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tegan and sara: back in your head

good charlotte: keep your hands off my girl

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of late, i’ve been celebrating a sort of Christmas-in-August.

the other week i came home to a cute little polka-dot print package from a roasty-toasty Miss Kristin out in phoenix. inside?

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a (…poor picture of a…) cute wooden jewelry box (green on the inside) full of old costume jewelry that she found at an estate sale and thought of ME.

then, on sunday, i came home from a long day spent being lazy at my parents’ (and catching up on every last miami ink and bridezilla episode) and holly had a present of her own for me: a soundtrack for our new little life. with it came a lego that she’d gotten from church as they were talking about the need to be connected.

i’ve been loving the cd ever since and when i brought it to work on monday, could hardly pay attention and accomplish anything because i was determined to learn every word to “walk it out.” (still working on it.)

here’s the playlist:
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(look what my roommate’s trying to do to me with all these explicit songs. i don’t know if my angelic ears can take it.)

top it all off, yesterday my manager (with whom i have daily hot chocolate breaks) gave me some extra kings island tickets she had. me, bee and holly will be putting them to use on saturday. i haven’t been in years. backwards racer, here i come!

so, long live August! (i feel loved.)

when i was in elementary school, one of my favorite tv commercials was the spam one. not because i liked spam (it grossed me out), but because of the theme song for it, “i like bread and butter; i like toast and jam. i like those good and simple things, and that’s why i like spam.”

i always felt like i could identify with that refrain. i’ve never really been one for the over-the-top; i’m quite satisfied spending my days going for walks with friends or makeshift photoshoots and lounging outdoors and getting some ice-cream.

in college, i met a guy and when he called the next day to see about doing something, he asked what i wanted to do. of course i was lame and said, “i don’t know, what do you want to do?” he replied that he didn’t know, he thought we could watch a movie together or we could go get some ice-cream–he didn’t mind so much as we were hanging out. when i told my roommates what he’d said, it was the simplicity (and innocence?) of going-to-get-ice-cream that earned him a thumbs up (which he promptly lost, though, i’m sad to report).

anyway, i sometimes i wonder if all the fancy-schmancy stuff is an attempt to cover other things–to fancy ourselves up to other people’s expectations or status symbols. i often catch myself wondering if i can pull such-and-such off (most things in urbn fall in that category)–if it’s too trendy or too much for me. am i trying to be someone i’m not?

and so that’s why i think i gravitate to the simple things in life: there’s no pretense to them, and that makes them such a relief. and they embrace an innocence that, as a society, we’re all too ready to throw off and bury before it’s too late.  and even though i realize that in most cultures, i still live like the ultimate of royalty with a single room dedicated to cooking and another just to sitting and another just to sleeping, i am still trying to learn that it’s these simple things–just spent living and loving pulling away from all the distractions–are the things that are apt to chalk up the purest kind of happiness.  and yes, even ice-cream and toast and jam.

there’s one stretch of my drive home that is my favorite, and not because it’s the stretch before you turn into my neighborhood. from work, i drive through the area that wraps around the mall and shopping plazas on every inch of concrete. then, i hop onto the highway and drive south. i take my exit and am dumped, again, into suburban wasteland. but then, i round a corner and make my way into the next few blocks that never fail to make me smile.

this takes me through one of the more “ghetto” parts of town. meaning it’s run down. and you can tell because none of the storefronts have new signs; they’re all left over from the 50s and 60s, and all they offer up are sports bars and auto shops and a family dollar. but i think another repercussion of this is–and this is what makes it my favorite–that everyone congregates outside. on porches, on sidewalks, at the basketball court, at the corner stores…

and as i make my way through this area, eventually, after about 4 or 5 blocks, i have to make a right. cincinnati’s suburbs are such that you can go from one extreme to another as far as neighborhoods go just by crossing a street. there’s nothing gradual or a blending. it’s just plain obvious that you were Here and now you’re There. so with this one right turn, the houses become freshly painted and yards more manicured. and empty.

i love the concept of community and knowing your neighbors. i didn’t meet my one neighbor until about a week and a half ago (which, admittedly, was mostly my fault because i’d hide from her if i didn’t feel like talking). but we tend to lock ourselves up inside our houses and little worlds, and it’s kind of depressing how we shut ourselves off from all the others who are surrounding us who we aren’t taking the time to get to know. it just becomes so insular. and self-centered. but yet, here i am, inside, in my bedroom, typing away when i could be outside getting to know the kids who are forever running around and playing in the dirt.

