Monday, January 17, 2011


Take a deep, slow breath. Hold it for a few seconds. Slowly exhale.

I had a busy end to an even busier semester, a couple of weeks off with my family and friends, and now I've spent the past two weeks going non-stop. I've had nine interviews, with two left to go. I've traveled to four different states, with one more to travel to tomorrow. Flown on 10 flights, with 2 more to go. Ridden 12 miles in a car to go to Oklahoma. I've got 11 more hours of car travel to go this week. I've talked about my strength, my growth areas, my most challenging supervision experience, what my clients have taught my, and what my goals are for internship countless times. I've asked over and over again, "What is your supervision style? How does your staff support intern self care?"

When I haven't been traveling to interviews, I've been working as a hall director, training RAs, opening the hall. Fortunately I've been able to see some dear friends in the past week, but even those times felt fast and furious. Most mornings I've been waking around 6am, and trying to go to bed earlier to accommodate those early mornings. I've had a couple of mornings where I was able to sleep in, and boy, did I take advantage of them. I've finished two books, am over halfway through a third, and a third through a fourth. I've been sick with a cold and suffered from an upset stomach after an unfortunate encounter with Thai food. I got an Android that now keeps me connected to gmail, facebook, google reader, weather forecasts, etc.

And now I'm taking some moments to breathe, sitting in a lovely coffee shop in Knoxville. I've prepared my questions for this interview tomorrow, already drove by it to make sure I know where to park, and soon I'll meet up with the friend that I'm staying with and we'll talk and catch up and go to dinner. But for now, this time is mine. Finally.

These past few weeks have been exciting, but oh I'm craving more time to slow down like this. More time for myself. More time to just breathe. This semester, I hope to have more free time than usual. I've kept dreaming up ways to fill that time - cycling, dance lessons, yoga classes, studying a foreign language. I've been so excited to finally have time for non-academic things like this, but maybe I don't need to fill up my hours with more time commitments, even if they are things that I love and will enjoy. Maybe I need to make this the semester where I finally learn how to slow down - or at least start trying to more. Maybe I'll drop into the chapel to pray. Maybe I'll go to a coffee shop and only bring a novel to read for my own pleasure. Maybe I'll take a slow walk around campus with no destination.

Maybe I'll start moving slower.

I am an eleven

“You love purple, it must be your favorite color.”

The man in the black turtleneck standing next to me in the airport terminal tram commented. He was in his 50’s probably but had a youthful grin as he spoke excitedly.

“You must be a 7 or an 11.”

I had no idea what this meant, but the mention of the number “11” caught me off guard, as that’s my favorite number.

“Yeah, I love purple,” I replied, “That’s because I’m a TCU Horned Frog.”

“No, no, you must be a 7 or 11.” He obviously didn’t care about the Horned Frogs, but continued to speak and spout questions rapidly.

“What month were you born? 7 or 11? What day?”

When I told him I was born on the 11th, his excitement grew.

“See, I knew you were an 11!”

“11’s like purple?”

“11’s are great leaders, great advisers, and they get better as they get older. You’re great at sales! I bet you could sell ice to an Eskimo!”

I laughed, “No, that’s not true of me.”

“Yes it is, well, maybe you’re not great at sales now, but you will be. You’ll get better as you get older. What year were you born?”

I told him, and he made some calculations with my birthdate, and continued his speale.

“That means you’re a 3-11! 95% of the country’s greatest sales people are 3-11s. They make millions of dollars. People like you, that’s why you’re good at sales. I do this for a living, I go to companies and talk with their employees about this.”

I just smiled and let him continue to rant about what a great salesperson I am, and as he exited, he said something finally that was true of me.

“It’s great being an 11, besides, you’ve got all that nervous energy.”

Then the most interesting comments followed.

“That’s because you don’t know why you’re here.” He looked me in the eyes as he passed to exit the tram, “And that, is the portal of God.”