Friday, September 20, 2013

Always the Oddball

One of the themes of my life has been that I'm never really in the majority of a group of people. I seem to be placed outside the majority so that I can explain the minority to them.

That may not make sense to you. So let me explain.

As a child on Army posts, I was an oddball because my dad was high-ranking. (I'm not saying what rank he had. There may be other military brats reading this. Eventually, anyway.)

When I didn't live on post, I was an oddball because I was an Army brat.

At school, I was an oddball because I'm very academically adept. I'm also a social misfit.

In college, I was finally with a bunch of other academic types—but I was a Christian, so that made me an oddball.

And then I got married at 23 and proceeded to try to have babies immediately. People in my socio-economic circle just didn't do that. My husband and I were often the youngest parents in our kids' schools.

Four children? That's a bit much, isn't it? Yeah. Oddball again.

When I finally found a company to stick with, I stopped being one of the mainstream (reporter) and started being outside the big school of fish when I became a technical writer. Oddball! But this was when I realized that I was really put here on earth to explain one set of people to another.

Then I left that company to become an ESL/ESOL teacher. Those teachers are kind of oddballs, just as the students are. And I was even more of an oddball because I was 50 when I became a teacher, coming from business instead of straight from college and student teaching. Never mind that I was working on my master's in curriculum and instruction. Oddball!

Then I left that school (oh, I loved it so much!) to move 100 miles away to the Shenandoah Valley. Big city girl in the country. Guess what I am here!

Now I'm raising pumpkins, but I'm trying to do it organically. It looks like organic farmers and traditional farmers don't talk to each other. None of my Valley friends knows an organic farmer, and I'm looking for one to mentor me. I bet I'll be put in a position of explaining each group to the other.

Incidentally, I think I know part of why I wasn't able to find a regular job. My husband's health, always precarious, seems to have taken a turn for the worse. I need to be available to take him to doctors, because he hasn't driven for years and also because his memory is starting to go. I'm sure I'll find a way to be an oddball in this position somehow. Don't you think so?

Friday, September 6, 2013

What does God want?

Every now and then I think about whether I ought to have a blog so that I can get others' feedback and prayers and all that good stuff. And then I think noooooo. Because I don't have a theme. I just have my life. Welcome to it, by the way!

One recurring theme in my life over the past six years is trying to do what God wants. I never asked God about moving out here. I just wanted to come here so much that I let my heart lead. My husband (Jonathan) wanted to come, too. And we both just love it here. But God does not necessarily call one to happiness, no matter how warm and fuzzy that sounds.

Then we moved here and everything was wonderful! Except that I couldn't find a job. Then I found a part-time job that I loved, but it couldn't support us. Then after a year here, I found a job teaching, but it wasn't the kind of teaching I wanted, and it didn't work out. I loved working for the Census, but that stuff mostly ends when the every-ten-years thing ends. I kept not getting jobs for which I applied, both teaching and writing jobs, so I started my own writing and editing company. That's still going, but it isn't doing well. I started a pumpkin patch this year, and I love it, but I don't know if I'll even break even.

We do have savings, even now. However, I'm only 57, and our savings will not last forever. Jonathan is disabled with no income—even if he could get disability (for which he has been turned down twice), it probably wouldn't be more than a couple of hundred dollars a month, which may seem worth the time to you but to me is just one more thing to do.

So that's the drill. I still absolutely love living here, but I like to plan my life, and there is a complete lack of plan. What the heck does God want?