Different - Hello There, Jack - Not Even I Could Have Predicted This

There is something almost mystical about green grass growing infinitesimally deeper and cooler as twilight approaches. A person could get lost in that feeling, lost in the sense that they are suddenly who they truly are: who they have ever been, ever will be, and could ever hope to be.
You can never forget how to swing. The moment your hands grasp the cold and begin the rattling of chains, years are diminished to mere moments and not a second has passed since the first time you learned to defy gravity. My cousin turned seven today, and we went on her swing set for a little while. As I rose higher and higher, bringing the moon into full view with each pull of my arms and stretch of my toes, I was suddenly aware of the huge smile on my face. Delighted, thrilled, and full of the sweetest joy.
Who am I really? Am I the woman who puts on her face every day and is dependable, courteous and strong, or am I the one deep in behind the face who secretly wishes that life allowed re-dos so that she can blow it all off? Am I the stickler for rules and order and "right," or am I the girl who leaves a seven-year-old's birthday party early to go on her own swing set, watching for each approaching second that signals the coming night? The girl who does cartwheels for the love of them, not because she has ever successfully completed one? The girl who lays in the damp grass with her feet above her head doing the bicycle, Jack Johnson singing sweet, revolutionary nothings in her ears, all the while marvelling in the static-spangled periwinkle sky?
The dark came as swiftly as it ever does, and with it the knowledge that life is not about blogging each new experience. It is all in the moment. That second in eternity that is utterly meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but is a living testimony to my Father who knew this second of my being from the instant of creation. I am completely in awe.


She'd Be California

I started listening to music again. I have missed being able to listen to simple lyrics without immediately attributing them to every possible aspect of my life. Lately I have found that I can just sing without thought and enjoy the play of words over my tongue rather than their hidden meaning in the grand scheme of things.

I had a birthday. I didn't die. Hallelujah. Seemingly humorous, but not really. I've had bad luck with birthdays since I was about seven. There was never a year without drama or hurt or too much to drink. Last year was on the road to recovery, this year had some difficulties but is probably the best one since I was six. And the good times haven't stopped yet; I still have a few celebrations left to go.

Yesterday I was getting my legs waxed and a song came on the speakers while we were talking about my birthday. It's called 'birthday sex' or something equally as stupid. Lyrics that didn't touch me all over again, and that touched me.

Maybe I'm not making a lot of sense, but I'm growing accustomed to living within my own world and ignoring whether or not others can keep up. That probably isn't the best scenario to be blogging within, as I'm sure those who read would much rather understand than not, but this is the turnings of my mind. I find fault in everything except myself because, whenever I get the chance to realize it, I am my own definition of fault.

Santa Barbara in summer, yeah, she feels like that.



Today is my last day of being twenty. Amazing. This year has gone by both unbelievably fast and painfully slow. At the end of every birthday year, I come to the same question: how do I define the experiences of the past 365.25 days? How do I confine them within one paragraph, one sentence, one word? An entire chapter of my life is over, the page is in the process of turning, and I have no bookmark strong enough to hold a previous page for long.

I have unsuccessfully, in the past, tried to create a breakdown of events, thoughts, hopes and fears that would be capable of encompassing an entire year. I can define a year according to guys, friends, semesters, holidays, major events and terrible heartaches. It usually comes down to guys, despite my greatest efforts. When I think back to high school, that's how terms of my life were divided.

Every year means something different. Each one symbolizes something within me breaking free or coming undone or finally focusing. This was the year to realize that I am not broken. All the now distant memories of hurts in my past did not break me beyond repair. I am still capable of love...and of pain. I thought I was immune to both, strong enough to withstand the intoxication of both; I was terribly wrong.

Regret has never suited me. Being clothed by forlorn backward glances is both pathetic and a waste of time, in my opinion. I have spent enough of my life driving using only cruise control and the rear-view mirror. The girl with such silly fantasies and romantic dreams is gone. In her place is someone who acknowledges the ground she stands on as she encounters it, can learn from the past without dwelling on it, and has bigger dreams for the future than her heart can hold.

Clarity has come to me in my old age with a vengeance. I can see my mistakes for what they are and accept that these are things I cannot change. I can see what I want in my future and what I will not accept, based on the things I have learned. This probably sounds very technical and far removed, but it's not; this is as close as I can let anything get to me, because I have learned that I don't want to harden my heart, but I don't want to be crushed by the immense weight of hurt either.

Today is a day for seeing things as they really are. Normally I write this tribute to the last year in a private journal, but today is not a day for privacy. As naked dancing would probably not be appropriate, I'll stick with this blog. Another normally: normally I wouldn't take the time to explain the title of a blog (I love that it would take someone who really knows me to figure it out), but I want to. 20/20 vision is perfect. I found out recently that with my contacts, my vision is actually 20/15. It seems that in my old age, I really am seeing more clearly. Of course there is also the play on words (20/20, as in the age I am, har har), but I'm more focused on the seeing clearly part (focused, seeing; I'm on a roll today). Here's my thought: if the more I see equals the more I learn, then the older I get the better I will be at seeing things for what they really are. I want to see things as they really are.

