Chin #2

Growing up I had an in ground pool in my backyard. It was GLORIOUS. Word on the street is my parents threw me in the deep end when I was 1 and figured I would sink or swim and I swam.
By the time I was double digits I was able to swim from one end to another and back in one breath. I spent hours playing mermaid with Sara and floating on rafts with Nicole. Alaina and I plotted our overthrowing of the world from the pool and Jake and I danced to Hakuna Matata around it's edge. So many awesome memories involved that pool.
There were dark days with that pool though. I was never able to swim in it alone...at least for very long. Because of the sharks. They were very prevalent in my small town backyard fresh water pool. (Damn you Jaws...DAMN YOU!)
But I also cracked my chin open on that pool edge.

One evening after a family swim night that usually involved Sharen and scrubbing the side of the pool, because we were weird kids...let's just put that out there. This is back when there was still a fence around the pool and that's where we hung all our towels. I had reluctantly climbed out of the pool and had my towel wrapped super hero style around my shoulders. I looked around for my Strawberry Shortcake hologram flip flops and spotted them just on the other side of my dad.
So I wrapped my towel around and buried my hands down in it's warmth and began scooting around the backside of my dad to get to the wonder that was my Strawberry Shortcake flip flops.
I inched and scooted and shuffled to just behind him when he took a giant step back. Ok, for him it was just a regular step, but he's a tall guy so regular steps to a 7ish year old are giant steps. He bumped into me and since my hands were wrapped into the towel I couldn't untangle myself enough to grab onto Dad to keep from falling back into the pool. I stepped back and ran out of concrete so into the pool I went, slamming my face, chin first, into the side of the pool.
Blood went everywhere! At least that's what I thought at the time. But my chin was cracked open again.
12 stitches and several hydrogen peroxide torture sessions later I was good as new and joking that my dad pushed me in the pool on purpose. At least until the next time I cracked my chin open.


Chin #1

I was so excited to be in kindergarten. I was in AM kindergarten, which is clearly the best, and I loved my teacher, Mrs. Nye.
Each morning we had story time in the corner and then headed back to our tables. One day I was wearing my favorite purple shirt with a bow on the front. Story time was over and Mrs. Nye asked Nathan Mestrey (Mestre, Meastry...oh I don't know) push back the tv to the other side of the aisle.
Now that I think about it I can't imagine why she would have done that...but that's why these memories are probably only partly true.
But I was tra la laing back to my table and Nathan decided to pull the television cord out across the aisle and trip me. I tripped and flailed my arms about landing on my face. I pulled my head up and looked down at blood pooling on the floor.
Mrs. Nye rushed over and started running me down the hall to the office. All I remember after that is trying desperately to take off my shirt on the walk/run to the office. Because it was my favorite purple shirt with a bow and it was getting blood on it! It didn't actually occur to me that removing it would increase the blood stain...

I got 12 stitches and was tortured by peroxide for a few weeks but I mended; at least until the next time I cracked open my chin.
On a completely unrelated not Nathan got hit by a car that same year while we were playing outside. He went to get a ball that went into the street and smack. He survived with a pretty busted up leg. I think I remember Mrs. Nye getting a tv cart to roll him to the office with his mangled leg dangling off the edge...but that's probably not true.



I read Naked by David Sedaris
That's about all I can say about it. I didn't enjoy it and struggled to get as far as I did into it, about 3/4 of the way through.
It was ok, sometimes funny, but overall I was very underwhelmed with the book. So many people had told me how hilarious his books were and how much they enjoyed them and I just didn't get it.

Oh well.
It counts if I read over 1/2 the book, that's what I've decided.



It's coming. That time that time seems to freeze and stand still, when all I can think of is you. The time of year that I let all my guards down and open the gaping wounds in my heart and think of you, of your smile, laugh, the way the wind blew the last time I held your face with my eyes. I still see you, just out of the corner of my eye and just over my shoulder. All tangled up in the he said she said drama that ensued I still see you.
I talked to someone about it last year; about the rush of water that seems to drown me the week before. I want it to stop. I don't want to stop missing her, I don't want to stop loving her, I don't want to stop remembering her. But I want to stop being so paralyzed by the sight of an ice truck, or the dinging of a bell announcing the arrival. I want.

I've tried lancing the wound throughout this year. I've tried to work through it in small doses instead of drowning in it for 1 week only.
But I'm nervous, that it will still happen. That I will be crushed all over again, that I will not sleep and I will eat and eat to push down the grief.
This year, ten years after, I'm going to try. To not shrink away from friends and family, to not hide in my bed listening to sad music and swimming in a cold drink.
I'm going to try.


Ally McBeal

I've been rewatching the series Ally McBeal the last month or so. I loved Ally McBeal.
I was hit or miss with the show when it was on originally so I'm picking up on episodes I've missed and falling in love with episodes I loved the first time around.
I ugly cried when Billy left the show and I've laughed so loud I've scared the cats at the show.

I just started season 4, the Robert Downey Jr season. It was a big deal when he was on this show because it was his first time back acting after years of public court hearings and rehab attempts to kick his drug habits. Oh RDJ, how I swooned for you.



The floors are finished! I was able to move back into the house on Saturday and have started the arduous process of settling back into my life.

