Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Twinkle On

There will never be too many twinkle lights
If I could wrap them
around my heart
& through my veins
I would
Something in the glitter & glow
breaks through these bleak December greys
& pulls me toward
the Light of the World
who shines through
this season &
breaks through the darkness & shadows
of a dying year
& helps alight the new

So twinkle on little lights
bring the hope & joy of the Christ child's birth
good will to men
& peace on earth

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2014 Letter to Mr. C

Dear Santa,

What I would really like for Christmas is self-confidence and renewed hope. I've spent this year making decisions based on fear and because of losing my job and world upending with Children of Change left me struggling to believe that I make good decisions. I want to believe. I want to believe in myself and that I can make good things happen for myself and the people around me. I know it's a weird to ask for this, but if you could find a way to bring that for me...I'd be grateful. 

Say hi to the reindeer for me. 

Merry Christmas,

A Little Too Ironic

My head is pounding and I really should be asleep, but today has been incredibly strange. I went to the doctor today because Mom, Forrest, and I all thought we had strep. Thankfully none of us have strep, but we all are getting over the flu. I was actually told that I'm to stay home from work tomorrow to continue to heal. It's been a little unreal. I love the irony of getting the flu after having had the flu shot over a month ago (and yes I do know that the flu vaccine only covers a certain things blah blah blah). 

My boss called to check up on me as we were coming back from the doctor which was handy considering I was going to have to call him. He was trying to find out how I was doing and to see if I'm really okay with the fact I'm going to have to work this Sunday and miss church. Nope, I'm not okay with it, but I understand. Short of quitting there's not much to be done. He handled my being sick pretty well though. I've got a good boss. I work with good people. I just am going crazy missing church all the time and never feeling like I've slept or seen friends. I feel isolated and miserable. I need a new job before I go crazy. 

On the upside, I spent most of my day reading, coughing, blowing my nose, and not moving on the couch. I still have a killer headache, but more sleep will help. Plus, today Crown Publishing told me I won a tote bag which made me happy and then my health insurance card showed up. Ha. Timing is everything. 

Plus today I looked in my stocking, at Mom's prompting (we've been using them as mailboxes), and I had a really sweet note from her plus a Greek phrase book. She knows my heart. 

Maybe this Christmas feels like a fractured mess because work has managed to take most of the things I love most out of my reach, but maybe the little pockets of joy will hold it all together. I could still really use a Christmas miracle, but considering my tremendous luck this year...I'm not holding my breath, but God only knows how much I'd love to be proven wrong. 

On that note, I'll leave you my list and try to sleep:
Favorite Things of this Very Moment (11:07 PM CST):
• Knowing I can sleep through all of tomorrow if I want to
• Chinese paper lanterns
Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie
• Mulligan's admirable persistence 
• Calle's decision to get me the "pillow" I want for Christmas
• Soft kleenex 
• Christmas lights
• Not being financially destroyed by the visit to the doctor
• My remarkable family

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Fool Looks for Logic in the Chambers of the Human Heart

I lay beneath the lantern glow
Tired ache creeping through my soul
Knowing I should've been asleep hours ago
But the rush of today
The tangled up thoughts warring keep me here
In the quiet loud space in my mind
How can you logic your way out of this?
I find you in this space
Tattoos, skater hair
It's like I've got my high school 
Skills for picking boys again
You're too young,
I'm too old
This song is on repeat

Once upon a time 
There was a girl who believed her life was planned
I guess I found out too late
That I'm not going to get a fairytale 
And maybe prince charming isn't what I need
I just need a best friend

God only knows what the jumble's for
Time will probably take you away from me,
But for today at least,
I can committ you to memory
Maybe you'll prove to be a better dream

Monday, December 8, 2014

So Here It Is

There's a problem somewhere caught between the girl I grew up being and the woman I've turned into. I grew up with all boys. I've got three younger brothers, and I had mostly guy friends. My mother was a tomboy, and I always have been as well. As a result, I grew up somewhere inside a guy's mindset of going after what you want. 

This made me absurd and brave when it came to love. I lived by the motto that only the one willing to be a fool for love deserved love. I learned a guy, adored him, and then went for him with everything I had. It didn't end well often, but it meant I resolved feelings. It was messy and heartbreaking and chaotic, but I was reckless and willing to risk all for the hope that the guy I was pursuing would recognize the romantic, caring, hilarious bundle that I was. That I was exactly what he'd been looking for. 

It didn't work. 

As I got older, my mom sat me down and told me that as a woman I was meant to be pursued and not to do the pursuing. I didn't understand it. Parts of me still don't because it feels like such a waste at times, but truth be told, she was right. If a guy has any interest in you, he'll come after you. You can get in his way all you want, but unless he's decided you're what he wants, it's not going to matter. 

I have spent the past nine and a half years alone as a result. I can't deny that I've expressed interest in guys during that time and been open and vulnerable, but it's never changed anything. I guess I still believe that you've gotta be willing to be a fool for love in order to be worthy of love, but at the same time, I no longer know how to find the only thing I ever feel like I'm searching for. 

After nearly ten years of solitude, I feel like I'm wasting my youth, but I'm a woman and I deserve to be pursued like I should be. How do I resolve this particular paradox? Especially since I am beginning to think I was born in the wrong decade since I just want to meet someone in real life and not through a dating site. 

I guess I wait. Trusting this to God is consistently the hardest choice I make. I am still not terribly good at waiting. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Are You Rushing the Plan?

Today I actually got to go to church.  I don't think I can properly explain how much it means to me to actually be at my church on a Sunday morning.  It wasn't long ago that I wouldn't have even considered a job that would make me work on Sunday mornings, but then I got sideswiped by life and took the job that showed up when everything else seemed to say no.  My job is not a bad one.  I get to take care of good people, and this is all good, but words can't express how much I miss my church family.  I miss getting hugs from my Sunday School kids.  I miss talking to my extra grandparents and getting their advice and hugs and love.  I miss talking to my married friends that I only ever seem to see at church now.  I miss feeling like I'm connecting to my family and community instead of feeling like a withdrawn loner.  I miss talking to my cousin and her husband and playing with their little girl.  Not being at church every other week makes my life seem stretched, but not at all in a good way.  I feel like every 2 week span is just one week because nothing feels like it's resolved until I'm back in church.

Today, because we're within Advent, Michael was talking about God's plan vs. our own plans.  Michael asked if maybe we were rushing God's plan instead of waiting and letting God lead.  I don't know anymore.

I want to let God lead, but I'm not trusting the way I should. I've struggled with that for quite awhile, but it seems like lately, if I even try to be vulnerable, if I trust people with small things, I get screwed over. The past couple years have worn what's left of my belief in others and myself down to the point where instead of belief cushioning/protecting me it's like none scraping bone. Nothing is protecting me, or at least that's how it feels. 

I'm sure this is my fault, to be honest. I trusted in people, not God. I placed my future in the hands of people I thought I could trust because I was afraid of being left behind. 

Really, I think that's what Michael was trying to point out. We tend to stop following God when we're afraid. We think the path He's leading us down is scary or it seems like it's taking too long. Instead of trusting, we veer off on our own down a different path. One that looks brighter or seems like a shortcut. 