So here it is, a tribute to the twentieth year of my existence on this planet. Does it do it justice? Not really. I have loved and lost and hurt and felt and experienced as much as I could cram into one year, and this one simple blog entry could never be enough to say how I really feel about it. But once again, tomorrow is a new day and I will be off on another exciting chapter of life, always more thrilling than the last.


Adventures in Restauranting

Today and yesterday were thrilling to the nth degree. There is nothing more satisfying than restauranting.

Restauranting: (v) taking one hour at a time to sit in front of a food-serving establishment whilst counting the number of males and females who enter and leave said establishment, followed by entering the restaurant and counting advertisements in the restrooms, all done for profit.

We restaurant (used here as a verb) to fundraise for camp in the summer and general church needs. So last night and tonight we each drove around the city to three different restaurants and restauranted for three full hours. Oh, the joys.

My first place today was a dirty pub down by Kits beach, where 50-year-old men were hitting on me and the bartender didn't want to help me unless I bought a drink. I sat across the street in Muffin Break to count, and passed the time counting how many cute guys I could get to smile at me. Eleven. That's six more than the place I did it at yesterday.

The second was a Thai place with no customers, and it was conveniently (or not so much) placed beside Spence Diamonds. I spent the entire time trying to convince myself of why I shouldn't go in.

The third was lame and nothing happened. The end?

Yesterday was no better, and I fear that next week won't be either. It's not that I don't appreciate getting the places that are in the nicer part of town, but times like these make me wish I weren't such a multi-tasker. That way, I could put all my focus into counting (whether it's silly to waste that much time or not) rather than also listening to music, texting, eating, wooing (bahaha), and writing the next great American novel all at the same time...and being dead bored.

Next time I plan on bringing several books, more writing paper and possibly some knitting. Oh, the joys.


Because...? Ha!

Today gave me a lot of thinking time. A jack-knifed semi through the center median blocking traffic in both directions provides ample time for extensive thought processes. The number one thing I took from it: it is impossible to hate someone who you are happy for. Despite this statements many connotations, it means something I never realized until now: it is impossible to hate me when I am happy for me. Wow.

Without indifference to the crappy feelings I've been submerged in lately, I think my head is finally above water and I am nearly gleeful at the turn-around I have made. I am THRILLED that I am apparently still on track with where God is leading my life, and that feels pretty awesome. I look around me, and it's only blue skies and butterflies (literally, it hasn't rained here in weeks). I don't know what the future holds, but I am not frightened anymore. To place the worth and weight of my entire future on the shoulders of another is unfair and impossible. Yet sitting here, supposedly on my own, I feel as if the burden has lightened and I can breathe again. I am no longer trying to wrap tomorrow's uncertainty up within someone else's dreams; He knows where I belong, He is above and beyond time, and He is more than happy to take some of this heaviness off my back.

I don't know who I'm writing for anymore. I used to write strictly for myself, back in high school. The best of my creativity was always hidden away only for me. Lately, as in the last year or so, it's been more public and a part of the old me died. In that period, I found myself "directionalizing" my thoughts toward a person or an event or a mass. There is no person anymore, there is no event that loves on me the way I love on it, and there is no collection of followers to keep this up for. So what is my purpose? Have I lose it?

I am finally writing for me again. This is not about a reaction or a revealing or a convincing or a convicting. This is me. And seeing as I cannot hate myself, it seems that I am stuck with this version of me for awhile. I am not disappointed; I am elated by the idea of simply writing for me. That doesn't mean that I don't want others to be privy to my thoughts...that's the exciting part. I just want the freedom to write what I write and be thrilled with myself, for no other reason than because


Pining Suits Me About as Well as Oaking, Hemlocking or Aldering

Ah, Gilmore Girls, and everything you always teach me. Just when I think I can handle the world on my own, you step in and save the day. Just when I begin to imagine that I am encountering a situation you have not, you prove me wrong yet again. And just when I believe I am all alone and no one understands, you come through for me.

Since approximately 25 days ago, my mom and I have devoured three seasons. Tonight was the finale, and anyone who knows anything knows what the season three finale means. It's what we all knew would happen, deep down, but we always wished we could keep at bay. Even now, on my third time through, I still hope that my fruitless yearning for things to remain the same will prevail. But of course, every time, I am hopelessly disappointed...even though I knew it was coming all along.

Last night I dreamt about packing up at school and leaving...again. I woke up sad and nostalgic and feeling like I'll never quite be able to let go of this year, despite my most ardent efforts. I'm trying, I promise. Every morning I remind myself that there is no going back and that dwelling in the past will only hurt me more in the long run and waste this summer. So what in the world am I doing blogging about things I can't change?

