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

Trust The Wait

Today I want to talk to you about a few things. Let me just start off by saying hello! It’s been a few weeks since I posted on my blog and it feels good to be back! If you must know, my life has been a roller coaster of…pretty much bliss, actually. The last several weeks have been some of the happiest in my whole life.

take-timeWhich brings me to the first thing I want to talk with you about:

Waiting.

Believe me when I tell you, ladies and gentlemen, I’m not a very patient person. Like many others, I think I can be selectively patient. But with most things in life I just don’t really see the point in waiting around. Waiting is, in short, not my favorite thing. But I’ve come to realize over the last several weeks that if you wait for the right things, the best things, it is worth every moment of waiting.

I think that far too often we get caught in the paradoxical trap of: If it’s meant to be it will happen, or, if you want it go out and get it. But the truth is that more often than not, you’re going to be waiting. Hopefully you’re working towards something good, but you’ll still be waiting. The best things in life don’t come around every day, and as such we wait for them. Careers, families, you name it. You’re going to be waiting for it all at some point.

That’s why its important to be sure about things. Especially if you’re going to be waiting for it. But, like I said, if you wait for the right reasons, and for the best things, it is so incredibly worth it. Trust me.

Point number 2:trust.jpg

Trust.

Trust yourself, okay? Trust God or some cosmic force or whatever it is that you believe in, but trust something bigger than you. Trust that all the little pieces will add up. It comes together, I absolutely promise you.

Trust the wait.

 

 

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?

For Laughs

We Are Wesley

My family is pretty amazing. I mean, obviously I’m a little bit biased in that area, but believe me when I say that I’m saying this as objectively as possible: my family is incredible. Not only because we are all hilarious, but because they are all just pretty good humans in general.

good workEverybody in my family is really smart in some way, and all of us are really artistic and creative in different ways. It’s really cool to see all of us working on that as we get older. But besides these things, one of the things that my family does probably better than anything is quote movies.

And no, I’m not kidding.

There really isn’t any way to explain it, you just have to kind of experience it. But we are ridiculously amazing at quoting movies. We have entire conversations in movie quotes, and an eternal game of “name that movie” which will never be won by any single individual. This is actually one of the things that makes everybody in my family really hilarious. We are all fantastic at quoting movies, and not only that, but quoting them at the right moment. Our timing is impeccable.

The reason that I mention this today is because I’ve been thinking about the movie The Princess Bride. If you have never seen this movie, let me know so that I can light a candle for you, but then you must promptly go and watch it. I literally have no clue where my life would be if my siblings and I hadn’t been raised watching this movie. It is not only hilarious and totally classic, but it has the best one-liners in the world. It is very often quoted in our family.

I realized today, however, that besides the fact that we quote this movie all the time, we as you wisreference it even more without even meaning to.

In the beginning of the movie, you meet Wesley and Buttercup, who soon realize that they are deeply in love. One of the things that happens in order for them to realize this is something Wesley says to Buttercup often. He is farm boy, and every time she gives him an order to do something around the farm, he only ever replies with the words, “As you wish.”

Time after time, order after order, that is the only thing Wesley ever says in response. As you wish. Buttercup eventually comes to realize that when Wesley is saying, “As you wish,” what he is really saying is, “I love you.” And the rest is glorious history involving giants, miracles, and really big rats.

In my family, we have this phrase we use all the time. Like…all the time. We say it usually in moments that are hilarious and totally adorable, so inevitably we almost always end up saying it to my mom. We get all emotional and can’t handle life and we just say, “You’re so cute!” As I’ve thought about this phrase that we often say to each other, I’ve had a few thoughts. In the beginning, we kind of meant it as a very endearing insult. Something like, “You’re so adorable and weird and I don’t know how to say that so I’ll just call you cute with this really lovable face and voice and hope you get the message without being too offended.”

But as I’ve thought about this, I’ve had a major break through. Whether we all realize it or not, when we say, “You’re so cute!” what we really mean is, “I love you so much I can’t express it in this moment.” Because it almost always happens in the innocent moments when you’re watching somebody just be and you realize how incredible they are and how lucky you are to have them in your life.

wesleyIt happens in small moments when I watch my mom make a face as she’s thinking, or my little brother eat chili and orange soda, or my little sister blink blankly in annoyance, or my best friends do one of the one million things they do that are just completely them. And then your heart kind of swells in gratitude a little and with a whole lot of love and you just really can’t contain it.

