The Roadtrip Sage: When Silence Speaks (Day 2)

Hello morning! Hello Idaho! The most beautiful State I have ever been to, its roads lined with purple heather and mountains and fields everywhere. It made me feel...home.

It’s a waterslides in the rain kinda day.

You know that feeling? It’s actually better because of the rain! ...Not that it was raining, but those few hours driving through Idaho farmland had the same kind of magic.

I Feel Inspired Here!

And I haven’t felt that way in a very long time.

I also got to use the netty this morning, now that I finally found a place that has it free. But what I realized as I checked Facebook messages and emails was that, ultimately, I didn’t really care about any of it. What I’m doing right now is just so much bigger for me in this stage of my life.

At around 10 A.M., I hit Twin Falls, Idaho, population 34,389. And I fell in love. It had small town charm but with sprawling farmlands laid out on every side. The church was perfect, and the cemetery looked just like one in a movie, what with the hundreds of upright headstones with trees draping over them. A quote above a store: “Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything.” A white farmhouse with green shutters. Green hay that stretched to the mountains and the sky. My favourite feather trees.

I do not know how it happened, but I fell in love here.

I will come back one day.

Today was also the day of driving through the Nevada desert for seemingly endless hours. It was 36 degrees and impossibly hot. I passed the time by singing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” and playing games against myself and, when all of that ran out, I began memorizing Romans. I started back in September but stopped after awhile. I was happy to find that I had retained most of it and went from there. I saw truths in it that I never had before, despite saying it aloud hundreds of times, and was blown away by the Majesty of God.

When I finally reached California, I was so grateful for trees and green and shade that I nearly got out and kissed the ground. Trying to put unwanted thoughts out of my head, I left my thoughts blank for a long time before I was completely caught off guard.

Coming over a ridge, I was suddenly on top of a mountain and the horizon as far as I could see was pale blue mountains with a burning sunset behind them. And it was at this time that Silence spoke. He could have said anything to me, but instead He said nothing...and I felt the weights I’d placed on myself being removed as I drove. It was, well, brilliant.

I reached Redding by 9 P.M. and finally reached the destination I had been striving for: In-n-Out Burger! Oh. My. Gosh. You take the first bite and are blown away. Yet somehow the second is even better. And with every bite, it only gets better and better! My only regret was that I didn’t have someone to exclaim to with each new bite. Afterwards, I headed to Wal-Mart and once again crawled into the staggering heat of my backseat and let my body rest after more than 12 hours of continuous driving.


The Roadtrip Saga: An Experience in Silence (Day 1)

On Tuesday, June 22nd I embarked on a solo roadtrip through the land of America. Three days, five States, and four thousand kilometres of thoughts and journaling and just...being.

I have wanted to do something like this for years, head out on the open road with no need or reason to ever go back, but I have never needed it the way I needed to escape this time. Years of repressing my wants and smiling away my desires to pacify others’ finally broke me; my wants suddenly became needs and I had to escape. I had tons of ideas for where to go and what my trip would look like, but eventually I decided to go as basic as possible. Armed with a cooler, GPS named Jamie, and the bare essentials, I set out at 8 A.M. with Cameron’s bumper pointed South.

I’ve driven the I-5 dozens of times, but as soon as I was turned East, I could feel my entire body relax and my mind start to unwind. It’s been a tough year, and with each new situation things have only become tougher. My life and all its happenings have compounded into a mass that just weighs on my shoulders. Lately, new hurts have only made me harder and harder, and I had finally hardened myself against hurt to the point where I was shutting everyone out, including God.

Yet, suddenly, I found myself in the middle of Him. Within the space of about two hours I drove through forest, amazing mountains, rolling desert and wine country. With no radio and nothing to distract myself with other than my own thoughts, I couldn’t fight Him off for long. I couldn’t help exclaiming at His works and the beauty He had brought about out of nothing. Incredible.

Being completely in love with God, needing to share Him, being passionate for Him in all situations...that’s what it’s all about. It comes out as “exclamations of the soul.”

I still didn’t really talk to God about anything, just marvelled at His creations and did a lot of thinking. A big part of my frustration lately is that I can barely recollect most of what has happened in the last year or so, and so I decided to make sure I do not repeat history by making a list of must-dos for the year to come.

