Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Out of Order

I was just about to Google something (don't ask me what it is because even now, only 30 seconds later I can't remember) and I have that personalized Google page where you can have a calendar and daily quotes and a picture of an animated fox that changes with the time of day... This particular morning, as I was about to dive into the ever growing world that is the internet, one of the daily quotes on my page stuck out to me. Its by Richard Paul Evans and it says, "Everyone who got to where they are had to begin where they were." Now, this may not strike anyone else as profound, but it did me because it reverberated a theme that has been playing in my life the past week or so. That seems to happen alot. Quiet, sometimes unnoticeable, but meaningful principles will be patterned in clumps in my life, something kind of like this: I'll come upon a quote on my google page and then later have a conversation with a friend and the same topic seems to be an underlying theme and then later a talk in church will bring insights into the same concept even sometimes something in a book or in a movie will somehow hint at the very thing that is trying so desperately to get itself into my head. All these situations drive, subtley, a simple idea into my little brain. The principles behind these themes are always things I seem to be lacking in or things that will undeniably help me out a lot in life. Again, they are usually very simple things. Maybe I'm more simpleminded than I thought... (but don't get any ideas of now having free reign to call me a simpleton you clever folk out there).

Back to the quote that spurred this rambling entry. The theme this week seems to be (in case you didn't guess it already) a you-can't-get-to-your-super-large-and-super-great-goals-by-pretending-you're-further-than-you-are-and-then-trying-to-jump-from-extreme-to-extreme type of thing. For example, one of the things that sparked my realization that this was something that was trying to manifest itself to me happened yesterday. I was talking to Bradford about something and I said, "You need to stop worrying about trying to jump to the top of the stairs. Just take the next step up." Later that night as I was writing in my journal, it hit me how ironic it was that one of the things I needed to hear came out of my own mouth. There are no elevators to the top of our potential. You have to take the slow steady steps and get there the "hard" way. Its like every morning when I get to work, I always punch the elevator "up" button in hopes that it will appear soon so I don't have to trudge up the stairs in my heels. More often than not though waiting for the elevator to arrive and then move up to the 4th floor takes longer than just taking the stairs from the get go. Funny.

I also came to the perhaps obvious conclusion that the more little, short term goals (like making those couch pillows I've been planning for so long...) will make it even easier to have the endurance for those bigger goals (like my goal to be consistent in doing hobbies, not just in drawn out spurts). No one tackles Everest before ever having climbed anything else (pardon the cliche. But they are cliches for a reason...). Doi. It seems so obvious but I've tried so many times to hop my way over all those intermediate steps and somehow come up at the top landing. You're more likely to fall on your face when doing that than you are if you take each step at a time. Making your big goals a series of little goals.

I have goals. Maybe nothing that seems to be of great magnitude, but things like getting a Dental Hygiene degree (oh stop your gasping, I've always wanted to get a degree, the fear of debt just kept me out of school for a little while, I never intended to never go back). And littler goals like smiling at five people today when my initial reaction might be to growl at them. Its also funny because you think you can make plans and do things exactly how you plan them... I don't think that has ever been the case in my life. Sometimes accomplishing those goals require you to take a route that you may never have known existed when the goal was made, or had even considered an option for whatever reasons. It just goes to show that you can't do it all yourself. You aren't always right. You may have great ideas for yourself but the getting there is sometimes better done another way.

So it looks like I'm taking the stairs.


Curtis and Courtney said...

Julie, Julie, Julie... that is EXACTLY what I needed to hear! You are so right about taking the steps one at a time. I find myself attempting to hop at least two or three at at time. Thank you so much for sharing this, it was a true eye-opener for me.

Kimberly said...

Of course, you always say things so nicely. Its true...I feel this way now too. I can't be a perfect teacher when I've never really been a teacher before, right?
As for the getting there...I always end up taking the stairs too. I always think I am going to take the elevator or my personalized hover jet or womthing, but I always...ALWAYS end up taking the stairs. No worries, taking the stairs makes your calves look pretty.

Alison said...

You do put it quite well. I also have the tendency to set goals, then forget about the little things I need to be diligent in to reach them.
As far as things coming together, I think it's Heavenly Father's way of nudging in the direction He wants us to take. Only in hindsight we are able to see the big picture. For example, I never understood why I didn't get in to those two studies abroad I applied to freshman year, but now I see that if I would have gone on either I would have never ended up dating (and marrying) Ethan. That's a big example, but in my life I can see situation after situation where this concept plays out. I may not understand why we moved to New York (though I am beginning to) or why we've had the trials we have had in the last year, but I am sure I will look back and be grateful for them because I can see how the building blocks of my life fit together and how my foundation is much stronger than if I would have taken the easy route.