The problem with that is they never work out. You end up at a deadend where you need to backtrack and retrace your steps to the original path. Or you end up hurt and bleeding and in desperate need of healing. Or you end up fighting battles that could've been avoided. Or all of this. 

Truth is, I am scared. I don't feel like my life is working out. I had a poorly healing wound ripped open suddenly today, and I am wondering how long I'll be dealing with this. I know what my heart longs for, and I know my faults. I know I keep trying to take shortcuts around the loneliness and I know all the justifications I try to make for my bad choices, but it all comes down to my fear that this will be my life forever. That I'll always be the lonely, self-depreciating girl struggling to love herself and to be something good in this world. 

I'm going to try to spend this Advent season retraining my heart to follow where God is leading and trying to heal a little. I'd like to be more like Joseph and less like doubting Thomas...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Stand Up & Be True

I want to reach out
to every single question
& hold them close to my chest
You ask so many things
I've always wanted to explain
Hearing you say something so simple
It's such a beautiful name. 
It is
It's my name. 
I am the beautiful name
Could I be something so beautiful to you?
Stand up & be true
Those words sink into me
Like a bite into my heart, my veins
Be true. 
Can you be true?
As reminders go,
words visible on your strong wrists
give me a long forgotten hope

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Put Down that Cookie!

Having just had my youngest brother trying to convince me that Arnold Schwarzenegger movies are worth my time (  True Lies is the only one you're going to get me to watch willingly) and having made myself hot chocolate with added booze (for flavor or something), I'm trying to recapture some kind of Christmas spirit.  This season is supposed to be about the birth of a holy child, the savior of mankind, and do you know what I'm thinking about?  Me.

I'm thinking about how there's a big hole where my hope and belief and faith should be.  I'm thinking about how we're going to have to move Christmas plans around so that we can still have a family Christmas together even though I'm working from 11am to 7pm on Christmas day.  I'm thinking about how I'm probably letting fear keep me from a lot of things, and how if I don't start facing some of those fears that I'm going to end up stuck in a miserable job for the rest of my life while probably living in my room at my parents' house because I'll never be able to afford anything else.  And now that I'm adding knockoff Bailey's to my hot chocolate, I can head toward my lifelong goal of becoming the next alcoholic in my family tree.

Me. Me. Me.

Here's the good:
I have a family that actually loves me despite everything.
I have a job (and coworkers and a boss that seem to really like me).
I have a kitten that likes to climb up on my chest and sleep.
I have kind and wonderful friends that love me and let me whine and freak out and generally be neurotic.
God keeps showing up, and I know things are working as they should.  I just don't understand, and I'm struggling to have patience and grace.

Please God give me grace to get through, and help me to find joy so that I can be something good and not a ridiculous burden to anyone else.


Favorite things of this very moment (9:23 PM CST):

  • The epic Christmas music playlist that I have going right now
  • Hot chocolate with knockoff Bailey's
  • The Chinese paper lanterns I finally figured out how to hang in my room this week
  • Jennifer Crusie's writing
  • Warm slippers
  • Christmas lights hung up all over the living room
  • Calle trying to convince me that I'm not making bad life decisions
  • My folks coming in the door
  • Knowing there's a book of poetry on it's way to my door that will be worth all the wait

Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's Always Something

Morning will come too soon, but I'm wondering if it's normal to be giddy for ten straight minutes after the shop clerk strikes up a conversation with you about a movie you're buying two copies of as gifts. I mean, he was super attractive and today was the first time I'd ever seen him smile, but still?

Am I maladjusted at 28 because I turn into a giddy teen girl over the cute guy smiling at me and striking up a conversation? Usually guys are just polite to me or ignore me. Maybe I'm just really out of practice. 

Maybe the only thing that's wrong with me is that I'm wondering if something's wrong with me...

Sunday, November 16, 2014


As usual, I should be asleep, but I'm not. Instead, I'm vaguely thinking about a guy I'm developing a friendship with, my new training tomorrow, money, and calculating how much sleep I'll get tonight based on how soon I can convince myself to sleep. 

I met this guy recently, and didn't think much about him at the time because work has pretty close to consumed my life. But the past couple days I've actually gotten to spend a little more time getting to know him. He seems kind, funny, and like he's actually focused on you entirely when you speak out of actual interest. I think I kinda like him. That alone seems odd because it's been quite some time since I felt any affection or interest towards anyone. This may pass. Maybe I'll find out he kicks puppies or hates pie and infants, but he may turn out to be a good guy. 

Will anything happen? Probably not. I'm not trying to be pessimistic just realistic. He could be in a serious relationship or not find my remotely attractive or he could be way too young for me (he's got a hard to determine age face). I won't get to see him often because we don't run into each other much, but it's something to look forward to. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Soul Assassin

I am awake. This is not a good thing. In less than 6&1/2 hrs I need to wake up so I can walk to work. I am tired, but I'm still wired from running the kitchen tonight at work. I was told it went alright, and we did get everything done, but we were 15 minutes late leaving and I spilled a good portion of a mop bucket on the floor adding to our lateness. Sure that wasn't a lot, but considering I took one less than 15 minute break and didn't even have to make all 3 of my entrĂ©es ... I still don't feel great about running the kitchen. I don't cook again until next Friday, so maybe I'll forget how weird tonight was by then. 

Maybe I'm just not meant to be in charge. I really like being someone floating in the background. It just seems to be so much better for everyone when I'm not center stage. 

The funny thing about this is that Kim, the normal night cook, told me I need to be confident. That's what she wants for me in the job. For me to be confident. I realize she means that she wants me to feel certain in the job and feel good about what I'm doing, but I could really use real confidence. 

I just feel so ill at ease. Can I do this job? Can I remember all these different stations? Can I remember the dang pan sizes? Will I actually make enough? 

Can I do this?

I haven't felt confident in ages. I loved working in the Pharmacy because after they trained me I felt like I could always get whatever they needed done and I was fantastic at remembering everything. Before that I loved Kable. I was one of the fastest people they had on staff and they kept asking me to learn new little things so I could be more involved with the job. I miss feeling like I have bearings and am actually competent at my job. 

I guess I'm just looking for something to show me I'm where I'm needed so that I don't have to feel like I'm needlessly complicating everyone around me's jobs. Or just lives in general. 

I just want to be able to say: this is my place. This is my path. I belong here. This is right. 

I am not there yet. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

I am A-Changin'

Some days I look around at my life and I am just proud that I'm still moving. I haven't given in to the doubt or confusion of it all. Nope. Instead, I'm still waking up and finding a reason to get out of bed. 

I am not perfect. I am not even sure that I'm good, but I'm trying. I was just reading a note I wrote to myself nearly a year ago about a pair of great dreams I had. Reading them felt foreign. I remembered having the dreams and how much I had hoped they were a sign of something new and changing on the horizon, but nothing changed. 

I take it back. Everything has changed. I moved home, I had to give up a plan to return to school and the future I had been trying so hard to build because I was working with and believing in someone who couldn't seem to come through for me in anything. I've started another job, but I've realized, just from that note, how much I've changed. 