Well, here's the thing. I'm hopelessly addicted to pining (pining, as in holding onto the past, not pinning...being addicted to safety-pinning things together would only lead to people further questioning my sanity). I love to waste away the days remembering, but it only damages my heart. That's why I never scrapbook; I mean well and I try, but I always get caught up and need to stop.

Rory said it best: "I'm not going to pine over you. You didn't think I would, did you? Because I'm not. I'm moving on and that's it." She is a lot braver than I am. but I'm going to steal a little bit of that courage and stifle how difficult this is.

I am not pining over you. Any of you. Not over this year, not over friendships or relationships or roadtrips or timmies trips or anything else. I loved it, I'll always miss it, but that is where it stops. I'm so sick of being heartsick and it stops here.

That felt really good to say.


"I Have Twelve Million, Seventeen Thousand, Two Hundred Sixty-three Hormones, and All of Them Want You"

I went to see two plays tonight. I cannot remember the last play I went to see...at first, because I was fearfully jealous, and then because I was fearfully afraid. Tonight I broke the cycle of hearing, maybe-ing, pretending to think, and finally, though apparently reluctantly, declining.

In high school, I had a lot of doors opened to me academically. Without lifting a finger (sometimes literally), I could pull off stellar marks and still have time to go on a date, do my nails, write a novel and consume a butt-load of junk food and alcohol, all in one night. I prided myself on never having to try to get the grades I desired, but where I did put my extra effort was acting. Although it always came easy, I found that I could throw myself headlong into it and not regret one moment of practicing and memorizing for endlessly monotonous hours.

When I graduated, my plans all revolved around drama in some way: run off to LA (original) and somehow launch a professional acting career; finally learn to sing and go off to Broadway; college for performing arts. I'd been in several plays already, two with the theatre company I went to see tonight, and was confident in my future. Until God told me He had other ideas.

So tonight I faced my fears. I was still overwhelmingly jealous of every person on that stage, but a small part of me could still feel The Fear: the tiny nagging part of myself that wonders if I lost "it." But something else surfaced as well. As I watched the actors, I felt my body and my mind reacting in a way that has become foreign, but still feels like home. I knew what my actions would be for every line, I could see the lines on the page and replaced their ideas with my own inflections, and I felt my heart beat stronger with exhilaration.

Honesty time. I miss it desperately! Somehow, I need to find the time. Probably not this summer because I will be crazy busy, and school already seems too much to handle...but I have to. I feel compelled and I can't ignore it.

I am beyond passionate about this, and there is only one way I know to express it.


China Patterns and Potlucks

I started an incredibly depressing blog on Saturday night about the hopelessness of goodbyes that might mean forever, and the bittersweet release of relationships never fully formed, but I scrapped it after I never got to finish. So here is the paraphrase version: Emily left. How do I encompass her hugs, her laugh, and her everything else without losing my strongly grasped and finally found sanity? Impossible. Others left too, and a few are yet to leave. But tomorrow is still a new day, and tomorrow I will rise above today.

Today. Today is June 1st. This day always catches me by surprise, and never fails to send me into a panic. I have always measured years June to June, rather than January to December or any other way that might actually make sense. Not only did it used to represent the end of school and the beginning of a new summer, but June also includes the dreaded day: my birthday. Sixteen more days and I won't be this glorious in-between age any longer. Somehow, 21 makes adulthood more official. I will be legal to do anything and everything in any country in the world, and it's as if my perspective will need to change all over again. June scares me.

Last night was Six in the Mix, a get-together of all six youth churches with over 600 people and a mean barbeque. It meant a lot as far as the number of new Christians goes, and people who have never been out before, but for me it was a life-change moment. I have had very few of those that I can remember, and this one was especially good. There, in that darkened room in White Rock, I was able to finally give my heart up to God without resistance. And realizing that my heart is ultimately His and no one else's is helping me more than I thought possible in the quest to be "fine" again.

Today I sit here, almost a year after I "should" have been married, in another life, and I'm not any closer to choosing bridesmaid colours or selecting china patterns than I was this time last year, or the year before that or the year before that. I feel hopeless and desperate and lost. Not hopeless that I'll never find anyone, not desperate to be with someone, and not lost without someone else in my life to hold my hand; hopeless that he could ever have what I need or be able to put up with my crap, desperate to find someone before I'm shriveled and old and unable to have children, and lost as to where that empty space in my heart should be directed at this time. Yes, God may have taken my heart captive, but there's still that small part of me that I don't think can be filled except by a forever partner. Crazy? Quite possibly.

So, welcome to my thoughts. This is everything tossing and turning and brewing and burning within me right now, so I thought I'd share...and it was an excellent exercise in determining exactly how I do feel. Putting thoughts into words always helps. And in case you're still wondering where the potlucks come in, don't worry, they don't. That's the point.