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 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Geez Louise, Louise.

I just finished reading 2 posts on a friend's blog about her struggle with depression, and a little bit earlier I was reading an email from my best friend who was telling me she's been struggling, and the only reason she was telling me this was that I emailed her this morning to tell her I was feeling a little like I was falling apart.

Today's been a weird, awful, good, weird day.

At one point today I walked out into a clouded day only to have it hail and then pour on me and then 10 minutes later I walked outside again and it was sunny.  South Carolina sometimes makes less sense than the weather of northern Illinois, and I didn't know that was really something that could happen.

Can I make a confession?  I signed up for Zoosk this week.  I also deactivated and deleted my Zoosk this week.  Took me 2 days to figure out how to deactivate it, and I almost didn't do it because today I had 2 messages with really ridiculous pick up lines in them commenting on how beautiful I am.  I emailed my best friend after deactivating Zoosk because I had to share with her the pick up lines, and also to whine because I realized it's been about 9 years since a guy has called me beautiful (excluding my family because the men in my family are wonderful and try to make sure I know how lovely I am for which I cannot thank them).  Well, maybe one other guy did...I had a guy ask if he could sleep with me once when he knew I was coming home on break from college, but the more I think about that the less I remember (or maybe the less I want to remember) and I'm not sure he ever said anything about my looks.  Maybe he just wanted to sleep with me because he thought I'd be up for that (which is hilarious since I was at a Bible college going to school for theology studying youth ministry and premarital sex is kinda frowned upon).

Let's just say that I don't think a guy asking to sleep with you is an admission of your beauty.

I got the Zoosk because I was hoping someone would tell me I was beautiful.  I won't lie about that.  I was also hoping though that I would read someone's profile and I would see the face attached to the words and somehow I would find the person I keep waiting for.  Instead I found a lot of hilarious pick up lines (which if a guy used them in person, I would, without a doubt agree to go on a date over, but via the Internet just makes them seem...well fake instead of funny) and a lot of spelling errors.  Somehow, I just couldn't do it.  Two of the messages I received were the worst spelled messages I've ever received in my life, and I couldn't get passed that.  At all.  On top of which, no one really seemed to have anything good to say.  Cheesy and a little funny, yes, but valid...not so much.

The problem with a couple of guys telling you that you are beautiful when you have lost sight/faith/belief in the reality of that in yourself is that it will suddenly occur to you that you don't believe they'll find you attractive if they ever meet you in person.  I mean if the guys you know in person don't ever seem to find you attractive or voice that to you...why on earth would you believe a stranger who is only seeing a couple good pictures of you?

This is when your best friend points out (rightly) to you that what you really need is to see yourself as beautiful because (she well knows) that if you don't find yourself beautiful you will find it hard to believe when others say it (even the man you love that you know loves you back).

What a mess.

Why is it so hard for us to see our own value?

For instance?  I know I am beautiful.  God created me.  I have value.  I am worthy of love.  For crying out loud, my capacity to love others is insane, but I still fail to see my worth.

So my project for this week is to find the things about myself that I know make me beautiful.

And now, because I've really neglected this...
Favorite things of this very moment (11:03 PM EST):

  • The Gandhi quote necklace my mom sent me for my birthday ("be the change you wish to see") because she knows my heart and this is kinda my version of the theme of Children of Change, and speaking of Children of Change...
  • Children of Change now has a website!  We're OFFICIALLY online!  That's right!  You can donate on the website or get involved with us or ask us your questions there.  Soon there will be links to our Twitter and we'll have a Facebook page soon.  We'll also have a lot more projects and opportunities to tell you about.
  • "Medium" Unsweet Tea from Hardee's (because THEY actually understood the concept of UNSWEET tea...geez...I realize this is the South and I'm clearly a Northerner, but dear goodness, just give me my unsweet tea)
  • Jordan having a new phone ( have no idea how frustrating that's been)
  • Emails from Nikky (it's too bad we don't have Caesar anymore...I'm pretty sure he would have been our Rowdy)
  • That I have nowhere to be until 5 tomorrow (if I make myself go...which I need to because it's Calle & Marshall's grad party and I love Calle and Marshall)
  • Vlogbrothers ...Calle got me to start watching them and now I can't stop (and Jordan really is Hank and I really am John)

Thursday, May 22, 2014


The stars shine so bright
They twinkle on my ceiling
It's after 2AM 
& I can't find my rubber mallet
I could try the old songs
But it would just remind me
That nights like this,
At the edge of alone,
I want to set everything
--yes everything--
On fire
At least the flames
Would give reason
To all this heat

All is quiet
Save the fan blades whirring on
And I'm fighting the urge
To hope from kind words
From strangers
When we're so often judged
By beauty
I worry for my heart

And are the lonely
Truly the kindest
Or is that supposed
To read as damaged?
Because my experience
Only sees that so far
Sometimes running alone
For so long
Causes you to forget
How to interact organically

How can you like me
When you don't know me?
How can I let you know me
When I'm not sure I like me?

