For Laughs

“Don’t Even Get Me Started”

This phrase – don’t even get me started – is a very well known and well-used member of my vocabulary. Call it the veteran if you will.

Now the reason behind this is pretty self-explanatory.  You see when you first meet me it’s pretty easy to mistake me for a shy person. I’m an introvert, and as such, I hate meeting new people. My biggest thought when it comes to meeting new people is usually, “But wait. I already know people. My people capacity has been reached.” Unfortunately, the universe has consistently seen fit to ignore my people capacity.

So if you’re persistent enough to actually get to know me, you’ll come to understand a few things.

  1. I’m really not shy. Like…at all.
  2. I actually have quite a bit to say about life in general.
  3. And as a general rule, it’s best not to ask me what any of those things are because I will tell you. And it will be rather emphatic.

So here’s how it normally goes: some kind of topic will somehow come up in the natural flow of a conversation. And I will immediately say, “Don’t even get me started.” Now the fact that I have developed this self-regulating mechanism is actually a source of pride for me. Truly.

However.

It hasn’t gotten to the point where it continues to be self-regulating. Let me explain: after I say this phrase it is totally up to whoever I am talking to to decide whether or not I actually get started.

Those closest to me generally respond in one of two ways:

  1. They think it’s hilarious when I “get started” so they sit there very patiently in silence, waiting for the topic to begin bubbling under my skin so as to drive me crazy until I explode. And therefore “get started” anyway.
  2. They change the subject as quickly as they can, saving themselves from the very passionate rant that will surely follow if they don’t act immediately.

I’m telling you all of this because today I’ve got the blogging itch. I’ve got this itch to blog and it’s been driving me nuts ALL DAY LONG. I’ve had at least 47 topics all vying for attention in my head today. If I were a better writer, I’d think of some very clever way to connect all of these topics into a glorious blog post that would existential your mind to pieces.

But that’s not going to happen because I’ve gotten started and this is where it ends people.

  1. I have a friend who pushes herself too hard. Plain and simple, she pushes herself too hard. She holds herself to an impossibly high standard because in her head if she isn’t working so hard that she nearly dies then she isn’t doing her best. If she isn’t working so hard that she can’t see straight then she’s a failure. If she doesn’t spend at least 10 hours studying for the test that we both have to take this week then she’s not doing all she can do. And as much as I love her, and I do with all my heart, I can’t tell her enough times how absolutely absurd this is. Nobody can live life on 150% all the time. Nobody can and nobody should. We have to give ourselves some grace and decide what is and is not worth our time. And not be so hard on ourselves.
  2. Do you ever have those days when you are just drowning in memories? Every now and again this happens to me, and it usually isn’t the same memories or the same times. Some days I feel like I’m reliving my religious mission all over again. Other times it is memories from my time at my previous university. And no matter how hard I try I just can’t escape them. I spend the entire day in a memory field. Honestly, it doesn’t happen that often. But I’m not the only one this happens to, right?
  3. The Prince in Snow White. OH. MY. GOODNESS. There are very, very, very few things on this earth that I have such passionate negative feelings about. But this character is one of them. And I’ll tell you why: he is the most WORTHLESS character that was EVER created in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD. He shows up for five minutes, sings a song, leaves, and then at the end, he shows up and is all, “Oh, I sorta remember her. She looks dead. Maybe I’ll kiss her and see what happens.” Then he gets the girl – because he did absolutely nothing except smooch her – like he is the hero of the day. He is worthless and stupid and stupid. He got way better than he deserved. He is worthless and stupid. The dwarves were totally the heroes of that story. The prince is worthless and stupid.

So I know that I said there were about 47 topics in my head, and that – though a slight exaggeration – was quite true. Has been true, in fact, all day. But now that I’ve written this out, I think those were the most important.

As far as all the other ones go, though, don’t even get me started.

