Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sometimes rain that's needed falls

I feel like a good week is drawing to a close.

Spring is a time for rejuvenation. I mentioned it in my last post, but I always go back to things in the spring, and think about those same things and how they might or might not affect what is to come. As new life springs to Williamsburg and it becomes one of the loveliest places you could ever want to be, I am struggling to put some regrets in the past and move forward. I've gotten a lot of things off my chest, talked about things I've been holding in for a while, and I just feel like I'm coming out on the other side of a dark time.

I have a wierd thing about the songs/movies/clothes that I love the most. I sort of like to save them. I like to reserve them for the times when I think of them and only THAT item at THAT moment is the right one. I rely a lot on the Shuffle feature of my iPod. I seriously do think God controls it sometimes. I'll be thinking about a song or a thing or a time and then the EXACT right song will come on. whether it was the song I was thinking of or something that is just perfectly fitted to my mood, Shuffle has come through on more occasions than I can count. My only complaint is that sometimes it favors songs over others. The randomness makes it almost not random, if that makes any sense at all.

I had a really good music day today. I put on some playlists that were remnants of mix CDs I made for people last year. Some seriously excellent selections came on and I was so happy they did. Now they are all swimming through my head and coursing through my veins and putting me in the mood where I don't care if people see me dance a little or I'll just sing a line from one out loud because I can't hold it in. There was also great music at church this morning AND when I went to a gathering tonight.

Maybe it's just been a good music weekend. I broadened my horizons by going to a place called Saddle Ridge on Saturday night with some friends. Virginia's answer to a honky-tonk. They are a chain, and they are in most major cities and spreading. Ours is in Hampton, so it's about a half-hour drive. Anyway, we first got there and I was very self-conscious because I (a) don't own cowboy boots, nor have any acceptable and cute western wear for going out, (b) never dreamed I would be in a position where I would need/want any of those things, and (c) also never dreamed I would willingly subject myself to country music and LINE DANCING. However, it was a combination of the music and the dancing that made my evening so much fun.

First, I get a kick out of the line dancing experts who add spins and extra kicks and hops and know that they are the leaders of the dance floor. They just kill me. The men particularly. Some of these men, and I'm only guessing here, strike me as the kind who would be shy and awkward in most other social situations. But since they can do this ONE thing, since they can line dance, they become extremely desireable commodities and very popular in this select enclave of culture. They get girls following them around to learn steps, they get their pick of dance partners, they just seem to feel really good about themselves out there, with the confidence that they know how to "Boot, Scoot and Boogy" or "Save a Horse and Ride a Cowboy".

So at first, I hid behind my plastic cup of cheap beer and observed the line dancing and watched as people would flood the floor for the dances they knew and saunter off when they didn't. And I watched the leaders quickly establish their dominance and pride in that dominance. And I secretly wanted to be a crazy country line-dancer. Then a certain song came on and I saw that the dance was pretty easy. I decided to go for it and join the ranks on the dance floor. I picked it up alright though there was a turn that I didn't get until the end of the song. But I had done it. Thankfully, the next thing they played was a lot like the electric slide, just a little more country, and so I could get that one too. Then they actually played the Electric Slide and that was easy, but so many people were on the dance floor it was hard to move.

Once I ventured out into a culture I always say how much I am NOT a part of and also don't want to be a part of, I had to eat my words about it a little bit. I had a really good time. Now, I know that I am still terrible at line dancing and probably made a fool of myself out there, but I'm glad I tried it. and I sure will do it again if the opportunity presents itself. They did play some current dance hits like Rhianna and some old school stuff.. AC/DC and Black Crowes as well as the mandatory, Mix-a-lot. So didn't always have to be in formation which I liked. The variety made it more accessible.

Monday is tomorrow and I'm looking forward to a somewhat quieter week at work. It will be busy but not fever-pitch again until school lets out. In the meantime I'll be working out my budget and trying to figure out how to bike to work and not be disheveled and sweaty when I arrive. Suggestions are welcome.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

One Year Anniversary

I realized that this weekend marks one year since I've been back from the tropics and one year since I've been in Williamsburg again.

I guess I wish more had changed than it really has. I feel like I'm closer to KNOWING what I want to do, but as for actually doing it, I'm still a ways off. I made a recent trip to the Career Services center at William and Mary to ask them about things I should be looking at or doing. They were helpful in pointing out resources, but the most interesting part of my visit there was when I first began chatting with the guidance lady, she asked me "so how long have you been out of school?" I answered two years. She said "You're right on time". Its so funny how predictable my generation is. It seems a great number of us get jobs right after college that we don't intend on making our careers and leave them after about two or three years.

So to update, in December I quit my job at the hotel. I feel like I have gotten a piece of my soul back since then. It took me a while to find a new job, but the one I did end up with was the last place I wanted to be: another hotel. I am the Concierge at an upscale golf resort in Williamsburg. I kept saying I wouldn’t work in another hotel and that I wanted to get out of the hospitality industry. I am still learning the lesson, never say never.

This operation is different in that I am part of a large corporation now, not a small, family-run business. There’s a good health-care plan, a standard employee training program, efficient employee enrollment processes… It’s so very different from anywhere I have ever worked before. I like being part of this well-oiled machine so far. My bosses are very kind people but they make it clear they would not tolerate lateness or any slacking off. They obviously love what they do. And my actual job, what I’m getting paid for, is helping people have a good time in a city that I actually really love.

When I’m traveling I’m about making the most of my vacations. Now I get to channel that back and help these people who come to stay do the same. I give them information on the myriad of things there are to do, daytrips to take, where to eat, where to go for entertainment. There’s so much. And I get to help them tailor it to their tastes and energy levels, and help them make their time here amazing. I really enjoy it.

I’ve only been doing it for four days, so my tune may change, but for now, I couldn’t ask for a better tide-me-over job so I can figure out what I need to be doing for real with my life. It’s fun.

What inspired me to write this entry today was the spring weather we got in Williamsburg this week, the daffodils that have started to come out, kids flying kites and the pool in the backyard being opened. I wouldn’t dare go in it yet, but it sure does mark a season change.

Also, because I am fighting some sort of cold/sore throat thing, I tried to just stay in today and rest. I slept for 12 hours last night and will retire early tonight as well. I have a feeling it was brought on by the sudden change in schedule in my life. From pretty much doing nothing to getting up early being busy all day. But because of the illness, I didn’t do a whole lot today. But I did watch every single conference championship game to be had on CBS today. And I watched all of the Selection Sunday proceedings. It’s the first time I’ve ever done that. I feel like I can make much better choices for my bracket now. It was fun to watch such tight competitions. I love spring sports.

Spring always makes me think. It’s notoriously a time I go back to thinking about cycles and comparing where I have been in previous years. I always get like this in Spring when the weather is tantalizing with the promise of permanent warmth soon. I keep thinking summer is almost here. But in truth, I need to wait about two more months. Busch Gardens opens next week, so do a lot of the other attractions. I am to prepare for the onslaught of visitors to the area, and I want this to be a great summer. I have every intention of it being one. For some reason, I feel like I wasted last summer. This summer, as it could be my last in the Burg, needs to be great.

Here’s to discovery and springtime.

Past Entries