For Laughs · I'm Just Saying

Imma Be Honest

Imma be honest with all of you:

Sometimes I get so ridiculously tired of blogging.

But I have this thing where I’ve been writing this blog for almost…four (?) years now and thinking of blog posts is just a part of who I am now.

However.

bad decisionsI don’t really know what’s going on inside my head, or what the cause is, but for whatever reason the last couple of days I have just been so, so, so mad. Just mad.

Have you ever woken up absolutely furious?

I still can’t decide if I would recommend the experience or not, but I’ll get back to you assuming that at some point in the near future I don’t wake up furious. One of the objects of this anger has been my blog.

I guess that for some reason I always thought it meant something, but I’m not sure it does. I guess I always wanted to write these posts that rattle everything inside of me while also putting it all into place, and somehow everything in my life causing the rattling would just fix itself. It would be like the universe saying, “Yo. I read your blog. And all those things you’re working towards and waiting for? Here they are. Stay golden.”

Actually, that’s never happened. Maybe the universe isn’t following this blog.

I’m fairly certain that I’m trying to be funny in this post. And that the fact that I’ve been absolutely furious for three days straight is also quite funny. Not sure. Nothing really feels funny right now, but the part of me that usually finds most things funny is assuring me that it’ll all be funny soon.

When I feel this way, I just constantly have to remind myself to remain focused on what I know. Just remain focused on the answers I received, do my best to avoid falling into sadness (which is so easy when life feels uncertain), and just continue doing good things and doing what I know makes me content.level of hell

I will say with complete confidence that I’ve been doing this remarkably well in recent months. I’m actually proud of myself for all I’ve been able to do.

But the last three days I’m just mad.

I think it’s an experience I only recommend if it doesn’t last too long. Sometimes you just have to drive through town wearing your sunglasses and mean face. With the bass turned way up and your rap music blaring. Actually, I’d recommend that experience on any day, but on days like this, it is an entirely new level of satisfying.

Stay golden.

 

Just Writing

The Leaf

The Leaf

somewhere deep in the forest
a leaf grew on the high branches

one day she changed
to vibrant red and gold

she merely thought it was her time
the time she’d waited for

she didn’t know
she was about to die

in hues of majesty
she held onto her branch

overlooked the forest
and understood contentment

she watched her change
and was happy

she didn’t know
she was about to die

a wind came from the south
carrying black clouds

but she didn’t have strength
to hold on

it had been sapped
the colors had weakened her

she knew
she was about to die

somewhere deep in the forest
a leaf grew on high branches

one day the red and gold betrayed her
and she fell to the ground

and shattered on the forest floor
nothing to catch her

she hadn’t known
what it felt like to die

and there, upon the ground
the leaf stayed forever

ever slowly falling apart
blending into the brokenness

she watched the long life of others
saw their contentment

she watched as they knew
that they would never die

 

 

I'm Just Saying

Palace Views

14375342_1898733117020628_440956483_oA year ago today, I set foot in London, England for the first time. And realized I was home.

I went to England for three weeks on a study abroad tour with the English department at my university. We spent the first several days in London, and continued from there. Each Sunday that we were there we attended church. On the last Sunday I remember sitting in the meeting and weeping. I remember silently praying, talking to God about a lot of different things.

I remember praying, “How can I do it? How can I leave here? I’ve never felt such a sense of belonging in my life. How can I leave, Father? How?”

Then I prayed, “And you’re probably so tired of hearing about my problems. You’re probably so done hearing about the same concern over and over again. Even though I’m here in England I’ve still been praying about it and I’m sorry.”

More tears just came pouring out of my eyes. I thought the woman next to me was going to have to pull out her umbrella. “Please,” I finished, “I can’t leave. I don’t know how to leave this behind.”