And I'm a cactus flower
In a lonely desert
And I'm the sailor
Called by your song to the rocks

How many boats will I lose?
How many deaths will I die?

Will I ever be enough?
I have the right skills
And my heart still beats
Can't that be enough?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Twenty-eight. Feels odd to say. 

Today I turned twenty-eight. This is a new year for me. I am hoping to make good things out of this year. In August, I am hoping to head back to school to finish my BA in theology. 

I've decided to not try to tell myself a list of things I need to complete this year. Instead, I'm just going to live. I have a couple weddings to look forward to this year, a lot of Children of Change stuff coming up, and I'm sure I'll be surprised by other wonderful things as the year goes forward. 

So here I am twenty-eight. Let's see what you got. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

3 AM & I Wanna Go To Be-eh-ed

It's 3 AM and I miss home and sleep. 

In 24 hours, I'll be 28. Jordan told me to keep the parts of me I like and to keep improving on the rest. To love now and not dwell in the past. We'll see what this brings. 

In the past 24 hours I met, fell in love with, named, and was given claim to a kitten. Her name is Mulligan. Ian found her in the parking lot of his work. He was afraid someone was going to hit her. He's gonna take care of her until I am done with ABC next May. I think he just wants her with someone he trusts. I'm okay with this. 

I was also said to be dating Evan as well as Jordan by nice people at Bethel. I feel like dating a pair of brothers would end badly. (Sinner.) Funny how I'm not dating either of them. 

Got a chance to tell Shelby we're going to be roommates come August. She seems pretty excited. I'm just looking forward to sleeping on a real bed and not this dang couch. Plus I won't have to question dairy products. 

Now I gotta wonder what the next 24 hours will bring. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Cliff Diving

Day after day I question my heart and my intentions. 

People ship us. Do you realize this? 

You're lovely.

I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff, and I can't decide whether to dive or not. My adrenalin is starting to surge, but I can't decide if I'm ready for this. More worrying? I'm not sure I'd land in the water or hit the rocks if I do jump, and I'm not sure I'd survive hitting the rocks. I've done that before, and I barely survived. I'm just now nearly healed from that fall; am I really ready to risk this?

Know this: if you decided to clear away some of the rocks or show me where I could jump, I wouldn't hesitate. I would choose you every day, and I would do all I could to make you laugh. I would support you as you continue to grow into the man your becoming. 

But I don't think I'm really what you want or what you're looking for. 

It won't be long now before I find myself staring down the rocks. If I'm smart I'll pull myself away from the edge. 

I miss reckless desire and being fearless. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

It's Time

This quote hits me right in the heart. Nick Miller and I are sometimes far too similar for comfort, but somehow his weird fictitious existence gives me hope. I think it can be traced to the fact that if there is a character written like this, it means the writer is, was, or knew someone that inspired him. You write what you know. 

If penguins are black and white TVs, I am Nick Miller. Sure the comparison is skewed and this clearly can't be 100% accurate, but there are people in their late 20's-early 30's who are just as unsure and messy as me. 

I'm not alone. 

This also means you're not alone. 

I say we take heart in this. I say we realize that even if we feel like late bloomers or losers, we aren't. No, we are denizens of greatness (to quote Elizabethtown), and just because we haven't yet figured out how/where to grow roots doesn't mean we'll always be gypsies or wanderers. We're walking towards home. We're following the pillar of fire through these nights in the desert. 

I think it's time we figure out what is worth packing and what should be left behind. We're intrepid explorers of this world; it is best to travel light. What new skills can we pick up? Is it time you learned to cook (or maybe to learn to write a trashy romance novel) or took up running? Perhaps it's just a matter of better budgeting or learning to stand up for your needs, but whatever the case, now is the time. 

I'm not great at this. I am envious of people with savings accounts and the ability to tell you where they see themselves in 5 years, but I've decided to learn to make things happen. Even if my creative endeavors are little projects I found on Pinterest or writing more kind notes, it's a start. It's a risk. 

I don't know where I'll be in 5 years, but I can tell you that I hope to have my BA in theology, have attempted to publish a children's book about armadillos, and be able to run up a flight of stairs without wheezing. 

I'm still Nick Miller, and maybe you are too, but this just means I'm lucky in my friendships, I'm witty, and the whole world is open in front of me. Somehow...this doesn't seem so bad anymore. 

