…I’m just dancing with myself
Sometimes I feel like I’m being watched. Not in the creepy “I Know What You Did Last Summer Way,” but in the – the world is my stage – kind of way. I am living the life every single girl in every single romantic comedy leads in the first hour of the movie. You know, the first hour is what gets you hooked – it’s what you relate to. They do this so that in the second hour – when the man with the perfectly white teeth and recently plucked eyebrows appears on the scene – and because they’ve made you believe that you could be her in the first hour, you believe you could be her in the second hour. But I’m not here to talk about the second hour.
I came home this evening and perfectly timed – it started raining just as soon as I set my foot out of my car door. I made a dash for my apartment, tripping and almost falling over the neighbors toy car. I waved hello to my other neighbors, who I don’t know, but we both pretend to, and finally let myself inside. It was the best feeling – walking inside, hanging my perfectly white coat on the hook that also holds an apron that I never use and a purse I bought to make myself feel better after a long week.
My day hasn’t been stressful much, just long, and was one of many just like it. I come inside and immediately throw off my (ridiculously cute) heels and change into sweatpants that are too big for me. I walk through my (ridiculously cute) apartment and plug in the Christmas lights that I’ve hung, even though many people won’t be through to see them. My apartment tells the viewer much about who I am – what I love and who I love. It’s at this moment the viewer thinks, man, that place looks like I could live there.
It’s quiet as I sort quickly through my mail and hope for something other than ads and bills, but there is none. As I wash my hands, I hit the soap dispenser too hard and soap flies across the sink right onto my pants and on the floor, and, in a moment of comic relief and a moment of realness, I have to catch myself on the sink to keep from slipping on the soap I forgot about.
And as I’m microwaving my Lean Cuisine (ravioli – it’s the best) and curling up in one corner of my large leather couch with my dinner in one hand and glass of sparkling raspberry champagne (because, why not?) I’m at home and I feel like it, too. The cozy Christmas lights and Charlie Brown tree in the corner make the viewer feel the same, and for an instant, they think, I could be that girl.
Too often I remember only the second half of the movie. But if it weren’t for the first half, the second half wouldn’t mean a whole lot, now would it?
…that i’ll give so much more than i’ll get
It’s hard to believe how long it’s been since my last post. I was counting the days to the kickoff of the Browns season, and now I’m counting the days until it’s over.
No, but really. It’s hard to watch. It’s ugly, it’s pathetic and it’s embarrassing. But I can’t not watch. I watched every minute of the Ravens game on Monday night and held out hope that it would get better.
But that’s not what you want to read about, now is it?
In updates from previous posts, my first ‘garden’ ended as a pretty big fail. My peppers turned black, I only got about 2 small tomatoes before it snowed and my plant froze, and my beautiful beautiful hybiscus only bloomed the week I was in Vegas. I heard it was gorgeous, though. So point for me.
I promised myself I wouldn’t think about my ‘future’ until after our Young Life banquet was over. I had too much going on this fall and too much work to do for the banquet to spend time worrying about something I didn’t need to be. It was easy to put it off. It gave me an excuse to focus on being more ‘in the moment’ and I didn’t worry if this is where God wanted me, because I knew it was, and I could rest in that.
Banquet’s over. Cue anxious nights and an unsettled feeling in my stomach.
I plan on blogging more regularly through this winter season – with the shorter days and students on break, I have more time for reflection and my personal space. It’s time that I should set aside all throughout my year, but tend to let myself be distracted by everything for everyone else.
I have (even more) thoughts on singleness and community and Christianity, and look forward to finally writing them down, instead of letting them stew in my head.
But in the meantime, please enjoy this. It never ever fails to make me smile.
…the best thing I can do is love You
Last summer I feared. That’s it. Not a complete sentence, you’re thinking? In my head it is. I feared. Moving out. On my own. No friends. New job. Small town. It had all the makings of me in the fetal position in the corner of my apartment eating Ben and Jerry’s and watching non-stop episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
But I think because of that, I fought against that fear. Before it even happened, I fought it. I knew my homebody tendencies and I knew my history with anxiety and depression and so I fought it.
