunity to meet someone new and hear about their adventures, their sorrows, their passions. I want to record them so future generations can dig through our history.

And still more, I want to write about me. I know that’s selfish and silly and maybe even a little immature, but my ENFP personality just can’t help it. I like to talk about my day or week, how I’m holding up under the endless attack of fibro, what my travels have amounted to and what dreams I have for the future. I want this blog to record those things for me and for the world; to make a semi-permanent mark on a semi-permanent world.

I just paused my efforts in writing this post to review all the posts I had published over the years. Two hours of deleting the embarrassing works, posts that just inspired a “bleh” feeling, and anything that didn’t fit my newly-realized focus, and IT is rejoicing. With every click of the “delete” button, IT breathed more easily, and even giggled a little on the side.

I am passionate about life, people, and stories. I like to chat, I like to ramble, I like to rant.

It’s time I write like IT.

IT.