Hampden, ME. Odette: Hard at Work. November 4, 2017
Hampden, ME. Odette: Hard at Work. November 4, 2017
I’ve been absolutely terrible at keeping up with this blog. Grad school has been a total whirlwind and I don’t even know where to begin, so I guess I’ll start at the beginning (it’s a very good place to start)
I moved down to Keene and quickly realized that craigslist roommates are never a good idea. I ended up commuting back to Maine every week. The foliage was absolutely gorgeous, but regrettably, it’s very hard to take pictures and drive. I got into my first fender bender (whoops). I moved back to Maine at the end of the semester and transferred to the online program. I’m in week two and I’m already behind on the reading, I blame the postal service because I still don’t have two of the books I ordered a month ago. It’s fine, this is why libraries exist.
Overall this season has challenged me to take a submitting and surrendering to God’s will for my life. I’m slowly and painfully learning to be at peace and trust in God has an astounding, stunning plan for me. I can run myself ragged, and draw up ornate plans, but ultimately the only plan that matters is his. Capitulating to this truth sounds so easy and freeing in theory, but it is so difficult to take that step of ultimate faith. This isn’t a new struggle for me, by any stretch of the imagination. I like being in control, I like micromanaging, I like knowing what the game plan is an having my ducks in a row. Every time I leave all my doubts and concerns at the altar, I turn around and I’ve subconsciously snatched all those concerns back, God forbid I actually really, truly, deeply surrender all of my fears and my apprehensions right?
And now you’re basically all caught up. I’ll start editing and posting pictures soon (I promise). Until then I’ll leave you with the following Bible verse:
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” – Proverbs 19:21
What I’m listening to
Reckless Love – Bethel
Trust in You – Lauren Daigle
P.S. you get brownie points if you recognized the Sound of Music joke in the opening paragraph.
Georgetown, ME; Indian Point Beaches at Low Tide ( July 26, 2017 )
Georgetown, ME; Cormerant and Ocean Ducks ( July 28, 2017 )
Kennebec River near Popham Beach, ME ; Osprey Chick( July 12,2017 )
Today I was browsing through my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist and I stumbled on a song/spoken word piece called Almost by Your World Within. As a young adult at a crossroads, this recording really spoke to me.
I’ve been so fixated on the changes happening in my life right now, I’m half moved into my new apartment, I’m ordering textbooks and clearing out my wardrobe. There’s so much furniture I have yet to buy, so many bills I have yet to pay, and there’s so much uncertainty. The reminder that I will miss 100% of the shots I don’t take is a pertinent one. I know what I’m doing, I’m in the process of making huge changes, but the underlying uncertainty is gnawing away at me. I’m looking at other kids my age, some with jobs, others attending grad schools like me and I can’t help but wonder; am I the only one who has literally no idea what I’m doing? How is everyone else so certain about what they want to do for the rest of their lives?
I’m beginning to realize that perhaps I don’t need complete certainty. Maybe I won’t have total confidence. I don’t know if I’ll ever be totally self-assured in anything. I question, I second guess, and I debate every decision I make. And then I rinse and repeat for good measure. I’m making peace with the fact that being indecisive, tentative, and hesitant are all part of my nature. My goal is simply to make peace with God and trust him to make up for my deficiencies. Where I am hesitant and unsure, I will turn to him for confidence. Where I am afraid, I will rely on him for courage. I am not called to be perfect, I am simply called to be the best version of me I can be, and have faith that he will provide what I lack.
“Indeed, our lives are guided by faith, not by sight.” II Corinthians 5:7
These past two weeks have been a personal hiatus for me, largely from social media. One of my best friends visited me and we spent almost an entire week at my beach house; truth be told this little vacation forced me to step back from social media and the blog because there is no internet on the island. I spent that week soaking up some sun and exploring the coast (pictures coming soon! promise!). After she left I came face to face with the realization that my life is changing, in a very permanent way. This isn’t a realization that’s a complete smack in the face. I know that the past year of my life has been an intermission. The next year of my life will be the first I’ve spent away from friends and family, in a new city and a new state, pursuing my education. I completed my undergraduate degree in Maine, half an hour from the town I called home for the past 12 years.
I am, for the first time ever, venturing out on my own, and what’s more, I know that when I complete this degree I will be going to another new city, finding another new apartment, and starting my life as an adult. I am in the awkward in between period between adulthood and childhood, and if I’m honest I’m completely terrified. For so long I’ve always thought I knew my steps in life. I knew where I was going and what I was doing; and when that was unsure about all else, I knew who I was supposed to marry. The end of my previous relationship was abrupt, painful, and surreal. I acknowledge it might have been necessary, but for all of my adult life, I have honestly thought that relationship would be a constant in my life. The realization that I am simply not enough to fulfill any one person’s needs has been humbling.