Just Writing

Immortalizing The Good

Immortalizing the Good

I’ve written poems about my heartbreak
Of the things that have happened since
Sleepless nights and tragic days
Feelings I didn’t know could exist

At first I could write nothing
I forgot everything but the hurt
Then one day the door opened
My mind was drowning in words

I wrote essays that were like poems
My words so harsh with the truth
But only in the process of writing
Could the pieces begin to fuse

I’ve never been in a place like that
Where I truly no longer cared
I’ve never felt so hurt and empty
The reminders were everywhere

And now some time has passed
It doesn’t hurt the same way now
Things have changed these days
I am not exactly sure how

I never thought we would talk again
And yet somehow we are here
I get to hear your voice and laugh
And I’m no longer fighting tears

But it isn’t really you, is it?
And it isn’t really me
Sometimes we almost reach each other
But then one of us goes running

And I know that some is my fault
I’m very good at closing the door
Opening it again is a bit hard
I have fears of what may be in store

The problem is that I know you so well
And you know me just the same
It’s funny beyond the frustration
We’re much too good at this game

There are so many things I want to say
So many things that are still hidden
And yet I’m not sure what they are
I wouldn’t know where to begin

So I spend my time remembering
And waiting for the breakthrough
Writing things you’ll never read
Maybe this will be one, too

My memory is usually a gift
Lately it’s more of a curse
Memories creep in all the time
Memories of kisses and words

I have written so many things
About the ways in which you hurt me
I haven’t written nearly enough
Of all of the beautiful things

You made me so incredibly happy
My heart was always overflowing
I couldn’t wrap my thoughts around it
But my head was full of knowing

This isn’t a poem to lament a loss
I’ve done that a lot, it’s true
I simply want to immortalize the good
Of how it felt to belong to you

You often said it felt so right
I couldn’t have agreed more
Everything was falling into place
As it never had before

On the night of our first kiss
I tried to hide my shaking knees
By my ear your heart was pounding
And I couldn’t help but tease

Some weeks later, on a starry night
You told me that you loved me
I couldn’t wait to say it back
I’d never been that happy

I often prayed so many times
That I’d discover it was true
That love could heal the brokenness
And then God sent me you

With you I was always safe
You became the feeling of home
I can’t explain how wonderful it was
To know I’d never be alone

I’m not sure how you’re feeling now
Or what’s going on inside of you
I only know what I’ve been told
And what I’m supposed to do

Many words have been written of love
Words too beautiful to say
And then they all described you
In ways I can’t explain

The more that I look back now
I regret some things in the memories
On the last morning, before breakfast
I should’ve asked you to kiss me

And the evening before that
When you hinted at being upset
I shouldn’t have brushed it aside
I should’ve talked it out right then

I regret all the times I didn’t kiss you
Like that night at all of the reds
Or sitting on the couch at your apartment
When you held my hand to your chest

I’ll never forget the moment I felt it
When I felt you run away
We were in the car holding hands
And you pulled your hand away

On that last day by the church
I should’ve talked, just stayed
But I thought that you needed time
So I quickly drove away

So many voices yelled at me
And kept begging me to turn back
But I stubbornly pushed them away
And oh, how I regret that

I try not to dwell on these regrets
They only hurt in hindsight
Instead I try remembering the happiness
The moments that were so right

I needed you in a frightening way
I never wanted to need anyone
You were both a luxury and necessity
You were everything all at once

I wish I could remember the moment
When I realized that I loved you
But it happened so long ago
That it’s just a piece of my truth

In the kitchen when you asked for a kiss
My resolve was gone without a trace
We were standing beside the oven
My mind went absolutely blank

You were all at once my weakness
And all at once my strength
You made me blush like crazy
But encouraged me to create

The first time that you held my hand
Happiness made my heart glow
You kissed the top of my head
The chills went clear to my toes

Those weeks were full to bursting
The weeks when you were mine
I keep the memories close to me
Praying you’ll remember it was right