Sharen and the kids helped me move out of the hotel and were rewarded handsomely with Chick-Fil-A milkshakes. After we inspected the house Sharen and the kids headed to Meijer and I ran to Home Depot for felt things to put on the bottom of the chairs.
When I got back from Home Depot I went out to the shed to the secret hiding place the flooring guys were supposed to leave my front door key. I grabbed the turtle and walked to the garage. Upon opening the turtle I saw they had not left the key as instructed.
I immediately burst into tears. I mean, sure...it could have been the stress and exhaustion of this whole process...but I'm pretty sure it was fear. I was terrified. I suddenly because really aware that I was in the huge house all by myself and this company could come and go as they pleased with the front door key they didn't return, probably so they could return that night and murder me. Further more they probably have someone hiding in the attic waiting for night to fall so they can descend and murder the single girl living on her own.
Damn you Law & Order! DAMN YOU!
I calmed down enough to find the card for the flooring guys and called the owners cell phone, he was on vacation. Also known as THE PERFECT ALIBI. I had to calm myself down again so I could call his back up guy and I left a message there and at the office. I told them as calmly (I hope) as possible that I was really uncomfortable with my key being taken and I needed a call back today to see what happened. There were also other issues going on with the floors that I needed resolved and told them I needed a call back about that too.
Then I just sank super dramatically to the floor and called my sister. I needed to calm down so I could see to drive to Home Depot again to buy a new lock and key set for the front door. I knew that if I didn't change that lock there was going to be no way I would sleep Saturday night.
I also had to calm down right away because some friends were coming over to help me move my big furniture in 1/2 an hour and I needed to leave so I could get back in time.
I hightailed it to Home Depot and bought the lock set which Trent kindly installed for me later that afternoon. I still had trouble falling asleep Saturday night, I couldn't fall asleep because I would hear all these noises and think KILLERS! I even inspected the ceilings of my upstairs because I watched a Lifetime movie like 10 years ago (starring Angie Harmon) about this woman who had a neighbor install cameras in her attic to watch her. I still have a little crick in my neck from walking around while looking up.
In the mean time, I've left now FOUR messages for the flooring guys and still no call back. Clearly a sign that they are KILLERS.



I don't like tension.
I don't like it between other people. I'm the one trying to help them work it out even when I'm not supposed to be involved. I don't like tension between myself and others, I want to address it, get it all aired out and resolved. Then I want to forget that it ever happened.
I especially don't like tension when I feel it in myself and even more so when I can't explain why it's there.

I've been trying to work through some of this tension that I've been feeling as a single girl in a married world and it's just overwhelming. I'm trying to make sure that I'm not stridently single because I'm hiding or if it's because that's what God wants for me, at least right now.
Add to all this the marriage series at my church and a few specific conversations about my relationship status and I'm feeling the tension. I don't like it.

I know that a lot of the pressure I feel is pressure I put on myself. Pressure to seem sane, normal, included, not affected. I spend a lot of energy trying to appear unaffected by this tension, when in reality I'm very affected. This is probably no surprise to those of you I talk to on a regular basis since I drop this topic into random conversations and end up trailing off in voice and person before finishing a thought.
All I know is on one hand I know that it is fine to be intentionally single, non-married, non-dating, that I'm happy with it and can't imagine my life any other way for now. But on the other hand I've been feeling really damaged about it. I've been feeling as if there is something wrong with me that I don't even want it.
I'm afraid to talk about it, afraid that people will assume it's a case of the lady doth protest to much.
So if I act all twitchy and awkward about it, that's why. That...or the killers.



Speaking of boyfriends...
I had this boyfriend in jr. high. Lot's of strange things happened with him & I but he was especially concerned about my Tylenol addiction.
You see, apparently I took to much Tylenol. He was so concerned that he called my house and told my parents that he was concerned I was going to OD on it.
Now I could totally see that as a plausible call to make if I was taking you know crack or something. But I wasn't, I was taking TYLENOL. I think this was even before there was the big hullabaloo about it being hard on your stomach.

So I did what any 8th grade girl would do when her boyfriend was concerned about her well being. I went to the farm market (that also sold bulk candy) I sometimes worked at one afternoon and bought a crap ton of Good N Plenty's. The purple and white kind.
Then I came home and emptied a bottle of Tylenol that we had in the medicine cabinet and filled it up with only the white Good N Plenty's.

I went to school and waited for the right moment. Finally it arrived. I complained sporadically throughout the day of a headache and finally when boyfriend was near me I complained again and said I needed some Tylenol.
So I pull out the Tylenol bottle filled with white Good N Plenty's and I popped the cap off. Looking right at boyfriend I lifted the bottle to my mouth and poured every single last Good N Plenty into my mouth and chewed them up like the addict I was.

We broke up shortly after that...I can't say that it was related (no really) it had more to do with me moving on to 9th grade (High School!) and him staying behind in jr. high. Yep, I went for younger boys most of the time, at least back then.


