Perfecting the Smokey Eye

Ah. Back to the days of words that define and make sense of what life cannot explain of its own accord. Away from hiding in my own head, thoughts churning and growing and gnawing until they become an existence unto themselves. I have missed this.
I work now. I'm full-time for the first time since I started school, and I am honestly loving it. I was unsure as to what my own self's reaction would be once I started; my personal will is occasionally  thwarted by my inner self's more prominent tastes and desires. Much to my surprise, there was no revolt and I am happily employed. It's amazing to find myself leaving work with a twinge of regret, but also with excitement to come back the next day. I haven't felt that way about a job in a very long time.
I have more health junk happening. It's like it never really ends to be honest. It feels like I'm being a downer, but in reality I am just trying to be as accurate about the Right Now as possible. Unfortunately dirt makes up a big enough portion to demand an audience, even if only of one.
I have a love with a man that is deeper than all the rest. Plumbing this ocean's depths shows me the futility of a snorkel in a kiddie pool. There are sharks and yucky seaweeds and sometimes the salt water goes up my nose, but the thrill I get down there is second to none. The beauty of breaking the surface at dawn and the candid joy of discovery at each stroke makes every wave-battered bruise worth it. I love him beyond the deep.
I read trash novels (i.e. the Left Behind series), drink boring teas, wear ugly sweaters with gusto, forget constantly how to apply make-up (though I am getting dangerously close to perfecting the smokey eye), forget the most important words in my sentences as a matter of habit, forget to eat lunch because I am caught up in my work (which I never understood in others and understand even less in myself), watch shows that embarrass my boyfriend but make me feel less alone in the world, correct run-on sentences for a living yet use them like I use my air, and forget on a regular basis why I am here at all.
Tomorrow is new. Tomorrow is useful to learn why.


I Am My Own Best Counsel

Just reading old blogs that I haven't touched in months, and there they are: the words I have been stuttering out over the last few weeks as I have sorted through this mess to find some answers. All my brilliance, all the thoughts that it took all my energy to dredge up were already here in black and white, right under my nose. At least now I know I am on the right track.

I have a big decision to make, bigger than other ones I thought were big. I have been offered a good job, the one I want, and my chest tightens every time I think about it. If I take it, I might burn out and never recover (hello, Fear! You've been MIA lately); if I don't take it, then it'll screw me out of a job in the fall, the job I really really want. I feel...trapped. AHHA! Oh self-illumination, you've done it again. I feel trapped. I do not feel free to make a decision because both feel like the wrong one. Is there another one? Is there something in between, or something so far outside the box that it makes these look like twin suckers? 

Leanne, you have to make a decision. This is your life, and you're never waking up.


In Mourning

When something traumatic occurs that forces life to change unalterably, a piece of you dies. I don't mean in some strange, emo way, but rather a piece of the You that you might have been. With it goes an entire life of choices, would-haves, and should-bes that can never be chosen now. 

I have never been "good" at mourning, if it's even possible to be good at something like that. Some people just seem to have a knack for dealing with the hand that is dealt, going through the five stages and whatnot, and then moving on with their lives. I tend to stay as shallow as possible; if the pain were to actually reach the depths of my heart and break and bend things to the point where they could be reset and healed, I would begin to forget and let go. How could I ever let myself forget? And I am no better when it comes to mourning myself.

The last three years have been...difficult. That doesn't even begin to describe it. And now that I am stepping out and can see the sun again, I am realizing that the only piece of my life that is missing is me: the Me I wanted to be, the Me I should have been. I can never have that life, I can never be that girl, and no one else could understand. The war is over, I've come back home, and everyone else is going on with their lives as usual while I try to adapt to life without using weapons as answers. 

My life is great, I have everything for which I could ask. The only thing missing is me.



New year. New month. New day. It's really too bad that I cannot separate 2012 from the idea of doomsday. Ugh. I have such a good feeling about this year that goes completely against that idea. I have that nervous feeling in my stomach when I think about it (the year, not the end of the world) - like right before I go on stage and I know that I know my lines, but who knows what will happen? - and there is so many possibilities and corners and opportunities for triumph and failure that it makes my knees weak. So much can change in a year. I never imagined I would be here this time last year; this, right here, is a dream come true (believe it or not) in so many ways. God has blessed me abundantly, and I know it's only going to continue (whether I recognize it or not).

Resolutions? Not many. They're more 'heart' things than 'do' things. I would love to be a more generous, encouraging, uplifting person by this time next year; there should be a marked difference in my thoughts, words and actions. Of course there's always the desire to eat right and exercise, but I think, at this point at least, that my heart matters more.