I told you that I wanted to help
And it’s never been more true
But these days it isn’t really me
These days it isn’t really you

There is something about us
And the way we fit together
I always felt utterly understood
You made me want to be better

There is something you do to me
And something I do to you
We share a bond, a connection
I know you know it’s true

I really can’t understand it
How I look at you and see your soul
And no matter what I find there
I always leave feeling whole

That weekend with my family
It felt so natural to have you there
They all told me that for days
I felt happiness beyond compare

They weren’t the only ones who said it
Who knew how perfect we were
I think we both knew it, too
Somehow it all got blurred

But despite how hard it’s been
And the pain inside my heart
I’ve grown so much; you have, too
That’s the important part

This isn’t a poem to lament a loss
I’ve done that a lot, it’s true
I simply want to immortalize the good
Of how it felt to belong to you

I'm Just Saying

One True Sentence

Hemingway once said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

As I no doubt have told you before, I’m not actually a Hemingway fan. But that’s a conversation for another time. I’m bringing this quote up because I think it’s completely beautiful. And because I’ve been doing a lot of that lately in my writing. So, just in case you’re reading this, I’ve got a few true sentences for you.

First of all, I’m just going to throw an apology out there. As much as it feels like I’ve been thrown in front of a train with no warning for no reason, I’m sure there are things I’ve done that have hurt you. And I’m sorry. I hope you can forgive me.

There are a lot of people who are really, really angry with you. And they’re telling me all kinds of things. But I just want you to know that I’m not one of them. I was for a while. I was really, really angry. I want to address some of those things that made me angry.

I was angry because this entire situation has consisted of what you wanted, and your timing. It never seemed to matter how I felt, what I wanted, or the answers that I had received. When it came down to it, it seemed like I didn’t really matter at all. It seemed like you were being incredibly selfish. That’s been hard to deal with. I think you need to know that, just in case you’re reading this.

I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. Nobody does. When you’re as close as we were, and planning the things we were planning, you don’t act that way. You don’t walk away with no explanation and no warning. You don’t cut ties that fast. You don’t shut down, slam the door, and make a decision that drastically changes both of your lives because of some vague thing. What you do is communicate and try and work through it. You trust the other person and their feelings and thoughts. And if, after some time of working together and trusting God, things still aren’t working, then you make decisions. Together.

Love is messy, okay? Life is messy. Dumb things happen and people make mistakes. But it’s worth it. It is all worth it.

I’m not angry now, though. I guess that’s just a blessing. I was praying one night, and got told pretty forcefully that it was time to forgive you. That both of us needed that. So I hope that when I was finally able to forgive you that you felt it.

You called the other day. The only reason I didn’t answer is because I was in line at the grocery store. I saw your name on the screen of my phone and nearly had a heart attack. It was something I never thought I’d see again. I was hoping you’d call back, but you didn’t. You just sent me a text. I tried to be really honest when I responded, but as gentle as I could.

But the truth is that God has been telling me a lot of things in the last few weeks. One of the impressions I’ve been getting is that you’re really going through a lot. Like a lot. You’re really struggling, I think. You feel lost. You’re trying to figure out a lot of things, and you don’t know how. Now, I could be completely and totally wrong. Maybe I am. But I don’t think I am.

And if I’m not wrong, then that brings me to why I said what I said in the texts. If you really are struggling, I’m sorry. I wish you didn’t have to. If you really are trying to figure things out, I hope it happens for you soon. I wish you’d have let me be there for you, but you didn’t. This was your choice, not mine.

None of this is what I wanted. None of this is what I think was or is right. But because this is what is happening and what has happened, and because of the choices you’ve made, I can’t be there for you. Heavenly Father has told me that this is something you’ve got to do by yourself.

The thing that is the most frustrating is that I’m still in love with you. I don’t know why. There have been a million moments when I wished that wasn’t the case, but it is. I guess I just can’t help it. I’ve been in love with you for too long. I know you too well. You’re too much a part of me. I see you everywhere. The loss of you is something that I carry around with me everywhere, all the time, even in the moments when I finally feel happy again. Even in the moments when I can laugh again.