10 things I have to make happen before my next birthday.

  1. Learn how to make fried chicken.
  2. Finish writing a novel (I always start and get sick of it and quit. No matter how bad it is, I just need to finish it!).
  3. Read the first quarter of my book list (I recently made a list of 100 books I have to read before any others, besides school ones of course).
  4. Visit at least 10 States / Provinces I’ve never been to before.
  5. Plant and grow spices at home.
  6. Learn to knit with Grandma.
  7. Give blood and sign up as an organ donor.
  8. Swim in a lake, an ocean, and a river.
  9. Memorize the book of Romans completely.
  10. Watch all the movies I own.

As I was writing, however, I kept coming up with things that I absolutely could not let myself do, and so I decided to make a list of those as well. Oh, and yes I was driving and writing at the same time.

10 things I won’t do!

  1. Get pregnant from a sperm donor (I know this sounds ridiculous and obvious, but it has been suggested to me several times by several different people. I will not give in to the peer pressure!).
  2. Gain more than 10 pounds (I’m currently trying to gain weight, but I also don’t want to over-do it).
  3. Bungee jump until my back is actually better.
  4. Get my Class 1 License (it’s for driving semis), no matter how much I want it.
  5. Settle.
  6. Move back in with my parents.
  7. Make excuses for not taking a Sabbath.
  8. Slack on my homework. I want to learn this year!
  9. Begrudge happy couples.
  10. Complain that I’m single (hold me to it!); God has a plan and I’ve decided to trust.

As I drove, I passed a sign that said: “45th Parallel: half way between the Equator and the North Pole.” Brilliant! And then another sign announcing that I was only 27 miles outside of Bliss.

I am currently 27 miles from Bliss.

And it gave me hope. Bliss is out there, even if it’s still too far to see.

I was also thinking a lot about relationships, and something someone told me awhile ago: that any two Christians could get married and make it work.

As Christians we can make it work with anyone, but I don’t think we should have to. We work at it, but it’s God who makes it work. We need to consider our passions, gifts, desires and callings...not just if we have similar taste in music and ethnic food and competitive beach volleyball.

After fifteen and a half hours, I reached my destination: Blackfoot, Idaho. I got comfy on my backseat in the Wal-Mart parking lot and had one of the best sleeps ever (that was not in my own bed). Brilliant!


"Make It Chocolate! With the Lemon Stuff on Top, and then the Meringue! You'll Be Famous and I'll Be Happy!"

In less than 24 hours, I will stop being 21. I will take a breath, blink, and it will be over. A full year of without.
Tonight I came home and the entire sky was brilliant pink, and as I walked and stared at it, my candy necklace got stuck on my diamond earrings. I came back for pizza and Pepsi. I had to have blood drawn today. My bathroom smells like pink grapefruit. I also finished Wuthering Heights; it was a gift for my last birthday. This is a typical day in the life of me. By typical I don't mean that I always eat candy necklaces or give blood to find out if I have a properly functioning liver; a typical day means that it's a string of unlinked, unimportant events that I'll barely recall tomorrow.
My favourite saying is always "I don't want to be here by this time next year." It's my birthday again. It's a year. Again. Every time I turn around it has been a year since something, and things are still the same.
Less than a day left of this crappy year, and then it's like I have a new start. I get to start all over at 1:41am. I have to believe that maybe 22 will be beautiful, that it can dull sharp edges and bring out some good in me, in the wake of the storm of 21.


I Don't Do Things with Half of My Heart in Them

I google image searched inspirational and got this picture. Apparently there's something inspiring about being naked and covered in glitter. I get the naked part, but the glitter thing is just bizarre.

I'm in need of some inspiration. I want something to get excited about so that I have a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

So I need replies, answers. I need things that inspire you, or things that might just be awesome enough to get me going.

It could be some sort of art, or a must-have-passion-to-do thing, or.........I don't know.

Please give me something.


