Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Time Is Wrong


The past two days have been super weird.  Nothing unusual happening in life itself, but I feel horribly off.  Maybe it is the grey skies or rain or just the fact that I feel cut off from everything.  It finally hit me that I was here.

I am here.

I am not at home in Atlanta, living with girls that might as well be my sisters, going to a school I love (no matter how screwy the people running it can be at times), babysitting my cousins, and loving my life.

Nope.  Instead I am at home in IL.

I am trying to make the most of this.  Honestly, I adore my family and the people here.  I love being here,'s the smaller bit of me now.  Unfortunately the bigger part of me is wishing like crazy that I was in Atlanta.

I hate feeling like this.  I hate feeling ungrateful and sad.  I hate that I am feeling an ache and avoid yawning inside me.  It is killing me.

So I work hard to find ways to make other people happy.  I have always found that if I work hard to make other people have better days go better.

Today I made pies.  I made one for my family (blueberry, cranberry, pear, and cherry) and one for my church's AOP booth (just cherry).  I wanted to write some letters, but considering how frumpy and whiny I am, I didn't think anyone would want to read the letters I felt like writing.

Why am I letting myself be this way?

Again...bah. end on a cheerful note: a list.

Favorite things of this very moment (9:54 pm CST):

  • Pie.  Delicious pie.  
  • The younger cat always showing up when I put together my sandwich for tomorrow's lunch (she will someday sit on command)
  • Clean clothes fresh out of the dryer
  • "The Tick" cartoon show...ah the joys of my youth
  • You.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Change of Heart

Sometimes the darkness really is a terrible thing.  Sometimes it finds you looking through old pictures and seeing yourself a long, long time ago with a boy that you, at the moment they were taken you were certain you would be spending the rest of your life holding onto.  And he thought that too.

But no matter how long you look at this picture, and no matter how happy you both looked in this picture, you know now how that story ends.  The way so many of our stories end.  It ends with a lot of tears, and questions.

Why didn't it last?  Why didn't this love work?  What was wrong with it?  What was wrong with you?  Why couldn't they love you anymore?

And then you realize it just wasn't meant to be.  They weren't supposed to be the center of your universe.

God was.

And the more I look at this, the more I realize this was just one of those beautiful bits of my story.  I bear a lot of scars from the boy in that picture, but I also learned so much about myself because of him.  And as angry as I was for so long at him, it wasn't his fault things didn't work out.  We just were not what the other one needed.  The closer I became to God and the stronger in myself I became, the farther from him I became.

This is good.

Now I know that God is the center of my universe, whatever love I am meant to keep for mine for forever...he will be standing at my side searching for God with me.  We'll be journeying through life together with all the hope and joy and courage we can muster.  Holding each other up and not letting one another fall away.

My deepest wish is that we all find that.  The wonderful, beautiful boy in the picture with me does too.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Am Loved

Beautiful letter care package sent to me by Kim, Amber, Hilary, Regina,  Garble & Jeff
 I am so loved.  The picture above is the care package that came for me last week.  It came with instructions on when I could read each my beautiful letters and gave me a full week of love from some of the crew down at ABC who I dearly love and miss.  I have been writing letters back the rest of the week.  Every time I look at those letters or that envelope or write a letter is impossible not to feel like I could explode because of how incredibly loved and filled with love I really am.  It blows me away, and it's a joy to know that I am as loved and missed by these amazing people as I love and miss them.

Amy holding Mara with Colton & I

Mara & Colton holding cute is that?
 The two previous pictures are of my wonderful friend Amy holding her niece Mara (my psuedo niece) and me holding our friends Carrie & Jerry's little boy, Colton.  I include these pictures because I am missing Amy like crazy today.  I got a letter and a mix cd from her in the mail today.  It is hands down the best mix I have received in ages.  It reminded me just how very much I am completely and totally loved.  I needed this love today because I have been home feeling a little like death.  But Amy's mix and the note that I am so very blew me away and reminded me of all the awesome times we had this summer.  I am so loved.

Adios for now.  Remember...YOU ARE LOVED!  By me and by God.  <3

Monday, September 12, 2011

This I Remember

When I was a senior in high school I was in this amazing class that truly changed my life.  It was an English class.  We would read poetry or stories or novels and then write response papers for the next class.  Then the 7 of us would sit in a circle of desks with our teacher who was this incredibly crazy, but brilliant bald man by the name of John Vincent Young, and we'd discuss our ideas and thoughts and feelings about a certain piece.

But, though that did a great deal to improve my writing and my appreciation for the written word, this wasn't how the class changed my life.  No, what changed me was the giant boy with long curly hair that was so dark it was bordering on black who was a poet and a romantic to the truest extent.  His name was Jacob Zuniga.  And without ever really intending to, we became best friends.

It still amazes me.

Zuni was one of the most popular boys in our school.  Formerly a football player until a knee injury made further play impossible, he knew everyone and everyone loved him.  He was a born story teller and comic, and he could make anyone feel important.  His girlfriend once used a quote from "The Big Lebowski" to explain him, he like "that rug really pulled the room together."  Odd as that may seem, that's probably the best way to describe him that I have ever heard.

I miss him every day.