God only knows what will come next, but I'll keep trying to build a life for myself. If that set of dreams ever come back to me, maybe I'll have help building my life, but in the meantime, I'll carry on alone. 

Life really is changing. I'm changing. I may accept this yet. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Would You Know Me Without the Mask?

There's nothing quite so soul-emptying as trying to convey something to someone else and having them suddenly realize the version of you they have always thought was you is, in fact, only a hidden door which you just opened up and now suddenly they find themselves faced with part of you that makes them wonder if, perhaps, you're actually a little crazy.


Yes.  I am crazy.  At least a little.  I tend to get fixated on an idea or concept that fascinates me and need to talk to someone about it.  I just need someone I trust to bring up weird stuff with and have them actually respond somehow.

Do you have any idea how hard that is to do?  Do you have any idea how many texts, emails, letters, notes I will never send?  Do you have any idea how hard it is to be locked up inside yourself because you are pretty sure that if people really knew who you were or what interested you or lit you up or confused you that they would think you're joking or crazy or maybe they'd decide they didn't want to know you?

You probably do.  Because, if we're being honest, we're all pretty good at hiding who we are or what we think or feel depending on what we want people to think of us.  It's tiring isn't it?

I just want to sleep.

Favorite things of this very moment (8:48 PM CST):

  • "So At Last" by Butch Walker
  • A Natural History of Love by Diane Ackerman (I also kinda hate this book)
  • Knowing tomorrow will actually start the hiring process for Pinecrest and that I should, barring incident, have a real job soon
  • My fan
  • Unsweetened ice tea in an old QT cup (nice to have bits from all my homes and travels in one place)
  • The feeling of success from making eggplant Parmesan for the first time ever this evening 

I Need Sleep. I Need Sleep. I Need Sleep.

I need sleep.  I find myself repeating that phrase.  I need sleep.

And it's true - I do need sleep, but at the same time, I don't want to.  I keep thinking of this week as the last week during which I can get away with going to bed late and sleeping in.  This isn't a bad thing because it will mean that I have successfully gotten the job at Pinecrest, but it does mean rearranging my sleep schedule which seems like a strange joke since my body and brain have rarely agreed on when I should been sleeping in years.  I'm one of those great people that suffers from insomnia and depression intermittently, and this makes sleep a hilarious challenge at times.  My big hope is that work will make me so tired that I will just crash.  If it doesn't work that way, I'll end up burning out quick.  It will work.  It will be fine.  I'll learn to sleep.  Or at least fake it enough that I'll be alright.

Fake it till you feel it, right?

My meeting to go over the offer for the job is Wednesday morning.  Lots of people know about this.  I probably sound goofy to a lot of them because I keep putting the "if" in front of getting hired.  I keep saying things about how "as long as" this and this and this work out...I'll have a job.  People keep saying things like "You clearly have been hired" or "As soon as I heard I knew you'd have the job" or simply congratulating me.  While this is all great and I am pretty sure I will have the job, I am struggling to feel like it is mine yet.  This isn't even a huge fancy job.  It's just a needed job, and I'm happy to do it.  I just really don't want to be completely excited about it, and then to have something fall through.  That could be overly pessimistic, but if you'd lived my life for the past couple years you'd feel this way too.

It makes me feel a little insane to be afraid of being excited.  I don't want to be in this position in my life where I don't trust life to work out even if everything points to things going smoothly, but I am.  In the past 8 years or so rejection, failure, disappointment, and unexpected things always seem to show up.  This isn't to say everything has been bad.  Sometimes the rejection has cleared a path for something better or the failure has caused change or the disappointment has helped me learn lessons, but all of these things hurt at some point.  

I guess right now I'm just incredibly wounded and incredibly vulnerable.  I'm just not willing to believe fully that this good thing, this job, will really be mine until it is completely settled.

So here I am waiting.


Good things come to those who wait though, right?

Favorite things of this very moment (12:44 AM CST):
  • Making a new mix for a good friend
  • Butch Walker singing me to sleep and telling me to "think about the good things no matter what they say"
  • New yoga/sweat pants while crazy soft lining
  • Having removed a certain small black & white kitten who shall remain nameless (hint: starts with "M" and ends with "ulligan") from its spot under the bed where said mini monster was apparently trying to use the bed as a scratching post
  • Cookbooks with eggplant recipes I'll finally have an excuse to try since we've been given eggplant
  • The box sitting next to my bed with all kinds of wonderful gifts from Nik (I swear these boxes are always like Christmas)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Needed: Real Hobbies

I miss feeling.

For the past few months I've been trying to decide if I wasn't feeling anything for anyone because I was depressed or if it was just because there is no one to care for or hope for.  To tell the truth, I am still not sure of the answer.  I'm leaning towards the second, but sadly that always circles right back around to the first.

It's been a couple years since I felt something was right and that I was certain.  Everything inside of me would tangle and dance and scream and explode with joy and anguish and hope.  How I miss that.  I guess the reality is that I miss the certainty.  I miss believing in something.

Nights like tonight I wonder if I'm destined to do this life alone, and if I am, I wish I could come to terms with that and keep going.

I need real hobbies.  Maybe I'll take up gardening like Nick Miller...Ha.

Favorite things of this very moment (11:26 pm CST):

  • John Mayer
  • NetFlix
  • My Amazon Wishlist
  • New & old books newly purchased to read
  • Cooler weather
  • Forrest's willingness to kill the far too large for comfort spider that showed up in my room this evening with a plastic ninja sword because I hadn't been able to kill it with a Kleenex box and was refusing to get off my bed after watching it crawl under my dresser (seriously though...where the heck did that monster come from?!)
  • My new job on the horizon
  • Good things truly being on the way

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Popcorn Jellybeans

This summer has been unusual.  To be real honest, I'm extremely grateful it's finally coming to a close.  I got quite a bit of traveling in, saw first hand what the benefit of having a grief counselor at camp is, brought home a new kitten, junked my car, resigned from my dream job, and moved back in with my parents.  I've developed new scars on my ankles, feet, and hands; given away about a third of what I own; and finally started reading the copy of Catch-22 that my brother gave me; and I've tried to be more honest with people about my feelings.  I've read more books and watched less NetFlix.  I got to spend some time playing with my nieces and nephews (though there's never enough time) and learned to write cover letters.  I toyed with recipes, hung out with friends, continued a long-standing word game, and even vacuumed behind my bed.  It's been a different kind of summer.

The past couple of weeks I've felt like I was losing hope, and I've been spending more time awake worrying and overthinking than I'd like to admit.  There's nothing better than trying to do math at 4 in the morning because you're trying to figure out what you have left in your account and if you're going to be able to make it till you find a new job or (which should just happen) someone finally pays you what they owe you for work you did earlier in the summer/spring.