No matter what happens, you’re going to need a new copy of Les Mis. I threw it away. In the dumpster. Along with a host of other things. My day planner that had all sorts of things in it about you. The playbill from our first date. Your cup. And your wedding present. Yeah, I was already working on it. It was going to be really great. I gathered them all up and threw them into the dumpster as hard as I could.

You called the other day because you miss me. Because despite everything, for a moment you were right where I am, feeling what I’m feeling. And you wish it didn’t have to be this way. You read my poem. As far as poems go, it’s a masterpiece. If I do say so myself, it’s a really, really great poem. It just flowed out of me like a waterfall, honestly. I didn’t even really have to think about it, all of the words were just there. And I meant every single one of them.

I’m still here. Kind of in a state of limbo, to be honest. Heavenly Father keeps telling me things like “be patient” and “I’ve got a plan”. Which could literally mean anything, honestly, but right now I’m just supposed to take life one day at a time and enjoy every moment. I’m working really hard to do those things.

I’m still here. Praying for you. Hoping that you’re okay. Sometimes wishing I could smack you upside the head and shake you into realizing what is so completely obvious, but mostly just going day to day and listening to a lot of music. And writing a lot.

So, there are my true sentences. My really, really true sentences. Whatever you’re thinking or feeling or going through, I hope that you get it all figured out. I pray that I’ll hear from you again. I’ll answer the phone.

In the meantime I’ve got a novel to write. I’ve been working on it a lot, actually. It’s going well. And just so you know, I haven’t changed anything. It’s going to end the way it was always going to end.

Just Writing

New Frontier

New Frontier

all of the memories keep rushing by
like the movies we watched on Tuesday nights
this is a new frontier
there are no maps for way out here

there are empty shelves and a broken path
your favorite book inside of the trash
welcome to the new frontier
I can’t see you from way down here

you always told me that you wouldn’t leave
and I believed you but we did not see
the army
descending

please tell me you miss me, I see it all
the life we planned before we lost it all
the army
descending

we weren’t prepared to have to fight it off
and that is just exactly why we lost
this is a new frontier
you’re not here to dry my tears

something happens when you’re blazing trails
it’s harder than you think and then it fails
that is just the new frontier
I wish you were still right here

I wish it didn’t have to be this way
whatever happened we couldn’t explain
the army
attacking

I’m not blaming you for things that came
I only wish we’d tried to ride the wave
of the army
attacking

something whispers that you’ve been spending time
all shut away, did you finally cry?
that would be a new frontier
I can’t imagine you in tears

did you put up walls to everyone else?
is it only me who’s been through hell?
this is a new frontier
so this is how that feels

remember moments when I heard your heart
pounding so fast, we couldn’t bear to part
the army
surrounding

maybe if I write it all out in lines
my heart won’t burst each time you cross my mind
the army
is surrounding

I get the feeling that you’re feeling lost
and drowning guilty from the times we talked
welcome to the new frontier
you can’t see me or even hear

but maybe you’re fine and your heart’s all healed
and you’ve forgotten what we both could feel
this is the new frontier
where do we go to from here?

there was a moment when I saw your eyes
couldn’t believe you really were all mine
the army
defeating

do you remember how the pieces fell?
I can’t believe we had to say farewell
the army
defeating

I’m learning new things and taking some steps
but I can’t believe the words that you said
welcome to the new frontier
there are no maps for way out here

remember the night you were scared and called
I told you to walk away from the wall
that was a new frontier
you trusted me, I was in tears

was it that wall that suddenly went up?
so many questions but the answers none
the army
is winning

it seemed to me you were being a shield
for things you felt you had to keep concealed
the army
just winning

whatever it is that you’re feeling now
please know that I am on your side somehow
this is just a new frontier
day by day it gets more clear