Today is September 11, 2011.  And I remember what happened 10 years ago.  I won't ever be able to forget it.  I was 15.  I was a sophomore in high school.  I was in first period algebra with Mr. Rolondo when the first plane struck.  We were watching coverage on the news when the 2nd plane struck.  I saw it happen.  Those images never go away.  I remember the questions and the crying, and I remember, very distinctly wondering if this meant we were going to war and what that would mean.  I remember wondering if the guys surrounding me would be going to war, and even worse, if my brothers, my best friends, and the boy I was sure I wanted to marry (I was 15, remember) would go to war too.

And we did go to war.  We're still at war.  Sometimes I wonder if this war is in competition with Vietnam to see who can be drug out longest without any kind of satisfying conclusion.  And many of my friends have gone to war.  A friend of mine just finally got out of the air force after being in for 6 years.  I hate this war.  I hate knowing about the things my friends have seen or gone through trying to protect the United States.  And I hate knowing that people are dying for this thing all the time.  Innocent people, good people, bad people, poor people, rich people, children and adults.  All kinds.  People are dying.  10 years of this.  Is this worth it?

All I know is that I remember.

But what I want to remember is the good.  What I try to remember is the way this amazing country pulled together.  How we donated blood and clothes and food and time and energy to help people rebuild.  How we searched the wreckage for survivors and cheered when they were found.  How we mourned together over the dead, those we knew and those we didn't.  How we supported the men and women who serve in the armed forces, even if we didn't believe in war.

We have gone through so much as a country in 10 years.  Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, plane crashes, blizzards, landslides, and so many disasters, but if we learned anything from tragedy it is this: we will survive and we will take care of each other.  The love I see in this nation is overwhelming.  We are learning to take care of each other a little better all the time, and I find hope in that.

Beyond all of these memories, this day reminds me very much of all the people that I have lost in the past 10 years. A best friend, a girl who might as well have been my little sister, several classmates, 2 kids who were best friends with my youngest brothers, several great aunts, a boy who I had taught in youth group, and several very beloved elderly church members.

Zuni is what I remember and think of most.  I ran across something he wrote for me just a month and a half before he died.  My best friend was a genius, especially when it came to matters of the heart, and this particular letter was no less a gem.  I ran across it again this evening when going through some old papers, and it made me miss him so much my heart about burst.

So as a parting thought, something good to remember, something that my brilliant, amazing, wonderful best friend once said to me that I hope will do you as much good as it does me:

"In closing thoughts, love is blind.  We don't choose who we love, or who loves us back.  It's something we can't explain.  When you're away from your love, you start thinking about it.  You sit back and wonder what the hell it is that makes you work, that attracts you to them, and although you have a few ideas, it's nothing solid.  You've bunches of friends with the same qualities.  What makes them so special?  You sit and you wonder, but it's all in vain, for when they're back and in your arms, you know.  What, I'm not sure, but you know that this is right and that you were wrong for questioning it.  I guess that's true love, above all else: having faith.  Right now, I don't know what I'm doing.  I'm living for my weekend binge, for those few choice hours when I'm there and she's there and something as old as the sun but as new as our lives is there enslaving us.  I know that I die every time I see her because I know I have to say goodbye.  I know that I die every time I hug her, every time I kiss her, every time I look into her eyes and see myself.  I know that sometimes I don't remember what I've done during the day because all I've done is think about her.  I know that she's the last thing in my mind at night and the first when I rise.  She literally is the girl of my dreams; she visits every night.  I've sat on the sidelines and wondered why her, why this, and I should never have done that, for when I see her, when I talk to her on the phone or read her e-mails, I know.  I can feel it in my heart and in my mind, and I know this: this is real.

Have faith in yourself and your love.  Know that no matter what happens, you will be together again.  There is no end if it is real, no stop and start.  You'll become so entangled that you won't be singular anymore, won't be alone.  There will come a time when the roots of two trees will connect underground and form a vast village of matter, until there no longer are two trees, but one singular unit living via the other.  That's love, or at least, that's the best way I can describe it."

This I remember.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Passion, You Disarm Me

My problem is, and probably always will be, passion.

Passion that wants to change the world from the inside out.  Passion that wants to share a life with someone else starting at this very moment.  Passion that wants to feel deeply and run free.  Passion that wants to hold the heart of another person tightly and lavish it with everything I can.

I am drawn to the passion of others.  I find people most attractive when they are discussing what brings them the most joy.  I love listening to my friend, Jay talk about music and recording.  I love listening to my friend Amy talk about ministry and God.  The same can be said of my friend Jake.  With Jordan it is languages and computers and theology.  With Nikky it has always been about art and love and movies and language.  Sam undoes me when he sings or plays and talks music or people.

Each person, as Neil Gaiman once said, is full of their own secret worlds.  They may seem quiet and subdued, but each one of us has something inside of us that makes us beautiful.  We are all full of secrets and magic and light, but so few people will ever take the time to see that.

It's this secret inside the hearts of others that I find so beautiful.  What draws me most to people is when I see glimmers of this.

I cannot help but feel a little overwhelmed when I hear someone sing and I can hear the words resonate deep inside them.  It makes me ache and wish that I could find a way to see what make those words or that song mean what it does for them.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Are We Done?

I miss this.  I miss him.  I miss this version of him.  My version of him.  The one that is one of my closest friends.

On the other hand, I still don't understand why I am making a face that looks that stupid.  Ha.

Life is strange and interesting.  I always find it interesting that texting can make someone seem right their with you and also a million miles away at the same time.  Because of the texting it seems like Sam and I are back where we started.  Talking every day.  The difference is that I can tell he is holding back and that I am no longer a main focus in his life.  I miss this.

It's time to grow I guess.