But God shows up.  In my depression and doubt, I've been struggling to pray because I just didn't feel like I had anything to say that would be any different than anything I've said before.  I've dealt with depression before, but usually I find comfort drawing closer to God.  This time I just felt like I was in O'Hare where they keep moving my gate and delaying my flight with no end in sight.  Thankfully, even though I've been feeling like everything is pointless and my life is starting to crumble about the edges, my friends and family stepped up.  Someone was always there to remind me that they loved me and had my back, and just as important, they were praying for me.  My friends, my family, my church...they kept praying.  They kept reminding me that someone good was on it's way.

Today, after getting stung by a bee, bit by a beetle, not being able to find job postings, and being told there was no longer a job opening at one of the places I was trying to apply to, I finally got a call back about a position that I really was hoping for.  I go in this coming Wednesday to go over the details of the offer and start the hiring process.  I could not be more grateful for this opportunity.  It's going to make me have to learn to flip my sleep schedule completely since I will be going to work extremely early in the morning, but I will be able to walk the 3 blocks to work from my house and by November I will have real health insurance.  This answers so many prayers and I am so grateful.

God showed up.  I need to start remembering that just because I don't think it's possible or am feeling like things are a lost cause, I am not the final say.  God can make it happen, and He's not going to abandon me when I need him most.  He will show up and He will come through for me.  I hope you can see that too and find your own popcorn jellybeans.

ps.  Favorite Things of This Very Moment (1:45 AM CST):

  • John Mayer
  • The Cat Who book series
  • My Hawaiian Breeze fan
  • The fact that the temperature seems to be dropping
  • Knowing I get to go to Rockford with my family in the morning
  • Major League (the movie)
  • Handheld Tetris
  • My large and wonderful hospital water bottle that keeps things cold for ages and ages
  • That I'm actually tired and should be able to fall asleep pretty close to instantly after I get off this thing
  • Recycling

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Use to Play Bass for the Proper Villians

Lately life has been a strange mix of beautiful and suck.

I had a really great interview last Monday with a nonprofit that is located 3 blocks from my house.  THREE blocks.  I could walk to work every day.  Plus I'd have insurance.  Actual insurance.  These are dreams of mine.  A job where I'd be doing something good (in this case taking care of a kitchen in a nursing home); I'd be getting paid every two weeks (without excuses or exceptions); I'd have real health insurance (which I still desperately need and am still too poor to afford); and I wouldn't need a car (which would be helpful as I currently don't possess or have access to a car).  They said they'd let me know at the end of last week if I had the job or not, but I've heard nothing at all else.  I actually called them on Monday, but it was a holiday so no one was in the office.  I called Tuesday and gave them a couple of extra numbers to try getting a hold of my last employer with (as she is notorious for not having her phone on, with her, charged, or checking her messages), but they said nothing at all about the position.  If I haven't heard back tomorrow, I'm calling again.  I need a job, and I had really hoped this one was the answer to my prayers.

The thing is, if it's not, I have a couple other places to apply, and a nice woman with a mutual friend put in a good word for me with her boss at another local business here in town.  It is also within walking distance.  I am, as I said, frustrated, but I'm also not without hope.

An old family friend recently asked me if I might be interested in tutoring/babysitting for her grandson who, as it turns out, is autistic.  Having a younger brother with Asperger's, I think this might be a challenge I could handle.  The only challenge will be trying to find a way to and from the house.  Thankfully they're close and it appears I can make my own hours.  I'll be contacting her before the week is out to see if I can have a trial day with the little boy to see if he will let me work with him.  If he does, I will hopefully have found something I can do, at least part-time to keep me afloat for awhile.

I've also taken a renewed interest in baking and cooking.  I'm honestly looking forward to the cooler weather (fall has always been my favorite) if for no other reason than I'll be able to turn the oven on and work in the kitchen without feeling like I'm going to die.  I will never be a summer person.  In the past couple of weeks I've made a couple of cheesecakes (one which I made up using leftover experiment cookies as my crust), some cookies, and pie.  In the process of trying to completely unpack (yes, finally), I found all of my cookbooks, and I'm beginning to think I may have to start trying out recipe by recipe until I go through all the things I've collected over the years.  It will be a good way to get rid of stuff I'll never use again and hopefully find some new favorite dishes for the family.

On top of this, I've been creating notes all over the place about books to write.  God only knows what will come of that, but I've got a couple of really good ideas for kids books.  If I can get myself to hold still and type some of this up (or scribble it out on paper or at the typewriter), I might have something else to try and publish.  Plus I've started trying to pull together poetry I've written over the years.  I may have something to try for there as well.

Beyond all of this, I have found myself, once again, grateful to have the library across the street.  I have been checking out books and reading everything.  I'm finally going through the last of the books that I own but have never managed to read.  I may actually finally have everything read through by the end of the year.  It won't even take that long if I don't find more work soon.

Like I said, it's a mix of beautiful and suck.  At least, through all of this, I have good people on my side hoping and praying right along with me.  I am not sure what I want to do or where I'll be in the next year, but I continue to hope that I'll be smart enough to greet it as it comes and enjoy where I'm at in the meantime.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Intramural Sports for Porcupines

Hoping I find myself
dreaming of intramural sports
among 300 porcupines
instead of closing my eyes
and seeing you

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I've Always Relied on the Kindness of...Well...People I Know (and Occasionally Strangers)

Everything is stacked everywhere and I feel completely overwhelmed.  I have stacks of job ads.  I have stacks of framed pictures.  I have a huge stack of winter clothes I won't need for months tangled up with a pile of dresses I never take the time to wear.  I have stacks of books and stacks of movies.  I have 2 little stacks of random gifts, letters, and notes that need to go into a box so I can send them to my best friend, Nikky sometime in the not so distant future.  I have stacks of photo albums, and tonight I just feel like my life is a series of piles strewn about on my floor.

Everyone wants to help, everyone wants to ask questions, everyone wants me to come visit them soon or to go to lunch, and everyone wishes this hadn't happened.

Me too.

I keep trying to tell myself that resigning from this job that I believed was my dream job would somehow rectify what was going on.  Doing this would help me find my path back, and I still think it will, but sitting here surrounded by all this stuff that I'd honestly like to throw into the street and never see again, it's hard to believe.  (In my head I can just see all my stuff stacked on the curb as I watch out our porch windows as people come and dance with glee at their good fortune to find stacks of wonderful books and music and movies and clothes and everything as if it were that seen in Elizabethtown where Drew gets to witness just that.)

What's keeping me together is the God keeps reminding me how loved I am.  My siblings, sister-in-law, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and close friends keep reminding me.  People keep trying to connect me to job opportunities or volunteering as references.  People keep trying to help me get all my stuff in one place or move things for me.  People keep hugging me and telling me how glad they are to see me home.  People keep offering to injure certain offending parties.  I guess I keep trying to spread out all those beautiful kindnesses and gifts in front of me and put them on top of all the stacks.  It may seem like that would add to the mess, but really it just makes everything a little brighter and more beautiful.

Everything about this is insane, but at least there's hope.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

When Late Night Brain Attacks!