No One Runs Out of Gas in the A.M. like I Do

No one runs out of gas like I do. Maybe it's for the thrill, or maybe for the adrenaline. Perhaps I just don't like getting out of my car once I'm in it. The empty light comes on at a quarter. Passengers get nervous at the empty line. I feel exhilarated once I can see the slightest gap between the gauge doohickey and the empty line. Any minute, I tell myself. Any minute now my heart will start beating. No one runs out of gas like I do.

No one goes to the emergency room like I do. Tonight was Roommate Melissa's birthday. I got to light the candles. Halfway through, the lighter went out. I tried lighting it. Ow. Tried lighting it again. Oooh that kind of hurts. Tried lighting it again, holding my thumb to the searing hot metal. This is probably hurting me, I should stop. I used other candles to finish instead. The pain and the blisters and the water-under-tap-til-no-sensation-left started a few minutes later. Hospital. Alone. Nothing they can do. Ah! But it is Percocet! Percocet my old friend! It's no longer a choice between drinking or driving because you take both away from me. You know it's bad when the triage lady recognizes me. And when I start talking to the drugs. No one goes to the emergency room like I do.

No one enjoys the small things like I do. My brother graduated today. I attended his valedictory ceremony. Giggling. Girls with no idea how to walk in heels. Teachers with no idea how to speak. French that wasn't saying what I thought it was saying. Anecdotes and quotes I've heard a thousand times. Woman beside me watching her son cross the stage on her video camera, over and over again. Smiling at people I graduated with who were there for the same reason. 17 year olds smiling at me. My brother looking like he'd fallen asleep in his chair on stage, when really he just had his head sown so he could swing the dangly hat thingy in circles. A girl in an absolutely see-through dress posing with family members. A boy who wants to be an astronaut and a girl who didn't need to say she already plans to sell herself. No one enjoys the small things like I do.


The Month of Extremely Long Blog Titles Is not even Half-way Done Yet

There was this one time, in grade two, when I was on the teeter-totter with my best friend, Miranda. We used to try to bounce each other off the seat as hard as possible when we hit the bottom and the other reached the top. When we got our rhythm right, it was possible that both of us could be bounced at the top several times in succession. We were pretty darn good.
So this one day, we're doing our thing on the teeter-totter, and we've both been bounced at least a few times, when we realize that if we half let go of the handle and push ourselves with it, we can achieve higher liftoff. Which I did...right over the handles and into a smooth, face-plant landing on the central teeter bar. My tooth went through my chin and I still have a pretty sick scar.
Soon after, the totters were all taken away, never to be replaced.
Moral of the story: when you're sloppy with the things you have, they're taken away...whether you meant to break them in the process or not. And you usually break yourself, too.

I watched a lot of stuff today. I watched a movie about a devastatingly sad and heartbreaking, failing marriage. I watched more Grey's than I should have, and there was way too much goo. I watched my dreams and all the unrealisticness they had to offer.

And it put all these silly, fanciful thoughts in my head. Silly, but real. Fanciful, but what my heart actually wants deep down.

I want to be pursued, believe it or not. I want to be romantically swept off my feet. I want people to not approve and to whisper and to say we're too young and moving too fast. I want to get married while we still have no money and nowhere to live and I'm still in school and you're still doing whatever it is that you're doing which you hope won't last forever but might. I want people to think we won't make it so that when we do, the victory tastes even sweeter. I want to do crazy things, like bungee jumping naked because it's free, and move across the country on a whim because we'd rather obey God than social norms, and not strain for money as if that's what life's all about even though everyone we know will tell us that money is what life's all about, and spend Christmas with as much family as possible, and do jell-o shots together when we're 35 and old and we're way too mature. I want to have as many freaking kids as we feel like, and not care if people say we're not being sensible or not thinking about money again. I want to still have dirty sex when we're 40 and our kids are happier thinking we don't, and still do inappropriate things on ski lifts and in movie theatres and behind dumpsters at the baseball stadium and in moving vehicles when we're 70 and our grandkids would rather think that their parents were conceived by in-vitro fertilization. I want to fall madly in love with that someone who sweeps me off my feet, and to stick around even when I hate him and he doesn't deserve my love and I'd be better off without him.

I don't want perfect. I don't expect him to never screw up or to love all my flaws or to put up with all my crap. I don't want or expect or need perfect. I just need someone who's okay with all the crazy (see above if in doubt).

