So with all that has been formulating in the news lately I’ve just got to post this one video a friend of mine shared recently. It’s about how all this, all of everything, will just be…vapor, one day. It’ll all be dust and forgotten. I know that sounds depressing but let’s be honest most, if not all, the news reported these days is depressing anyway, but here’s the beauty in all of it:
All the hate, racism, white supremacy– fear, will all be gone. It won’t matter how much anyone believes they deserve or how little they got because it’ll all be taken away. In this video Michael Gungor mentions that when we pull back the camera a little bit what it comes down to is that we’re all human, specks of dust in time. None of us are that different from each other. Being white, black, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, etc, etc, does not differentiate between what we truly are. It does not mean we get different treatment based off of our skin color. All this toil and worry makes us weary and weathered. It breeds hate. All this fear we pent up into ourselves gives us anguish and stress.
But all of that is going to the dust.
A teacher came and taught about all this vapor like this: “come to me all who are weary, and I will give you rest. (Matt. 11:28)” God’s oneness brings us all together within this vapor. ONE we are all ONE. Not separated into different groups, not defined by our flesh, but one, wholly and united by the maker of this universe. Set your mind on that.
My favorite line from this video is “life on this planet is a gift.” A GIFT. Why treat it like it’s a game, or with arrogance and bigotry? Racism is hate. Let love prevail and let it walk through the streets. Wave that banner of adulation around and spark that flame. Ignite it into your hearts and live it.
I’ve been in a Simon and Garfunkel kind of mood lately, or Cat Stevens. Watch, tomorrow I’ll be in an Elvis Presley mood. Anyway, lately I’ve been going through some stuff and I won’t get into what it’s about but it has been a struggle. Maybe that’s where Simon and Garfunkel and Cat Stevens fall into play because their music is so melancholy at times– but I love it.
In some round about way the struggles have led me to the thought of how I can’t do this on my own. I told a friend today that it’s like I can’t be a good person with out him. I think of the type of sin I’ve been dealing with and how easy I could fall into it but then what I find in the midst of that thought is the fact that I’ve been redirected to a better path– like I’m walking towards the edge of a cliff and then I see a really cool flower and I stop and I’m like “what was I thinking? I was gonna go over that cliff! Ha! What!” I’ve been diverted. Instead of peering out across a vast landscape full of error or my own misdeed I look to a small flower. Modest in stature but beautiful and inviting and its roots grow deep, and I take ahold.
So I’m glad my heart has been taken over by Jesus. He’s changed me quite a bit. He’s changed me for the better and I’m so thankful. If there was a bigger better word than thankful then I would say it.
Love. Maybe that’s better. Ha, yeah, that’s better.
Today was a hot one, sticky and varnished with humid sweat. It just sits here in the South baffled at the idea of you being upright and productive. It all settled down when it dumped buckets as my parents and I rode down the road from North Carolina on highway 25 and little droplets started plopping down on the windshield. We rode in a minivan that my dad is planning to sell and it just reminded me of all the years I use to sit shot gun in Jodie’s minivan as we all noodled through each lane in the highway and my stomach would drop quickly from us sailing down a hill. I remember Jodie’s long, black, curly hair and her cackle. I remember when I fell down off the side of a concrete wall all from a dog wrapping his leash around my legs, tripping me up and how quickly she pulled me into her van and ripped open the glove compartment shoving brown, old napkins into my bloody hands all while telling me I was okay. I remembered the rain falling on the windshield and how I didn’t think I was ever gonna forget this moment. The rain started to pummel my Dad’s van by the time we got back into town. My Mom decided that since it is basically monsoon season over here that she would go throw around a bag of castor oil mixed with “botanical” ingredients into the lawn because of the moles and/or voles that have been wrecking our garden. They love sunflowers. She grabbed an umbrella and I pulled on my rain jacket. She dug white plastic cups in the bag of ingredients and we ran outside. The rain blew and we were drenched at the end of our battle amongst the voles/moles. I remember looking up at our fig tree toss and dance with itself in the monsoon-ish storm and thinking I wish I could capture this moment. Possibly stay in it. The rain was soaking my dress and naked legs but I could’ve stayed for quite a while.