Having just finished reading Dave Barry's wonderful Big Trouble for the 2nd or 3rd time, I should be in the post-good-book stupor, but instead my brain is thinking about other things. About unfinished letters to a man from Nebraska that I'll never send to ask honest questions he'll never answer. About how I'm less than 2 years from being 30 and still don't know what I want to do with my life and am seemingly no closer to being at peace with myself. About how my family and friends are better than I deserve especially after the final epic explosion and disintegration of my relationship with my boss in SC and my car officially becoming a death trap and the 30-40 flea bites I got from spending under 24 hrs in the house is spent the past 9 months living in and trying to rescue and clean up my kitten. And the fact that it's becoming less and less likely all the time that I'll ever get a chance to have kids let alone find someone to share my life with. 

What I don't get is why my brain can't think about these things during the day with the sunshine and coffee? Can't these thoughts wait till morning when I can sift through them properly?

I've decided that I want to be happy with my body by the time I turn 30, and I'm wondering if I should ever eat again. Ha. 

Somewhere inside my head I am trying to remind myself that I need to find a job, put up bookshelves, clean out my closet, actually unpack, resign from the job I love that has recently decided I don't matter enough to pay me, and actually do something good for myself. I've already had all my bad luck. It's time to just find the good and help it grow. 

Siiiiigh. Most of all, I need sleep. Maybe tonight I'll have better dreams. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Scott Madsen's Words to Kim Carpenter

"God hasn't forgotten you.  God will never forget you.  He says he will never leave you comfortles, and he won't.  You can't use him up or wear him out.  Hang on to him, Kim.  He's the most powerful force for good you have.  He won't forget you.  So please don't forget him."
- Kim & Krickitt Carpenter with Dana Wilkerson, The Vow

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Go to Sleep.

I should be asleep. If I just put this stupid iPod down I probably could go to sleep, but I've got a lot of little half-finished thoughts scurrying and maybe sending them out into the universe will silence them for the night. It's worth a try, right?

First, what if I'm not the Beauty, but the Beast instead? What if I'm the wreck someone has to see through? What if I'm the one who needs to learn to love and somehow win someone's love in return or I'll be stuck like this forever?

I watched Beauty & the Beast the other day while I was watching Piper, and the thought's been rumbling around in my head. I remember reading Twilight for the first time and relating to Edward's "what if I'm not the hero, what if I'm the bad guy" line better than almost anything else. What if I really am damaged goods? What if I never find a way to be the good in me and instead become my dark? 

Second, sort of, how many times do you need your heart-broken, to be looked over, rejected, invisible, second best, the back up plan, best friend, or forgotten before you give up or your heart just dies? Because I may have hit that mark. I'm starting to think I really may get no bigger role in this story than comic relief/crazy aunt/awkward, invisible side-character. I am so blessed with my family and friends, but what am I trying for? I realized today that it's been nearly a week since I wore make up or earrings/jewelry or did my hair or plucked my eyebrows. I look like hell. No one has noticed. Hell, I didn't notice till today. I can't even find it in me to care. I'm invisible, so what does it matter?

And this is what scares me. 

I think I'm letting myself just say to hell with it and giving up because I'm so fragmented. I know I need to keep going. I know I need to be grateful. I know I need to sleep more, spend more time outside, write more, pray more, eat less, and do more to find a new job, but...seriously...what am I working towards?

I've spent the past 8 months of my life believing I had a future and that I'd finally found a place to belong and do some good. This turns out to be a bit of a joke, and I find myself feeling betrayed, completely broke, and moving back in with my parents at 28. 

Third, my grandma's making me a "magic" quilt. I know she is just wanting me to be happy. She wants me settled with my own family, and I love her for that. I just wish it would work. It's insane to hope for though because I still haven't been able to work through the mess of who I am and no one else deserves to deal with this. 

Fourth, the one bad thing about babysitting for Piper is that it makes me desperately want my own kids, but then makes me question whether or not I'd be a good parent. None of this matters since there's no guy in the foreseeable future, but whatever. 

Fifth, I am struggling. In everything. I am tired of answering questions:
• No, I am not going back to SC anytime in the foreseeable future. 
• No, I won't be at ABC in the fall like I planned (possibly not ever).
• No, I haven't been paid. 
• No, I can't pay my bills. 
• Yes, I am looking for a new job.
• Yes, I am still doing work for CofC. 
• No, I'm not dating anyone. 
Those are my answers, and I don't think things will change anytime soon. 

And now to sleep. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Broke Blind Bedlum

These days people are trying to convince me of my goodness, my worth, and that I'm going to be alright. I feel bad for them. No one should watch someone they care about feel like they're caving in. It's scary, messy, frustrating business. 

It's odd because I've been on both sides of this equation, but I feel like I live on the collapsing side now. It makes me angrier and darker. I am struggling to see how anyone could stand being near me or listening to me. 

And then I get a text from a friend reminding me she loves me or I get a perfectly timed email from my best friend reminding me why she's always been the "other half of my soul" or a sweet friend tells me that I just don't see the impact I have on others or I convince one of my brothers to write a funny 80 page story by Christmas as a bet or my mom asks me to read the story at the library story time this week or you find 2 TV shows with characters exactly your age going through their own twisted version of your life or a friend says she wants to come take a walk with you after work later this week...

Then I suddenly have Hugh Grant's words in my head "I have a sneaking suspicion if you'll see live really is all around."

I genuinely have no idea what I want from life anymore or what I'm actually capable of because it's been a long time since I believed in myself or had a real dream that I wanted for myself. I have been thinking about it, and I'm honestly not sure I know the last time I feel like I was put in a place for me. I've gathered a truly amazing group of friends, but every place I end up feels like I'm their for everyone else's needs or to build them up or their dreams. I don't have a problem with this, but I'm hoping someday my heart can be one of the ones being fixed and worked on for a change because I'm wondering how I'm still breathing and how it's even beating with all these holes and pieces missing. 

I am a mess, but, thank God, I am not alone. I will hold myself together. These new wounds and breaks will become scars and I will keep moving.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

There are few things in life more delightful than watching a book or story you've written come to life. I got to spend a little time with my fantastic and incredibly talented sister-in-law, Kelsey who is doing the illustrations for a children's book I've written. Seeing her sketches & ink drawings of my little armadillo is truly a treasure. She is bringing my creation to life, and with a little luck and time and a good deal of perserverance, I think we'll get this published. Out of all the crazy bits and bobs of my life currently, seeing my book actually come to life with Kelsey's endearingly adorable drawings is easily the most rewarding. 

My hope is for us to get the book finished this year (illustrations and all) and find a way to get it published with the next. I want to make sure Conor gets to have a copy of this of his own before he outgrows it. (Especially seeing as how the story is one I wrote with him in mind.)

I can't wait. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Well Maybe I Lied: The Jaymin Cheatwood Story

Someday, when I write my memoirs, my memoirs will be titled Well Maybe I Lied: The Jaymin Cheatwood Story.  It will be a weird and rambling tale that covers everything.  All the mess, the death, the loss, the sickness, the insanity, the lost love, the unrequited love, but it will also cover the little miracles (and the big--the angel, for instance), the surprises, the incredible blessings, the support and love of my family and amazing friends, and the hope.