In the midst of all this uncertainty and fear, I’m blessed to have my mother supporting me and functioning as a personal cheerleader. When I’m binge-cleaning because I’m so stressed I can’t even face the concept of packing my clothes, she’s calling my aunt and grandmother and being a prayer warrior. She’s reminding me that even though I’m scared, this is the right step for me and I’m going to love my new life. I am honestly blessed beyond measure to have such an invested, caring, loving mother. I know that she’s afraid to have her last bird leave the nest (despite being the middle child somehow I’m the one who has taken the longest moving out), but even in the middle of her empty nest syndrome she’s cheering me on and reminding me that she’s always a phone call, or if it’s really bad a road-trip, away.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” – Isaiah 43:18-19
What I’m listening to:
God Help Me – Plumb
All In – Matthew West
Hello all, sorry it’s been a few days since I posted. As it often does, life got hectic. My youngest cousin decided to come up for Connecticut and visit us, so this week has been an absolute whirlwind so far. Yesterday my little sister, my cousin, and I all were getting a little bit of cabin fever and feeling a touch landlocked, so we decided to go for a drive, and after a series of confused GPS directions, and several wrong turns until we found ourselves in Belfast. It’s about an hour southwest of Bangor, and it’s a charming little town right on the ocean. There are beautiful ship-yard and antique houses with loads of charm. We spent most of the morning popping in and out of some clothing stores and debating where to eat lunch while admiring the river, the boats bobbing in the Passagassawakeag (try saying that three times fast!) river which connects to the Salty, Atlantic, Penobscot Bay.
Belfast, ME (Repurposed, Recycled, Repainted Buoys); June 27,2017
After several frenetic Google searches of local establishments that we walked by, we eventually settled on the Lookout Bar & Grill, which is located right near the shipyard on Front Street. The food was absolutely amazing, but the real heroes were their bloody marys which had plenty of olives, limes, and lemons and a locally sourced pickled fiddlehead. Now if you’re not from Maine or New England, chances are you’re a bit confused right now, and you’re only going to get more confused. Mainer’s are nothing if not innately original. In the early spring, when all the plants are just beginning to wake up and bloom, we go out into the bogs and collect baby ferns, still curled tight and tender.
This is NOT my photo, the growing season has passed and I don’t have any fresh fiddleheads on hand. Click the picture to be linked to the source of this content.
After a vigorous washing to get rid of the pine needles, dirt, and dead fern residue we then steam or pickle our crop for consumption. I’ve had steamed fiddleheads many times, with butter and a little vinegar. They’re a unique flavor, pleasantly bitter, crunchy, and with a strong flavor that is slightly reminiscent of asparagus. In addition to being a local ingredient, you can literally go into the woods and pick, Fiddleheads are chock full of vitamin A and C (which is part of why they’re so bitter), they have boatloads of iron, potassium, and fiber too. All in all these little emeralds are tasty and super healthy for you. I ended up asking the waiter if I could purchase some of their pickled fiddleheads and bought a pint of them for $8. Generally, I wouldn’t pay that much for any type of pickle, but fiddlehead harvesting is labor intensive, and this was a local product, so I decided it was worth it.
Jar of Pickled Fiddleheads; June 28, 2017
Pickled Fiddleheads; June 28, 2017
I feel like it’s worth noting that the local bar we visited also offered fiddleheads deep fried, I totally regret not ordering that dish and it’s definitely on my “to eat” list now.
I was collecting sea glass in the early hours of the morning this weekend when I heard a still, small voice that simply said “you are enough”. Honestly, for people with confidence and high self-esteem, that’s not a revelation, but I am constantly questioning my own worth, my own value, and my own purpose. The realization that I am enough, even if others chastise me for falling short, was liberating.
As I stood in front of the roaring ocean, engulfed by fog, I felt the weight of a thousand damning comments lifting from my shoulders. Despite what those closest to me may say, or what a stranger mutters under their breath, I am enough. Truthfully, I have heard this repeated in sermons, spoken by counselors, or whispered by siblings, but until I heard it from this still, small voice I never took it to heart.
The reminder that I do not answer to my fellow humans, but rather to my creator is a lesson that will bear repeating. However in that moment, when I needed it the most, it gave me freedom from the concerns that cloud my head and weigh me down.