The thing was, even as I was caught up in this sorrow, I felt a peace I’d never experiencedPhone Pictures 707 before. To be honest, this peace settled over my heart the instant I arrived in England and never left the whole time I was there. But in this moment, I felt so much genuine sadness. I was so grateful to be there. So, so incredibly grateful. I had known that I would feel that way. In fact, much of my life my parents had been reluctant about letting me travel to England because, as my mother once said, “You’ll go there and realize it’s your home. And then you’ll never come back.”

She was right. Because a part of me is still there, and it’s never coming back.

But as I spoke this prayer, and felt this peace, I also heard something. Very distinctly.

“I’ll never get tired of hearing you speak to me about anything. I don’t care if you say the same prayer all day every day if that’s the prayer of your heart. And I know you’re sad. I know it’s hard. And I’m right here with you. Don’t worry. This isn’t the end.”

Phone Pictures 927My time in England was the happiest time of my life up to that point. It was so much more for me than just seeing things I’d always wanted to see. It was so much more than a great thing I got to experience.

It was the very first time in my life where I saw dreams coming true. It was the very first time in my life where I wasn’t just waiting for my turn. (What can I say, I grew up in a big family. Waiting my turn has always been and will always be the story of my life.) It was the very first time when something completely spectacular, something beautiful, something so, so incredibly good that fed my soul, happened to me.

It was the first time that I realized good things could actually happen to me. And not just to everyone else. I think that the combination of me being number 8 of 10 children and also a writer has doomed me to a life of observation. I have always just been a watcher. I’ve watched things happen to other people my whole life, with me just standing on the fringes.

My deepest held desire has always been that one day it would be my turn.

You see, when your time finally comes, it is so much more than just seeing the sights. It is about dreams you’ve had your whole life coming true. It is about prayers you’ve whispered through tears finally being answered. It is about finally inhabiting a place in the universe you’ve only seen others step into. It is about joy so pure and full that you think your heart will burst. Joy you’ve waited your turn for your entire life.

This last year has been a year of it finally being my turn for a lot of things.

And it all started with England. England welcoming my soul home. England teaching mePhone Pictures 843 that it is about so much more than just the surface of what’s happening to you. England teaching me that it is actually about dreams coming true, prayers being answered, long awaited joy bursting your heart. England letting me go in a very painful moment, but whispering that it wouldn’t be for long.

I remember standing in Hampton Court Palace, only a few days into the trip, looking around me in complete awe. My heart was so full, my head buzzing. I couldn’t get enough of the view.

Just Writing

Taper

taper

in the window of a cottage
burns a taper
bright and dancing
the flame never dies

breezes blow across the floor
drafts threaten the flame
but it burns on
the taper never dies

it shines through the glass
and down the dirt road
for miles it shines
it never dies

across the valley it can be seen
a lone flame
in the upstairs window
it never dies

through dark and light
summer and winter
it burns
the flame never dies

the taper is burning
the light is flickering
casting shadows and dancers
they are alive

they tell a story
the orange dancers
illuminating shadows
they are alive

they dance into corners
and back again
laughing they gesture
brilliantly alive

the dancers talk about the flame
and all it means
what it represents
how it is alive

the flame is love
and life and grief
it is eternity
it is alive

the flame is happiness
and joy and sadness
it is life
it will never die

the flame will never die
sitting in the window
shining over the valley
it is love

I'm Just Saying

Merry Happy

foxHave you ever just been…happy??? Really and truly happy? Not the kind of happy when your day’s going pretty well and you get to have pizza that night, but the shameless, wild, ridiculous, three-year-old-on-Christmas/teenage-girl happy? The kind of happy that you’ve really only ever heard about and normal people have no business being?

Have you ever come to a point in your life when all the sudden everything is completely different, but also very much the same? You were thinking one thing about your life and then one day something completely unexpected happened and all the sudden, even though nothing has really changed, everything has changed?

And you’re so outrageously and unabashedly happy you can’t eat, you can’t sleep, you can’t even entertain the realm of studying, and all you do is walk around grinning like a complete idiot?

If you have not had this experience,  I highly recommend it.