i finished the thrill of the chaste earlier this week. and i would highly recommend it to any and every girl. here is evidence of that–all the places i found (and marked with cut-up post-its) noteworthy and memorable:

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so in celebration of all those colorful bits of post-its, i’ll intersperse some of the highlights:

when not being chaste (which means being intimate outside of committed love), you:

  • learn to detach self from emotion and action; do it all without letting self get attached so that you don’t have to get hurt–being preemptive/protect self. if you hunger for intimacy but fear rejection, it is MUCH easier to let a man touch your body than to let him touch your heart. (the answer is to stop protecting yourself and the only way to do THAT is to take yourself out of situations where you have to protect yourself–keep yourself from getting into those situations in the first place. to truly connect with someone you must be vulnerable.)
  • plus causes you to objectify sexual partners to the point of being unable to perceive them but in terms of how they relate to our own wants/desires. it makes us more selfish and honed in on what we want from someone; neglect that they’re actually human.
  • often becomes a thing of power/control

do good, worthwhile men exist? they have to: for god’s purpose of love and right sex to be fulfilled, both men and women must be capable of experience both to the fullest.

jesus compared heaven to a wedding feast and in Revelation, John writes that we’ll celebrate a wedding in heaven: the marriage of the church to Jesus. when you unite yourself to a husband, you will in a very real sense be practicing for your life in heaven.

God uses the natural polarity between a married man/woman to right an unbalanced world. when a man and woman live together in harmony, the divine presence dwells in their midst. when you can take two things which are by defintion opposites and bring them together, this is a microcosm of the purpose of the creation of the world.

for the most part, we got settled into our mariemont place pretty quickly. we had people come over the day after we moved in, so that was our impetus to get everything put into place and arranged and boxes unpacked.

but since then, our drive has lagged due to all the other life distractions that get in the way (meeting so-and-so for dinner, stopping by here, running over there, etc.). well the one big “hole” in our decorating scheme has been the living room. when we moved, we only had 3 sitting chairs, all of which were pretty old to begin with–some sturdier than others. well, needless to say, the term “sitting chair” is a bit misleading. after trying to sit through the royal tenenbaums on those chairs, it soon became apparent that they weren’t going to cut it, even though the space in the room is next to nothing.

so we did our shopping and canvassing, looking for something: a) within our price range but also b) that we actually liked and could see ourselves living pleasantly with. needless to say, that’s a pretty big wishlist. so for about two months, we made do without. then, on wednesday night, i got a call from my mom informing me that one of her coworkers’ parents’ had a couch they were getting rid of for free. she said it was from ethan allen with brown flowers all over it.

it sounded ugly, but hit the “a)” on our list superbly, so i said, let’s just do it. if we can find the perfect piece later, then we can just give this one away and swap it out. i resigned myself to the couch being hideous but figured we could find a pretty sheet or something to throw over it and make some cool pillows.

yesterday, while i was at betsy’s, my mom called to tell me they’d sent pictures of the couch to us; and that they thought it was perfect for me. so i went to the basement where jeremy (betsy’s fiance) and steve (kitty’s husband) were hanging out to open up the pictures. jeremy said, “wow, that’ll be perfect in your living room.” steve, who hasn’t been to our place yet, didn’t say anything; just sat there with his jaw dropped and face scrunched up–like he was looking at a dead cat or something. when i saw his face, i knew it was a winner.

it actually reminds me of the new upholstered couches that anthropologie is selling (for $3500 no less).

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vs.

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so the next task is to put it into the living room and see what kind of decorating magic we can stir up with it. but i think it’ll be pretty cool; definitely a conversation piece!

when i was little, i remember how they told you at church that you could ask Jesus to come into your heart. i thought that sounded like a splendid idea, so i prayed along and from then on, i always imagined him being pint-sized, tacking a “Home Sweet Home” sign up on the inside of my (anatomically incorrect) heart. and, since i was hosting him, every night i’d lay in bed and tell him stories and entertain him and we’d chat. it was really a sweet way to start out with God.

and then, when i got into my later teens i started up again, even though i wasn’t even that into God. but every night i’d have to pray or else i just couldn’t go to bed–it was like brushing my teeth or something; it would nag me until i did it and then i could peacefully fall asleep. well my senior year of college i fell out of the habit when i started dating this new guy who would (yes) spend the night a few nights a week. and once that habit broke, there was no going back.

