Sunday, January 27, 2008

One, but we're not the same

It's hard to write this post today because I'm tired and feeling cynical. But it's been a while and I have a song in my head (as usual) and it relates to today. There is a Bridal show at the "office" today and it has me reflecting on marriage and our society. It seems to me that getting married these days has more to do with "the big day" than with the fact that two people are becoming one. You have to pay to get into this particular show so that people can sell you things like photography, cakes, and ribbons.

When you are planning to get married, people not only want to sell you things, they love to give advice. Some bad, and some good, like, "Don't argue after 9 PM." (Not that we abide by this one, but it sure makes a lot of sense now...moving on.) The one thing that no one told us is that you are still the same exact people at the reception that you were before you ever walked down the aisle. Same sins, same insecurities, same habits. You see, wedding vendors bank on selling "the big day," the fairytale wedding and so forth, with total disregard to the fact that there's a whole lifetime of marriage to follow. No matter how beautifully arranged the flowers are and how many settings of fine china you get, hard times are going to come and there needs to be more to stand on than a diamond you had to take out a loan to get. I'm not saying that everyone is like this, I have just seen a lot of it lately and it's frightening. My husband and I loved each other as much as possible on July 10, 2004, but we had no idea what was in store and we have had it pretty easy. My mom has always said that love is a choice. One day you wake up and the warm fuzzies are gone and you have to remind yourself to choose to love the person beside you, and, what is more, I have to pray to God that He will give me a heart for my husband day in and day out. It is only by His grace we survive, it is only by His grace that we are happy. It is only by His grace that we stand.

I have been given the privilege of walking beside my husband through life. We are truly opposites in a lot of ways, but we balance each other out. He's logical, I'm a romantic. He's rational, I'm, well, the opposite of that. I love the U2 song from which this post borrows it's title. It says, "We're one but we're not the same, we get to carry each other, carry each other..." I think that's what marriage is about. Not stuff.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm Nowhere and You're Everything

"It's way past two and you want me there, but he needs me here so you have to share. I'm cryin' 'cause I'm in love with you, you're cryin' because you have no clue." Don't read too much into this people. These are lines from a Chris Thile song that is stuck in my head a lot. It's a beautiful song that reminds me of the general situation in Jane Austen novels, but I digress. This is not even what I want to write about today, I just have the song in my head and couldn't think of a title to the post.

Moving on. There is a small conference in the building where I work today. They're a nice conference. Sometimes people that are here for conferences are demanding, condescending, creepy, or a combo of all three, but these are just good folks here today. However, no matter what kinds of people they are, weird things ALWAYS happen to me when there are big groups here by nature of the fact that I am the "catch-all" in the building. So when the client walks in this morning with a box of materials that MUST go to the speaker in a certain room during his session, guess who got to interrupt? That's right. The door is at the back of the room so I walk in while he's speaking and as quiet as I try to be, the door makes a lot of noise. All eyes are immediately turned from the speaker, who's still speaking I might add, and onto moi. He keeps speaking and pretends like he doesn't see me for what seemed like a day. Meanwhile eyes go back and forth from speaker to awkward girl in the back holding a huge box. Finally, he motions for me to come forward, and keeps speaking while I carry the box down the center aisle, place it on the back table, and basically run out. Why couldn't that have waited until the break? Oh well, keeps me humble. The older I get the more I fear that I may never quite lose the total awkwardness that has plagued me since adolescence.

In other news, the first real event that I've planned is today!

Monday, January 14, 2008

4,015 Days of Running

Today is a momentous day for me. It's my 11 year running anniversary. Why do I know this? Answer: I have no idea, but like so many random facts that crowd the corners of my brain, I do. You see, I was a very unathletic kid. I played one season of tee-ball before my parents realized that I had much more interest in the ants and flowers in the outfield than I did in playing the game. But for some reason, on January 14, 1997, this unathletic kid decided she had had enough of the sedentary lifestyle, threw away the potato chips, turned off Oprah and decided to join my dad on his almost-daily run. At the time we lived in a neighborhood with a loop that was .8 of a mile. I couldn't run even halfway around. I used to cry and beg my mom to walk with me. But for some reason, I caught the bug and ran almost every day, finally making it a half mile, one mile, two miles. That fall I joined the cross country team at the high school. I was the worst on the team for the first few races, but happy all the while to pull up the rear. Then, one day I just cut four minutes off my 5K time in one race and earned a spot on the Varsity team.

Things kept up like this, little by little I improved. My senior year of high school I was captain of the cross country team. I went to a private school my first two years of college on a cross country scholarship. I am living proof that anything is possible if you work hard enough. The title of this blog is misleading because I haven't actually run every day for the last 11 years. Just almost everyday. My mom used to say, "If Kelli can run, anybody can." My dad said that if you had told him when I was starting high school that I would go to college on a cross country scholarship he would have laughed in your face. And they're not being mean with these comments, it's just the truth.

