Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fake expectations

" I went to sleep and dreamed my whole life, now I'm just waiting for it to happen." me, age 10

Besides being a ominous sign of the next 20 years of my life, this is one of the sole sources of my condition of expectation.
Throughout my friendships, counseling books, bible studies and(the mecca of human behavior analysis)retail, I've yet to fully grasp why we expect so much or little as the case may be.
Why we like to write the night before it happens or predict disinterest before it shows up.
I know control hides out in the foundation of this but it certainly feels like more. Disappointment sucks.  Its the thing I try to avoid the most and why...its not what I dreamed? That's just crazy talk , right?

I tend to find myself feeling this little flicker of a feeling on more days than I care to note.
There are tangible moments ...and I don't even know why I'm disappointed/surprised/flattered....It really takes me time to think about it...and then convince myself to not think about again.
Is it ingrained, taught, fostered, created...or is it a defensive act to show preparation?
Is it stopping me?

Do we all have these fake expectations--or are we all simply  either a disappointment to some and a joy to others?
Truthfully- my expectations have been surpassed as many times as they have fallen...kind gestures in adverse situations, thoughtfulness from an absent mind, even success in a oppressive environment....but this is still an alteration on the advanced plan I had for this specific moment.

We create our expectations. We make people into characters, moments into meaning, words into feelings. If I'm disappointed its because I wrote the story differently from how God wrote it. (ahem and He is a best seller.) So I guess its time to edit. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rise and Shine

Sometimes, we have no idea.
The reasons behind ones comment, the strength of such an unassuming person, the capacity of such a thing as water. At face value these don't add up but what glimmers beyond the surface compels us to wake up and take notice.
I'm in a new place, figuratively and literally(though just temporarily). Often a champion naysayer I have recently opted for a brighter view. When this event(its more than a flood) happened I immediately wrote it off as a complete loss. Certain. Beautifully, friends and neighbors became arc's.  Strength, kindness, fear and peace was lying behind most every surface. Layers  I hadn't bothered to look at before. And I had no idea how miraculously lucky I would be.
There are a host of  educated people that tell you fear compels us to do most everything. I can't disagree entirely- but I can say I am compelled by greatness of others. To aspire to be like ones I have witnessed.
It is a grand thing when someone exceeds your expectations. Grander still to rise above yourself and surpass what you thought possible. Sometimes, we have no idea.

Nashville's history is steeped with battles, melodies, difficulties and dreamers.
As our water rose so did the since of duty, kindness and brotherly love. To see a town and communities within - just go and do what needed to be done- was so incredibly encouraging and necessary. Main stream media might not have cared, some people might feel indifferent about a country town but if you ask this girl, on this occasion, Nashville rises and shines.

The occasion is piled high with difficulty[and possibility] and we must rise high with the occasion. Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring of my content

Something about being home. Where memories infiltrate your senses at the local bakery, the river's edge, the front porch.
Being in a place where you made plans and dreamed of more. Where you decided who you want to be and how you want to live. 
An emotional split screen moment - me, as a  17 y/o girl and me as a 34 y/o woman.
(This is where I would insert a picture but the internet lives forever and I'm not going to do it;)

Some things are not that terribly different, some things are. I have a better car(green fiero- silver jetta), hairstyle(ok thats subjective) and sense of self now. My legs are not the dancers of before, and my skin shouldn't see any more sun. I was hopelessly romantic, now I'm hopelessly doubtful. I still say ma'am and sir. Though I've found faster paces I still believe in a nice stroll and conversation.
Its here where I see most clearly the life I chose not to have....and more than I care to admit, I question it.  I think about my family, my life and how different it would be if ......but I trust God works even when I have my blinders on.
One thing for sure, the love for my family grows exponentially. We went to the coast and walked on the shore, ate fresh seafood and enjoyed one another. I finally learned how to make mom's biscuits. I finished two books in the home where I've read hundreds. I found an old letter that broke my heart. I slept safe, without a care. I made efforts to see people that can speak to who I've always been.
Most importantly I've come round to find contentment in a town, for a time I wanted distance from.

Is it so small a thing to have enjoyed the sun, to have lived light in the spring, to have loved, to have thought, to have done?

Matthew Arnold

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Exfoliate.Rinse.Repeat as Necessary.