It will be a story of changed plans and a changing heart and a growing, changing woman because no matter what plan she seemed to have, it seemed God had something different and better...sometimes it just took her a lot longer to catch on than she should have.

My plan for over a year now was to be in SC forever.  I was done moving and running around and everything.  I would be there working with Glennis on Children of Change till the end of time, and that was totally alright.  I wanted that.  That was the life I fully believed God had led me too.  And then it started changing.  I still believed I was supposed to work with Children of Change for forever, but I was starting to believe that what I needed was to go back to ABC to get those last 23 credit hours so I could officially have a BA from ABC in theology with a major in youth ministry since I intended to be working with kids all the time for CofC.  It made perfect sense.  Anyone who has talked to me or been reading this blog for the past few months knows that I followed that plan.  I've signed up for classes to start this fall, and it was going to all work out.  I was going to be able to add a lot of credibility to our organization.  I was even going to apply for my ministerial license after graduation so we could have two licensed ministers on staff (Kim and I both)...

But the truth's probably not going to happen.  Granted, I could be wrong.  I frequently am these days, but maybe not.  I will continue to work for Children of Change, but, at the very least, my summer plans have been altered.  I had planned to be up here in IL with my folks and family for just two weeks, and now I'll be here till at least the end of July.  Depending on how July goes, it may be significantly longer.  I may be here until January or God only knows when.  All I know is that this decision, though it complicates many things, is the first time I've felt peace, real peace, in months.

I can't decide if I'm being selfish or if I'm actually being sane doing what I'm doing right now.  Maybe I just needed to do some running to end up back where I started all over again.  I may still do ABC this fall or in the spring, but it's going to take a lot more praying and a bit of a miracle in order to make that happen.  Honestly, I'm wondering more and more if perhaps, I was listening to the panic and the contingency-plan-making bits of myself deciding to go to ABC.  I'm trying hard to be brave, to do new things, to do the right thing, but sometimes I have no idea how to do that or even what the right thing is, and right now that sums up nearly every day.

So I am going to take the next couple of weeks and do some research.  I may be looking into some alt. school plans.  I also am going to see if I can learn anything more about knitting because I have access to people who can teach me things like that right now.  I have already written myself a giant to-do list for this week, most of which I probably won't get done, but I'm going to try to tackle as much of it as possible.  Plus, I figure, as long as I am here, I am going to try to be a blessing to my family and do as much as I can around the house to make life easier for them, and I will try to spend more time with the people I love here.  I also have the opportunity to do some more work on the children's book I wrote.  My sister-in-law is working on the storyboard/illustrations for it at this point, and I think if we actually can meet a little more regularly and discuss it, we may actually figure out how to get the crazy thing published!  How insane would that be?

On to a new week and new crazy and new challenges.  I may not know where I'm heading yet, but I do know that dark as the road may seem, there's light in the distance.  I'm gonna be alright.

God's got this.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Reminder in the Rain

The earthy smell of summer rain is coating over the ache of too much worry too little God. This wild lightning outside my window and the storm rolling in are reminding me of who wins in the end. Despite the neurotic, depressed, sassy mess that I am, the God of this storm, this truly beautiful, utterly powerful storm, loves me as his own. He created this storm, and He created me. 

I may not be as far reaching or blindingly beautiful as lightning, but I am a spark and light through the darkness because that's what my God and Father created me to be. And I may not be as powerful and my voice may not be as loud and commanding as this storm, but I have the strength of the God of thunder to guide me. His power is in me, and with Him in me and guiding me, who can stand against me? And my voice can speak with power and thunder when it needs to speak up for those with no voice or who need their stories heard. 

My God created me just as unique as the clouds and bolts of lightning. He made me beautiful, powerful, dangerous, cleansing, and life-giving. I am grateful this storm can remind me of what I sometimes lose along the way. God's reminders of His power and strength and of what He created in me never cease to blow me away. 

Close your eyes, listen to the storm, and I think you'll remember too. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Poorly Plotted Discussion of Insanity

I cannot pretend to know the context of Spike's quote here because I am not far enough into Buffy, but I can say this, I understand those words. 

I have been looking at my heart lately and trying to see a future. I look at my heart, and I worry. I am not the woman I was a year ago, and I still haven't decided if that's something I can be happy about. 

A year ago I was scared because I knew I needed to find a new place, and I realized the little family I'd created, though completely fantastic, didn't need me like I needed them. This is not a bad thing. They were a unit, and they needed to be, but in the end that meant I needed to move. So I let myself get talked into moving even further from my family because I was told I'd have a home and a paying job. All I wanted was a job I could support myself with, and a home. 

I still am struggling to believe that I made a good decision. I'm struggling to believe that any of this is actually what God intended for me and that I didn't just screw it up. All I want is to know where I land is home, and to walk my path faithfully.

I know my heart. I know my desperately longings. I know the darkness I stave off and the darkness I am tired of fighting. There are days, too many days, where I wonder if I'm still human. I think it's the depression that tries to convince me that I'm a monster and that things won't turn around, but it's hard to say. 

I just want someone to hold up their end of a story or promise or idea. I'm sick of being the last one paid, the last one picked, and the one people use as a source and not the story. 

Either treat me like an adult and the "wonderful" person/friend/employee/lovable creature I am or tell me the truth: that I'm a jerk or a monster or not worth your time or whatever. At least then I will know what's worth giving up. 

In an attempt to start healing myself up (or to give myself a little time to do just that) I've decided not to text or contact the men in my life first. There are a few exceptions to these rules, but in an effort to stop pretending I'm important to at least one of these guys, I think it's wise to cut myself off. 

In an attempt to start clearing away the bitterness and "what if's" in another section of my life, I got the materials to make a gift for the new baby of an old flame/former best friend. I am hoping that if I can channel the residual good and love from our relationship into something for he and his wife's first kid...maybe I can finish walking away without tripping over a pit of my own bitterness, longing and loneliness. Maybe I'll actually heal a little. 

This may just be insanity or stupidity, but I hope these two ideas help. It would be nice to be in control of at least s little of my crazy. 

Favorite things of this very moment (1:27 am cst):
• The breeze coming through my window
• The sound of crickets
• Sleeping in my jean capris because I forgot to do laundry
• Having some good plans to look forward to this week
• Summer night sounds
• Vicks Puffs tissues

Friday, June 13, 2014


My brain is on fire and even though there's a strong wind tonight it's only causing the fire to spread. 

I am in my own bed in my childhood home and tonight I'm trying to decide if I'm stuck in a cycle or if it's just the tired and the lonely eating away at my brain. 

The other night Calle and I decided to give up the addiction/unhealthy relationships we have with a guy in our life. Both of us need to either find new guy best friends or we need to get use to having only close girl friend's because what we've been putting up with is not alright. So in detoxing from a long standing on-again off-again emotional/psychological addiction to a man who shifts more than desert sands because I'm 28 and I'm done with this. 

My dear friend Jay, who my kind readers may fondly remember as "the tall one" from ages back, is getting married to my friend Kim on Saturday. They belong together, and I'm glad they've fond each other. Annoyingly this wedding has put me in a weird mood, and I am having vivid, hungry dreams. Especially when the dreams have decided to become specific, detailed, and leave me aching with longing I can do nothing about. My brain is a cruel creature these days. 

