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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » It's time for some deep thoughts (Narnia's second landmark)

   
Author Topic: It's time for some deep thoughts (Narnia's second landmark)
Narnia
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Odd number for a landmark, but it feels like a good time.

Here's the thing:

I’m a planning person. I’m logically thinking and extremely efficient. I try to get somewhere as FAST as possible in the most cost-effective way. I get road rage, I walk really fast, and I have trouble slowing down for others to catch up at times. (Both literally and figuratively.) I lay out my plan and work really hard to reach my goals and stick to the plan. The plan saves me time, saves me money and is usually rather boring. [Smile]

When I first started college, I was proud that I already knew what I wanted to do. I was going to work through 4 perfect undergrad years of elementary education classes to teach school. That was the plan and for a while, all was hunky dory. I was having fun sticking to the plan and heading in a straight line.

After a couple years, my relationship with God had strengthened and changed a lot. This was a really great thing, and I started to consider the possibility of serving an LDS mission. This was rather scary, but I figured, as long as I had plenty of notice, I could work it into the plan and it wouldn’t even be spontaneous. [Smile] So I did. The mission became part of the plan and I continued on my way. I finished my third year of college, set everything so that I’d only have one more year to complete when I returned, and left for Brazil.

In 19 months, my world turned completely upside down and topsy turvy. Brazil itself, being a missionary, the people I met and worked with…they all took part in the humongous change that would be the mellow version of Cecily. It’s a long story that I don’t fully understand myself, but I learned how to relax a little, how to roll with the punches a little, and how to take things as they come without freaking out. It was like a transplant of some sort. It took me quite a while to get used to these new ways of thinking.

I slowly learned to accept my imperfections, and in so doing, I found that I became a LOT more patient with the imperfections that I was so quick to see in others. I came to realize that God was aware of my weaknesses, loved me anyway, and wouldn’t let my mistakes (that I thought were so galaxy-altering) keep Him from carrying out the plans He had for other people and myself. I finally came to realize that He accepts and understands me and He’s never angry when I make mistakes. I learned that as long as I’m willing to ask for help, He would give it to me and that any wrong choices I made could still turn out for my good if I was always trying to do my best.

It’s hard for me to explain, and a lot of it seems like “No duh” stuff to learn, but it was monumental and life-altering for me. I felt as if so much weight had been lifted from my shoulders, and I finally found that I was consistently happy, instead of happy only during the good moments.

This changed my outlook, my stiff and obsessive plans. I’m still a planner, but I found that when I got home from Brazil, it was time to change the plan, for reasons that I didn’t understand. I decided not to go back to Utah (USU) and finish my one year of Elementary Ed, but instead to stay in Portland, go to some school there, and major in Music Education. Music education is something that I’ve always been intimately involved in. I remember being jealous of my friends who got to take awesome classes like Choral Repertoire, conducting, and orchestral arranging. So I took the plunge, did something unthinkable, and changed my major!

These changes in my personality were baffling to my family. They were so supportive though and did everything they could to help me adapt to “back home” and my new goals. I enrolled at Portland State University, and everything came into place. I met my mentor and guide, got into his choir, traveled to some really cool places, and got to take all of those incredibly cool classes. I have been so happy studying music. [Big Grin]

It took me an extra year to get my undergrad, and it will take me yet another year to get my teaching certificate. My certification is part of a very competitive Master of Arts in Teaching program at PSU. Those of you on my livejournal know how hard I’ve worked on the application and you have been listening to me whine about it. I've worked on the application for almost 6 months and I've been preparing for over a year.

Well. I got in. I found out on Friday. [Big Grin] My new plan is coming along and I’m really grateful. I’m graduating with my Bachelor of Arts in Music Education in 3 months and starting this grad program in July. In the fall, I’ll start student teaching in a high school choir setting and hopefully learn a LOT. I’m really excited.

Then will come the moment I’ve been waiting for. The moment when I have no idea what comes next. I’m looking forward to the liberating feeling of having worked hard, reached my goals and not knowing where to go. It will be so exciting. I’m thinking of finding choir teaching work in the British Isles somewhere. I’m also thinking of faraway places like…Washington state. [Smile] The possibilities are endless and I’m looking forward to the exploration.

Sometimes I get discouraged when I think of what I still have to get done, and the fact that I got into grad school almost made me feel stuck. But I know on my good days that I’m where I’m supposed to be and I also know that I’m studying what I love to do what I love and that soon I’ll get to do it. What better future is there?

Tomorrow I turn 25. I’m single, on spring break, and looking at everything laid out before me for the next year. I’m sure there will be surprises along the way and I’m looking forward to them.

Thank you for being my friends, for teaching me new things everyday, and for accepting me the way that I am. I’m so grateful for you. [Kiss]

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Dagonee
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Congratulations, Narnia, both on the acceptance and in being willing to alter course midstream. (And in doing a mission - the idea of something like that has always awed me, both in the "it's amazing" and "it's terrifying" sense.)

It sounds like you've got a lot of exciting times ahead of you. That feeling of "rightness" when you're doing what you're meant to do is so powerful, isn't it?

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

Dagonee

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Hobbes
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[Group Hug] That's so great Cecily! I'll leave the being eloquent and well spoken to others and extend to you a hearty handshake *handshake* and a big hug *hug*. We love you!