Thou shalt fight as a flower fighteth upwards through the stones to
flower in the sun at last...
D.H Lawrence

On this first day of spring Wikipedia tells me what to expect.
(Transition period. Rebirth, renewal and regrowth.)

Trina Paulas gives me hope.
(Caterpillar. More. Butterfly.)

And I feel ..well exfoliated.

Throughout this period much shedding seems to be occurring in many areas of my life...

Some of it by choice, some to my resistance and most for the better. I am always at battle with my skin. I will never be satisfied with the way it looks or the way I can't seem to conceal my flaws. So the chance of sanding it off for something better is more than appealing..and slightly irritating.

In Life I'm at the great layer(that I often get to before the burn) where I'm reading fantastic books, forgoing(some) tv for crafting, spending time with God and setting some plans in action. I don't really have many goals I've set in life which most people find shocking. I just always thought I was supposed to live and do what God led me to do. If I expected or planned anything I thought it would just fail. Though I can't tell you the origin of that thinking I can say its been nice..(seeing the world as wide open with chance) and limiting..(but how do I choose). On any given day I could agree to do missions and move away, start a retail store, get married, adopt kids, become a nun, write a novel or run for office. I know, you see that as perhaps indicative of a mental illness...but what I get from that is I'm not looking for happiness or purpose. I've got it, Thank God.What I do will never matter as much as who I am. I just need to get better aim(or gps).

I'm hoping this scrub down will be a bit more lasting than my other attempts. Removing tough, damaged skin makes me more sensitive, prone to being burned and I'm not comfortable that way...But I suppose if I wanted to be comfortable I would be a person that wears sweats or crocs...and that I would never do;)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Seeing is believing

Over this glorious weekend I've had quite a few revelations...
1-I am living the same relationships over and over.
2-I'm digging chocolate cereal. Chocolate chex, chocolate cheerios.. its all kind of amazing.
3-For all my judgements of unhealthy relationships...I don't always bring healthy to the table.

It isn't kind to cultivate a friendship just so one will have an audience.
Lawanna Blackwell

19 days in and I've already stumbled.
No huge shocker I suppose, as I am quite familiar with the odds of me altering myself so ....easily.
Confession: I spent some time with some of those I was to be giving up.

Its strange because it wasn't as if I missed them so much as I was so used to the life and activities we created that I didn't want to miss that.
Funny thing is I realized I'm just as guilty as them for what our relationships have become.
I need to give up myself.
Since my days in high school (voted the friendliest, thank you) I have always had a way of befriending most anyone. No cliques, age, fashion choice, political party(ahem) could detract me from wanting to know people. This has always led to me have a variety of friends....which I think is somewhat good. I knew me...I wanted to know more than me. I was especially intrigued by strays...those brand new or without strong affiliation. Simply, those that wanted to be known. (I use the term stray as affectionately as possible...)
I've met a ton of fantastic people through this process but it has landed me in the same situation in most every city.... some friendships that make me feel tired, angry, lukewarm and sometimes lonely.
A friend (yes, I call God that) gently pointed out that fingerprints of my friends were all over me...which is such a beautiful image ....except for the smudgy, needy, greedy, doubtful ones that were just as prominent as the strong, funny, kind, faithful ones.
And I see that people change us all the time, leave their imprint in such a way as to cause us to see with great joy or great bitterness.
So now I'm being selective with my emotional real estate....and my time. God and I have had some great moments now that I've got more moments to give him. I know He gave me the curiosity to know many and love much. I still want to favour as many strays as possible...but who I am has to be clearly visible through the fingerprints. And more importantly, I should be certain of what story my prints leave behind.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Castle made of sand

It went better than I thought.
Telling someone you are giving them up for 40 days can be a bit harsh..but he understood me and my motivations so well it made me sad, determined and a little more confused.
See for most-unhealthy means abusive, derogatory and/or manipulative. Sadly, I believe in that definition but I also know the stealth unhealthy...the kind that makes you tired to be around them(more on this another time), the kind that somehow influences your views, conversations and free time. The one in your life you haven't been with for two years but you still feel emeshed with and though you say you are ready for a relationship...he is still the one you are in a relationship with.