This is a night where John Mayer's "Edge of Desire" best speaks my lonely heart "I'm just about to set fire to everything I see / There I just said it / I'm scared you'll forget about me." 


Here I am, the forgotten, the lonely, the sleep-deprived contemplating investing heavily in romantic novels, cutting off my ties to the Internet, trying to convince myself that I do need to return to SC eventually, and wondering if the newly forming scar on my hand will be permanent. 

Too much. Always too much. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Some Days There's Just No Good Way of Getting Rid of a Bomb

Somehow, even hundreds of miles from my job and current life, I still find it tugging at me trying to force my hand and make a mistake or a crazy decision.  Sometimes I wonder if my impulsive, broken, lost 19-year-old self is still grieving and somehow at the wheel of my heart.

I guess today I'm just a little frustrated that I still haven't been given the information to do my job to the best of my ability, and I'm a little worried that I'm somehow going to screw up the one thing in my life I'm proud of at this point.  And I was asked again about my going to ABC in the fall.  Yeah, that's my plan, to go back.  To finish this elusive degree.  To finally feel like I've got a bit of myself together.

What a joke.

Last night I started reading a book I'd picked up as a joke for someone else and ended up finishing it at 5 this morning.  It was one of those trash novels, and the bad bit was the fact that the girl was a character that in a really strange way I could relate to.  Not her looks or her money or her situation, but I understood the feeling that everything you touch gets broken and screwed up.  That somehow no matter what you do, it still falls apart.

I hate when my brain decides to do this.

So at this point, I'm running on 5 hours of sleep, a cup of coffee, and the fact that I get to go with my folks and the boys to go to David and Kelsey's for dinner in a few minutes.

Screw my impending sense of dread. Screw my worry that CofC won't stay off the ground because I can't get any of the questions I need answered.  Screw the fact that I don't have the money to pay for school or even stamps for the CofC letter at this point.  Screw those terrible trash novels that somehow make me idiotically introspective at 3:30 in the morning when I'm more vulnerable, lonely, and tired than I need to be.  Screw the fact that I'm still broken and bruised and bleeding internally from watching the guy I love get married nearly 2 years ago and knowing that in less than a month he and his wife will be ushering their beautiful new baby girl into the world while I'm still trying to figure out how to hold my heart together watching the life I'd hoped to create lived out by someone else.  Screw the fact that the guy friend I thought I could believe in keeps drawing back and there will never be a point in trying for a future there.  Screw my lousy self-control, my lack of self-confidence, and my complete lack of hope that a future.  Screw my badly scared body and weird health.

Screw all this mess.

Let me leave you this with.  I finished the first mix I've made myself in ages, and it pretty much sums me up.

What Rattles Here:

  1. Life is Hard - Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
  2. Get Lucky - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams
  3. Find My Way - The Gabe Dixon Band
  4. Not Over You - Gavin DeGraw
  5. When a Heart Breaks - Ben Rector
  6. Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen
  7. Latch - Disclosure feat. Sam Smith
  8. Big Love - Jason Kertson
  9. Love Me Again - John Newman
  10. Half of my Heart - John Mayer feat. Taylor Swift
  11. Needing Getting - OK Go
  12. Rocky Mountain High - John Denver
  13. This Too Shall Pass - OK Go
  14. Another Kind of Green - John Mayer Trio
  15. Don't I Hold You - Wheat
  16. Let's Get Lost - Beck & Bats for Lashes
  17. Chasing Pavements - Adele
  18. Stealing - Gavin DeGraw
  19. Chill in the Air - Amos Lee feat. Alison Krauss

Saturday, May 31, 2014



Today has been stupid. 

Not entirely. I shouldn't say that. There's been a lot of good. Somehow the frustrating and weird are winning the battle of memory though. I'll try to wrap this up with the good. 

The hardest bit was finding out that my fall plans may be shifting a bit. I'll still be at ABC (unless something weird happens), but it may be a bit weirder. We'll see. God's got the situation under control and I know whatever decisions are made, they'll be for the best. It's just made me wonder if my life is stuck in repeat, and if so, will I meet a new Best friend? And if that's the case, can I just not lose him this time? That would be the only good in this cycle. 

Other bad thing? Realizing I'm like the bottom of the barrel instead of a priority in a friend of mine's life. Seriously. I've been forgotten, ignored, or only contacted when they were lonely, bored or whatever. Can you not give me 10 minutes of actual comfort? Because quoting scripture when my life gets flipped over is somehow not helpful. I'm sorry, that's bitter and vague which goes against everything I want to be, but it's still true. 

But for the good things, Children of Change got several donations today. My extended family is incredible, and I have hope for the future of our organization. 

Also, I got to spend time with sleep deprived Calle after getting 15 hrs of sleep myself. We made a strange, giddy, disorganized pair, but we found the stuff she needed for her high school graduation today. Plus we went to lunch together, and that was a lot of fun. She finally made me a pros and cons list (I think the pros won), and I got good unsweet tea. 

And then I spent several hrs tonight hanging out with Ian. He even brought me dinner, which was totally unwarranted and undeserved, but I enjoyed it. Introverts of the world briefly unite! And then I went back to working on one of my projects for Jay and Kim's wedding gift. 

I am weary and silly and being more of a child than I'd like, but I'll sleep and tomorrow I'll work and possibly attend a grad party and hopefully make myself go run. I don't know how things will pan out this week or month or summer, but this will all even out somehow. 


Favorite things of this very moment (12:44 pm EST):
Ocean's 11 on RiffTrax
• The Dr. Pepper that Ian brought me
• Finally getting to talk to Shebby
• That I'm yawning and hopefully will actually get some sleep tonight
• Evan Durham
• "I use to play bass for..."
• That tomorrow can be something better

Friday, May 30, 2014

Books Books Books & Yay for Calle's Graduation Day!

I'm with Calvin on this on.  Life could be worse, but it could be a lot better too.

On the upside, I got about 15 hours of sleep last night.  This was due to the fact that I hadn't slept even an hour the night before.  Sleep and I have become strangers lately.  I'm not a fan of that.  In the times I can't sleep, I read, so I've read about 3 books this week.  Not a single one of them was the book that Ian told me I should read and let me borrow.  I'm terrible at this.  Instead of a sweet sci-fi book by Piers Anthony, I've been reading a trash novel series called the Dark Hunter series.  They're by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  Again...TRASH novels, but the mythology created is pretty fantastic.  Too bad they can't take the concept and tone down the sex a bit and make it more story.  It would work for me.

Plus, the last book in the series I read (Dance with the Devil, if you're curious) introduced like 2 or 3 additional mythologies which I think she's created separate series of books for.  That's gonna probably be something I read eventually.  These are my terrible guilty pleasure books, and they're what I've been reading lately when I can't sleep. I'd look infinitely classier if I could tell you that I've been reading the classics when I can't sleep.  I do have a copy of Oliver Twist that I need to read sometime soon.  It was my favorite book as a child, and I'd like to read it again.  It had a Cinderella element to it that I think a lot of people really overlook which is a real shame.  I think a lot more girls would enjoy it if they realized that was there.  It's one of my favorite classic novels because in the end everyone gets what they deserve.  Oliver gets happiness and a family, the bad guys are punished, and Rose is happy.  It would be a good one to read again.

