Friday, July 13, 2012

St. Francis was on to something

St. Francis* is my homeboy
I said something on twitter the other day that got some attention, and I wanted to expand a bit on it. I am officially past the honeymoon of moving. :) I do like Norman, but it is certainly an adjustment.

One of the hardest parts-ok, THE hardest part- is being so far away from friends and things familiar. And I have not been bashful about talking about how much I hate visiting churches.

The other day on twitter, I noted that I can go to any dog park and I'm greeted and welcomed, but I can go to church and no one speaks to me. Some good conversation sparked from that, some wondering why and what we can do to address it in churches. I honestly don't know why this is. Maybe having a dog is such a common denominator that people feel more free to open a conversation with it.

But surely at church, where the common point is loving God and each other, we can find SOMETHING to talk to visitors about.

I will admit that I'm not the most approachable person. I'm a loner at times. I've had enough negative experiences visiting churches that I really don't radiate sunshine when I go. But generally what happens is I go in, no one speaks to me, unless there is that forced, awkward "greet visitors" time, when the people behind me will find out my name, and then I sit through the service and leave.

One person- hello @billyadams- has invited me to visit the church he goes to here in Norman, so I can't pass up the only offer I've got. :) 

All in all, maybe churches who are so focused on being the slickest marketers and using the latest jargon should take a visit to the dog park to figure out how to make people feel welcome. Just a thought.

*Patron saint of animals

Monday, July 02, 2012

Well some things have happened.

A lot has happened since I last posted. After accepting the job with OU, I found out a couple of days later that I was being kicked out of the house I'd been renting for 5 years. I was heartbroken to leave Heritage Hills. It was a wonderful place to live for 5 years, but the timing was perhaps perfect, as I was about to start commuting to Norman.

Bye house

Bye Heritage Hills
Leaving OC was sad, but felt right. I left feeling good about the place and my time there, and I will always love my coworkers.

For a month I stayed with friends in OKC and commuted to Norman. Two words- never. again. I was not made to commute. But I'm so grateful I had that cushion of time to decide where to live once I moved. At first I was tempted to just do everything like I'd done before- same style house, same style lifestyle. I just wanted to replicate everything. Then I realized I could do things differently now, if I wanted to.

One of the biggest manifestations of that was deciding to move into a place that'd let me get a dog. I've wanted a dog for a long time. I did a lot of research into every facet, and ended up with a sweet black lab mix I named Lady Bird. :)

Meet Lady Bird!

I got her the day I moved into my new place. Part of me thinks it was crazy, but when I look at the big picture, I think it was a good move. Everything in my life has been upended, and she has given me some stability and something tangible with which to move forward. She is a sweetheart of a dog. I am glad to have found her, and give a big shout out to the Pets and People animal shelter in Yukon, OK. I had a great experience with them, and they took care of her for almost all of her life.

What else? Oh yes, I started a new job. No pictures to go with that, really. I like it a lot and think it was a positive step in my career. I love the challenge and change of working with adult education in higher ed.

Enough eventfulness for you? Well let's not forget my baby sister got married!  It was a good weekend and celebration with family. She is also going to have my nephew in September! I can't wait!!!

My brother in law and sister

Now... I'm trying to find my new normals. My life involves a lot of walking the dog. We went 70 miles in the first month. Trying to make friends in Norman. Trying to adjust to life in a college town. I know I'll like it, but I grew accustomed to the crack heads and vagrants and gentry of Midtown after 5 years. :)

Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of blogging. That's it for the whirlwind update!