The Best Exotic… Wild and Precious Life


What up, bloggy friends?

It’s been a wild (and largely fantastic) month or so… I’m almost a month into my new job, where I still feel very new and green, and am challenged in new ways every day; ALWAYS leaving with a hilarious story or “rainbow-ism” of the day…. Greatest hits so far:

  1. Being referred to as “ hey, white lady” and “girl Tim” because I’m one of 2 white women that work here and I replaced a guy named Tim.
  2. Hearing about “updations”.
  3. Chatting with my boss when he wants to “touch some bases” (his version of ‘let’s touch base’).
  4. “Girl, you gotta stop being so ‘perfectionary’!” …they have realized my love of perfection already.

Between work, choir, a small group, and a few other things I’m involved in, plus an AMAZING (but way too quick) trip home for Mardi Gras, there hasn’t been much time for writing. However, I realized I was quite the hypocrite tonight when I was checking my favorite blogs and was totally annoyed when I had nothing new to read… and then thought, “when was the last time YOU posted, Tara?”

So, here I am. 🙂

While a bit overdramatic, the famous line, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times” comes to mind when I try to sum up the last few weeks. As I said… a bit over the top, but it certainly captures my present joy and happiness as well as stress and anxiety.

I guess in my over-logical brain, I figured once I had a job, most of my stress and worry would disappear…. But we all logically know that’s just not how life works. In adjusting to my new work life and a new budget, I’ve made some changes… Like trading in my beloved Accord, named “DC” after my true love, Diet Coke for a more city and budget friendly car. (Who would have thought a NEW car would save you money? And, I got a Jetta… NOT suffering, for sure) …Like starting to apartment hunt 3 months before my lease expires… because I want to be closer to work and less house poor. Lincoln Park, I love ya, but you’re a little fancy for this budget!

Admittedly, I’m not usually that “budget-y”… I let my financial planner father and accountant brother do those things… But once you start making cuts and figuring out where the “fat” is in your spending, it’s kinda fun and exciting! Like, with not too much effort I created $450! Awesome sauce! I also found it hilarious that the day I did this my horoscope literally read, “Penny pinching isn’t an Olympic sport yet, but you’re training for it  like it is.”

Funny, right? I don’t really believe it, but I do read it every day and I act like I believe it when it says something I like… Hahaha!

Every other aspect of life is going pretty well- I am totally loving the choir I am singing in and am excited about my first concert with this ensemble on March 2… I’m a little nervous about but also stoked about having a cool solo- I just don’t wanna screw it up for my friend who trusted me with it or for my ensemble!

For the last month or so, I joined a small group with a friend of mine and some of his friends from a mission trip they served on together. While at first I was hesitant and not sure how I would like it, if they would like me, having a commitment right after work 2 days in a row (rehearsal and then this group), I have to say I’ve really enjoyed it… It’s been really low-key, and it’s been great to build relationships and friendships with more cool, like-minded people. It’s good to have that “space” in the week carved out to think/discuss spiritual things and connect with others in that way.

It’s a season of life where it’s equally easy when I wake up and when I go to sleep to utter my gratitude practice mantra, “I thank you God, for most this amazing day!” and to have a sheer panic at some point in the day about not knowing what I should do next or stressing about “the budget working”.  It’s a strange (but pretty wonderful) land of extremes… (Cue Billy Joel’s “I Go To Extremes”)

I didn’t see my parents while I was in town for Mardi Gras, as they were on a fantastic vacation experiencing Carnivale in Rio…they were out for a few weeks, so needless to say we ALL had lots to catch up on after they returned at the end of this week.  I had barely had my first day at my new job when they departed!

Contrary to the fact that most people find me to be fairly perfectionistic and compulsive, I am the artsy, flighty one of my family… While I wanted my dad’s advice, I was also a little hesitant to have a “budget conversation” with him. So, I did my usual “send an e-mail” cop-out… I pressed send, held my breath, and kinda waited for the “Suze Orman fire breathing financial dragon” to descend upon me.

(Disclaimer: that is due to my own insanity, not my dad’s past behavior.)

The e-mail I got back was so chill: “Don’t panic. It will be fine. Let’s talk. Love, Dad”

We had about an hour and a half conversation tonight; going through the budget with a fine-toothed comb, talking about his trip, talking about my new job… It was good stuff. It was re-assuring. It reminded me of just how lucky I am to have my dad (and my parents, in general).

I love how my Dad is nothing but rational and practical and logical 99% of the time, and then with the very same level of seriousness and conviction, he throws in something I know to be ridiculous, like, “You should just win American Idol” or “I really think the answer is that you need an agent… you can double your income with your writing”. What, Dad?

But I truly, truly love that about him. I used to die of embarrassment during my teenage years when I knew I was quite a “middle of the road” singer, and he referred to me as “the superstar”. Haha!

About an hour after our conversation, after I checked those blogs that were devoid of new entries, I checked my e-mail… and there was a note from my Dad… another awesome message, with no punctuation (which he refuses to use in e-mail), 99% practical, and then this, referring to a movie we watched together as a family when I was home for Christmas:

“don’t worry-as they say in the best exotic marigold hotel-‘ it will always work out in the end and if it hasn’t worked out yet then it isn’t the end yet.’ love, dad”

True story, Dad.

I got almost-teary, and thought it was a pretty good reminder that while things are ALMOST settled here, I’m still settling in… Granted, it’s perhaps the LONGEST EVER settling in process in history, but the plan is always changing and evolving and growing… and it just keeps getting better- Truly. But change is challenging, and change is constant. I am mid-journey…It is NOT the end. But every step along the way is just part of the whole picture… and that’s the adventure of this one wild and precious life.

I love it.

To steal another favorite quote, “What will you do with this one wild and precious life?”

My plan is still evolving….But it’s pretty magical.



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