I know you better that most people do
hard, believing it could really be true
welcome to the new frontier
learn how to be alone, my dear

I think I’m done with counting syllables
It’s time to make it understandable
the army
retreating

I’ll keep on walking for another day
and keep on wishing when I do not pray
the army
retreating

welcome to the new frontier

I'm Just Saying

Don’t Look Back

For those of you who may not have been able to pick this up yet by reading my blog, I’ll just make your day and tell you. I am the type of person who often looks back.

new not going that wayWhat can I say? I study history FOR FUN. Of course I’m obsessed with looking back. It’s just what I do. While most of the time this is great and I get a very strange amount of joy from learning about the past, it can also be a great weakness, and something that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently.

Looking back, like I said, can be a good thing. Without a past, who are we? But honestly, I think a lot of the time looking back is a very negative activity. We start overthinking and we wonder what we could’ve done differently in our lives or a host of other things.

The reason that I bring this up tonight is because, like I mentioned, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Mostly because of my brother. I have a brother just older than me who has been my best friend my whole life. We are so close in age that we were inseparable growing up. Whether we were dressed in everything camouflage ever made and playing army, or pretending we were spies and making gadgets with the random things my mom found in the drier, or sitting on the couch together watching movies, we were always together.

Inevitably, this closeness disappeared as we got older. My brother, though I love him with my whole heart, began making some really poor choices as we advanced into our teenage years. And as a result, I lost him. I’m not trying to get all hardcore and emotional over here, not this time, but I really did lose him.past hasn't changed

Even though we were still living in the same house, still siblings, still seeing each other all the time, he was gone. And to be honest, it has only been in about the last year that I, or my whole family for that matter, has really gotten him back. He was there the whole time, sure, but he wasn’t. It was as if he disappeared inside himself and he was just walking around as somebody else.

Things will never be the way they were, that’s just kind of how life goes. But my brother is back. He’s now doing great things, moving mountains, he’s dating an incredible girl he’s absolutely crazy about, and most of all, he’s happy. He’s back. And though we live far from each other and don’t see each other often, or talk as often as we should, he’s finally back.

better aheadAnd when it comes to the years that he was gone – horrible, hard years that were terrible for everybody and probably most terrible for him – we don’t look back. We’re not going that way, and there’s no need to. It isn’t that we don’t look back on them or talk about those years because it’s taboo or anything. There is just a feeling of wholeness, an it’s-okay-now feeling. There’s no need to look back. There is only looking forward.

While I’ve spent this post applying the “don’t look back” idea to negative times, I think it goes for positive ones as well. I am literally the queen of being THE WORST at making decisions. Seriously. Give me a life-altering decision and I’ll take some time getting back to you. In fact, it can get so insane that God usually starts preparing me weeks or even months (usually months) in advance so that when the time comes I’ve had a ridiculous though sufficient amount of time to think everything through.

I’m not kidding. (Though to be honest I usually end up going with the choice that scares me the most. The one I knew all along I’d go for.)

But decision making can also be great breeding ground for negative looking back. What are afraid ofwe going to do, we’re human. We just look back and wonder. But because this post is already a bit long, even for my Sunday night thoughts, I’m just going to do something I’m rather fond of and tell it to you straight:

Just don’t look back, okay?

Make the decision you know is right in the moment and stick with it. You won’t be sorry. You’ll just be really happy. Truth.

Don’t dwell on things that don’t matter anymore. Forgive and move on. It has worked for my family.

And that is all for this time everyone.

Don’t look back.

 

For Laughs

Scones, Codes, & Gowns

Today after work, I drove up to the farm. Right now I’m staying with my family, ignoring the fact that I have an apartment in town close to work. It is Potato Harvest right now, and something in me feels the need to be near, even if I’m not working in it this year.

sconesIt is one of those odd days that can’t make up its mind. Half of the sky is brilliantly blue and sunny, and half of it is indigo and promising a gorgeous rain storm. For the sake of our harvest I know I should pray for the sun to stay out, but it is one of those autumn days when a bit of rain and hot cocoa seems like a good idea.

