In the middle of January, I almost lost my cool. I was itchy and uncomfortable at my home base at Mom & Dad’s house. It had been weeks since I’d been on a plane, Christmas was in the rear view and my anxiety at being still was getting the best of me. In my freaked out state, I colored my hair red. When that wasn’t enough change, I decided I was willing to spend a good chunk of change in my savings - money designated for my new car - to get to London. For the first time in ages, I actually overcame my wanderlust and did the smart thing.
I had the chance to go. But I stayed.
I put on my big girl underpants and decided that since I’ve been to London half a dozen times, I couldn’t really justify the expense. An unexpected trip also would’ve set back my ultimate plans for 2013 – writing my book, getting an apartment, buying a car, and being just a smidge less nomadic.
So this is the first ever installment of Reflections from the Road wherein I have no real travel reflections to share… other than the ones I’ve gleaned from driving all over Jacksonville in my new car. (NOTE: Everyone stinks at driving except me. What is up with that?)
Without further ado, here’s the very special grounded edition of Reflections from the Road!
I bought a car! After ohsomuchresearch and hemming and hawing, I made a big-girl decision and bought a gorgeous Nissan Altima. Sheila the Shark has only been around for a month, but she’s already such an important part of our lives! Baby sister and I are learning how to share and I’m realizing that I picked an amazing time to bail on having a car back in 2006 when I moved to NYC. Gas prices are B A N A N A S. Even still, in Jacksonville, if you don’t have a car, you’re not going anywhere, so it’s great to be mobile again.
One Ocean Resort & Spa. Though I haven’t actually left town in the past 60 days, I did manage to spend one luxurious night at One Ocean Resort in Atlantic Beach, Fla. Though one night in a hotel isn’t quite enough to satiate my wanderlust, it helped just a teeny bit and for that, I’m grateful. Check out my review here.
Adopt-a-Slum. Raising money isn’t easy, no matter how much you believe in the cause. I’ve learned that lesson over and over during the past year, but my dismay at the difficulty ended abruptly with an email from my friends in Kenya last month. The initial $1,100 we raised for slum families in Ngong Hills, Kenya, was used to build a greenhouse down the road from the slum where many of the kids I worked with live, and now their parents are able to grow vegetables to eat and sell. What a difference that small change will make in their lives! For details on what we’ve been up to with Adopt-a-Slum, click here. (And PLEASE donate – every tiny amount helps, it really does!)
I’ve got the freelance blues. With all the flexibility and amazing opportunities that come with my current career of freelance writing, public relations and social media consulting and modeling, the downside is of course the unreliability of the work. This week, a huge contract I’d been counting on as my main bread-and-butter for at least the next 6 months unexpectedly came to an end, and I’m left wondering what I’ll do next. This is all a part of learning to live this new lifestyle of self-employment, and I have to say, it’s definitely the worst part.
Hospitals abound. My aunt was finally released from the hospital (THANK GOD!), after being in a coma for Christmas and New Year’s, and after that, I was ready to be done with hospitals for the rest of my life. But, you know life just keeps throwing curveballs… and I’ve managed to be at the emergency room three times since my last update. The upside here is that I haven’t actually been to the ER for me… though I think sometimes it’s easier to be the injured one than to watch someone you care about suffering. What do you think?
God provides. I don’t know how many times in my life I need to re-learn this lesson, but if I’m faithful with the gifts God gives me (be it financial or otherwise), he will continue to bless me with all that I need. Knowing that is true, I don’t need to worry about how I’ll get by, but I’m so conditioned to rely on a steady paycheck (instead of God’s faithfulness!) that I freak out a little bit every time a contract or gig goes sideways. God, give me more faith!
Home isn’t so bad. I’ll be the first to admit, Jacksonville doesn’t have a whole lot going for it when compared with my last three residences: Atlanta, NYC and THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. I’ve promised to give Jacksonville a fighting chance at keeping me around, so I’m doing my very best to get connected to new friends and contacts in town.
And I’ve had so many sweet, joyful moments since my last update that I hardly have room to share them all. I’ve spent tons of time with my parents and siblings, almost had a surprise 70th birthday party for my grandma (long story), learned to skateboard and shoot (errr, not at the same time – don’t worry), celebrated my little cousin Naomi’s first birthday and even have tip-toed into the exciting worlds of… gulp … modeling/acting and dating. (Also – not at the same time.)
Another plus to being home? I love having the time to catch up on business projects and partnerships. Big things are happening behind the scenes at Angie Away, so keep an eye out for a few announcements in the coming months!
We can make our plans but God determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9
THE YEAR OF ANGE. So how’s it going in the Year of Ange? My extensive and well-thought out list of resolutions (lose 20 pounds *I’m -7*, write a book about my adventures, volunteer locally and abroad, read at least 24 books (I’ve read 75% of one book) and set up a more stable, permanent lifestyle for myself) is off to a slow start… but I have much more faith in the next 60 days provided I stop hesitating and commit to a darn apartment already. I am having a very strong case of commitment phobia…
Settling in, not down. At the very moment I’m about to make a big decision – like purchasing a car or signing a lease or buying a couch – little sis Rachel thinks it’s hilarious to freak me out by saying, “Wow, I never thought you would settle down!” After I hyperventilate for a bit and she stops laughing, I inform her I am not under any circumstances settling down… I’m just taking a breather. Gees.
But seriously, I’m finding it incredibly difficult to transition from drifter to responsible apartment renter/car owner/dedicated and available friend. Maybe it just takes time? Angie Away is rebelling against Angie Right Here, Right Now. It’s a struggle and it’s not getting much better. I feel like I’m succumbing, not necessarily willingly walking into this new lifestyle. What does that mean?
Peru? Peru has been on The Jet Sisters’ agenda for a long time and we are tentatively planning to go for Spring Break, but for once I am taking State Department warnings into account and reconsidering the plan. Chalk it up to being a protective big sister. Stay tuned for a more detailed post on that.
Gen W. I’m so excited to be involved with an amazing organization here in Jacksonville – Generation W. Started by former WNBA President and powerhouse of a woman Donna Orender, Gen W is a platform for women to be educated, inspired and connected. I’m now a featured blogger for Gen W and we’re gearing up for the 2nd annual conference on April 8. If you’re a woman and you live in the area, you should come! Tickets are available here.
Business partnerships in the works. Now is an awesome time to snap me up for freelance copywriting, PR or social media consulting, as I’m in between projects and have some wiggle room in my schedule. I’ll be hosting a photography course for Florida folks in the next couple of months, and I’ve saved some room for a March or April press trip, too. So the next 60 days are going to be a roller coaster!
Ideally by the next RFTR post, I’ll have an apartment, a new church home, another trip or two under my belt and several thousand words on paper for my book. God willing!
Leave me a note in the comments – I would love to hear from you!
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