Torrac, Carrie and Rottie

I have spent this break, so far, watching funny TV so I laugh more, actually spending money on myself so I don't feel as though I never do, reading wonderful literature so that my writing improves, and pretending I don't miss Jon with every heartbeat.

Christmas was fab, to say the least. Notable gift mentions: the "family" of stuffed IKEA carrots from my brother (see above), a gorgeous necklace from my uncle, and a handmade tea box from my dad (it is actually the most incredible thing ever). Gifts for myself: a ton of painting supplies on sale for ridiculously low prices and, a strange one, I finally signed up to be an organ donor. At some point that was on a top-10-to-do list, so it's done. Best gift for someone else: the "privacy area" I built for my brother to hang over his computer, made out of a silver wreath and crepe paper. Oh the joy. But the best part? Realizing how much I appreciate my family.

School still isn't back in for nearly two weeks, which gives me hope. I am already feeling a thousand times better, and I can only imagine that the feeling will grow in that time. It is so good to just be.


There Is Only Silence Bouncing in My Head

I haven't blogged in a really long time, and I'm beginning to realize that, sooner or later, people will start to get the impression that: a) my life only sucks; b) I only have very profound thoughts; or c) I'm actually crazy. My vote is c.

For the first time in a very long time I am questioning what I will do with the rest of my life. Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 and, if you're a rockin' exegeter (or exegetress), you may begin to get the picture.

Is this failure a sign to shut up, grow up, and move on? Or is it a reminder to persevere? I could really use that neon sign right about now.


Just Blowin' in the Wind

21 days until I'm done school.
20 days until no more exams.
18 days until no more papers.
7 days until no more books.
4 days until no more memorization.
I got this.

And on to the rest of my life because, believe it or not, I do have better things to think about. Example: how will I spend my glorious, nearly month-long Christmas break? So many ideas, so many glorious potentialities, and most of them revolve around a good night's rest.
Another example: how to best celebrate six amazing months with an even more amazing man? That's tricky. We're both so busy with end of semester cramming, but fitting incredible into the crevices of mundane seems... sacrilegious? Or maybe just unfair. But even if it's the worst night ever and everything that could go wrong does, there is no one I would rather spend a crappy night with (as already proved in the Fiasco-that-was-Save-On night).
Another example: how will I spend my summer? I don't plan on doing much of anything...and for me, a full-time job (as long as there's no work to take home) would feel like a break compared to the last five and a half years. Yes, years. I don't think I have taken a legitimate amount of time off from the rush and pull of things both necessary and over-the-top ridiculous since the summer I graduated high school. A week here and there does not count. It will be nice to be normal.

It's funny. The closer to the end of the semester I get, the more active my brain gets. Normally it's the opposite, but I think she knows it's almost time to use thinking and planning and creating for fun again.

Tonight I'm going to get a bit ahead on homework, drink some tea and get to bed by 12:30 at the latest. Then, even though it's my sleep-in, I will get up before 10 and do more homework. I actually never thought I could be that person.


Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come for You?

5 - Swimming lesson instructor.
6 - Teacher.
9 - Famous singer.
10 - Missionary.
12 - Writer.
15 - Married to a billionaire.
17 - Actress.
18 - Mother.
19 - Youth pastor.
21 - Pastor.
23 - Travelling poet through Japan, conquering skyscrapers and scary hairstyles with my devastatingly touching iambic pentameter.

At each age, these were my highest aspirations. Some are still with me (hello, famous singing career, here I come), and some are long dead. I never wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer or astronaut or princess, because it was never about the money (except marrying rich, of course); it was about living out what I was passionate about.

So. Self-analysis time. What am I most passionate about at this moment?
...Reading my Bible, making delicious food, making anything really, going on adventures.
Okay. Now why am I doing anything else?
Obvious answer: it's all part of the plan. Finish school, do what's required, I'll thank myself later. And realistically, I'll be done in just over 5 months. That's all. But until then...I'm dragging myself through the mud.

I want a better attitude! I really do. And there are parts about school I absolutely love to bits. But there's the parts that literally take the things I used to love and twist them into ugly representations of lovely things. Too hardcore? Fine. The joy for learning is gone when I'm over-worked and under-prepared and hungover (JOKES) and, in some cases, have already learned exactly the same thing in five other courses (this happens more often than you'd think). And other things still hurt. I think I've mostly forgiven the painful bits from over the last whiles, but it doesn't make the hurt any less legitimate. Sometimes I forget how badly it still affects my heart, and then a reminder stuffs itself into my face and I cannot breathe all over again.

