Friday, April 12, 2013

"PEOPLE"

I am a people person.
I am that person that you see in the really long line for the popcorn. I turn around and make a joke to you, and then 15 minutes later I am still talking to you.
You know what kind of person I'm talking about, right?
When I took my job as a Tax Preparer, I knew it would be a good fit for me because of how intrigued I am with people's lives. I guess it may stem from my own background, but I have come to know that everyone has a story. There is a reason for every action that they make, and it is embedded deep within their roots. It would take you years to scratch the surface and begin to understand part of why they are who they have become. I have found this to be true in my own marriage. I had no idea how little I knew my husband before I married him :-)
I work many hours in the tax kiosk in Kalsipell WalMart.
When I was interviewing for my job, I told my manager that my ideal work environment would be a place where I am constantly surrounded by people. She responded by telling me that I might get lonely in the WalMart location. I thought this was strange considering how many hoards of people I see when I go down to the store on any given day. I am the only one in my location who enjoys working that kiosk, and have spent plenty of time scheduled there.
I may not work on quite as many returns, but I get the opportunity to interact with hundreds of people on a day-to-day basis. Granted, not all of these people are happy to see me. I have even experienced some very humbling moments in my time at the store. All-in-all, though, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.
I have learned so much about myself just by paying strict attention to how I react to people that are reacting to me, and I was recently reminded of a past experience because of an encounter I made.
When I was a freshman in high school, I attended Nation FFA Convention in Louisville, KT.
I don't remember her name, but I will never forget the words of one of the Key-Note Speakers. (I do remember that she was from Australia.)
 She spoke about Wallies and Charlies.
Wallies are the type of people who will walk into the room and drain the energy. They are often negative in their views about anything in general. When you encounter a Wally, you may feel uncomfortable, tired, upset, or even unsure of yourself. Wallies love company, but if you spend too much time with them, they can really drag you down.
Charlies, on the other hand, are very positive in their outlook on life. They are outgoing, energetic, and optimistic. If you aren't ready for a Charley, they'll most likely leave you behind in the dust.
I remember thinking at the time that I need to do everything I can to become a Charley. Now that I have matured some, though, I'd say it is good to be a balance of both.
Through my daily interactions with people, I have found that you can truly make an impact on their lives. You need to have an energy to create a bond between you and those you interact with. This energy creates a feeling of excitement and desire to know more about the person. You also need to be calm enough to empathize with people. You don't ever want a person to feel that you don't have time for them, and empathizing with people creates a bond of trust.
I honestly believe that these two factors worked together, in the perfect balance can be the key for anyone who struggles interacting with people.
I would like to add one more thing.
Christ speaks about becoming like a little child.
There are many children that come through this store each day, and watching them is one of the reasons these ideas were stirred in my mind. I am really beginning to see what He means when he says this, through my observations of children. I have met some amazing adults, and I have met some adults that really had me wishing our time together would pass quickly. It is the children, however, who I will never grow tired of greeting. I feel they are the masters of this feat. They will pass by my kiosk and smile and wave. I watch babies look at the world around them in awe, and look at their parents with pure love and happiness. The children always have time to laugh, and be jubilant, like a Charley. They are also aware, and empathetic, like a Wally. I am amazed at how much we can learn from the little children!
I am so grateful for my job and all that I have learned here!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Year, New Beginnings

I met up with Andrew again two days after Christmas. Over the next week we spent lots of time together and I remember a conversation I had with my mother after he left her house one night.
She reminded me of a comforting conversation she had shared with me just a few months earlier...
I was still confused about the situation with 'serious boy' and sat in the car with her discussing what I should do. She told me that no matter how hard she tried she had never felt that he and I would be together. My mom gets very strong feeling about some things in life and she told me that the person I would end up with would have a name that was two syllables to some, but one to others. 'Serious boy' is actually named Levi, and I could see that he didn't fit her description. She also told me she had always felt that I would end up with someone with dark hair and eyes, and Levi had blue eyes and strawberry-blond hair. We joked about her predictions, but I had forgotten about them until she brought it back up that night. Andrew is known by many of his high school friends as 'Drew' and as I sat there talking with my mom, the feelings that had been growing inside me were somewhat confirmed. I couldn't believe my mom was sitting here telling me that Andrew was the person I would most likely be spending the rest of my life with... I didn't want to jump into anything too quickly, though. Andrew was going to be going back to Laramie in a few days. I decided we'd just see what would happen and didn't hold too much weight on my mom's ideas. I do know that I felt that he was the one for me, but I figured if that were the case then everything would work itself out so I didn't worry about it.
Andrew and I spent New Year's Eve together with some friends from high school. That was the first year I'd ever gotten a New Year's kiss! It was a great night. : )
A few days later, Andrew headed back to school. We opened up a Skype account for me so that we could actually talk to each other face-to-face. Technology is absolutely amazing! I missed him, but he would be graduating in March and I figured I could handle three months apart from him. I couldn't wait to see him as soon as he headed home though!
...