The Hat

I was pretty boy crazy when I was young. It all started in 4th grade when I got to wear Roger's hat. Wearing boys hat was a big deal.
But it didn't work out. In a fit of breakup rage I threw his hat away in the classroom garbage can. My teacher, Mr. Branstrator found it and held it up in front of the whole class. He said, "Who threw away this perfectly good hat?" No one said anything, certainly not me. I was just hoping he would let it go and we could play 'What's Up 7-Up'
But he didn't. He flipped it over and over in his hands trying to figure out why someone would throw away this perfectly good hat. (Obviously Mr. Branstrator had never been dumped).
Then he saw it....the letters I had written in sharpie marker inside the hat. BL+RG. Except he read them as BLTRG. So he started asking the whole class what BLTRG meant. I swear this went on for hours and hours.
It was probably only like 5 minutes though.
No one admitted it and he set it on his desk and moved on to long division (I HATED long division). I burned with humiliation. Roger had been looking at me the whole time. So I tried to glare back at him, but I just ended up crying.

It was awful. A few weeks later the progress reports were sent home to parents. Mine said that I was finally starting to come out of my shell (I used to be really really shy...I know! I'll wait for you to stop laughing) it also said that I was dotting my i's and j's with hearts. He asked my parents to tell me to stop being so cutesy and just write normal.
I knew. I KNEW that it was code for, "I know it was you that threw that hat away."

The next year we went on to middle school, another building and the bottom of the totem pole. We had to change classes and we had our own lockers for the first time ever. I had new friends since my elementary school best friend had moved to the next town over. But Roger was still there. I found out that his sisters name was Barbie and tried to mock him by asking how his brother Ken was; turns out his brothers name was actually Ken...whoops.
The last interaction I remember having with Roger is later that year in 5th grade. I was kneeling in front of my locker getting my history book out of the bottom when I heard him coming down the hall and he was making fun of me. I didn't look up, I refused to look up. So I didn't see it coming when he slammed my head into my locker and tried to close the door on it. I just froze, thinking if I stayed still it would all be fine.
It was, the bell rang and he ran along. I went to class and then went home and told my mom what happened.
She got pretty mad and the next day I was walking to gym when I thought I heard her voice. I paused in the hall and listened. Coming from the principals office was the unmistakable voice of my mom in her angry mode. Roger didn't so much as talk to me after that. I think he graduated with us years later but heck if I know.

But breaking up is really hard to do.


Flood Saga: Almost the End

There has been A LOT going on lately. There was the flood of course. The saga didn't end when the water stopped pouring through the basement ceiling.
I worked with the insurance agents and was able to get everything settled.
There was all new carpet put in the basement:

You might not be able to tell but it's a light brownish frieze and it was installed in all of the basement, basement hall, on the stairs and the garage entry. It's so lovely on my feet! So much better than the white berber and the gray super heavy duty but super stained carpet that was down there before.
They also replaced the linoleum in the laundry, upstairs hall and basement bath. I just realized I didn't have any pictures of that...so pretend they're right here.

(right here)

They look really nice and I'll be able to show you them when I talk about those 3 rooms being completely done, which the laundry room mostly is it is just a catch all for the junk that's been displaced at the moment.
Allstate also sent me a check to pay for a replacement door for the basement bath, a dry wall repair in the upstairs bath, new ceiling tile and other random things.
Somewhere along the way Dad and I decided that since we have to replace the toilet and some of the drywall in the upstairs bath why don't we just redo the entire bath. So I did.
First we removed everything from the bathroom and demo'd the drywall. I learned an important lesson; the stuff on the other side of the stud is the wall of the hallway and bedroom and should NOT be hit with a hammer or it will crack. Whoops. Repair please!

The same weekend we demo'd the drywall we thought it would be a good idea to buy ceiling tile, so we did that too. Again, no pictures...pretend it's right here:
(right here)
Finally, the bathroom was empty and ready for drywall, well at least once the shower head was raised and the plumbing/electrical issues were addressed:
I went to Lowe's a week or so later with Pete and a budget of $1000 or less in mind.
I barely made it:

I bought the sink, vanity, mirror, exhaust, drywall, drywall mud, screws, tape, and I think that's it. I also bought 2 doors, door handles and more stuff I can't think of, oh and I rented a huge truck to drive it all home in.

Also, by barely I mean $7 under budget. Well, at least I was under budget until these guys made me go back to Home Depot and get 2X4's and other random things. The nerve! Pete was in town for the weekend and he was cutting the ceiling tile and getting it all into place while I organized and purged. He also went on a seemingly hopeless hunt for a 10" rough in toilet. (Which I found at a specialty store a block from my office).
That same weekend Charlie (the kneeling fella in the picture above) came over and helped to install all the drywall in my bathroom. Only apparently I took to much drywall off and didn't leave any to support the tile surround. So Charlie had to basically build a secondary frame around my bathroom to fix the error, hence the 2X4's.
These guys were my heroes that day. I would have been in the fetal position crying long before I did had they not been there to help.
I told them not to worry about the living room/dining room carpet since it was getting ripped up anyway. They sure listened to me!

But finally the bathroom was drywalled and it was time to tape, mud, and sand the drywall. So I put on my uniform:

Then Pete and I got it done:
After that weekend when I worked Pete to death (and I might have cried a lot more than needed about a house renovation) we decided we had earned ourselves some Acapulco. So Sunday night we headed towards a mexicoma. I asked the waiter for a Dos Equis and he asked, short or tall. I asked him what size was what and he said short was 12oz and tall was well....tall.
So, thinking the tall was 22oz maybe I ordered that. It was not 22oz, maybe 40oz, but not 22:

The same weekend that Pete was here we took a break from working on the house and went to Quaker Steak with his friend Dave on Friday (the same day we drywalled) and drank copious amounts of beer and sat for 5 hours people watching and chatting. Then Saturday afternoon we went to the Freedom Center with Dan and Sarah followed by dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery. Where I had a sampler platter...of beer.