My family has translated this moment into, “You’re so cute!”

But what we really mean is, “I love you.”

We are Wesley.

I'm Just Saying

Frankly, My Dear…

Dear Frank Sinatra,

I think, above anything else, you have taught me what it means to live. What the journey of life often looks like. Your voice has been in the background of the biggest moments in my life. Every time I listen to you sing, I remember when you said, “Whatever else has singingbeen said about me is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.”

So when you sing, I believe you. Whatever else has been said about you. (Although the mafia accusations never really bothered me because, here’s a secret, I’m pretty sure I was in the mafia in a past life. Just saying. But that’s a conversation for another time.)

You have taught me that in the hard moments, when you feel really hollow but also almost too full, you always get back up. You taught me to be brave in the face of doubt. You taught me that we are more than we seem. You’ve taught me to face it all, and stand tall while I’m doing it.

I’m pretty sure that if you ever had the moments where you felt like somebody took a cheese grater to your soul, you just fixed it with Jack Daniels. The problem with this is that I don’t drink, so I’ll never know the exact effectiveness of this particular solution. But that’s okay.

Frank Sinatra

The thing is that moments like those can be oddly relieving, while also being more painful than you thought they’d be. No matter how surprisingly well they went. Brave things tend to do that, I think. They are surprising in no less than 900 ways. My solution usually involves listening to your music for undisclosed amounts of time until ridiculous hours in the morning.

And then when I wake up, I feel better. Stronger.

Whenever I have the urge to complain, I let myself be as ridiculous as I want for about 20 seconds. And then I shut it off like a switch and continue on. It worked really well on my religious mission, and works great on a grander scale as well. You let yourself feel whatever you’re going to feel for an hour, all night, a day, a week, or whatever it is you decide. But when you get to the end of that time, you move on. That’s the key to wallowing.

Is that anything like Jack Daniels?

Because if it is, then you taught me that, too.

white bandYou also taught me that old movies are better all the time. As a general rule. They just are. They’re better because they weren’t afraid to say the things we only ever think. They’re better because everything is better in black and white or old color.

Really, Frank, you’ve taught me a vast amount of things when it comes to living. A lot of what not to do, I’ll be honest, but a lot of good things, too.

Also, your green fedora and the black one with the white band are my favorites.

Thank you for all the things.

Sincerely,

Jordan

I'm Just Saying

This Week on Jordan’s Life…

rough weekJust in case none of you were aware, today is Friday.

This being the case, I’ve been thinking back over this week I’ve experienced and wondering a little. I work with a young man named Cam, he is about 17 and the best person on the planet. Seriously. Every time he sees me, he gives me an award winning smile and says, “Hey you! How’s your week been?”

Unfortunately, today when he asked me that I had to answer him honestly. You see, I’ve built this “honest” reputation and now everybody at my place of business always expects me to tell the 100% truth. Sometimes it isn’t the best. Like today, when I had to look back on my week and tell Cam very seriously that overall, it hasn’t been great.

But here is what makes this not-so-great week different from other not-so-great weeks: there really isn’t any reason that it shouldn’t have been great. I’ve had time with friends and family this week, I’ve done quite well in school.

Have you ever had just one of THOSE weeks? When you feel weird and you act weird and everything seems just a little…weird? That has been my week this week. Just weird.

And guess what, people? I got a new nephew this week! My older sister Jessie had a little boy two days ago, whom they named Augustus Ira. Not only is this the best name ever, but I’m so grateful that he made it here safely and that all went well. It has been a huge bright spot in my life. Being an aunt is probably my favorite thing to be. It brings me a lot of joy.

There has just been SO MUCH going on that I don’t know where to put my head. I’ve been pulled in at least 100 different directions, and I can’t seem to make my mind up about shake it offanything. Which is frustrating, because at the end of the day I’m a pretty straightforward person and I don’t like things to be more difficult than they have to be. (This is why I find math not only a waste of happiness but a waste of time. Just saying. Like, look at a painting or read a book or something. Work on your heart before all those numbers explode your head…this was a tangent I didn’t see coming. I might have to write an entire post about it later.)

Anyway, I guess what all of this boils down to is we have weeks like this one. Weeks where everything just feels off and we can’t seem to figure out why and all we really need is soda and a hug. And then Frank Sinatra music and movies. Because that is an absolutely perfect equation for fixing just about anything.