The end is just the beginning

I owe my friend, Brandi (sparrowanddandelions), an apology, and she’ll get it as soon as I am done with this post.  But right now I sit on my couch knowing that “my” church is no longer “my” church.
A year-and-a-half ago Brandi led me to an amazing church.  Less than 6 months later she left that church .  A year later I am leaving that church.
It would be really easy for me to sit here and list all the things that are wrong in that church, but it would all my opinion, and if I’m not working to fix the problems then by passing judgement I am part of the problem.
She left a year ago for reasons that I was not willing to see or believe at the time.  After all, the man who leads that church is a pastor, for goodness sake.  He would never do the things all of these other people were saying that he did or said.  He would never treat people the way others were saying he did.  I was so new to my faith that I had faith in everyone and everything . . . except for the people who were trying to open my eyes to the truth about the leader of that church.  I wasn’t ready to see it yet though.  But Gods works on each of us in his own way and in his own time.
Then last night the clock stopped ticking on my time at that church.
Another very good friend of mine at that church and her husband told me about things that pastor said to them, and about them to others in the church, that were blatant untruths.  Last night I watched as my friend cried, and her husband struggled with his disappointment and anger.
How can a man who is supposed to lead and teach us spiritually behave against all that he teaches?  How can a man who claims to live biblically, to run his church biblically, behave as if he is above the Bible?  How can he teach us one thing on Sunday morning and then look us in the eye the rest of the week as he does not practice what he preaches?
Last night I saw the man who leads that church for what he really is.  I saw him the way I was unable to a year ago.  I saw him the way Brandi was able to a year ago.
In the past year that church has been the unspoken white elephant between Brandi and me.  I have allowed that church to come in the middle of my friendship with Brandi, because I allowed myself to let the pastor influence my opinion of her negatively.  Now I am able to see that he is a leader that needs prayer, and a lot of it.  The judgemental side of also thinks he is a man who needs a few lessons in humility.
A year and a half ago that church fit me because I was fresh and sparkley new to my faith in Jesus.  But now that church no longer fits.  I am a different person than I was a year and a half ago.  I am in a very different place in my spiritual maturity.  It’s time to find a church that fits me.
Brandi, I am sorry that I allowed someone else to make me see you the way he wanted me to see you.  I’m sorry that I put him in the middle of our friendship.  I’m sorry that it took me a year to see it.
Until next time . . .

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Mental-Floss-Monday

Because I have absolutely no motivation to do any work today . . . possibly due to the fact that I didn’t sleep well last night and am super sleepy, or because I’m nervous about this whole home-buying adventure, or simply because it’s Monday . . . today seems like a good day for time spent on mentalfloss.com.  Here are a few articles and quizzes to pass the rest of your afternoon with a relative amount of blissful non-productivity.  Enjoy.

10 things we’ll see in 10 years

Quiz: Commonly misspelled words

The 20 highest-grossing movies of all time

Quiz: Name the states that appear on a Monopoly board

A visual guide to all 37 villans in the ‘Batman” TV series

Quiz: Movie title anagrams

10 creepy facts about ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’

Quiz: Types of signs

How does caffeine work?

Until next time . . .

1,158-square-feet of the American dream

I’m sitting my studio right now feeling a bit (a lot) nervous and was thinking about how quickly plans can change.

1.  I’m not leaving my job at Froggy.

2.  My husband and I are meeting with our real estate agent to put a bid in on the house I feel in love with a few weeks ago.

A month ago I was ready to empty my desk and tell this radio station to burn to the ground, and I had no plans of even looking for a house.

I am terrified about this entire home-buying adventure.  What if the (just installed last year) roof caves in the day after we sign all the papers?  What if the water heater goes out next week?  What if the (just installed last year) a/c blows up?  What if I burn the kitchen down?  What if one of the trees falls into the living room?  What if I am getting my husband and I in over our financial head?

But what if nothing happens?  What if we move in and arrange the furniture, hang pictures, get Nathan’s promised kitty (that he already has a name picked out for), and truly make our house into a home the way we’ve never really been able to do with our apartment?

For all the times I try to see the positive side of things I am still a “what-if” girl.  Constantly questioning “what if” has kept me from doing so much in my life.  I spent 11 years at my last radio station because I was so busy saying “what if no other radio station wants me,” that I was too afraid to even try to do better.