even as i’ve gotten more involved in church and reading and researching my faith more and more and opening up about it with it to other people, that’s the one element that i haven’t been able to regain. i know i should but i just can’t make it happen with the verve that i used to. kind of makes me wistful.

anyway, the other day i finished reading “the thrill of the chaste” (i will post some of my favorite takeaways here soon), i was ready to pick up my next book and dive in. but something told me to hold off, to not rush into the next step. i did this mostly because i wanted to give that book a chance to soak in. but then, as i was doing so, i realized that what i’ve actually done is substitute reading about god for talking to god. because very rarely am i reading fiction–it’s almost always some sort of nonfiction. for every 3 nonfiction books, i may read 1 fiction. i can recall 7 fiction ones  over the past two years, versus that same number of nonfiction just since spring.

in “girl meets god”, she’s way into reading–at one point she describes her apartment and how it’s one huge library: european and asian history books are in the dining room; american history and christianity are located in her bedroom; other sections are in the living room. now i am nowhere as much of a reader as that (i don’t even read that fast to begin with), but at one point she made a decision that makes sense. she decided for lent, rather than give up pop or chocolate or some sort of edible, to give up reading. she talked about how it was a crutch for her and that fasting from it would bring her closer to god. i thought that was insightful, and i wonder if in my quest to “improve” or “grow”, i’ve skipped over the step that’s bound to help the most because i don’t “have time” for that–i have to keep checking things off the list and making my way. it was almost as though it were a waste, when you have these books that can discern everything for you and can spoonfeed you epiphanies. of course i think others’ insights are important. but i also think i neglected the importance of taking a step back, chewing, swallowing and relishing. and laying out. and listening. and trusting.

so my next book (part of my homework from owen) sits unopened. and for now, that’s a good thing.

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and i love it…

Return, return to the person that you were.
And I will do the same
cause it is too hard to belong to someone who is gone.
My compass spins. The wilderness remains.
— Bright Eyes “Make War”

after i found out about the old flame-turned-new-husband, i decided to email him and tell him congratulations. i could have ignored the fact that i knew, but that almost feels like hiding it or keeping a secret. i felt like since i knew, i should let him know that i know, and also that i’m OK with it. to push the awkwardness of it all under the rug.

i did that last year when i was at a weekend outdoor music concert (desdemona festival, for those of you who remember). i was there with one of my coworkers and his friends (a coworker who, yes, i’d dated but who at this point really didn’t want to have anything to do with me, so that made it awkward enough as it was). and i saw the old boyfriend, watching the same stage as me (the VHS or Beta djs) with his girl there dancing. he had a camera slung around his shoulder and looked every bit the same from when we’d been together 3 years before.

well, we both ignored each other. he wasn’t exactly in my line of vision (more peripherial) so it wasn’t obvious to wave and be done. but that kept happening all weekend (at one point, he sat down on the other side of holly as we were sitting at a statue) and we just kept on pretending like we were clueless about it. i thought that was stupid, so at work on monday, i sent him an email telling him so. and that i hated that things had to be weird between us. he agreed and a decent email exchange ensued. nothing deep but, instead, very ordinary, update-y type things. it felt nice to acknowledge what had happened and then be able to react maturely, even if after-the-fact.

so the same was true in this incident. i sent him an email telling him how i found out and that i wanted to pass on my congratulations and that i hope everything went well. the next day, an email showed up from him where he said thanks and told me that they’d gotten engaged in april and had a 4-month engagement till the wedding this month. he caught me up on how his school’s going. he offered to send me some pictures from the wedding if i wanted.

i wrote him back this morning and responded to everything, making pleasantries and updating him on my (slightly static) life. i told him, sure, he could pass along the pictures. but even in thinking it, just the idea of the whole shebang is weird. and so i decided to tell him as much: that thinking that the person i used to talk about marrying is now married to someone else, is just weird. i told him that it’s funny how when you’re so young, you’re so sure of things, but that we really had no clue what it all meant. i told him that i’d never wished badly on him or on their relationship, but that, in a nostalgic sort of way, it was just plain weird to think about.

i want to be able to be OK with admitting those things and putting those things out there, even if they make me look less “put-together” or flawless. i wanted to acknowledge that and get it off my chest, rather than pretend that everything was peachy keen. for the most part it is, and as i’ve said, i have no regrets about any of that nor do i question whether i want him back: i don’t. i know that for sure. but there’s that little voice that says, “he used to love you–he still should! why doesn’t he? how can he move on? why isn’t he still pining?” that’s selfish, for sure. but it’s that little pang that hits that reminds me where we once were (in love) and where i am (not–in love) and where he is now (is–in love).

