Saturday, March 01, 2008

Seven Things I Never Expected to be at 25

Twenty-five used to seem really old to me especially in college when my best friend, Steve, was 23 and I was 18! 25 seemed a long way off. I turned 25 on the 22nd, and I've been reflecting about it a lot. Mostly I've been thinking about the difference between what/where I thought I would be and where I actually am. Here's the list I've come up with thus far. I think that some will surprise you. I've tried to keep the top few the ones that have surprised me the most.

Seven Things I Never Expected to be at 25:

1. Living in Texas -- I knew I wouldn't be living in Woodstock, GA, but I didn't know where I'd go until my senior year of college. In all honesty, I'd probably be where ever my sister was, but I'm glad she chose Texas. It was weird to know I could graduate and go anywhere since I was totally unattached. Most of you know that I chose Texas because I wanted to be a good aunt. Also, in college (and high school) LaRae and I grew out of our childhood hatred (that's too strong a word...) of each other and became friends. I knew I wanted to live around her. I think I asked her at one point before I moved if she'd "still be my friend" when I moved. lol. The move to Texas is one of the best choices I've ever made.

2. A Dog Lover -- Cats are one of my favorite animals. Even though I didn't know where I'd end up living, I did know I'd have a cat (or two) once I got my first "real" place. I did not expect to live so close to my sister who has HORRID cat allergies. If I wanted her and her family to visit me, I couldn't have a cat. I went for the next best thing: a small dog who thinks he's a cat, Sprinkles. He's sleeping on my feet right now, and he is the best companion ever. Could not ask for a better one.

3. A Comic Book Nerd -- I have a large collection of comic books (Marvel). I started reading comic books in college to de-stress. Friday night comic reading Hastings visits rocked! I started collecting pretty soon after I moved here, but it was mostly only a couple of X-men titles. Those were honestly like drugs for me. I started small, but then I needed some more to get me through the week, so I started picking up all the X-titles. Then a Civil War broke out in the Marvel Universe, and it lead the way for "harder" comics like Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Spiderman... Now it's a $20 a week addiction I can't and never want to stop. I totally look forward to my weekly Wednesday comic book shop trips with Paul. It's still time to de-stress, but it's nice to not have to be alone to do it. (You know, I think people typically like to get high together...)

4. A Computer/Technology Geek -- I've always loved technology and computers. I've been able to play for a few minutes and figure most anything out. I "heart" this side of me. A lot of people at church don't realize what a huge geek I am in this respect, but a lot of people at school come to me to be their tech support. I get observed when other schools come to see my school mostly because of the technology in my room. My classroom has thousands of dollars of tech that helped it become a "Model Technology Classroom". It's fun! It makes my job exciting. Go ahead, talk geek to me, I'm totally game. :-)

5. An Independent Woman -- Sounds cliche, but I really have become quite independent. Living alone with my pup suits me alright. I bought my car alone, I negotiated my lease alone, I bought my furniture alone, I've handle my life mostly alone. With the addition of OnStar in my life, now I'm even more self-sufficient since it can give me turn by turn directions. My bro in law is still having a hard time getting used to not having to give me directions or help me when I get lost! I actually think I've been getting better at paying attention and figuring out streets lately. That's all beside the point though. Mostly it's about the fact that I'm ok handling life alone -- and when I say alone I really mean with God at my side. Without Him, I wouldn't have made it anywhere "alone."