Now, I love running. People always say things to me like, "I can't believe that you can run that far." But the truth is, I didn't start yesterday. I started eleven years ago and I have worked for every bit of it. I write all of this to encourage you that you can do it. You can start the thing today and it may take YEARS, but you'll never know unless you try.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Into the Wild

We don't go to movies all that often anymore, so when we do, we want them to be worth the almost $10 per person admission fee. In the last couple of weeks, we have been to an uncharacteristically-for-the-Magees large amount of movies. There just seemed to be a bunch that we want to see. I Am Legend was terrible, unless you like zombie films with little plot in which your favorite character is killed. The new National Treasure was great as far the fun, unlikely, historical conspiracy theory movies go. Brian's boss didn't like it because he's a history buff and he called it completely implausible, but I am fortunately not plagued with that much brain-power and I liked it. Charlie Wilson's War is an excellent movie and provides an interesting view of the history of how the Cold War ended and why we're in the mess internationally that we're in now. Plus, Phillip Seymour Hoffman should win an Oscar for his role in the film. He's absolutely brilliant, but that's pretty much par for the course for him. (Side note: see the movie Capote and this movie and think about the range he has.)

But those movies aren't what this post is about. It's about the movie we saw last Friday at the wonderful new independent theatre in our little town called Cine. Into the Wild. It's based on a book by the same title written by Jon Krakauer. It is the true story of Christopher McCandless, who graduated from Emory in 1991, burned his identification and gave all of his money away before trekking across the Western US, mostly by foot, for two years. I remember loving the book when I read it and unlike some books that are made into movie, this one works. Sean Penn directed it and I feel he captured the story on film beautifully. I still can't put a finger on quite why it touches me so deeply. I wept for a while at the end of both book and movie. The story is just so inspiring and tragic at the same time. Maybe it's the part of me that would do the same thing if my family situation was like his was. Krakauer and Penn both relate the freedom that Chris felt when he was penniless and wandering. It's beautiful; I can't quite put it into any other words.

Monday, January 07, 2008

New year, new jobs

Not so much for me, but for many people around me today. It's career fair day at my place of employment today, which means the usual flood of students trying hard not to look awkward in the black suits that they've either 1)never worn before, or 2)haven't worn in a year or so. It also means that I'll be giving out pens, paper clips, and making copies of their resumes. Helpful hint in case you ever go to a career fair: Bring copies of your resume, you're there looking for a job. Those with the foresight to bring actual copies of their resumes are all clutching them tightly, enclosed for now in the black or burgundy portofolio that they carry. Their faces are part hopeful, part anxious as they nervously laugh with their friends while waiting for the exhibit hall to open. I overhear many plans today about, "working for a year or so before med school."

The other people here today are the exhibitors, those with jobs to dispense to the eager, black-sutied masses. In my experience with all kinds of exhibitors for career fairs and trade shows alike, there are two types. The first is made of sharp-suited men and women who have trendy haircuts and expensive looking watches. These are salespeople who are at home in the multi-shaded suits and sometimes trendy dresses that they stylishly sport with their company nametags and designer sunglasses. The second type is equally smart-watched, coifed, and sunglassed, but they wear any number of company-embroidered shirt, whether it be a golf shirt, button-up, or my personal favorite, the sweater vest. And optional accessories for every exhibitor are the bluetooth earphone thing and the rolling duffel/briefcase/bookbag.

The uncharacteristic thing about today's career fair is the fact that a well-known local fast-food restaurant has set up a truck outside to sell lunch to the future-employed. So, until the fair starts they are trying to balance flimsy paper plates chock full of the greasiest hamburgers, fries, and onion rings on their knees while eating and not getting anything on the new outfit. It's just strange to see all of these dressed up people eating fast food. And what is their breath going to smell like in an hour when they're talking to future employers? Maybe they don't care, maybe they're not actually looking for jobs and are here for class credit. These are just the observations of a person who sees a lot of this kind of thing.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I don't know nothin' except change will come

My husband says that my life is a musical, which is pretty much true. There's always a song playing on the radio in my head and everything reminds me of music I know. All that to say, once again, the title of this post is from one of my favorite Patty Griffin songs. Ten points to anyone who can tell me which. Moving on, this is my review of 2007, beginning 2008 post. I know it's the third day of the year, but I'm not as fast as some of my friends in the blogging world.

So, 2007 was a very interesting year for me. Change was it's name, and I think that when I look back on the whole five years from 2006-2011, it will all be about change. In 2007, most notably, my brother Micah joined our family. Then, Brian graduated from Law School-can I get a what, what!, and I went on a life changing trip to Croatia. I then graduated with my master's and in the same week got the wonderful job that I'm doing now. (Which was also the same week that my man started his new job.) In October, that man officially became a lawyer, which is the answer to so many years of prayer, sweat, and hours reading and typing. Whew! We basically ran full speed ahead for the remainder of 2007. And now for 2008-who knows what. I would have never believed you if you had told me some of the things that would happen this past year on January 3, 2007. So, today I can trully tell you that I have no idea, but my life will not look the same on January 3, 2009 as it does today.

Side note: I didn't think that anyone would notice that we didn't send out Christmas Cards, but someone did. Sorry. For you, the picture in this post is the picture that probably would have been on there. Thanks for noticing!