I’m tired of “what if.”  I’m tired of living in an apartment, and sharing my (very thin) living room walls with other people.  I’m tired of having to base my decorating decisions on the rules of the apartment complex.  I’m tired of having to ask permission to plant flowers.  I’m tired of having to tell my son that he can’t have a pet (that he’s wanted for years) because of the “no pets allowed in the complex” rule.  I want my own space.  I want my little 1,158-square-foot piece of the American dream.

From the minute I first saw the house I immediately started mentally arranging my furniture. in it’s rooms.  At the same time I have been trying so hard to not get my hopes up.  I keep telling myself that I won’t be disappointed if something happens and we can’t get this house.  I keep reminding myself that if we can’t get this house then it just wasn’t the right time, and we will try again in the future.  But my hopes are up.  Mentally arranging the furniture is a pretty good sign as to high the hopes are raised.  I want this house so badly that I can feel the new carpet under my feet.  I can feel the weight of the front door key in my hand.  I can feel the breeze coming through the large windows.  I can hear crickets as I sit on the front porch on summer evenings.  To say that my hopes are up is an understatement.

Right now having a house of our own doesn’t seem real, even as last week we went through the whole pre-approval process, and have plans to meet with our real estate agent this evening to make a bid on the house.  It feels a bit surreal, like at any moment I’m going to wake up, look at my husband, and say, “man, I just had the strangest dream.”  It will not seem real to me until the moment we have the keys in hand, and even then it may still take a while for reality to set in.

I’m trying to ignore the natural inclination of my brain to steer me away from this with “what if’s.”  I’m excited and terrified and hopeful and nervous all at the same time.

Until next time . . .

The real me

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In October, 2013 I made my first post as Carrie Leigh.  A Tale Of A T-Rex was born as a place for me to talk about things that were going on in my life.  It was going to be completely anonymous for me.  Names would be changed.  Identifying details would be left out.  I see now that it was an outlet for me to brag about what I was doing, no matter how inappropriate my behavior was.  Everything that happened was true, but the person writing the posts was hiding behind a fake name and a sunflower picture.  No more.  One of the final things to do to completely own everything I did is to clear the air here.
As you can see by the pictures above, I am not, in fact, a sunflower.  This is me.  No more hiding behind Carrie Leigh, though I am sad to see that name go.  I liked that name.
My name is Heather Lee Flood.  It’s nice to meet you.
Until next time . . .

Praying for guidance

I am in a quandary.  I am perplexed.  I am without out an answer.
3 weeks ago I gave my letter of resignation to my program director an general manager.  3 days ago I drove past a house that is for sale, and I absolutely fell in love with it.  My husband and I can pay the rent with only his income, but I fear that if we were to buy this house that the mortgage would be beyond the capabilities of his sole income.  You see, I haven’t left my position at the radio station yet.  Since I have no plan for life after Froggy I told my bosses that I would stay until my replacement gets hired and trained.  If we were to try to buy this house it would be based on two incomes.
Today my program director asked me how quick I was wanting to leave the station.  The original plan was to have me out of there by the end of this month, but now it may be up to another 90 days.  The guy on the morning show at our sister station in Bowling Green is leaving the company due to health issues.  My program director may be getting relocated to Bowling Green as his replacement.  That means a replacement needs to be found for my program director.  That position takes precedence over my position.
I’m alright with staying on for another 3 months.  I understand that some positions are more important that others and require immediate attention, but then my program director had another talk this evening.  We talked about the house I found on Friday, that has been occupying my mind since then, that I got to walk around inside of yesterday, that I am already mentally arranging my furniture in.  I showed my program director pictures of the house, and when he saw the list price of it he emphatically told me that I MUST buy that house.  I reminded his that I am leaving my job soon.  That when he said words that rocked my entire day . . . “You could always retract your resignation.”
What?!?
A month ago he told me that if I give my resignation it is a done deal, there is no going back, once he starts the search for my replacement he can’t stop the process.  But then today he essentially said, “hey, just tell us you were just kidding about resigning.” He doesn’t know what our general manager will say if I were to retract my resignation.  Our GM may say, “too late, babe.  Sorry.”  I keep trying to think about what I would say if I were in his position, and the first thought that comes to mind is, “she’s already given her resignation once.  How long before she does it again?”
I really want this house.  I am so tired of living in an apartment.  I’m tired of having people living on the other side of my living room walls.  I want my own space to paint, hang pictures, a front porch to sit out on at night, to let my son have the pet cat that he wants so badly that he’s already got the name picked out (Sylvester).  I want a home for a family.  But do I want it badly enough to stay at a job that is mentally tearing me up?
I could stay and convince myself that I’m not unhappy there.  I stayed at my last radio station for 11 years by doing that very thing.  By the time I left I was so miserable that I sat at home at night and cried on my couch.  I was so stressed that my doctor had to put me on medication for anxiety.  Is there where I am heading again if I opt to stay at Froggy?  Or will the ability to purchase a home for my family outweigh any negative job-related feelings?
I don’t know what to do.  I am so confused.  I know what I want, and unfortunately what I want is two different things.  I can’t have both.  I know completely understand the phrase, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”  I can’t leave my job, and buy the house, too.
Time to pray for guidance: for open eyes to see it, open ears to hear it, a willingness to follow it.
Until next time . . .

