Thursday, September 23, 2010


“That's what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we've changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.”
Richard Bach

I Don't Do Dating

Let's talk about boys for a minute, shall we? Boys and dating and relationships and the utter messiness of it all.

Here's the thing; I've never really been into dating. Like casual dating. Like seeing multiple guys at one time, going out on dates with different boys on different nights of the week, getting to know several different men at once, dating. I've just never done that. (Well ok, there was that one time in college where I might have kinda sorta had two boyfriends at once...but it was really unintentional and flat out exhausting and by the end of it I swore I'd never do that again). And anyway, that only lasted a couple days so I don't think it really even counts. I've always been more of a relationship type of girl. Maybe to a fault, but hey, whatever. Literally, since my senior year of high school I've pretty much gone from one "serious" committed relationship to the next, with not a whole lot of time or dating in between.

In fact, in fact (and I'm just being real honest with you here--cause why wouldn't I be? Say what you will about this, I really don't care) when I moved out in February, I jumped very quickly into a relationship of sorts with another guy. It was easy to justify to myself because we weren't technically "together," we were just really good friends who were going to have dinner...and then go to a movie...and talk to each other a hundred times a get the idea. I told myself that it wasn't a real relationship so it was ok (because even I knew that I needed time to deal with and heal from the marriage and divorce) but in all honesty, it was just another relationship, no matter what name we put on it at the time.

For what it's worth, I liked this guy a lot. A whole lot in fact, and my previous failed relationship notwithstanding, I was pretty much willing to jump in with both feet and not look back.

Unfortunately, at least for the time being, that relationship hasn't worked out and I've decided that it's best if I start trying to move on. It's not at all what I want to do, but at the same time, I kinda figure life's just too short to waste a whole lot of time on something that isn't working. So...even though in a lot of ways i have absolutely zero desire to do this right now, I've decided that maybe, for the first time, I should give the old dating scene a chance.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Fate and Timing and...blahhhhhh

If I'm being perfectly honest with you (and I have no reason not to be), I'm more than a little frustrated these days. It's work, it's my personal relationships... basically, its just life in general and the fact that mine is not exactly on track the way I want it to be or feel like it should be at this point. Then again, I'm not exactly sure what track I want or need to be on right now, so maybe that's part of my problem.

I've come to the conclusion in the past couple of months that, as much fun as it's been, New Orleans is likely just not going to be my forever home. There's a lot here to love for sure, but I just don't see Lauren staying here forever. That's not to say I have any idea in the world where it is I want or am supposed to end up, I just get the feeling that this ain't it. So, for the past little while now I've been applying for jobs. Everywhere. No, I'm serious. Everywhere. Since I have no idea where I want to go, what I want to do, and really no ties or obligations to anywhere in particular, I've basically been playing the old "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks," game.

Now, seems to me (being the logical person that I am) my complete and utter lack of stipulation on type of job/city I live in, would make it easy to find something. I mean, that makes sense, right? Apparently, not so much because while I've had several interviews, nothing has worked out or fallen into place for me yet. It's more than a little frustrating for me now, but it's also really made me stop to think about why I'm still here in New Orleans.

The idea of Fate is, in and of itself, a big and very messy subject to tackle here so I won't do that exactly. But what I will say is that I tend to think that there is a bigger plan than what I will ever know, that everything happens for a reason, and that in the end, things ultimately work out as they are meant to. That said, I have to believe that (all of the heartache of the past year notwithstanding) there was a reason I ended up in New Orleans and by that same token, I have to believe that there is a reason I am still here now. I can look at the past year and point to many, many reasons I think God put me here at this point in my life. I think there were a lot of lessons I needed to learn that I couldn't have learned anywhere else; I think there were a lot of people I needed to have put into my life and I think there are people whose lives I needed to become a part of. But in my mind, I've learned my lessons, I've made my friends, and I've done all I know to do. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to leave. I'm ready for whatever comes next.

What I'm starting to realize though, and who knows? Maybe this is the final lesson I need to learn here, is that it's really not so much about what I think I'm ready for. It's much more about the bigger picture and the bigger plan and the totality of life than about what I think I want today. A good friend told me once that "God is far more concerned with our character than our immediate happiness," and I've been trying to remind myself of that lately...while I cool my heels and bang my head against the wall here in New Orleans.

