Monday, May 16, 2011

Thank God for YOUR Fleas

Firstly, welcome to everyone who's joined my madness since the last time I welcomed people who'd joined my madness. lol.

A quick run-through of the Points of Clarification program

Mon: Monday on my Mind
Tues: Time Travel Tuesday (music)/ Tell it Tuesday (new! info or writing)
Wed: Write away Wednesday
Thur: Talk Back Thursday (interview)/ book review, contest
Fri: Far out Friday (international)

Nothing is set in stone. You'll see eventually that me and stone aren't very good friends. :)

Thanks for joining us!
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Have you ever heard of Corrie ten Boom?

She was a German lady who used to hide Jews during the Holocaust. When she was discovered, they threw her into a concentration camp along with her friend
Betsy. Concentration camps were not 5-star hotels, but their dormitory was especially grimy. And it was flea-infested!

As they sat there constantly getting bitten, Betsy decided they should pray for all God had given them: the dorm, the fact they were still alive, the fleas even. Corrie disagreed entirely.

Why on Earth would you Thank God for the fleas?

But Betsy won out and they prayed.

Months went by, they didn't have any contact with the outside world except for the guards who brought their food. Finally, they were released and it's only then they hear the horror stories.

Beatings. Murders. Rape.

How come noone troubled them?

Any guesses?

It was the fleas! The guards refused to come anywhere near their dorm for fear of being bitten.

Right after high school, I went to a military academy. It is the hardest college to get into in the US. And getting in is the easy part. Staying in is a whole different matter. You've got to maintain a good G.P.A, a high fitness level, and do all the regular military stuff.

That's a lot of balls to keep in the air.

I couldn't do it. Eventually I was dismissed for my fitness level.

It seemed like the end of the world. While I was struggling with trying to stay at the academy, I was diagnosed as bi-polar. I went into a deep depression. When I went home, I was house-sitting for my aunt. With noone else to bother me, I rolled out of bed when I felt like, ate, showered, and went back to sleep.

I did that for about 6 months. Then I went back to my hockey team. I found a job, co-piloting a submarine (to this day, that still sounds SO COOL!!!). And the following year, I went back to school at the local (and free) campus of the university.

I graduated with a BA French and Spanish, Lower Second Class Honours. And one afternoon, in the Student Services Office, I mentioned that I'd love someone to pay me to travel.

That's how I found out about this program in Japan.
I came here and fell in love with this beautiful country, culture, people.
I met Stephanie, who introduced me to nanowrimo.
Nanowrimo involved me in this beautiful writer community, and Nathan Bransford's blog.
The writer community and NB's blog motivated me to try at being a pro writer, not in the "fuzzy, some day, maybe, I might" sense but in the "actively pursuing it" sense.

My life would be very different if I hadn't flunked out of a military academy. I would have graduated with a Management degree instead of Languages. I would have spent (at least) 5 years being an officer in the Barbados Coast Guard. I probably would never have heard of the JET program, and Japan would just be the country that makes all those cars. I would not have started my first blog (dedicated to chronicling the adventures in Japan) and I would not be the writer I am.

Almost everything I am, everything I have, I owe to flunking out of a military academy. And it was probably one of the most difficult points in my life. I couldn't have known then, and you can bet it almost killed me.

But in the end, it might just be the best thing that happened to me.

Thank God for my fleas!

It's Monday, that's what's on my mind.

6 comments:

Abby Stevens said...

Claire, what a great post! I love this!

Marsha Sigman said...

I bow to your off the chart extreme coolness, and while most of the time I am pretty sarcastic...this time I am completely serious.

You have done some of the most interesting and bravest things I could ever dream of! It's actually a little intimidating.

Thank God for flunking.

Sophia Richardson said...

Wow talk about a fork in the road. This is a very trippy 'what could have been'. Also, co-piloting a submarine: how badass are you?
- Sophia.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Wow, Clare, great story! I've heard of Corrie ten Boom, of course, but never the story about the fleas. Wonderful!

I had my own *really* low moment last fall. I'm still waiting to find out if it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me (as my husband keeps saying it probably was). I have high hopes, and this story just renewed them!

Sidrah said...

Good old fleas! Guess we shouldn't lose hope n have faith in God =]

Happy moments!

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