I love experiences because they tell good stories and teach good lessons. So in the past few months, I've added a few stories to my collection. Moving into an apartment being one of them. That's where a majority of my stories and experiences originate.
Like how to manage your money well.
With as many hours as I work and my expenses, there's usually not much left over. Between gas (commuting 1600 miles a month), insurance, rent, cable, electric, groceries, and a meal out here and there it gets pretty costly. But people experience far worse.
I also learn how to manage time well.
To get you on the same page, here's a look at my weekly schedule:
- Wake-up at 7
- Commute 7:45-8:30
- Class 9-3
- Commute 3-3:45
- Work 3:45-6
- Homework 6-? (Also have Community Bible Study Monday Nights)
- Wake-up at 6
- Commute 6:45-7:30
- Class 8-3
- Commute 3-3:45
- Work 3:45-6
- Homework 6-? (Also have another Bible Study Tuesday Nights)
- Wake-up at 8:30
- Meet with Music Pastor for Breakfast round 9
- Work 11-6
- Free Time/Shooting photography for local high school football teams
- Wake-up at 7:30
- Work 8:15-12
- Rest/Nap/Free Time or whatever
- Wake-up at 9:30
- Help with Jr. High 10:15-12
- Lunch with friends
- Homework (naturally I wait the last second for this)
Schedule isn't that bad but after a few weeks it can get pretty exhausting. Especially when freelancing in my free time. But I like staying busy. It always gives me something to do and, though I love to sit back and relax, keeps me from being bored.
But besides the "earthly" lessons I have learned about responsibility, growing up, and being in the "real world" I have noticed revelations along the way that hit me on a deeper level. Such as, what I want when I'm older. As easy as money can make things, I value my time more than money and that will continue. I would much rather spend time with my family and friends than working more hours for more pay. I don't want money to be the foundation of my decisions or happiness because, as the saying goes, you can't take that with you. I would much rather make memories with the ones I love and care about. And along the lines of family, and I mean future family, I've come to learn and mature in what I want and need in a future wife. With the past few months going by concerning my dating life, if that's what you'd call it, I've come to desire something a little bit more intimate than what society might call a casual relationship. Those aren't satisfying. With what I've learned regarding those, I made a vow to myself. That vow is to not kiss another girl unless it's my wife. I understand that can be confusing because you won't really know until you KNOW her. So my plan is my next "first kiss" to be when I propose. The thought behind this is, it'll give me a chance to get to know the person I'm interested in without worrying about when the physical part should set it. That just complicates things and I don't like complicated. Simplicity is underrated.
Helping with the Jr. High has also taught me a few things; endurance being one of them. Being a counselor in a youth group is great accountability. And that's what I try to use it for. I can't be helping and teaching these hormone crazed youngins knowing I'm not living the life that I'm trying to help them live. Otherwise it's void. Patience is another key thing. You can't expect too much out of 7th and 8th graders, that is when comparing them to college aged kids. Otherwise you're setting yourself up for disappointment and an advil. That's why I try to have fun, be spontaneous, present the main point for that sunday in a way they can relate and think on....then move on. A wise man once said, "Present the gospel everywhere you go. If necessary, use words." Soooo true when mentoring to kids who look up to you. They're smart enough to raise questions on their own and they'll present you with those when the time's right.
Basically the 3 key things I've learned, and I've learned more that come with some hilarious stories. But I realize an attention span is hard to keep so I'm gonna stop here.
One last thing to meditate on that you shouldn't learn the hard way:
If a kid ever asks, "Where do babies come from?" Never, and I must reiterate, NEVER tell them to google it.