After my shower I made a plate of hors d’oeuvres, i.e. pimento cheese and crackers and instead of reading like the good student that I am I watched Almost Famous. I watched it and the rain hailed on my window. It blustered and shook its fist and hollered. I wanted to cry watching this film, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t because I was too busy smiling. Here’s what I texted to a friend immediately after finishing the film: It just makes me want to be more honest with myself and others. Like it was such a good movie. There were parts of it (since it was set in the 70’s) that made me oddly nostalgic over my first year at school- like the classes and the feelings I got from watching a really good movie and it just transported me… It was a coming of age flick, and coming of age flicks make me warm and fuzzy anyway.It made me nostalgic over a period of time where I learned a lot about myself. It was a period of time where I learned a lot about humanity. I remember walking into my first class in college and sitting next to Emma, Sam, and… well, I honestly don’t remember the other dude’s name but that doesn’t matter. Emma was my Penny Lane and Sam was my Russell Hammond. Granted, they didn’t sleep together but they were my protagonist and antagonist and I could feel life about to Van Halen high kick it into gear. The rain soon slowed to a plip plop and gave up, and I just couldn’t stop thinking about Harold and Maude and anything Francoise Sagan related and the weird French teacher we had who loved to center his lectures on the idea of La petite mort. College was a trip– and I don’t care what feelings you might have against antagonists- or your friends mom’s- or old friends who you no longer talk to, but they move the story along. They get the real blood moving. They make the odd, fascinating, crappy things that seem to show up in life go forth. They can suck, and I mean they can really suck but if you’re lucky and you get to reminisce about the path you walked down then you see that person and you think life would’ve been a lot more boring had it not been for them.
The rain has stopped now and I’m sitting here listening to the Almost Famous soundtrack thinking that it all comes down to this: I’m super thankful God has given me all the memories I’ve lived through. Frankly, I’m thankful for being able to remember and to imagine and enjoy movies and rain. I’m just thankful for God.
I love telling stories. I don’t do it because I want to enlighten neurons in your brain or to slowly waste my breath that just filters in and out of my lungs but I tell stories because I want to relate. That’s my way of relating to everyone I come into contact with.
“Oh, you went to the beach last Saturday? How was it? Oh great! Yeah, I love the beach, this one time when I went…”
That’s me. I hope it doesn’t sound boastful or like I don’t want to hear your memories and good times but when it comes to me I just randomly spew my knowledge through my experience. I’m a doer, I learn by doing, and if I want to help I try to let you know what I went through to also share in on the same key note of understanding.
That’s why I want to cram my life with weird, adventurous details so I can learn. Life is boring if you’re not learning or putting yourself through the rigors that God sets out for you. I feel like that’s why we can’t escape difficult situations. They shape us, like little rolls of dough– but that’s another tangent for another cloudy day.
Go create stories, share them, and don’t let anyone tell you your stories aren’t worthy for telling.
I wouldn’t mind going camping on the beach sometime. Just building a big fire, watching the sun set as the chill comes on. I want to do a lot of things but other things just keep getting in the way, tripping me up and creating anxiety and fear. Listen, I’m in a constant state of anxiousness and I know that probably means I’m not putting my trust in the Lord but I don’t know how to turn it off. I don’t know how I’m suppose to feel. There have been times when I feel peace, that everything will be/is okay but those moments pale in comparison to the lies I’m probably telling myself. I know they’re lies but it’s almost like I’m trying to look for hope in them. It’s almost like I’ve got my head screwed on wrong and I’m looking in the opposite direction. I maybe walking in the right direction but it’s like my eyes aren’t quite looking to where I need to be looking.
I think I need to learn to be honest and tell myself what I want…
I just want a fun, adventurous, weird life. I want stories to tell my hopeful, one day soon, children. I want to experience life to fill my heart and also understand what it truly means to be love. I think achieving that really means being honest. Either with yourself or with friends, husbands, wives, who ever. That anxiety and fear maybe lies but truth is trust and love, and I know I really need to work on it.
So it seems this year is full of wanderlust for me. My coworkers girlfriend is headed out on trips of a lifetime, hopping from one country to another, plus my coworker is headed to Asia too. My boss is headed to Sweden. Another coworker is in Europe right now and every day I see Instagram blowing up my phone (and mind) with destinations I only dream about going to.Recently I decided to give up on the idea of teaching ESL. Yeah, it would be a sure fire way to travel and getting paid for it but every time I apply to a job it either doesn’t work out or I chicken out. Ever since I was a kid I always found travel fascinating. My Dad use to country hop for jobs before settling down and one of my earliest memories was asking him if he had been to a certain place and if so to tell me what it was like. Travel has always been my goal, but fear and apprehension slips in right when I believe I could actually do it. Fear gets in my way a lot. I’ve always wanted to be a person who packs up and jets off spontaneously but when I look at that realistically I don’t truly believe anyone just packs a bag and spends $1,000 on an airplane ticket sporadically. There’s a lot of planning that goes into it. I mean, I’m sure people do just go and figure it out on the way but as I’ve grown I’ve learned I’m not that person- no matter how much I want to be. I like planning. I like researching and siking myself up for what essentially still the unknown, but fear isn’t allowed in those siking up moments. It’s forgotten. I’m to focused on excitement. So why let fear in any time? Why can’t I just pretend I’m siking myself up all the time? You know what that’s really called? Hope. Hope for a better to be. Hope for what is to come. Put your hope in what God can give you, because He can give you a truly awesome trip.