Now mind you I can flip a thought or relationship over and over in my head, washing all the depth and meaning off like the tide rolling away the sand. So what I consider unhealthy others might not...and vice versa.
Oddly, we both get we need this evaluation time....for two people that are as "fundamentally different" as we are, we have to know if this is just comfortable for us now. We all do this sometimes...this staying because its easy, its familiar and because we think we are too old/too picky/too busy to try again with someone new.
It makes it a little easier because (as God would have it)...he is out of town for the next month. Currently I'm anxious, more than a little sad and already becoming more introspective(that could be trouble)...I'm thankful for friends that lighten my load, laugh at me and keep me sane. In 24 hrs I've learned I am so appreciative of the way in which someone can know me and my tremendous quirks and pursuit of truth and still love me with such depth.

Monday, February 22, 2010

the way we were

Wouldn't it be lovely if we were old? We'd have survived all this.
And everything would be easy and uncomplicated, the way it was when we were young- Katie, It was never uncomplicated. But it was lovely, wasn't it? Yes, It was lovely.

In my quest of facing my relationships it just so happened facebook was the mirror to my most unhealthiest of all.
There HE was in the right column, my friend suggestion....and after a quick thought I clicked on him.... and its funny how something can seem soooo long ago and yet so recent....The ring on his finger didn't hurt like I thought it would.. it just made him look like a totally different person, not the person I had always imagined him to be. And as all the memories, words and choices came like colored flashes in my mind a familiar feeling was in my stomach...regret.
(And this is the part no one says or agrees with)...I regret the choices I made.
I realize that those choices made me who I am...but I still think I need to regret them to make sure I never do them to you not regret touching a hot stove and burning yourself?
Yes, for a time it was grand...until I let it come between the most important things to me. I'm not trying to be overly dramatic but from a girl that has had a few long term relationships..there are no other regrets. No other times where I did not know, nor like at the end, who I was.
I have to say there is no blame here...many times two healthy people can come together and become very unhealthy...its just the mixing of wrong ingredients...and in comparison I'm proud of who I have become...the choices I have made and how the 'unhealthy' in my life now is so much tamer than that.
So far this experiment has made me realize why my 'healthy' has been set where it is in my life...and why, for a season, my light was dimmed.
Now the enrichment so many bring to my life far outweighs those that might diminish.
And to you, your girl is lovely.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Giving up the ghosts

Yes, I stole that from Brandi Carlile....but I like to consider her AMAZING show the other night my inspiration point so all forgiven, right? .. more on that a bit later..

This is the time of year when many people give up 'bad' things/choices/people for a certain amount of time for a type of penitence. Being raised a Baptist I never experienced Ash Wednesday and Lent....though I have always been quite curious about the ritual. So, just as life would have it...inspiration and action coincided....and I am one day into giving up my ghosts.

Tuesday. It started on a cold night in a warm theater hearing a skilled voice telling the truth in such a way you couldn't not hear it. It reminded me we are all simply and grandly storytellers. Some of us much more resistant to share and in return less prone to live. So, being inspired by talent and truth I decided to find a way to clean out some tangled thoughts and start piecing together my story.
(I was kinda hoping I've have some time before I actually had to do that.)

Wednesday. Yep. The very next night I got together with some new friends for a weekly study and much to my surprise we had an intimate 'Ash Wednesday' ceremony..... We had been discussing what we hold onto the most for a few weeks and I never really thought I held onto to anything or anyone. After a few minutes I wrote down what I needed to let go of on a piece of paper and set it aflame...the ashes then marked on my forehead....Ghosts of bad choices and haunts of what I do hold onto, unhealthy relationships.

Again, I'm new to all this but I do think anytime you come face to face with the person you actually are it can be powerful and heartbreaking. Our stories are the layering of the choices we make or don't make...regret is wasteful but looking back is necessary.

Thursday. I'm more conscious of my choice though hasn't really affected me... yet. I'm not willing to say I'm giving this up for 40 days as is 'the rule'... Those that know me know I'm pretty all or nothing. I am willing to say I might be letting this out of my life forever... or later pursuing it with abandon ...but over the next 40 days I will see how my life/thoughts/ actions change without it...

I suppose it would have been easier to give up unhealthy eating or shopping...both of which affect my life but to the surprise of my avoidance nature; this is what I think about, plan for and spend my days with and its a chapter I have to tell.