So to recap, a LOT has happened to my house in the last few months and I drank copious amounts of beer in one weekend. This week I'm living in La Quinta (Spanish for I stay in hotels with cats and have awkward interactions with night desk managers) while they rip out the upstairs carpet and re-finish my hardwood floors. Oh, and the insurance is paying for that, huzzah!
Stay tuned for Flood Saga: The End. Hopefully coming soon to a blog near you.


Avoiding the Ick

I try to avoid the ick at all costs. The problem is, I'm surrounded by it.
Friendships that are disintegrating, relationships that are strained, money issues, leadership issues, work drama and the list goes on.

My old comfortable habit is to sweep the ick under the rug then stomp on it a few times so it's not lumpy. I worked hard at perfecting an air of "I don't care".
But it's just so icky sometimes.

My stomach hurts, my heart hurts, trying to shovel the ick under the carpets doesn't seem to work anymore but then I don't know what else to do.
So I read the email, I listen to her talk, I take deep breaths and try not to shovel the ick. I try to look at it, pray about it, process it and then reassess if there's a way to deal with it other then shoveling it under the carpet.

But still, I just feel icky about it; wishing people would just shape up and do the right thing, say the right thing, stop acting the way they do. I wish some people would understand why certain decisions were made before the email has to be sent, I wish other people didn't have to deal with someone that doesn't think at all.

I like to think that life was easier when I could avoid the ick, sweep it under the carpet and just look the other way. But it's not. The ick just shows up again and again, only when you've swept it so far under the carpet it tends to explode.


Speaking into the air

Being unmarried and non-dating has been on my mind and heart a lot lately. From the mostly funny to the serious to the wondering. I haven't talk about it much on here lately, because I'm not really sure what to say.

I'm beginning to suspect that maybe I'm supposed to be unmarried, non-dating for the foreseeable future. It's a hard thing to say to people because people are really invested in other people getting married, dating, making out etc etc. I joked a few weeks back that I was so boy crazy in and just post high school that I got it all out of my system so I could live the rest of my life in peace. But lately, lately I'm really beginning to wonder.

I wonder if I truly feel called to pursue a life of unmarried, non-dating living or if I am just so scared of unpacking my relational baggage. Then I think....haven't I been unpacking that baggage for a long time now?

I start to feel like I haven't really looked at it enough, the baggage. At the same time I'm thinking I'm picking at a thread that is as unraveled as it's going to get.

I go to a church that is primarily comprised of young married couples and young families. Sometimes, that's really hard for me. Even when it's hard I so believe in what my church is doing, what their mission is and the part God is clearly calling me to play in that mission that it's an easy choice to stay or go.

But it's still hard. Do you believe me when I tell you that both the hard and easy can exist at the exact same time? Because they do a lot for me.

Most of the time I can track with the relationship series, most of the time I can hang. But this time around I feel like I just can't do it, which I know is ok.

See the thing is, not everyone wants to be married. I don't. I know for sure that I don't, I'm simply (ha!) trying to figure out if I don't want to get married because I'm not supposed to or if it's because I'm hiding like a coward.

It frustrates me when there is no room made for the idea that a girl could want to just be on her own, unmarried, non-dating. That somehow the goal is to marry. The books, the sermons, the blogs about being a single Christian girl all end with the same thing...when will my husband show up. I'm fine (most of the time) with other people wanting that. But I feel sort of alone out here. I wonder if I'm so damaged in some way that I wouldn't want that too. So I search and search my heart...I pray, blog, journal, talk out loud to God and other people about it. All the same, wondering if there's something wrong with me. There are disclaimers on the sermons (from so many pastors, well meaning and kind) that relationship series can be applied to friendships and familial relationships (non-spousal), but I'm hard pressed to figure out what those are exactly.

People think it's because I haven't met the right man, some have asked if it's because I haven't met the right woman, others believe it's because I'm still hanging on to a man from the past.

Still others try to force e-harmony or match.com on me...because clearly if I just date for awhile I'll eventually shape up and settle down just like everyone else.

I wonder quite often what it is that is missing in me, this longing for a husband and partner. Because I do long. I long for a companion, someone to hang out with, someone to confide in, someone more....someone here and now in my everyday life. I do have them though. Lovely ladies and a handful of fellas that I love deeply and who love me too.

I long for a relationship in my city with someone that isn't held to a spouse and children; not because I think those are wrongfully prioritized, but because I think they are rightfully so. I would never ever ask a married friend to sacrifice their family or marriage to hang out with me, but sometimes it would be nice to have a spur of the moment friend to do silly inconsequential unimportant things with. One that doesn't require weeks of planning and coordinating when people are arriving in town by car or plane.
Someone asserted that what I'm longing for is a more intimate relationship with God, more of Jesus and His word. Probably, that does ebb and flow more than I would prefer. So still I wonder, I wrestle....is it for me, not for me....I just don't know...

I'm nervous you will think this is discounting you, the lovely lovely friends I adore that read this. Because I'm not discounting you. I feel lonely lately, but I have no idea what I feel lonely for. I sit and think and wonder if it is a husband and the answer is always no. So where does that leave me?

