Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Four years ago, in August 2006, I found myself about to embark on a great adventure.  I graduated from college in December 2005, excited about finishing school, less excited about leaving my dear friends, and even LESS excited about the very detailed plan that I had for the immediate future.

Go back home and figure out what the _____ to do next. 

Yikes, terrible plan.  “Home” was no longer really that, but rather the place where I spent the earlier years of my life, before college, before my parents’ divorce.  Whatever it had become, it was anything but comforting and familiar.  College had become home.  My friends had become home, comfort, and my familiar.  I loved college.  I dreaded having to leave each summer to spend the break in Michigan with the pieces that remained of what was once my life.   My childhood home belonged to another family.  My family had scattered across the country, with only a few remaining.  The few friends I still called close had continued on with their own education,  jobs and families and were used to me living over 1,000 miles away.  They were used to me no longer calling this place home.  But, it was still home for them.

Alas, I didn’t have some fancy job lined up in a great city.  I didn’t even have a decent job established in an average city.  I guess, I wasn’t really what you would call a planner, it’s not like I didn’t think it about the future or try to make a plan… I just had absolutely NO idea what to do next.  I felt less prepared for the future than I had, when I started school in 2002.  Oh, the blissful ignorance of being  a  college freshman.  Oh, the startling horrors of being a college senior.   I can’t even count how many times our Student life leaders told us to calm down and breathe because life was going to be ok.  I think it helped, maybe?

There I was with my Bachelors of Arts in English, my great ambitions and dreams, a strong sense of adventure, and of course, zero plan.

I went back to Michigan.  I lived with my mom in her apartment, just miles from what I had called home.  I looked for a job for months.  I finally got a job, the farthest from anything resembling my dream… serving at another restaurant.   Are you kidding me? No, seriously, are you kidding me? Was this really happening to my life?

Little note: I had spent the past four years working at an Italian restaurant that is very similar to my own name.  While it was a very good job for me during school, I sure did not love it.  Even more, I really never wanted to be employed in food service again. Even more than that, I didn’t want to move back home after college.

Guess what, there I was…. a server, living at home. Nightmare.

Needless to say, those beginning months of 2006 were not a highlight in my life, other than a slight distraction that helped make it bearable and ended as they usually did.    I knew I needed something, to go somewhere, to find an adventure worthy of my adventurous soul.  I considered being a nanny, but taking care of other people’s children is not my forte, so happily that happened.  I considered going back to school, for something, in some exotic foreign place, but I suppose, if you are going to incur more student loans, you should really know what  you actually want to do. 

I searched and searched and one day, I stumbled upon what could have been the greatest scam fiasco of my life or an honest-to-goodness adventure….a Christian non-profit, travel the country, present character building, school assemblies, work with students, small stipend, many expenses paid.    I was intrigued.  I was interested, but I knew very little about it all.  I talked to a really nice girl in the office and was assured that no one was going to kidnap me the moment I got off the plane; this comforted my skeptical family at least a little, but they were convinced that every scam artist would say the same thing.  It was a real gig. I was going to California.   I was going to spend the next year traveling the United States, bringing a positive message to students who were in great need of hope and encouragement.   I knew nothing about setting up audio visual equipment.  I barely even liked driving.  But, something in me said yes.  I had no idea what would come out of this little journey.  I planned on writing a book during my travels, which would launch my great writing career.  I planned on making new friends, seeing new places, and learning new things.  I, certainly, did not planning on meeting any boys who might change my life.    This adventure was for me.

So, four years ago,  in August 2006, I boarded a plan for Tampa, Florida, for a very much needed time with friends.  I happily helped coordinate the wedding of a dear, beautiful pal, whose little girl is now betrothed to my son.  From Tampa, I took a red-eye, 5 hour flight to Los Angeles, California, wearing my favorite patched/torn jeans, a light grey track jacket, and a conductor hat.

Because, I had no idea what was going to happen next and at least, I wanted to look good.

1 comment:

  1. Liv, it is so funny that you write about your life 4 years ago, because just yesterday, I was thinking about exactly how many life events have happened to me since August of 2006. I met Nate around this time 4 years ago, and even though I didn't know it then, I was on the brink of what I knew as "my life" coming to an end, and the start of " my life" as I know now. Loved reading your story! : )


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