This is not Goodbye.
But it is going to be the end of the Helper and Defender. My domain is expiring and it doesn’t make sense to renew it when I don’t have time to write here. As you know, at the beginning of the year I started another blog, The Picture Runner, to pursue my running and photography hobbies. I wanted a blog that was in a more specific niche with the hope that maybe one day I could be one of those people who blog for living. Will that ever happen? I don’t know. I’m not too concerned with that. For now, I’m having a great time running, taking pictures, and creating a site with good content and beautiful pictures.
When I first started this blog (in 2012), I wrote a post called “Starting with I don’t know.” It was supposed to be a sort of introduction about me and where the blog got its name. I never published it. Now it seems like a fitting way to say Goodbye.
It seems like such a simple question. People ask it to kids all the time: What do you want to be when you grow up? I never had a really good answer. In elementary school, I said I wanted to be a Doctor because I thought it was fun to give my parents “shots” with my little index finger. I think I also said I wanted to be an archaeologist because I liked to dig in the dirt in my backyard. In middle school, I said I wanted to be a teacher, probably because that was the job I saw the most. In high school, I felt under pressure to make an actual decision. I had No Idea. I felt like everyone else I graduated with knew what they wanted to do. How could that be? I’m salutatorian. I’m SUPPOSED to know. Not knowing what I want to be when I grow up was like failing the big test question of life. I didn’t know, but I knew I wanted to do something different, something really cool. So I went into the military.
That was definitely Different from what my friends were doing. I got selected to attend the US Air Force Academy and off I went. I made it through freshman year craziness and through the next few years of hard-core academics. But when senior year creeped up and we had to now choose our jobs for the Air Force, I was again in flurry of trying to figure out what I wanted to be. I still didn’t know and my answer was still the same: something different, something really cool. Vague, I know. Did I learn Nothing over the four years? I wasn’t pilot qualified because of poor eyesight so again I couldn’t do what my friends were doing. They all wanted to fly. Hey, so did I. I just wasn’t allowed (and actually I have terrible reflexes, I really don’t belong in the cockpit). So I picked Air Force Weather because I knew if I did that, I could jump out of planes.
And That was definitely Different and Very awesome, but it was short-lived and my Air Force career was not what I expected. I separated after seven years of service to go find What I REALLY wanted to do? I knew I didn’t want to do weather anymore. I tried to change careers. I was educated, experienced, driven, motivated, trainable. Isn’t that what employers are looking for? Maybe so. Maybe not. The economy is bad; employers feel they can be picky, etc. I tried many different avenues until I realized the only way I would get rehired was in my own field. I felt like I was doomed by one decision I made on an online form about 10 years ago. One little click and *POOF* I’m Stuck! As it turns out I was hired in the meteorological community. For now, I don’t intend on quitting my day job, but I refuse to be Trapped. I will break this mold. I know I was meant for something more. (Reminds me of that song by Switchfoot.)
When I started kindergarten, I decided I didn’t like my name because no one seemed to be able to pronounce it. I hated having to correct people. People always seem to read it Alexis, instead of Alexia. I’m sure Alexis is a pretty name to some but it was not MY Name. I told my mom I was going to change my name to Jennifer when I grew up because then everyone could pronounce it. Later on, around 4th or 5th grade, I discovered that my name meant “Helper and Defender of all mankind.” Since then I’ve seen other, shorter definitions, but this was the one that first got me interested in MY Name. It made it something special. Other people’s names just meant Beloved or Fair One or Blessed. To me, my name inspired action. Even in 4th or 5th grade, I thought WOW, look what MY name means. I need to live up to that.
Some people may say, well what’s in a name? Indeed. It’s something your parents come up with. They choose it before you’re born (usually) before even meeting the child they assign it to. But then, look at what name was given to God’s only son: Jesus, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. I think names are very important. However, I will say that I actually don’t really know a lot of people who place a lot of emphasis on their own name. For me it has always been part of my identity because it was different from my peers. So in coming back to what do I want to be when I grow up? My new answer is I don’t know, but with my focus on God, I will do his work for the glory of his holy name. And by doing so, I think then, I will live up to my own name and find what God wants me to be when I grow up.
Thank you for supporting me in this blog. It’s been fun and I learned a lot. Remember it’s not goodbye. You know where to find me.