I think for now it leaves me couple skating with Jesus, waiting for....something, something that I can't quite explain to anyone yet let alone myself.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
-1st Corinthians 13:12


So Long, Insecurity

I'm reading So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore right now. I'm a 100% convert to the Beth Moore train. Not because I think she has all the answers all the time, but because God has used her in a mighty way yanking me out of some pits of thought and behavior I've been wallowing in that are just not good for me.
I read this today:
It's that rejection thing. There's nothing like it to make you obsessed with
someone you didn't even want

Man alive that one hurt.
Because it's totally true and well documented here, here, here, and here. I get so wrapped up in the obsession. I've proclaimed that it's over, that it ends today but then I slide right back into it. Because I just felt so rejected. Even though I did want him it should be done by now.

I have what feels like a huge issue with insecurity. It pops up time and time again while I run around pretending everything is alright. I spend so much time pretending that everything is under control, so much time working on being ok with...whatever. I don't ask for help because I don't think people really want to help me.
It's all very wearisome. Because it's just not true.
Then I start getting insecure about being insecure and that my friends is one vicious cycle.
This book is really good and really hard. I'm only on chapter 6, like page 87 or so out of about 350. I'm at once excited and terrified of what is to come.
Nothing elicits quicker concurrence on our part than feeling rejected. Our
equally deceptive agreement, with the original lie doubles the strength of the
bond, and through that betraying handshake, we find ourselves nodding. You are
so right...
I'm not worth wanting.
I'm not worth loving.
I'm not even worth liking.
I'm not worth pursuing.
I'm not worth fighting for.
I'm not worth keeping.
I'm not worth hiring.
I'm not even worth noticing.-pg 73

That last sentence, I mean I spend a lot of energy working on not being noticed. I simultaneously crave for people to notice and include me and desire nothing more than for a large bottomless hole to open up in the ground beneath me swallowing me whole and causing me to go unnoticed.
There are so many times that the attention, the noticing, is physically painful for me. When I'm noticed on terms other than my own self deprecating terms I get nauseous, sweaty and tearful. Because with noticing comes attention and with attention comes the loss of attention, affection, love.
Round and round I go, I'm getting really dizzy and am hoping to jump off this loop de loop soon. For now, I'm holding onto this.
I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with
you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. Isaiah 41:9-10


Vanish in the haze

I asked for help yesterday. I thought about it all day Saturday, all night, all the way to church in the morning. I made idle conversation, hemmed and hawed and finally just asked. For help.
The response was immediate and she even offered to recruit other people to help me. That was when I balked. Oh no no, I'm sure it will be fine actually never mind I can probably just manage....
But she wouldn't let me back out of my ask.
Then later Sharen asked me if I needed help moving into the hotel this afternoon. I hesitated, because after all, I could do it on my own. But I said sure and she and Matthew showed up to help me move all my stuff and two very ticked off kitties into the La Quinta.
She said, "I know you could do it on your own. But sometimes it's nice to have someone help you"
She's right. But I will disavow that I ever said that, because it's important to me to not need help. Too important most of the time. I'm trying to figure out why exactly.
Maybe it's because I think I'm strong enough, maybe it's the old nazi feminist in me. But more so I think it's the needing.
I hate to need; to feel needy. Mostly because when I need things they don't always show up. Yes yes I know...part of life is being disappointed and let down. But some days I can hardly breathe for the anticipation of being let down.
The rest of it though, is that I'm more afraid of the need being filled. That for a period, no matter how short or long, someone, or more than one someone, will come along and fill the need. Whatever that need may be. Then I'll get used to it. I grow accustomed to the helpful hand, the same constant shoulder, the same smiling face and voice of encouragement. Once I get used to it, what if it goes away? Then 'my independence might vanish into the haze'. Then what would I do?

I realize how silly it is to avoid a thing to avoid the ending of the thing. But well...most of the time I can't help myself. Sometimes the fear is so paralyzing that I end up sweating and getting nauseous so badly that I couldn't ask for help if I tried. Although I think I'm going to start trying. I have no idea what that's going to look like, but I'm going to ask for help more.
Because I know how much it means to me to be able to help people and I figure it might mean something to people to be able to help me. Now if I can just convince that silly self esteem of mine to believe that too...

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.


The Avett Brothers

I LOVE The Avett Brothers
I was checking out Austin City Limits one night and saw that The Avett Brothers were playing. Some people I know had talked about them before so I thought I'd check them out.
Oh it was fantastic.
They are sort of folksy and much to my chagrin sort of country but always lovely. I have listened to them over and over since I downloaded I and Love and You and Emotionalism. They're perfect for at work, driving, working around the house, and background music for hanging out with friends at the house.
I love them. So much.

I and Love and You
when at first i learned to speak
i used all my words to fight
with him and her and you and me
oh its just a waste of time
its such a waste of time

January Wedding
I hope that I don't sound to insane when I say
There is darkness all around us
I don't feel weak but I do need sometimes for her to protect me
And reconnect me to the beauty that I'm missin'

The Perfect Space
I wanna have friends that I can trust,
that love me for the man I've become not the man I was.
I wanna have friends that will let me be
all alone when being alone is all that I need.
I wanna fit in to the perfect space,
feel natural and safe in a volatile place.
And I wanna grow old without the pain,
give my body back to the earth and not complain.
Will you understand when I am too old of a man?
And will you forget when we have paid our debt
who did we borrow from? Who did we borrow from?