So...yeah. I don't know whether I'm still here because I have more to learn, or whether I'm still here because God is using the people in my life to reach me in ways I don't realize, or if maybe he is using me in their lives...I just don't know. But I have to believe that there is some reason behind it all, and I have to believe that when the time is right whatever comes next for me will fall into place and I'll be able to look back on these past few months and be thankful for the extra time I spent in NOLA.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Life Lessons from Winnie-the-Pooh

"You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.”

"Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

"Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.”

“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.”

“You can't always sit in your corner of the forest and wait for people to come to you... you have to go to them sometimes.”

Looking at the Stars

“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.”

Some of you may know this already but I took a few days off last week to go home to Kentucky. Not just to Lexington, which is where I usually end up when I say I'm going home, but home home, to the mountains. I was home for a whole week and it was wonderful. I don't necessarily advocate running from one's problems, but I also know that sometimes, we all just need a break. I needed a break.

So I packed up and hopped a plane to Kentucky, where I spent the week sleeping more than I have in the past six months combined, eating myself senseless on my Mom's home cooking, going for runs in the cool fall weather, and watching the first Kentucky football game of the season too. I also rode my horse for the first time in over a year and even mucked out a stall or two...and believe it or not, I actually enjoyed it. Sometimes I think, good, honest, physical labor is good for the soul.

While I was walking from the barn back to the house one night, I happened to glance up and notice how bright the stars were. It was amazing. You can't even see the stars at night in New Orleans so I don't remember the last time I just stopped and stood with my head hanging back, and took in the beauty of the night sky. Our preacher even commented on it Sunday at church, about how he was out that same night and couldn't remember a time in his life when he had seen the stars shining so brightly.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Crossing the Bar

By: Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

SUNSET and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

This poem was read last week at my great grandmother's funeral. She was quite an amazing lady and would have been 103 on her birthday in October.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lesson Learned: Don't Try to Fly With Your Pocket Knife

So I just got back to NOLA after spending a week (yes, a whole week--haven't been home that long since I left for college my freshman year) back home in Kentucky. Can we just talk for a second about how fabulous it was to be back in the Bluegrass during football season? Oh my Lord. Probably it was just about the greatest week ever, and no, in case you passed out and hit your head and are feeling a bit delirious, I did not want to come back to the death heat and humidity of New Orleans. Not one little bit. Not that I had a choice in the matter as this is where the job is which currently pays my bills...but I surely didn't board the plane back down here in the greatest of moods, that's for sure.

Anywho, my attitude notwithstanding, I got the Lexington airport yesterday in plenty of time to catch my flight but I got stopped as I was going through security (no, I didn't set off the metal detector, thank you), when the TSA guy pulled me aside and told me that they were going to have to rescan my purse, which I thought was a bit odd just because, well, that's never happened before. So they run my purse through the x-ray thingy again and I can see all the little security guards conferring with one another as they point to the computer screen where my bag is being displayed. Hmmmm...

I started doing a mental inventory of what I could possibly have in my purse. It was a short list because I'm just not a big purse person. I know some women carry their whole lives around in their purses and you'd be likely to find just about anything in there but I'm not one of those people; I carry as little as humanly possibly. I was sure I had taken my pepper spray out and left it on my kitchen table in NOLA before I flew home last week so I knew it couldn't be that. I remembered that I had a fingernail file, but it was just one of those cheap cardboard ones, which I thought were still allowed so I figured it wasn't that either. Really, I had no idea what it could be.

The TSA guy asked me to step out of line so he could search my purse, so I went over to this table that was set up off to the side and watched as he pulled out my wallet, my cell phone, hairbrush, chapstick, pocket knife and...WHOA. Yes, I had a pocket knife in my purse! And not just any little old knife either--this thing was hardcore. Like three blades and a file and a corkscrew and everything!

I feel as though I should be at least mildly embarrassed because who does that anymore? Who tries to go through airport security with a weapon in their carry-on? In my defense, I had completely forgotten that I even put that in there weeks ago and what's scary is that you'll recall that it was caught as I went through security on my return flight...which means that I made it through airport security with that thing once already on my way to Kentucky last week...