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A Million Miles…

July 28, 2010

The following is a post I’m submitting in order to win a trip to Donald Miller’s Living a Better Story conference. I also hope it helps any future readers understand why I started this blog. Learn more about the conference here:

One of the most salient details of May 11, 2009 is the letter. A simple white envelope with my employer’s logo in the upper left corner. I was handed the envelope and read that I was being laid off after working as an editor for two years.

In A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller writes about an “inciting incident”–the thing that makes you change direction or begin finding a direction for the first time. I read A Million Miles several months after being laid off, while working part time in retail and wondering if I’d ever find full time employment and be able to stand on my own two feet again. Since being laid off, I’ve moved twice, lived in two different states, applied for countless jobs, had two part-time jobs, and lived with friends while trying to figure out my next step. So it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that the book came at just the right time. I started seeing the layoff as my inciting incident, rather than a crappy thing that happened to completely turn my day-to-day life on its head.

After reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, I’ve began to understand the importance of living a better story, and focusing on how to find and achieve that story. I’ve been working on laying out my own story and figuring out the future. I know my past and I’m working on my present, with the hope that my future will be something that glorifies God and uses the creative gifts he’s given me to work with and build relationships with others. For now that means laying out plans and figuring out details on being self-employed.

Being self-employed may sound like a small goal, and one that many people work toward–nothing special. But when I think about the last few years, I realize that it’s something I’ve wanted to do long before I was handed that white envelope. I’d spend every spare moment looking at design blogs, reading about trends in art, and reading books I wish I’d written. I’d stare out my office window, wishing I were sitting in a coffee shop surrounded by people and working on something creative. I would wonder when my dreams changed from never working in a traditional office, to finding any job in an office as long as it paid enough. I’d see that I had given up the discomfort of living my dream, for the comfort of a steady paycheck.

To put it plainly, I want my story to be about a girl who has a job she loves, using the creativity God gave her. I want it to be about a girl who works during the day, and continues working on her book in the evening, finally transferring the stories in her head to the page in front of her. A girl who looks at the clock and is disappointed that the day is going by fast, because she’s doing something she loves. I want to look back and see that my white envelope was really the first step in a journey that ended with publishing a book that has been in the back of my mind for years.

And that’s why I want to go to the Living a Better Story conference in Portland. I want the opportunity to lay out my goals and work with others to find the best way to achieve these goals. I’m hoping that by spending a couple of days at the conference, I’ll gain insight and clarity in how to live a better story and glorify God in my story.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 31, 2010 3:37 pm

    It sounds to me like God had a heavenly courier deliver that envelope… filled with new directions, new desires, and new determination. Keep up the excellent work of ‘working’ toward your book.

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