The Weight of Lies
The weight of lies will bring you down
And follow you to every town
Cause nothing happens here that doesn’t happen there
So when you run make sure you run
To something and not away from
Cause lies don’t need an aeroplane to chase you anywhere

I would be sad
I meant what I said when I said I would rearrange my plans and change for you
You know me I’ve always been the kind with easy confidence
Confident enough to honestly believe that nothing out there
Is stopping me especially not someone who’s not loving me
Now listen here I told you I could live on without loving you
I was bluffing then but it seems that just might have been the truth
Well my dad told me one-day son this girl will think of what she’s done
And hurting you will be the first of many more regrets to come
And he said if she doesn’t call than it’s her fault and it’s her loss
I say it’s not that simple see but then again it just may be



I like to pretend that I'm not a control freak. But if you know me even a little bit you know...that's just not true.
As much as I complain and struggle with being the planner, the organizer, the task manager I seem to also thrive on it. I realize those things are connected...I'm still working on it ok.
But I like that when things are coming up that I make a plan and can see it through. However, I also have a tendancy to sacrifice almost anything in order to see the plan through to fruition.
I said to someone last weekend that I was trying really hard to realize that my relationship with this person was more important than the event going according to plan but I was really struggling to remember that.
I was talking to another person last weekend about my issues with Swiss Cake Rolls and how I think that on top of the emotional/stress eating I do I also really like the routine of eating; especially Swiss Cake Rolls. I know that when I'm about to eat a Swiss Cake Roll how I'm going to open the package, that I'll select one of the rolls and eat the chocolate off the ends, then the bottom; then I'll peel off the chocolate around the roll and eat it then unravel the cake inside and eat it like a flat piece of cake with icing on it.
I expect it. I know it. I'm comfortable with it.

A friend from church threw her husband a surprise party a few months ago. Almost everyone at that party I knew and loved and considered a friend. Yet I told Michelle the day before that I needed to know that she was inside before I could go in. So I told her that if I didn't see her car in the lot I would call her before I walked in. Why? I knew all of the people, I love them. Yet I felt awkward and more than a little scared to walk in without knowing for sure that someone I knew would be in there.
I went to an Oscar party last week...no wait...I think it was this week...anyway.
I went to an Oscar party and was really stupid nervous on the way. I thought that maybe the party had been cancelled, that the location had been moved, that every single other person that was invited had forgotten about the party and I would show up food in hand and the hosts would be all...what are you doing here.
It's all just silly seemingly. But I'm finding that I keep my comfort, safety, reassurance in my having control. I like to know what to expect, I like to know what kinds of conversations will be had, where I will sit, where the bathrooms are, what kind of food will be there. When I don't know these things, or control them by being the planner and organizer then I get nervous about what might happen. When things change I get thrown off and nervous and have cried really hard about things not going right.

I wish I could be all the time like this moment of clarity. Because sometimes I let go, de-stress, calm the hell down and just relax. But those are not the majority. Mostly I stress and worry, I lift my shoulders to my ears like earrings and run through the possible conversations that could happen in my head and worry still about what I could possibly contribute to them.
It can often be worse in groups. Because on top of worrying if I'm comfortable and in control I want to control if other people are having a good time, if they're comfortable. The first time I met Dan's now wife I asked her 10 times in one hour if she had to go to the bathroom and if so does she know where they are. I just couldn't help myself. To me comfort is knowing where the bathroom is in a strange place, and I wanted her to feel comfortable and to like me so Dan and I could still be friends. I mean, we get along and all..but just in case you were wondering asking someone about their bathroom habits that often when you first meet them is not the best way to endear yourself to someone.

It's really exhausting. I'm thinking about trying to stop, but first I have to figure out where the bathroom is and what I will talk about when I'm trying to not be in control.



There was this boy. Once a long time ago in another world where I was a hot mess (as opposed to this world where I'm completely put together and rational all the time). We were friends and after a certain someone and I broke up I rebounded pretty hard, face first into the concrete floor with this other boy.
I pushed and shoved, manipulated trying to get my way.
In my damaged and broken sort of way I was just trying to reassure myself that I could still be wanted.
In his damaged and broken sort of way he was just trying to figure out what it was that I wanted in my messed up damaged sort of way.
We were both jerks. He just happened to be the jerk that moved out of state the week of my birthday. I was the jerk that threw tantrums, lied and said that I was fine when I really really wasn't.

I saw the boy again, a year or so later. Things happened. I was really very hurt and pretty angry about the whole deal. He went back to his state and I moved into a state of denial.
The thing about feeling used when you are a person that needs to feel useful to feel loved is that even when you're used for all the wrong reasons (are there right reasons....?) you think it's love.

We've talked, but not seen each other for a really long time. Until recently. When he came to visit with a girl that is lovely. We chatted and laughed, reminisced and shared life updates.
At one point, I can't even remember what I said, he put his arm gently around me and said: "I'm sorry. I was really a jerk to you."
I replied, "It's ok. I was kind of a jerk too."

Because in truth I was using him too. I was using him to pretend the demise of other boy wasn't quite so bad. I was using him to pretend that I still felt even the slightest bit wanted and needed. I was using him knowing that he didn't want me, because when it all fell apart (and I knew that it would) I could blame him and still remain safe and secure in the knowledge that I was useful for something.