anyway, he responded and just said that now that he’s older, it’s made him question more things. i kind of just wanted him to say, “yeah it’s weird to tell you, too,” (not to discount what he did say). but i think, for me at least, it cleared the air because i wasn’t sitting there pretending. and i guess that’s a start in this whole lesson about learning what vulnerability means. i feel like that is the season of life that i am in right now, that i’m always going cycles and the cycle i’ve recently entered is one of learning more about honesty and vulnerability and opening up. so if i start to sound like a broken record, bear with me. i’m hoping that part of it sticks and lasts and the next bit of the cycle will make its way in due time.

there are two cds that i’ve been listening to on repeat lately and that i shuffle between, both of which make me feel very teeny-bopper-ish but for which i’m not embarrassed: avril lavigne and hawk nelson (even though this cd, letters to the president, is actually pretty old–sometimes it just takes me awhile to give some bands a chance; that’s the pessimist in me not expecting them to be any good).

whenever i get a new cd, i can tell that i really love it–that i can even call it a favorite–if, upon popping it in, i listen to it on repeat, over and over again. if i keep going back to the same songs and can’t bear to skip ahead because i like this one so much. the same was true for mates of state, the brunettes and, most recently, jack’s mannequin. and yes, that has happened with these two recent discoveries.

but there’s a part of one hawk nelson song (the title track) that’s really resonated with me as of late:

if i was brave, i’d write a letter to the president
and have him give it to the leaders of our parliament
but for now, i won’t say nothing

now, i realize that in this song, he’s talking about something big and political and trying to help society. the reason why i like the song so much and empathize with it is for nothing so grand as that. it’s because i love how he says that to speak up, to say “something,” is a brave thing to do. and i feel that way a lot and am trying to be better at it.

Read the rest of this entry »

now i realize that i originally said that one of the things i wanted to do with this journal (“blog” is such a weird word) was to try to focus on thoughts and deep-down stuff, not fluff. and i realize that my most recent post was all about drinking and parties and the like–not exactly something that i’d brag about in an interview.

the reason for that–for posting that–is that i’m trying to learn how to be okay with being imperfect and having messed up, and admitting those things. it’s not that i believe drinking is wrong, but i do believe it made me do stupid things–many of which were associated with nights like the ones i listed. i’m not proud of them, but they exist. and because i did them and because i actually view them as good things (in that i learned from them), i have to be open about them rather than lock them up in some air-controlled safe.

because i’m learning that being a christian isn’t about being perfect. otherwise the whole notion of grace would be null-and-void. having messed up and being able to take the steps to pick up the pieces and move on is much more attractive than never having any pieces to pick up in the first place. that’s because every one of us knows that we ourselves have plenty of pieces and are broken, so we need others to be able to relate to, who can walk alongside us and share in the growing pains together and learn from one another. perfection is alienating, in that it’s fake.

and so, here i am admitting that i have done dumb things and am still feeling my way around. i don’t have it all figured out, not nearly. but sometimes i’m afraid that i don’t reveal that often enough–that i don’t let my guard down to let others know that they’re not alone and that i’m just as much in this mess as they are.

(plus, i think they’re pretty entertaining stories. i mean, seriously: Sock Man?!)

some online scrapbooks of recent turns-of-events:

LIFE IN MARIEMONT

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PHILADELPHIA VACATION

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every once and awhile, something happens that reminds me that i’m, in fact, 24 year. almost a quarter-of-a-century old. (i’m not complaining or bemoaning, it’s just that i still feel younger and greener than most 19 year olds.) today was one of those days.

i went into kroger on my lunch break to buy some stamps (to send a thank-you card). the guy working the counter had also gone to princeton and after i confirmed he was who i thought he was (i never made an effort to stay in touch with anyone from high school), he told me that the guy i’d dated through most of high school and college had gotten married recently–did i know?