Sidenote: What do you do when you know something that literally no one else on the planet knows except the person whose secret it is to tell, and this information could destroy everything for someone else? What do you do when there is no "sworn to secrecy," but instead a mutual silence? What do you do when you know you should do the right thing, but in the end no one will thank you for it?
End sidenote.

I am fighting through this, but I'd rather enjoy the ride. What's the worst that happens? I don't get A+'s across the board? Unlikely at this point, anyways. I don't graduate with highest honours? ...I'm guessing that I'm the only person who cares if I do that or not. The school I want won't accept me because my grades blow chunks? I take the road set out for me instead of the one that was obviously of me.

I am officially letting go of perfection and instead striving to enjoy this at least a little bit more than I have been. Hello, folks! It's celebration time. Freedom is nearly here. It's taste is strongly overpowering my leftover coffee and midnight cigarette (JOKES...about the coffee. JOKES! Gosh).


You'll Never Know, Dear

It is truly a pity that the majority of my teenage years were spent with my heart bound up in producing angsty, cliché poetry; I was empowered by deep emotions, but I in no way did them justice. My potential was high and I wasted it. I read back now and it is not just my embarrassment that colours previous words, but a sort of wisdom that sees more depth in recent haikus than in any pager I wrote in the tenth grade.

As part of my Christmas artsy to-do list, I want to go back and revisit the circumstances that demanded such a profoundly lacking creative statement and come at them from a new angle, thereby rewriting what needed to be said with more retrospect and less chained-to-the-bottom-of-my-humanity by every circumstance that came my way. By the end of break, I want to have an entire art journal full of what-could've-been's (but without the bitter resentment of " what if"s).

This probably sounds stupid. It might be. I am probably wasting my time, but to me it is then a necessary waste. Maybe you don't understand = perfect. No one else could possibly see the ridiculous dissimilarity between the profundity of parallel universes: that of my waking life and the one relived in print. I want to do justice to my life, not just live as one who has no past and must therefore make entirely spontaneous, momentary decisions with nothing from which to refer.


Falling Together, Rushing Towards the Abyss

The more that life falls together, the clearer it becomes that there is a gaping hole. When will I release the hold on what I cannot keep to gain what I cannot lose? This ongoing process...some of it is effortless and I see myself growing by leaps and bounds; some of it seems hopeless, and I continue to cling.

In less than six months I will be graduated. When did this happen? In six months I will be free. What will I do with my time?
  • Write a book.
  • Make lots of ridiculous homemade crafts and sell them online to people too lazy to make them for themselves.
  • Travel to all the places I want to see.
  • Plant an herb garden.
  • Make art all day.
  • Travel around making art all day.
  • Travel to inspiring places and just make art. All day.
  • Go on a crazy year-long missions trip because I'm crazy and want to do something that will mean something to someone, not just to me.
  • Go stay at a cabin by a lake and go for a run every day and swim every day and paint every day, and do this, every day, until I'm buff and a decent painter and a panini and latte master.
  • Elope for the fun of it.
  • Get a 6 Flags seasons pass and go to every single one.
  • Get a grown up job on weekdays, only see friends and boyfriend on weekends, and volunteer because that is what good people do.
Did you just make the same sighish noise I did? Every part of my body made it with me. Everything on this list is beautiful and adventurous and lovely, except for the one I should be doing. Why is life like that? Why do I let life be like that? Why do I feel entitled to any more than that? Why do I feel that I shouldn't feel entitled? Why don't I just do whatever I want to?

The answer? The answer is a question. What does God want me to do? Me, I have dreams. Some of them are wonderful and some of them are selfish and some are godly, but that doesn't answer the question. Maybe He wants me in a season of doing beautiful things and making my own beauty and following His to the far corners of the world. Maybe He wants me to buckle down, get (or keep) a job, and be a big girl. Maybe He wants me to wait and see what He brings.

If only I knew. If only putting off my Masters - because, I now realize, I desperately need a break from learning in a classroom - meant that the rest would be sorted out.

I want a lot of things. Some of them are unattainable and therefore not even on my crazy list. Some are possible and therefore on the list. Some are in my heart and do not have names yet. Some are in my ovaries and do not have names yet, either. Some are in God's hand and, when the day is right, they will be hand-delivered to my soul.

Now that I think about it...that sounds really good to me.