Hobbes [Smile]

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ClaudiaTherese
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Narnia, that was a great window onto your life. Congratulations on getting into the MA program, and congratulations on continuing to follow your dreams in your own way.

quote:
It’s hard for me to explain, and a lot of it seems like “No duh” stuff to learn, but it was monumental and life-altering for me.
Amazing, isn't it? The difference such a small change can make? I understand this quite well, and this part of your story particularly resonated for me. Sometimes I picture my own personal growth as a dance, and I've just barely lifted one finger -- but oh, the world has changed. [Smile]

(((Narnia)))

[ March 21, 2004, 11:52 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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Annie
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Oh hooray! I'm so excited for you! I haven't been on livejournal (or a computer, for that matter) for a week, and so missed your big announcement. But I'm so happy for you. Truthfully, I didn't doubt you'd get in for one moment, but I'll act surprised and congratulate you anyway. [Smile]

Thanks for being such a sweet, thoughtful friend and role model for me, compassionate and humble, yet with unshakable convictions. I am so lucky to be able to call you a friend!

Way to go on 2,000ish - may we all be fortunate enough to be a part of the next 2,000 from our friend and hero Cecily!

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fiazko
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I can totally understand a sudden change in plans. I'm glad it has worked out so well for you. Congratulations on grad school and getting to do what you love.

And it's officially "tomorrow" here, so...

Happy 25. [Party]

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Derrell
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That was a thought provoking landmark. Thanks for sharing it with us, Narnia.
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Mrs.M
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Happy Birthday and Congratulations!

I wish I had had a choir teacher like you will be.

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rivka
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Yay for you! [Party] And happy birthday! [Smile]

I'm so glad you found your path, and had the courage to take it. May it be all you dream of.

I'm so glad you're part of Hatrack. (((((Narnia)))))

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Zotto!
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Happy Birthday, Cecily!

Great landmark. I'm just gonna ditto Hobbes here...*handshake* and *hug*. I, like CT, could totally relate to the "small change" that makes your personal world different.

Glad you're on Hatrack. Don't ever leave!

Who's up for a trip to the zoo? [Big Grin]

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Annie
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A birthday party at the zoo? I'm totally in.

*passes out party hats*

*makes a cake that looks like a giraffe*

Happy birthday, Narnia dear!

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katharina
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Happy Birthday! And great landmark! [Smile]
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Sopwith
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Happy Birthday and may this be the best year you've ever had!
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hansenj
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Happy Birthday, Narnia! [Big Grin]

Every time I read a little insight into your life I realize even more what an amazing person you are. Being in a similar yet not-so-similar situation as you in many ways, you are always a positive example to me (and that sounded really cheesy once I typed it out, but it's true). Thanks for being here and for teaching me things almost everyday. [Smile]

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UofUlawguy
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Narnia,

My wife would be so jealous of you. She got her undergraduate degree in Music Education (emphasis in piano, violin and elementary ed.), and really wants to go back and get a Master's. She will do it, too, but I guess the time hasn't yet come. She thinks about it a lot, though.

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beverly
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Happy Quarter Century Birthday! [Big Grin] That's a landmark right there. Hooray for life-changing experiences! We all need those.

I haven't been around long enough to know you well, but I have always appreciated your posts.

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T. Analog Kid
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Cecily,

Happy Birthday and I'm very glad to hear what you had to say: I find a lot that I relate to...

continue to be well, ma'am.

[Party] for Narnia!

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Farmgirl
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Narnia

What a great "upper" of a post! I love your positive outlook in life. Keep it up, because it is certainly contagious!

Your post really made me smile.

And happy birthday!

Farmgirl

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Narnia
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Thank you everyone. I appreciate your encouraging comments and your birthday wishes. [Big Grin] I'm having a good day. [Kiss]
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skrika03
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Onwards and upwards!
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eslaine
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I always look for your posts. Thanks for that 2K!
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Raia
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(((((((((Narnia)))))))))) That's so great, Narnia!!!! And MAZELTOV! [Kiss]

*clinks glass* Here's to many many more! *loves Narnia to pieces* [Smile]

(edit: Can't spell)

[ March 22, 2004, 04:51 PM: Message edited by: Raia ]

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Shan
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Happy Birthday, Spring Child!

[The Wave]

And congratulations (again) on being accepted. You don't know how hard it was to keep my mouth shut and wait for you to say it!

Hugs!

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skillery
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*wants to join the Hatrack choir*
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Raia
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Here you are, skillery! [Smile]
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aka
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Narnia, that's awesome! Congratulations on getting accepted! You go, girl! It's been wonderful to have you for an acolyte. You are such a joy to be around. Happy 25th birthday. Here's to many many more! [Smile]
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digging_holes
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Happy Birthday, Cecily. [Smile]

Though I think I'm a tad late in posting this... [Big Grin]

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Frisco
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You should've told me it was almost your birthday. If anyone deserves my lucky, lucky autographed glow-in-the-dark snorkel, it's you.

Red Fish sends his regards.

Blue Fish isn't talking to me today.

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ginette
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Congratulations Narnia! [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]
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Narnia
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Frisco, your Weird Al references get me all choked up. Give Red and Blue my love (when they're both speaking to you again.)

Thank you all again. When I read down the list of names on this thread and on other threads, I have distinct memories and thoughts about each and every one of you. I remember your kind words, your smart and funny posts and your admirable behavior towards myself and others. It's mind-boggling for me to think that I am friends with all of you, but I am, and I count myself as such. This is probably not making too much sense, but in my personal reflections, it makes sense to me.

Thank you so much for the impressions that you've made on me. [Smile]

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Bob_Scopatz
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Cool!

Congratulations!

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