Lessons of the Trade

November 17, 2014

So whenever someone I haven’t seen in a while sees me 9 times out of 10 they’re first question is… So how many jobs do you have now? That’s because ever since I was old enough to get working papers, I have pretty much worked just about everywhere, many times simultaneously. I’ve been a recreation counselor, cashier, waitress at multiple restaurants, bank teller, contractor’s assistant, kids cooking instructor… I could literally keep going on forever.

But now I can officially add nanny to the list!

That’s right, after having moved out of a job in New York, I have joined the world of nannying to 3 beautiful kiddies (a newborn, a 5 yr old and a 10 yr old)! I gotta say it’s something completely new to me and yet not so new. Growing up in such a large family, I’m no stranger to kids. One baby sister and 11 nieces and nephews… the fun never ends. And yet it’s still such a fresh and new experience for me. I find myself learning something new everyday…

1. I don’t want kids for a while. lol

Now don’t take this the wrong way. I love kids. I’ve always loved kids, and many a times people have heard me say “I WANT BABIES!” But the dream of having babies and the reality of becoming a mother are two different things. I’ve learned not to confuse the two. There is a joy in becoming a mother that I long to experience but being honest with myself, I’m just not ready for the responsibility that comes with it. It’s one thing to watch a child and then give it back to its rightful owner. It’s quite another to be fully invested, morning, noon, and night for the duration of a lifetime. I say this only because there is such a rush forced upon my life to be married and start a family and yet I’ve realized that I’m still young. There’s still so much to do and learn in the meantime. If nannying has taught me anything its that I’m not in a rush. It’s not something I am ready for and perhaps I never will be, but I know this… not me, not know. (Especially since I’m still very single. lol)

2. Kids are hilarious. 

My little kindergardener says the most hilarious things daily. For real I can’t stop laughing. I find myself needing to write down all the funny things she says just so I can remember them all. If that show Kids Says the Darndest Things was still on, this girl would definitely be on it. She keeps me on my toes and keeps the job fun.

3. Kids are sponges. Soaking wet, adorable sponges.

To have such an influence in a child’s life is extraordinary. Whether you’re a parent or a nanny, these kids watch your every moving, learning from your every word and action. (Monkey see, monkey do.) They crave your attention and most of all your leading. I’ve realized the effect that each individual has in a child’s life. God’s given us a place in  to be an influence of love, peace and righteousness to these kids through His Spirit. To be able to be that in someone else’s home is an honor in itself.

4. One day I’ll be a great mother. 

This is not to sound cocky, but to say that whether it is a matter of family or nannying, I have a heart for kids. To see them grow up, to encourage them and to simply love them. I can’t wait for the day when I have kids of my own, but until then I’m happy knowing that I’m learning a lot already.

So safe to say the new job is going well. Since the move from NY my stress levels have definitely gone down although I will need a back massage every now and again from carrying this baby all day lol.

So for all you nannies out there, I’ll leave you with some advice that a good friend gave me from all of her experience in the trade…

“Let kids be kids. Children are losing their innocence so fast these days. Climb on the monkey bars, swing on the swings and all that messy stuff. Let them get their hands dirty. Keep it simple and have fun.”

Leaving NYC

October 9, 2014

2014-07-28 12.28.58

Monday was my last day working in NYC. I came to the city last year right after the holidays to pursue my dream of working in the music industry. Definitely not an easy task and I was told multiple times by concerned elders. But my first opportunity out of college popped up at Warner Music Group, home of Atlantic records, Reprise Records, ADA and some of my favorite artists Needtobreathe, Ed Sheehan, Lianne Lehavas… A temporary position as a front desk receptionist. Great foot in the door.

2014-04-10 16.13.03-1

It’s been almost about a year since then. I have met so many great people there. People who have supported me and were willing to sit down for lunches and talks about how to get my resume looking classy. And just people to swap stories with. And I’ve worked side by side with people going after the same dream and experiencing the same real struggle. Interview after interview. Application after application. The entire process is daunting but still, the goal is to keep trying just to land the job. 

IMG_1120IMG_1119

Eventually I started to get really good at interviewing, so good that I didn’t Sony kept calling me back for more interviews to positions I didn’t even apply for. But I grew tired of interviews; and I don’t know if it was confidence in my interview abilities or a feeling of defeat form not landing a job, but I just stopped preparing for them. I stopped getting excited enough to practice my best answers to the top 20 most asked interview questions.  And that’s exactly how I went into my last interview… flippantly confident and unprepared. Perhaps a bit more unprepared for what I was getting myself into than I thought. 

The job on the table was a promotions assistant. Assistant to two really great bosses who specialize in getting songs AirPlay on top 40. They gave it to me pretty straight in the interview. They were looking for an assistant who would learn the ropes the ins and outs of promotion and then when my card gets pulled, they would ship u out to anywhere in the United States and I would become regional manager for radio promotion in that region. Are u willing to relocate? Ummmm… To be honest i had no idea how to answer. I mean, potential for regional manager in just two years with the prospect of making some serious dough? Can you say cha-Ching? But that would require of course a lot of arduous time and effort, not to mention going to shows late at night, shmoozing with professionals tip 1 in the morning and still having to be up at six in the morning to make the long commute back home. Do busses even run this late? It means late night calls, dinners and parties at night clubs. It’s a 24/7 job. Are u ok with that? 