Adjusting back to life here in the U.S has been a little bit more difficult than I imagined it would be. First of all, I was only in England for three weeks, so I hadn’t expected to have adjusted to life there as much as I did. I’ll be completely honest and tell you that jet lag one the war for almost a week. A week! But I’m finally back on schedule. And of the many, many things I miss, scones are Number 1.

I found a recipe and have made myself British scones several times since coming home, which is truly the only thing that is helping me past the withdrawals. But even though they taste the same and technically are the same, they aren’t the same. They have this appearance of a scone, the taste of a scone, but no matter what they aren’t what I wish they were: the delicious scones I had in Grasmere, Salisbury, or even Ireland. To all my British friends I say this: count your blessings. Go to the nearest tea room and order a scone. Just do it. For me. Please?sherlock

Have you ever had a conversation that ended up being a little cryptic? And after having this conversation, you feel very un-Sherlockian. It may begin as a normal conversation, and quickly evolve into a not so normal conversation while also keeping the appearance of a normal conversation. Now I feel as though I’m in the middle of a very big code. It was enlightening while at the same time more confusing. And of course I’ve been overthinking it. Please, please tell me I’m not alone in having had this experience. Even if you have to lie. Just tell me that.

On top of all these things pretending to be things they’re not, I need an evening gown. In a week and a half I’m going on a girls trip with two of my very best friends, and we’ll be doing a night with a fancy dinner. I need an evening gown. I thought I had one, but it turns out it is nowhere to be found. So now I have 10 days to find something. Wish me luck.

cocoAnd here I sit. Missing England like crazy, wanting real scones, feeling very un-Sherlockian, and evening gown-less.

And that’s it.

 

 

I'm Just Saying

Golden Lads And Girls

14375342_1898733117020628_440956483_oA little over three weeks ago, I boarded a plane in Salt Lake City, Utah. Eleven hours later I got off that plane in London, England.

While I have traveled the U.S extensively, this was the first time I had ever traveled internationally. I went to England for three weeks with a group from my university on an English Literature study abroad tour. I knew it would be amazing, I knew it would be perspective changing and life altering. Fulfilling dreams has a way of doing that. However, I had no idea just how amazing it would be, just how perspective changing, or how thoroughly life altering.

I love it when you feel yourself changing into something better as a result of something beautiful you have experienced. Of course, becoming better is a good thing even if the circumstances are less than favorable, but if something is so thoroughly wonderful that it seeps into your soul and changes who you are, then that is the most magical thing of all.

While we weren’t able to visit my ancestral homeland of Scotland, we saw so much of 14408386_1898732953687311_1195077434_oEngland and Wales, and even popped over to Ireland or a few days. I went into more cathedrals than I can count. I stood in each one of them in complete awe and reverence of the beauty surrounding me, of the hundreds of years of worship I could see with my own eyes. We were able to attend Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral as well as Salisbury Cathedral. Those are incredibly special experiences that I will always carry with me.

We saw a host of Shakespeare plays, we visited the homes of the Bronte family, William Wordsworth, and Jane Austen. We spent four magical days in London, where I left a good portion of my heart. We saw castles and manor houses. We basked in the breathtaking beauty of the countryside. I fell into a relationship with scones and hot chocolate from which I shall never recover. We visited Cambridge and went punting. We spent three glorious days in Stratford-Upon-Avon, a city that has completely and utterly stolen all of my love and then some.

14360354_1898733463687260_617352064_oI have been home now for about four days, battling the jet lag and mostly winning. But I feel so different. While I love my home very much, I would be lying if I said that I’ve come home the same person. This trip was not only a dream come true, but it felt as though a piece of me that had long been yearning had finally come home.

So my only request, England, is that you take very good care of it until I return.