It was nice; his apology in the middle of the aisle. It was nice to know that it wasn't just me. That he could see it too. It was nice to be more grown up with him and not all contrary, angry and mean like I used to be. It was nice.



It is often all about information for me.
I collect it; information about people, places, situations, everything.
I rarely use it anymore. But I used to...

I could eavesdrop easily on conversations, I would collect the information and slip it into my pocket in case it would help me out later.
The scared side of me would like to tell you that I rarely if ever used the information. I just collected it. But I did.
I mean, I didn't black mail people or anything...I'm not Ben Linus. But I would use it to endear myself to people. Because I didn't think they would want me around otherwise.

By endear, I mean two specific things.
I would insert myself in a situation and manipulate peoples emotions and relationships with the information I kept secret or released into the wilds of conversation to ensure that I would be a friend they would turn to. I would be a shoulder to lean on and I would love how it made me feel needed. I would be devastated if I found out a person I wanted to be friends with (or was friends with) would confide in other people. Not because I thought they couldn't be friends with more than one person, but because I thought they had found out the truth about me and they had no need for me anymore.
I needed to be needed to know that I was loved. I know this about myself and it's the main issue that I'm working on right now. This idea that my tasks, what I accomplish or do for people, isn't the reason they love me. That it isn't the reason God loves me. I'm trying to learn in my head and in my heart that Grace isn't doled out to me like a paycheck for the Washington Projects that I lead or the ways I serve people in His name. It's really overwhelming to continually re-learn that Grace is totally and completely unearned and free. Because I'm an earner. It's been my identity for so long.
But I digress. As if you're surprised.

I was so good at information management. Keeping it close, letting it out in just the right ear at the right time. I was very good at letting it out to known gossipers (because of course that isn't what I was doing...I was just helping. I was needed.) so that it was rarely traced back to me. It was a cozy little bedfellow; this information I held.

It's a really hard habit to break. I intentionally set out to slow down, slim down my schedule so I can be still, so I can focus on getting healthy both inside and out. Then slowly it seems to creep up. Things I love, that I want to do pile up all at the same time. It feels like feast or famine most of the time. But I give in, people tell me how much they want me to be in something, to come to something and it makes me feel....needed.
But it's not enough to just show up. I have to bake a bunch of things, or host it at my house, or be the driver, the planner, the organizer. Because just showing up wouldn't be enough. I have to do. Perform. Earn their love, friendship, affection, grace.

When it gets really bad, really overloaded; when I get really stressed out I slide back into my information seeking ways. I collect. I listen. I ask things of people I don't need to know and I insert myself into situations I have no place being in. Because it's all about control when I feel out of control.
Then when I hear about something someone is going through, when they tell me at an appropriate for them time I feel devastated. Left out that they couldn't simply pick up the phone and call. I think of all the ways I could have helped, then I feel scared they don't really like me, love me, want me to be their friend because they don't want me to do things for them. Because how could someone want me in their life if I'm not doing something for them.

I'd like to say I'll stop. That I'll say no, that I'll pray for guidance and strength and ask for help. Oh, and I'll try that. I've just failed so much at it. I've pulled back and then jumped back into a deeper end than I had just climbed out of.
So instead I'll say I just need your grace. Your patience. Your friendship.
I know that I already have it. I do know that on some level. But in my tired worn out exhausted level I don't know it and it feels like leaving a birthday card on my dining room table spells the demise of friendship and saying no sounds like I hate you.


Flung Across Space and Time

The interesting thing about the last almost week is that I've had a lot of people "that knew me when" visit.
There was Jake, Belinda and Alaina all last weekend. I've known them all since at least 7th grade and maybe before with Belinda.
Malek came and visited last night with his girlfriend. I knew him for a few years back in the living in BG days when I was a falling apart hot mess of a girl. He moved to Florida in 2002 and I hadn't seen him at all since 2003.

Then there is the inevitable spring board memories. Reminiscing with Malek made me remember living with Stephanie (Gosh I miss her so much) and Jake, Belinda and Alaina and I all poked at our dramatic high school years and talked through what it meant to be an adult.
So you'll have to excuse me if I'm feeling a little reflective.

It's so easy for me to see now where God has brought me. How he's moved me from hot mess of a falling apart girl to a lukewarm mess of a mostly keeping it together girl. Because things are really stressfull and exhausting right now. I'm not managing it well. I have all these stupid girl things happening, the house is totally out of order and chaotic, money is flying out of my accounts faster then I notice it's in there and there is just no time to be still. I'm parched. Parched for rest, for renewal, for time to reflect and think. I've been taking naps on my lunch breaks to make up for the sleep I don't get at night. It's all just enough to make me forget that this is rough, but not as bad as it used to be.
In the thick of it, whatever it is, it's really hard to see that there's an end in sight. It's really easy to be disappointed, discouraged, let down and defeated. It's pretty easy to stop being thankful for how far God has brought me and all that he's doing in my life even though I can't see it for all the sand my head is buried in.