In fact, I think this is my jumping off point. So here I go. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Seeing This Side of Morning

I love that at 2:05 AM my brain is not only awake, but it is trying to tell me I'm a failure. This children--THIS--is why you should go to bed at a normal time. Like 11 maybe. It will help you avoid talks with yourself at 2 in the morning where you find yourself pointing out every time you failed again today. All the points where you let the bad in, the to-do's you managed to forget, the resolve you lost, the bills you still haven't paid. 

Why can't my brain focus on the good things: finding out a friend of mine wishes he could race for the rest of his life, realizing how close to complete the Children of Change website is, a peach milkshake, Dean "makin' pie," planning a run for tomorrow, getting travel plans figured out for my trip home in June...

Why can't I just hold myself together for a day? Why can't I just get my head around this idea of taking care of myself so that I don't end up diabetic or have the pancreatitis come back and so that, if I ever find a good guy and settle down, I could maybe actually have kids?

I just get so frustrated that even with the list I have of reasons...I still let myself down every day. I am a mess. 

But it's 2:16 AM, and this means it's a new day. I am calling for a restart. Let's try this again. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

If Only I Had a Chainsaw to Slice the Shark of my Brain in Two

And here is the part where my brain unravels and all that's left of me is a still-beating heart, memories tattooed into the cells, and desire...

This week I take up running (or an approximation), spend time in the sun to pick up color (something beyond grey and tired, please), and get the summer calendar together. Plus possibly work out a way to go back to school to finish the last 23 credits I need for my BA. 

These notions aren't as romantic as the first, but both are real and burning through my brain (or what's left at 3 AM). 

I'm tired of being the warning light for peoples' bad decisions. If I can see it, especially if we already had this discussion, why are you walking back into oncoming cars? Are you trying to cause an accident? Just stop. Stop. 

Tonight I got the ingredients for a couple experiments because I temporarily have a clean/safe place to play. Tonight it was Carmel bacon buns, and tomorrow I make homemade pizza rolls because I CAN. 

This week may also finally see the trash novel Jordan wants me to attempt coming to fruition. There are already a few brilliant working titles. Maybe it'll be worth publishing. Ah yes, my life reduced to an odd punch line for a joke no one bought. 

Somehow the only bit of tonight I want to hold to or dream about is the man who is a huge fan of bacon and the idea of traveling the world in a boat learning about sharks. 

Ted, again, was right in saying nothing good happens after 2 AM. Sleep. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Fun Day

Today is one of those days where I have a to-do list and I had things planned out, but nothing seems to be working quite right.  I planned on waking up early this morning, packing up my car, working till 5 and taking off.  While I was at work, I was going to finished editing the mailing list I'm working on, and Glennis told me she was going to come in and look through the envelopes so I could send out the mailing.

I woke up late.  I did pack my car up.  I'll probably be here at work for another 20 minutes, but I the mailing list won't be finished (guess who probably won't get sleep again tonight!  Woot!), and Glennis sent me a text this morning saying she was going upstate to help Kaitlyn with a project this morning.  This was fine, but then they got a flat tire coming back, so she won't make it back in time to look at the letters and I definitely won't get paid today.

Something about not actually being fully paid for the 4th week or so in a row really starts making you wonder what kind of security you really have.  Or it could just be that some things really feel better when they're on schedule.  When you know how much money you should be seeing and you end up with half of's a little disheartening.  Makes it hard to budget correctly or get bills paid on time.

*sigh*  It will be fine.

Of course, I also, so briefly, thought maybe I'd finally figured out why a guy I know doesn't speak much to me.  I thought maybe he'd never received any of the letters I've sent over the past 4 years, but had seen notes show up for most of our other mutual acquaintances.  I thought maybe all this quiet was just because he thought I'd been ignoring him, and I could fix it.  Nope, he got my letters...he just is that quiet.  I over-think everything.

Somehow I feel like a balloon that's been leaking helium all day.  I was floating so cheerfully this morning.  Heading up, and now I'm slowly drifting down.  Maybe it's a caffeine crash.  I got plenty of sleep.

Instead of focusing on all the negative, let's focus on something good to wrap up with tale of whine and woe.

Favorite things of this very moment (4:48 PM EST):

  • A quiet place to whine
  • That I can text and use the interwebz at work
  • Getting as much of the mailing list done as I did
  • Knowing I should get some time in the sunshine over the weekend
  • Knowing I should get to see Cheat & fam this weekend
  • "Easy A" & "The Rocker" both being in my suitcase
  • Chocolate Zico for the road
  • Margie from the post office always being willing to take the time to answer my questions
  • Small miracles
  • White lace shoes
  • Being almost done with the work day
  • That it's Friday