One of THOSE girls...

To continue on with the LOVE STORY...
I finished up my semester at school on the first week of December 2010. Andrew would be coming home for two weeks and we were texting each other with plans to meet soon after he arrived.
I decided I would like like to spend some time with my dad's family and moved down to Blackfoot for a few months, as I wouldn't be back in school until May of 2011. I would spend my time working at one of my favorite Blackfoot restaurants, Melina's, and because of my work schedule, finding time to meet Andrew was difficult. We had decided we would meet in Idaho Falls and go bowling. It was December 23rd, and I wasn't sure when I would see him again because our families wanted us home for Christmas.
I don't know if what we were doing was a date, or just two friends meeting to 'hang out' but our plan to bowl failed when we found that there were leagues that night. Much to my chagrin, we opted for a movie night instead. (I feel movies block the chance of getting to know someone) When we finally got across town to the theater, the only movie we were interested in was The Voyage of the Dawn Treader from CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. The movie was in 3D. I think movies are overpriced when they are 2D and 3D is absolutely outrageous. Needless to say I felt bad when I realized how much it would cost, but Andrew insisted on paying for me. (As I said, I still wasn't sure that this was a date... I would be more clear on that matter before the night was over!)
Have you ever played pinkie-tag?
Well, if you don't know what I'm talking about, let me tell you that very shortly into the movie I noticed Andrew had left the arm rest between our seats up... and his hand was resting on his thigh...
I took this as an opportunity to have some fun. :-)
I put my hands down in my lap and watched as moment, after moment, his hand slowly moved closer to my leg. (I think it is strange that he had the nerve to squeeze my knee-cap so easily before, but going for my hand was talking him forever... I decided I should give him some sign that it would be OK if he wanted to hold my hand. I put both hands down at my sides on the seat of my chair. Like clockwork, Andrew's hand moved even closer, until our pinkies touched... at this point I think he lost some nerve and pulled away some.
(If you asked me today what the movie was about, I wouldn't be able to tell you anything but the ending... I love what Aslan says at the end of that movie...)
Well, this went on for about ten minutes, when suddenly he grabbed my hand and clasped it to his own.
Then we made eye contact and Handel's Hallelujah Chorus started playing while I got the stupidest cheesy grin on my face. I was finally able to pay attention to what was actually happening on screen!
After the movie, we went to Baskin Robbins. Working that evening was the sweetest man. He was just funny and very kind, and made sure that our ice cream experience was a great one. We hadn't noticed until he pointed out, but we were both wearing the same color green with black jackets and blue jeans. We laughed about it that night, but as time went on we would often dress alike without planning it. I thought that was so strange.
I loved driving around town with Andrew because he was so easy to talk to. I found that time flew by when we were together and the night was over before I knew it. He took me back to my car at the bowling alley, but we still sat and talked for about three hours. It had been so long since we had seen each other, there was plenty to talk about.
Finally, Andrew walked me to the door of my car and gave me a hug before I left. What happened next came as such a surprise to me I thought I was going crazy. I suddenly had the strongest urge to kiss him, and as we had just hugged, we were standing very close together. I had no idea what had possessed me, but I reached up and gave him a small, quick peck on the lips. I smiled, then turned and hopped into my car as I told him to call me and we could meet up the next week. He smiled back and walked to his pickup...
(Now I just have to say that the kiss was NOT planned by any means. I had kissed so few boys, you could count them on one hand. Also, the boys that I had kissed I had always been dating for a while before we kissed. I was not the type of girl who would ever kiss a guy on the first date, but driving away that night, I felt that I had done the right thing, and I couldn't wait to see him again!)