And the thing is, I’m not convinced that this is a hard state to achieve. Despite the very foxyspecific circumstances I have here stated, I’ve been thinking quite a bit recently about the idea of happiness. Even though we’ve all heard this a million times, do we actually believe that happiness is something that we choose? Can we choose to be this dangerously happy? Sure, we hear all sorts of things about happiness, but are they true?

Find out. I dare you.

Here are pictures of foxes, because they’re beautiful and make me happy.

But seriously.

I dare you.

I Was Wondering

What Are You So Afraid Of?

The subject of fear has been on my mind quite a bit recently. And I will be completely honest and tell you exactly why: I’m a pretty frightened person.

This is not something that I’ve known about myself for very long. Mostly because I try very hard to be brave. But lately I’ve begun to realize that there are so many things in this world that I’m afraid of. Fear seems to drive just about everything that I do. It is very tempting for me to succumb to fear, and very often I do.

fear-indicationInterestingly enough, I think that the thing I fear the very most, above anything else in the world, is being happy.

Can you even believe that?

I have met so many people who fear being happy, and it is always for different reasons. I have some relatives who are so comfortable with their misery (health problems, financial problems, etc) that being happy would almost be worse. Because trust me, folks, being “comfortable” and being “happy” are two very, very different things. After a while you become comfortable with just about anything, but being happy is something else.

But like the human that I am, I never stopped to look inside myself and wonder if I was doing the exact same thing.

This isn’t to say that I’m not a happy person. I have so many blessings: wonderful family, great friends, a job, ambitions. Overall my existence is a very happy one. But I think that every one of us, no matter the stability or goodness that surrounds us, all have at least one dream we are reaching for.

But being happy is, oddly enough, a scary thing. All sorts of questions come up for me when I think of what it would be like to be truly happy. Questions like: do I dare? What would happen? Where would I be? What would that mean for me or my family?

Most of these questions stem from the fact that I, like many others, have a really hard growthtime trusting others. To be truthful, I’m not exactly sure where this trust thing started with me. I grew up in a large family with lots of older siblings who made really dumb choices, and as a result I learned to just rely on myself. It is infuriating, even to me, how hard it is for me to trust others. I am your classic “I’m afraid of getting hurt” human. Talk about cliche. Gag. (I usually avoid being cliche anything. I hate being like everybody else. Don’t even get me started.)

So if I were to be truly happy, if I were to live these dreams I have stored away in my heart, I feel like I’d always be waiting for something bad to happen. I’d always be looking for the catch. I’d be tempted to wait for the dark places, and then be all “I told you so” when I ended up crying in my room over something I felt like I ruined.

When it comes to fear, I honestly believe that we are our own worst enemies. And for that matter, this also applies to happiness. It can get so frustrating and I just want to shake myself and yell:

What are you so afraid of?

But I think the curse of the human soul is that we are so infinitely more than a body that we occupy. And whether we realize it or not, we’re pretty deep. So the whole “I’m afraid of getting hurt” thing is quite valid. There’s a lot of unknowns in the soul that we’re trying to work with, and getting hurt is definitely an over complication.

believe-thinkI often have these exhilarating moments where I throw all my fears out the window and decide to just go at this life thing. Unfortunately, they never last long. I’m too much of an expert at getting inside my own head.

I wish I could end this post by saying that I’m not going to be afraid anymore. That I’m not going to fear happiness, that I’m going to stop retreating into myself at the slightest sign of danger. But if I say that then I probably will not do it on purpose because this is the type of personal contradiction that I have to navigate daily.

So I’ll just end it by putting the question to you:

What are you so afraid of?

Just Writing

The Great Divide

The Great Divide

I wonder where my heart residesSouth Iceland
For it’s up and gone and left me
I jumped across a great divide
From which there was no returning

I stared upon it, deep and wide
For years and years on end
Then one great day it came time
And I never looked back again

There was no bridge forward
And no bridge back again
I could only continue toward
To a future with no regrets