**drops mic**

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For someone that fears changes as much as I do there are some big changes coming in my life that I actually initiated.
I am quitting my job.  I am leave my radio station.  I am killing my on-air persona.  I am hanging up the headphones.  My mom says I am retiring, but since I am only 38 years old I have a really hard time using that word in relation to my choice to leave my chosen profession.
3 1/2 years ago I went to work for Froggy 103.7 in Murray, Kentucky.  I am the production director, and midday girl.  On air I go by the name Heather McRibbits.  Before going to work for Froggy I spent 11 years working for 105.5 The Cat and 106.7 WZZL in Paducah, Kentucky, and was on-air under the name Heather Stevens.  Before that I went to Broadcast Center in St. Louis, Missouri.  Before that I dreamed from the age of 14 years old about one day being in radio.
And soon that dream will come to an end.
In about a month I will intro my last song, I will hit that last post, I will wish a hoppy day to my final Froggy Friend of the Day.  I will shut off the microphone, unplug my headphones, walk out of the studio, and just like that it will be over.
Everybody that already knows about this has asked me the exact same questions: “Why?”  “What are you going to do now?”
I’m leaving because standing behind the radio station pissed off and crying within an hour of getting to work (everyday) is not a sign of a good work environment.  Bringing home the stress from work and taking it out on my husband is not good for my marriage.  Missing almost every school event because “mommy can’t get out of work” is not good for my son.  Putting work above EVERYthing else in my life is not good for me.  Something had to give, so I have alleviated the source of the problem.  I’m alleviating the radio station.  I take that back.  The source of the problem is me.
I am a workaholic.  Ever since I made the commitment to marching band when I was 14 years old and learned the discipline needed to maintain that commitment, and the pride I had in myself for doing my best in that commitment I haven’t been able to slow down.
I am a yes-girl.  If my boss needs me to stay late, come in early, work on my off-day I am there.  I grumble and complain to myself and my husband, but I do it because I like to feel needed.
My commitment has been misguided.  I am needed at home.  It took me too many years to see that.
Plus there is one more reason that I am leaving the radio station:  God.  Since March of last year I have caught myself thinking “I wish I had more time to get into The Word.  I wish I had more time to devote to my Bible.  I wish I had the time for God that He has for me.”  And if there is one place that God is not present, where God is seemingly unwelcome, it is my radio station.  I’ve spent the last 16 months feeling like I’m having to be two people:  daughter of God when I’m not at work, and the complete opposite when I’m at work.  Jesus said, “But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33, NIV)  I have no urge to stand before God and have to answer for why I denied Him for 50 hours each week.
I don’t know what will happen.  I have no plans as of right now.  I’m sure I’ll get another job doing something that doesn’t involve giving away free lunch combos to caller number 10.  I’m hoping to turn my creativity back inward so I can focus more on my writing.  My job at the radio station is to write and produce creative commercials, so when I get home at night there is nothing left in the storehouse for me.  It’s taken me 3 weeks to be able to sit down and write this post.
Deep down I always knew that my career in radio would not be long, but I never planned for what I would do once it was over.  Yes, I am a little nervous about what the future holds, but this whole year so far has been one lesson after another about stepping out in faith, and for a girl who fears change this is the biggest step so far, and I’m looking forward to it.
Until next time . . .