I also have been carrying my copy of Frances Mayes beautiful Under the Tuscan Sun which is an annual summer read for me.  If you've never read it, you should.  It's just so good.  You feel like you're part of Italy and it makes you want to be there.  I read it in the summer when I am daydreaming about where I'd like to run away (which happens at some point every year).  It's just a beautiful way to escape.  Plus it's full of recipes that I'd like to try eventually.  Chase down this book with some fresh sun tea in a tall glass full of ice on a front porch, and you are in business.

Unrelated to all these books, Calle is graduating from high school again.  It's funny because I moved so far from home, but I still have little siblings graduating.  Can't help but be proud of her.  We were talking about how strange it will be in the fall when we are both in college.  We're separated by 10 years, but we're still both going to school this fall so we can work with kids.  She'll be a teacher and I should finally finish my theology degree so I can be a youth minister.  Mine just means I'll be more qualified to work the job I already have with Children of Change as we grow and work with kids.  I'm hoping Calle's path is a little less confusing and complex than mine.  I know she's going to face challenges, but I'm hoping that she's smart and strong and makes sure she listens when God calls so she doesn't face as much needless heartbreak.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Spirit Animals & Going Home

Dean Winchester really is my spirit animal, but probably only where this is concerned.  I shouldn't say that.  We're both incredibly loyal past the point of logic or good health, and we both have a lot of self-loathing.  Beyond that, I really couldn't say.  I haven't watched nearly enough of the show to know if our similarities run any deeper.  I know I'm not the object of the opposite sex's burning desire though, so we don't have that in common at all.

Moving on.  All I'm saying is that I understand how little desire Dean has to jog or run.  I'm with him 100%.  I haven't been out running or walking or jogging or anything in well over a week and I'm supposed to do that 5K in about a month and a half.  I'm planning on dying.  I guess I should probably update my will and get as much living in as I can while I still have time.  I'll get to see Jay and Kim get married before I die, and I've had the opportunity to hold Ki, Ellie, Quin and play with Conor, so at least I'll die knowing the little ones I adore in person.  Plus I got ahold of a copy of John Mayer's cover of "XO" today, so nothing else really matters anyway.

I get to go home in about a week.  It is hard to explain just how happy I am about this.  I miss my family.  Deeply.  One of the things that is constantly driven home to me being so far away is just how amazing my family is and how hard it is to be without them.  I am truly lucky when it come to my family.  What's even better?  They're as excited about me coming home as I am to see them.  I'll get to see David and Kelsey's new apartment, Joel is in the process of trying to win a bet we have going over a screen play, I get to bake my dad pie, I'll get to talk to my mom about everything in person (and without feeling weird about who may hear me), and I'll get to make Forrest laugh.  I'll take pictures of everything and I'll get to cuddle with my cat, sleep in my own bed, sit on my front porch for hours, and spend time reading in my favorite chair in the universe.  For a little while all will feel like it is supposed to and I'll be able to breath without it feeling like a struggle.

I've had a really hard time the past few weeks just trying to stay motivated.  I want Children of Change to succeed so badly, but I feel like I'm floundering in my ability to be my best.  I don't think I'm my best right now.  I think I'm a little too damaged to be what I need to be, and I'm hoping this trip home will give me a little perspective and a way to heal.  Maybe the distance and climate change and actual meals will make a difference.  Plus Sun Tea.  Real sun tea.  No sweeteners.  Just the tea and ice in a tall glass with a good book.  Everything about that sounds like heaven.  

I can't wait to go home.

Favorite things of this very moment (12:50 AM EST):
  • XO by John Mayer (do yourself a favor and buy it)
  • The pair of black heels I was given tonight (for free!)
  • My new lamp (Look!  Now there are more of them!)
  • John Mayer's voice...le sigh
  • My room being a not insane temperature, but rather being juuuuust right
  • Calle and her terrible jokes about snails (er...Canadians)
  • The prospect of sleep
  • Getting to talk to Shelby (I miss her)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Money is the Suck

Dear Everyone,

I hate talking about money, don't you?  I've learned that I can ask any of you to help with anything that I feel is important and doesn't directly benefit me, but if I actually have to talk to someone about money that is either owed me or that I'm trying to raise for my benefit...I am the suck.  I lose my words.

I apologize if I sound like an idiot in the near future.  Know that I'm trying to make sense and that I will do my best to answer questions.

Thanks for your patience.


So This Could Be a Mess

I slept last night & for the first time in several days didn't watch the sunrise without sleep. I was told last summer that if you go several days without sleep it can do permanent damage to the brain. I love thinking about that when I already can't sleep. Such a comfort. Ha. Some nights I wonder if this won't be what puts me in the nut house. Won't be a nice one either because I'm broke & I'd never want my family to try & pay. They deserve better. 

And then I say stuff like that and I do sound crazy. 

I got Calle a little hooked on Lost Girl with me. It's a terrible show. If it wasn't for Dyson, I don't think I would've kept watching, but I've emotionally invested in his character (& vests). I feel like it's Angel on steroids with a lot more sex. Like I need that in my brain. 

I am using the show to escape the present. The magic & myth of it fascinate me. I like that humanity is capable of creating so much in the way of additional ideas/characters/creatures/myth. I get it. We want to explain & explore. Sometimes we just wish there was something extra to us. That we were somehow more magical or had more of a gift. 

Sometimes we just don't feel terribly extraordinary despite (as Neil Gaiman says) the secret worlds within us. 

I like the idea of being able to charm anyone or create desire or whatever. It appeals to me because I struggle to find my own magic to make me appealing. 

I find this especially appealing when suddenly silence rings louder than words & I begin to doubt my importance in someone else's life/heart/friendship. It frustrates me. I'd adore the ability to touch someone and for them to tell me the truth about whatever I ask. Or to be able to read peoples' feelings for each other. 

I just wish I understood. Because, like so many nights lately, I'm just wondering what's going on. 

I'll move in a couple months (Lord willing) & then what? Will what I've created matter here?

You know why it's hard to put down roots? Because if I do, everyone can keep moving on without me and I'll get left behind. I move from place to place because when I get close to putting down roots, my world shifts & everything I want to build breaks apart. It's hard to put down roots in the desert. 

Maybe this is my 40 years in the wilderness. The only problem is, either I'm blind or my pillar of cloud/fire is gone. 

I'm tired of feeling like I'm too much, but also not enough. I'd like to say this is just a dry spell, but I don't know. 

Favorite things of this very moment (1:33 AM EST):
• Dyson (& his vests)
• Calle giving me sweet Bo hair (now I just need to figure out how to do it myself)
• That I actually feel tired
• X-men movies
• Memory foam mattress pad
• My fan
• Knowing I'm less than 2 weeks from going home