And nothing happened. It was great! I painted my house bright green and aqua blue and obnoxiously orange and I put a picnic table in my dining room. I planted some flowers and I rode my bike wherever I could. I ate whatever I wanted for dinner. I learned why mom always told me to eat my vegetables. I repainted my house light gray and tan. I opened my doors to old friends and we spent nights on the front porch reminiscing back to our lives when we all lived in the same mile circumference and ate dinner together every night. You know, reminiscing back to 2 months before that…and if any time was spent indulging in my Ben and Jerry’s, it was only out of pure joy.
I remember being so, so thankful to God that he brought me through that summer alone and now that the fall was here, students were back and there were things to attend and plan and decide and I think, that just for a bit too long, I let my guard down. I started worrying about my role as not a student, not yet an adult. (Cue Britney Spears). And all of a sudden I lost my focus. My fears became a reality and I experienced some of the hardest few months I ever have. I would set foot in my house and tears would immediately come. My birthday was the worst of them all. I worked 12 hours that day, got pulled over by campus security on my way home, and spent the rest of the night crying and watching the Gilmore Girls. You know, that episode where Rory is so overwhelmed and she can’t get a hold of Lorelai and ends up weeping on Dean’s shoulder? That is my go-to episode when life is more than I think I can handle. And that night I connected with Rory. I connected with that feeling of not thinking you can deal with life and just needing your mom but she’s not around anymore. But I didn’t have my Dean. And I was alone. On my birthday. And that fact circled in my head more than I should have let it and the next day I realized that I had given up fighting. I had lost the battle with my fears. But at that point, I didn’t really care. It took a few more months to start fighting again.
I started figuring out my place and tried hard to focus on the fact that God had called me here. What a blessing to know that I was where God wanted me to be. I held that in front of me as a badge of honor and leaned on it like a cane when life got trying again. I repeated one verse over and over and over until I considered getting it tattooed on my foot as a forever reminder of this time in my life. That verse carried me through the darkest of days.
Do not despise the day of small things, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.
Do not despise the day of small things. My life seemed to be a chain of days of small things. But the Lord was rejoicing over them.
Somewhere around Christmas or maybe later in the winter I broke. After a night out with friends, I was driving 2 of them home and they asked a question about my life this past year and I lost it. 2 of us spent a couple of hours in that car that night and I unloaded. I was already coming out of that funk from the fall, but the pain was still fresh in my mind. He told me I should never have gotten to the point of walking into my house and crying. I should lean on my friends, he said. He said God was doing great things in my life and I was surprised to find that I believed him. God had called me here for a clear purpose and I had to rest in that.
It’s a year later. A new school year. I already know I have been complacent and I have put my guard down. Summer is safe. But this fall I must keep fighting. And now, I’m excited for the fight. Because I know I can win.
…but they came back and so will we, to O-H-I-O
Are you honestly surprised?
The recent trades of Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, Ryan Garko, and Ben Fransisco have put a damper on our plans, sure. But why all of this negative energy? If you’re a Cleveland fan – not a lightweight fan – but a real, honest, bleed orange and brown (or wine and gold, or red and blue) take-it-to-the-grave sort of fan, you’ve gotta let this one go.
I’ve only been a Cleveland fan for 23 short years. And honestly, most of those I was more consumed by *N Sync’s dance moves than I was with Oral Hershiser’s MVP. I like to call those the dark years. But I watched J*$e M&#a blow the ninth inning. I heard the cheers when Tim Couch went down. And I covered my face in shame as LeBron stormed off the court. I know Cleveland. I know that we’re more than The Drive or The Fumble or The Shot.
For reasons beyond my reasoning, people fall in love with this town. CC Sabathia, Victor Martinez, Omar Vizquel, Brady Quinn, heck, even Manny Ramirez love this town.
My point here is not to say that you shouldn’t be frustrated. The sign of a Cleveland fan is constant frustration. I mean, Cleveland, we’re nothing if not frustrated and angry, right?
No, no. My friends. This talk I hear about finally giving up, about not attending another game, about teaching your newborn children to root for another team, is bologna. You can’t teach your child to root for another team. It’s in your blood, remember?
If you give up now, all these years of heartache and anguish over your teams will have been in vain. But, if we dig our heels in, maybe, just maybe, one day it will happen and you’ll be able to lean over to your possibly grown child and say, “I never doubted them for a second.”