I don't want to be sloppy with the things I have. I don't want to break me or break anyone else. But, I do want to take crazy chances and try to boost myself and my love as high in the sky as possible...even at the risk that someone might get broken.

Oh, and I want my kids to learn horribly indecent things on the banjo.
...tink tonk tink tink tank tink


I Listen to Music again, among Other Things

I am listening to music again. If you know me, you know this means something huge. Music, for me, is like food. I don't mean this in some higher-level-thinking allegorical way; music and food affect me the same way. Example: when I'm upset, I eat until I cannot eat anymore...and then I eat some more. However, when I'm really upset I just cannot make myself eat. Music is the same.
I've been sad for awhile. When I'm sad, music is a comfort. When I'm sad the way I've been (sad -adj. - understatement of the year), music only makes everything worse. I cannot turn it on; I cannot let the lyrics in without damaging my soul.
So let me start again. I am listening to music again.
I am also reading my Bible again. I have been...agitated with God lately. Not angry, not blaming, not bitter. I just can't look at Him. Things keep getting worse, a new aspect of my life seemingly falls apart each day, and He's not there.
Last night I opened up my Bible, without being compelled by an outside source, for the first time in months. I read a few psalms and, miracle of miracles, I still know most of the Romans I memorized in November. God is so faithful in so many ways I don't give Him credit for.
I'm also eating again (see above). I want to gain ten pounds by the end of the summer.
I also want to start exercising again. I nearly killed my body running the other day, so it's back to the elliptical for now. Stop laughing. I just...I want to be healthy. I want to be whole again.
Whistler is getting better. Oh! And I'm getting homework done.
Miracles. Miracles all around.


T Minus Nine Days, One Hour and Eleven Minutes

A wise young person told me the other day that turning 19 is exciting because of the drinking, 20 because of finally out-living the teens (that's where he's at in three days), and 21 because of the legal drinking and gambling in the States. And then there's me.

In nine days, I will officially be old. Don't ask me what that means for everyone already beyond me because you probably don't want to know what I think.

It's not so much that 22 is old. It's not. At all. It's more that I haven't done anything I wanted to have done by now.

I was supposed to be married at 20, have my first child at 21, and have graduated University with an accredited degree by 22. At the rate I'm going, I won't have any of those until I'm at least 25. All of them? 26 is the earliest.

I'd like to think that I'll be the type to age gracefully...but who am I kidding?! I'm terrified of almost entering my mid-twenties.

I'm in Whistler taking a much needed vacation right now. I haven't gotten away for me time in a very very very long time...and I can't even enjoy it.
I'm broken.

Okay, so maybe 22 isn't even that bad.

Maybe 22 is actually really good.

Aaaaand considering I look like I'm 15, I won't actually look like I'm 22 until I'm in my thirties.



One day I will wake up, and I will be 32. I won't take 32 as well as 22.

The less credence I give to 22, the easier the bigger numbers will be able to catch me without my noticing.

I think I'm going to need a vacation to recover from this one.


If You Wait too Long for the Perfect Moment, the Perfect Moment will Pass You By

I don't know anything anymore.

I'm leaving on Sunday, back on Friday. Out of contact with the world for five days. It's going to be wonderful.

I'm waiting on the moment things will change, the second they'll get better. I'm waiting on the day I'll be better, and it never seems to come.

Being in Toronto might be exactly what I need this summer. It might be a safe haven after all of...this. Or, it might be a nightmare.

Oh yeah, and it's only thirteen more days.
What a mess.


Dangit! I Wanted to Post One More Blog in May!

On Sunday I will leave on a roadtrip. To clear my head. To be alone. To just...drive.

At first I had my plans all figured out. Option A: Drive down to 6 flags, continue on to Vegas, go to Albuquerque just to go, and come back through Boise. It will take 5 days. Option B: Go with my mother to Whistler and stay in a condo and just relax; alone or together, I will still get to be away.

I need to get out of here.

I need to escape the expectations and the problems and the phone calls and the text messages and the concern and the lack of it and the hopelessness.

I need to drive and drive and drive until I feel human again.