You know that moment in the interview where you don’t really know what to do with yourself but you also can’t show the panic on your face because of course you both want and need a job? Yea, that was me. The projection of this life-changing job was just too much to be thrown at me in a matter of a fifteen minute interview. 

I left the room kind of in a panic. Here it was everything I wanted right here in front of me but why did I feel so uneasy? Did I really want this? 

2014-02-21 08.51.22-2
It’s funny when God answers your prayers and you find out that it really wasn’t what you wanted at all. It took some digging and soul searching to find out the real reason why I wanted this job so badly or to be in the music industry in itself. Security. It was the next logical step after college. The safest bet for an aspiring artist. It was a secure career. 

Yes it was all of those things. One thing it wasn’t… It wasn’t me. 

It wasn’t something I wanted after all. What I wanted was security. What I wanted was a title. What I wanted was to say to others Look at my job! I’m really doing something great with my life! I’m not a failure!  But what good is it to gain the whole world and lose your soul? What good is it to lay my security in a job instead of the hands of God and the purpose he set up for me. I honestly feel like my true calling is somewhere in ministry, even though at this point I don’t know in what way that is going to come about. 
2014-03-21 13.45.22-2
And so, I turned down the job opportunity (most people thought I was crazy for that) and looked for a new opportunity. Something closer to home. It took almost a year to figure it out, but I don’t regret it. I connected with some amazing people many of whom have blessed my life in ways I will never forget. And the simple fact is that God in all his faithfulness leaves nothing to waste. Everything, every connection, every hour spent, every wrong turn, every misled desire… He will use it to bring about his perfect purpose as long as we remain in Him. So in whatever this adventure was for me, whether a wrong turn or a moment of seasonal growth, God’s behind it and He will use it for His glory.

So until the next adventure… so long New York!

2014-09-19 18.23.09

Birthing Something New

September 26, 2014

IMG_0970-1

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3)

“If I have learned one thing in ministry, it is that most God dreams take longer than we think, cost more than we ever thought we would have to pay, and are far more painful to birth than we ever imagined. Nothing great happens overnight.” – Christine Caine 

In this season of life, nothing seems to be more true. Sometimes it’s what I call the “Unbearable Wait” (pun intended). A season of breaking, pushing and pulling, stretching, fighting… and more subtly a season of strengthening, character, faith building and patient endurance.

Like a woman who is expecting, God is trying to birth something out of us, but the process is any thing but quick and easy. In this wait alone, we may grow weary/faint, our faith may turn into fear and doubt, because it seems like this baby (this weighty call/purpose dying to come forth) that God keeps talking about ain’t rearing it’s head anytime soon. Restlessness sets in; so does confusion and all of our flesh cries out GET ME OUT OF HERE! 

This journey in the waiting is a process. Any mother with new life cooking in the oven would prefer a full bake, but ask most pregnant women and they would have at some point during their pregnancy outwardly yelled GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME! way before their last trimester. But we all know what happens when you remove the baby from the womb before it’s appointed time… you get a premature child who may not be able to survive on it’s own or struggles more than they have to. In essence, You abort mission before it’s time of fulfillment and so ,you abort a dream.

If we want the fullness of the promise then we must allow the process to take its full course no matter how uncomfortable it may be. And that’s where we NEED to bring ourselves back to the word of God. I love Psalm 119:50:

This is my comfort in my affliction,
    that your promise gives me life.

Hold on to the promise, the Word of God over your life. It is our comfort in affliction. Our pickles and mayonnaise in times of intense craving for our future to begin so-to-speak. I know… weird metaphor but it kinda works lol.

Quite frankly, I’ve seen more disappointment this year than in many years before. I’ve doubted myself, doubted my dreams, doubted my calling and just about every decision I have made… but I refuse to give up my confession of faith in the promise God has for me. That’s not really by my choice either. God’s grace won’t let me walk away from the promise. When it seems that I’ve lost all hope, He reminds me… through a word, through a friend, through a prayer, through a sign. He won’t let me walk away from that which He has called me to. For that, I am grateful.

A very wise friend of mine wrote this week in her new blog post this week,

“Our waiting, does not, diminish us. It only speaks of something very real, on the way… like a pregnant woman who awaits the birth of her child.. we get more joy in the waiting. It’s coming, and it’s closer.”

So here it is, the Lesson of the day: Learn to wait well. Accept the process. Know that there’s always pain in the process but nothing truly great is birthed without it. You are being shaped, molded, and wonderfully made for the purpose you have been chosen for and called to like a baby in it’s mothers womb. And when the time comes, you will see the vision come to pass before your own eyes. Don’t despise the process. Focus on the joy of what you cannot yet see. Focus on the promise and Wait well.

“A woman does not give birth before she feels the pain;
    she does not give birth to a son before the pain starts.
No one has ever heard of that happening;
    no one has ever seen that happen.
In the same way no one ever saw a country begin in one day;
    no one has ever heard of a new nation beginning in one moment.
But Jerusalem will give birth to her children
    just as soon as she feels the birth pains.
In the same way I will not cause pain
    without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord.
“If I cause you the pain,
    I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation,” says your God. 

-Isaiah 66: 7-9