6. Un-married/Single -- You've been waiting for that one, eh? I always expected to be a good, Christian wife by now (or at least engaged or seriously dating the man I would eventually marry). If I didn't have children, we'd be thinking about them by now. BUT when I left Harding without a husband (which was ok... I worked hard to get my BA), it became evident that I wouldn't be getting married anytime soon either. I've come to terms with it lately. I don't want to talk about marriage. Right now I don't see it happening in my future. I'm not in a physical place (church or work) where I'm around a lot of single people who haven't seen me enough already that they know I'm not the one. There aren't any new people. I'm just growing in other aspects of my life, and if marriage comes, it comes, but I'm not going to be studying to be a "good wife" anytime soon. I'm trying to live well in the life I have. (Oh yeah, for those of you who are curious but not brave enough to ask: the ring just fits better there. I would have been happy to tell you that. :-) ) I remember in college that I had a really close guy friend (I had a few really), and we knew we weren't right for each other, but he told me, "Joanna, you're an awesome girl. The guys here (at Harding) are too immature to see it now, but one day you are going to make some man an amazing wife. You are the whole package." I hold on to those kind words and pray some man will one day give me a chance and see that. We'll see. It's in God's Hands.

7. Having a Kid Friendly Birthday -- 7 is a good number, so I'll stop after this one. :-) I had a self-proclaimed "kid friendly birthday." That's right, no drinking to my health... just calm fun that my neice, nephew, and friends' kids could come to. We went ice skating at the Galleria. I hadn't been ice skating in forever! It was truly perfect. Some of my closest friends were there, and we just all enjoyed each other. I think that's what I like most about my birthdays: the fellowship I get to have with my friends. They know me so well that one couple got me the Celtic Woman CD that The Cap ate a while back "just in case mine doesn't come back from the CD player!" Thanks ya'll!

There are some minor things that surprise me:
- I have bangs (you can see them in the above pictures) for the first time since the Elvis poodle bangs I had in 6th grade when Mom left me at the hair dresser for a quick cut, and the hair dresser and I decided they were a good idea. WRONG! These are a much better idea thanks to my hair straightener.
- I am the owner of a new car. Never really thought I'd end up with a NEW car anytime soon. Always thought I'd go used or stick it out with Frodo.
- I have good decorating sense. My apartment is really pretty -- glad that worked out. :-)
- I have a place at my church even though I'm single. VRCC is awesome in that they allow single CHICKS to have a place to serve beyond just children's ministry (which is where we're usually shoved off to). I see my responsibilities as a way to serve God. I direct VBS, I buy the supplies for the building, I teach classes, I help run the sound booth... all stuff I love. Glad to help. :-)
- My sister will go all "mama bear" on people who say something rude about me or are mean. Not that she's my mom, but I'm the same way with her. We can have our spats with each other, but heaven help you if you talk bad about the one in front of the other or you hurt one of us. We'll take you out! Just kidding on the taking out, but yeah...
- I've already had surgery on both hands/wrists for carpel tunnel syndrome thanks to my love of cake decorating and typing. I've been told I've very young for that to happen.

Things I'm not surpried about:
- I'm a good aunt. I love Katelyn and Joshua. Who could resist them? They love me back which makes me smile to even think about. To see their faces light up when I walk in a room is the most amazing and fulfilling thing ever!
- No one knows me like my sister, LaRae. We've grown closer and closer over the years and generally she can complete my sentences and know what I'm thinking by the tone of my voice or a small nuance of a look on my face. Everyone needs someone like that in their life.
- I'm still a Harry Potter fanatic. I've started re-reading the 7th book as of today. It's a high stress time being TAKS season, so I hide in HP.
- I'm a math nerd. We all saw that coming -- hopefully my major clued us all in. I get and love math jokes, higher math, and the beauty of a fully worked math problem.

I think that's enough for now. This is a huge, photo-filled post, but it's stuff that's been on my mind. Really everything on this list is a blessing in my life in its own special way. Thanks for being my friends; God bless you all.


  1. Hey Jo,

    I really enjoyed this post. I feel like I learned something. Maybe you can make version 2.0 when you turn 26 :-)

    Mark <><

  2. Thanks Mark! :-) Glad you enjoyed it. Hope life is treating you and Carolina well!

  3. Tag! You're it!

    Whoops! You may have beat me to the punch with this post! Oh, well - don't feel like you have to do it.

    Just know that I was thinking about ya' and hope you were doing well.