So I'm holding on that it's there. That hope and a light at the end of the tunnel is there in the reservation made at the hotel so the floors (the last step!) can get done, in the test results that show nothing is wrong with her, in the time spent with friends that highlights just how great life is most of the time, for the baby sticking in utero still and waiting for as long as possible to meet Momma. Hope is even in the exhaustion. Because I'm wrung out and tired from working hard long hours at a time when not a lot of people have the opportunity to work at all. Hope is in the exhaustion that comes from staying up late talking to old friends who help tie together what God has done and is continuing to do in your life.
Hope is in remember what it is to be overwhelmed with thankfulness.
I'm thankful for the I'm sorry conversation that happened. For the validation that even though I was a hot mess that I was not crazy in thinking that situation was jacked up and I shouldn't have been treated that way. I'm thankful for the chance to say I'm sorry too because I was a jerk too.
I'm thankful for friendships even when they are flung across space and time.
I'm thankful for a God that has been pushing and prodding me since before I even pretended to like him in the slightest bit.
I'm thankful for you too.
I'm thankful.


Adult Mis-Mash (I apologize in advance)

Things no one told me about being an adult:

You have to pay bills. Like every month.
You have to budget your money so you have money to pay those bills.
Adults still act like gossipy high schoolers some days (a lot of days)
There are still cool kids and uncool kids
Mowing the lawn sucks and you have to do it every week if not more when it's nice out
Lawn mowers have engines which require oil that you have to replace when it's old
The house does not in fact clean itself
If the cat pukes you have to clean it up, and then clean up the pile of puke you threw up while cleaning it up
When you're sick and feel to weak to get yourself juice or water from the kitchen no amount of yelling will make someone bring it to you when you live alone
You have to do things you don't want to do or don't feel like doing....a lot. Actually I would say most of the time.

Talking to friends this weekend we all collectively wondered if this is really what being adult is supposed to be. B even noted that she often wondered when a grown up was going to show up and take care of things.
I'm not sure. I'm just not sure I'm in the best place mentally and emotionally to even honestly answer that question without sounding all jaded and bitter about it. But I'm also not really sure what exactly I'm so jaded and bitter about.

I'm living in the dissonance right now. Between what life is and a vague just out of focus idea of what life is supposed to be. I feel surrounded by people that tell me not to settle for just any man and marry him because I'm 30 while simultaneously being told to settle down and get married already. I'm wondering if it's harping and protesting to much to tell people that I don't know if I want to date anyone at all anymore let alone think about getting married and/or have kids or if it's the truth. I'm wondering if the real reason behind the lack of those desires is massive unopened piles of baggage or just a knowing that those things are just not for me.

It surprises me how many other people feel this way and how little people talk about it until a few beers have been poured and it's late at night after a big dinner of comfort food. I wish more people would talk about it, then maybe I wouldn't feel so crazy. But is it ok that even when people talk about it I still feel alone in the dissonance? Because sometimes I do.

I had such a lovely weekend with friends, but I did to much. I committed to multi-tasking to much because doing tasks gives me a purpose that I'm needed. Because I still don't really believe I have value outside of the tasks that I accomplish. It's still really really hard for me to understand that even if my house is dirty and people have to pour their own coffee or someone else makes the cookies for the serve that I took off to enjoy my time with friends they will still like me, they might even still love me.
I don't trust that people just love me. So I don't ask for help and I over commit and I dodge and deflect and demur that it's really ok and I plaster a smile on my face and say it's ok when I'm just so tired.
I know that when I do this I hurt people after the fact because I write about it and they have to reassure me that it's not true and they love me no matter what and I say thank you and thank you and thank you but as soon as the light is off that sore spot and the time extends from the reassurances I fall back into not believing that people love me all over again.
I do the same thing with God. I try to do things for Him because just being with him doesn't feel like enough. I have to do, serve, run myself into the ground to feel like I'm earning his love and that my friends is a sin that I am trapped in and I can't see my way out.

I'm so sick of it and I don't know how to stop believing that lie.
It also really really pisses me off that this could all very well be hormonally related and not at all reality and I know that the way to fix the unbalanced level of hormones in my body is to lose weight and not be fat but the unbalanced hormones leave me paralyzed with depression and apathy thinking the only way out of this pit is at the end of a box of Little Debbies so I eat and eat and don't work out and I hide and hide under piles of fast food wrappers and melted chocolate.
Around and around and around she goes and where she stops no one knows.



I have things to say, but no idea how to say them.
A lot has been happening on the home front, drywall, glazing, electrical issues, dry wall dust galore, visitors every weekend and one more round tomorrow night of visitors to go.
I move into a hotel in less than a week for a week while they do the hardwood floors and all I can think about is making it until next Sunday evening when I move into the hotel because that means I'll not be able to do a single damn thing when I get "home" except lay in a hotel bed and maybe swim or sit in a hot tub.

Today I feel like I'm just trying to make it through the day, and it will be a long day. Work, errands, meeting, cleaning then bed.
I'm irrationally cranky and pissy and so over being a girl. I wish I could figure out that Little Debbie's and nacho cheese doritoes aren't the answer to any problem that I have, even when I'm actually hungry.

For all the good intentions and well thought out plans of slowing down and savoring days instead of speeding through them from one event/meeting/job/committment to another I seem to have added more instead of taking anything out.
It's coming to a head soon. I just can't keep up this pace and actually enjoy life at all. Now I just have to see if that actually happens of if I'll just stuff my frustration back down my throat with Mt Dew and Cheetos.