So where’s my next destination? I have no idea. I’d love for it to be England again but who knows. I’m just hoping it’ll be amazing.
So it’s been a while… I’m still alive and I will survive. As of late I feel like I’m on the struggle bus and what does one do when they’re driving the bus? She writes! No, my eyes are not on the road at this very moment but on a computer screen screaming “WHY ME!”
To be honest I knew this season of struggle was on its way. I felt really calm a month ago, like right before a storm hits. You can smell it in the air, the wind is blowing, and on the horizon you see a huge, impending, formidable storm coming for you.
School is going well, yet it feels unchallenging. Work is extremely slow and I don’t know where I’m going to next. I’ve fallen for the lie that I look like Sloth from the Goonies. I’m constantly worried about my family, and the Lord and I seem to be drifting apart… When Jesus stood on water during the storm He didn’t say “hey, look at that cloud over there! It looks like your life because you failed.” He said “Take courage. I am here. Come and stand out here with me.” And yet, in this moment in my life I keep allowing the storm to get in the way. I’m bending over the side of the boat going “What? I can’t here you. Hey, look at that cloud!”I wake up every morning believing God is gonna scrub me of this sinful thinking but the truth is is that it’s up to me to get up and decide it’s gonna be a good day. He does get me up, and he pushes me here and there but he allows me to choose. He sent Jesus to let me know He’s got my back, to not forget, and to always keep my eyes on Him- to jump out in that storm. To keep my faith. To hold firmly and never let go.
So I’ve woken up today and I decide that.
He won’t get rid of my struggles like a quick snap of the fingers but He’ll stand by me through them all. Maybe I just need to grab some courage from within my life preserver and jump. I might fall in the water but I know how to swim to Him. He won’t let the sharks get me.
My lips keep quivering. It’s like they want to say something but my voice isn’t ready. They’ve been doing this for some time and I’m just lost for words.
Today has made me realize how much I miss the people… My people, whom I hold close to my heart. I had a stunning conversation with my best friend and we came to the conclusion of what I believe is holding me back from a lot of things in life. It’s funny how ideas can just drop into your lap after so many painstaking years it has been of trying to figure yourself out.
I’m afraid of commitment. There I said it.
I’m in fear of it, and ya know what? It makes me so much more interested to conquer it, now that I can define it. Life gets a little easier once you find out more about yourself. It nice to be able to hatch little eggs of knowledge then fry them up in a pan and eat them for breakfast. It helps me understand what I can handle and what I want to subdue.
Here you go, Lord, here’s my fear. Take it.
So I’m about to go into work with all the weirdos (kind of an odd compliment this side of my brain) and angry eccentrics I work with, and my tea is brewing hot and steamy. It’s gonna sound terrible but I’m ready for the holiday season to end. Gosh, I really want it done… Frenzy mixed with stress and a touch of anxiety (make that a bucket) doesn’t sit well with me. “I just want the new year to begin so I can start a new me.” Is what I’m thinking, but to be honest that’s bogus. I can start now.
Why not? What’s holding me back? Surely not some guy.
What I hope this year will be full of are beginnings. Of guitar practices, of fly fishing adventures, of more rock climbing- throw in a dude ranch retreat in there too… It’ll set me off on the road to my masters so I can be like all the teachers who once shaped me. It’ll be about embracing my loving heart and being the eccentric weirdo I somehow shaped myself into. I love that part of me. The odd, colorful maverick.
I might be single to but where ever this ship is sailing it don’t need a captain of the crew. While the world wants to console and even out the two halves of my broken heart I actually would like to glue them back together, jaggedness and all. With tape, gorilla glue, plaster, whatever. Embrace what I have for now.
Tea in my tummy, love in my heart, and so far a good outlook on this Monday morning.