actually it just passed the four-year mark of when we broke up. i think it was august 2 in 2003, and we’d been together for four years at that point. i’ve never been bitter about any of it (i’ll be the first to admit that i did enough of that while we were together) and in fact think that that–heart break–was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. it’s why i’m advocate for heartbreak; not to be miserly or anything but because i think suffering and feeling like your world’s upside down is  enlightening. i’m sure that i’m neglecting things (i read in a book once that your mind, because it has to be be selective and can’t remember everything, only chooses the extremes–the highs and lows–or your experiences and forgets the middle grounds. this could very well be the case here), but it seems that in that moment, i had my own butterfly effect and, with that one release, became a completely different person. now, at the time i was 20 and of course i would grow up in the years to come. but i really do think that that moment of “OK, then we’re done” was the catalyst for who i am today. and so i’m actually thankful that he decided he didn’t love me anymore. i feel much more at home with myself now than i ever did then.

and so when the guy told me, i asked him if he went to the wedding and he said no. i asked if he knew the “wife” (how weird is it to say that about a guy who you always thought you’d grow up and call your husband?), and he said kind of and I asked if she was nice and he said she was kinda goofy and i said good. and i mean that. i do want the best for them.

but it’s weird. it’s weird to realize that someone who i had spent nearly every day with for what was a quarter of my life, is not someone i know anything about anymore. he’s grown up, he’s made different choices and become someone totally different. i know the same is true for me, but it’s hard not to imagine him as the same 22 year old i knew back in that other life. it’s weird to think of him having the courage to ask someone else to marry him and then picking out a first-dance song and then a honeymoon and then furniture together for their first place. it’s just weird because it seems like a life so long ago.

and that’s when i realize how much i’ve grown up. that these things happen. i don’t yearn for prom or for homework or for drama or having to pick a seat in the cafeteria. but i do miss the days when anything is possible and you don’t feel like time is running out–you feel like it’s always on your side and you live forever. of course i have faith, but it’s weird to be snapped back to reality as i watch everyone else grow up and i simulanaously stand still and realize that while everyone else gets married or talks about getting married, i’m of marriage age but so far removed from it. it’s a sobering reminder. and one i’m OK with for now, but just that causes me to cock my head to one side and blink and go, “hmph,” at the curious thing before me.

 it’s friday, and here i am at work in a cute little summer dress, wishing i was outside playing. everyone else is gone for the day, so that doesn’t make it any easier. (except that when both my boss and my manager left, they told me in whispers, “leave early!” okay, twist my arm!) so, as i sit here flipping through magazines (three down) until 4 o’clock rolls around, here’s a countdown of things i’m amped about, as of late:

  • implementing google’s reader for blog subscriptions. makes it much easier than logging into them all seperately. except it doesn’t accept livejournal. which is only a couple pages that i like to read, but still.
  • setting up an excel sheet to track my monthly income/expenses (to figure out if i’m saving or losing money). it’s actually not that hard and it has made me feel a lot more comfortable and aware of where i am, rather than up in the air with no clue. (i’m doing just fine, btw.)
  • buying new books. for the book study that i do, we picked the relevant book “what now?”. and then i went a memoir binge and also bought “faith in the city” and “with or without you” because i’ve been especially interested to see how people live out and incorporate their faiths into their lives. i think most people–from the outside (where i spent most of my life)–see christians as people who have to live within glass castles and not touch anything. that’s how i always pictured it, but now i’m so encouraged to see that you don’t have to turn bland because christianity isn’t about being perfect (it’s kind of the opposite) or about becoming cookie-cutter. god is so big and has planted pieces of himself into all of us that we should celebrate what makes us unique because that’s what reflects him. and i think as long as our hearts are in the right place, then that’s really all that matters. then it makes sense to have everyone be different, because then it becomes like a party-invitation: the more the merrier.
  • i’ve decided, after much contemplation, to go back to letting my hair grow out again. and i want my bangs to look like this girl’s (sans the cigarette). (i have no idea who she is, unfortunately):

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and now, without further ado, i’m going to make some tang. yes, Tang. call me Astronaut Carmen.

…not a depressing one:

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and i think that’s a good thing.

i have to say, whereas for most of the time, i feel like i have a hard time connecting with God and feeling him up-close-and-personal, these past couple of days have shattered that norm to pieces.

it started off a couple days with me crying in my car about feeling disconnected and just wanting God to answer me with this question i had–i just didn’t know what to do and i just wanted to know His answer. i fell into woe-is-me, and just as soon as i’d hashed it all out in a journal entry, holly came home and it was such a God thing: through her came everything i was needing to hear and the answers/insights i needed. and it was funny because i’d been so at my wit’s end and then, it was almost as if God was saying, “Are you finished yet? Open your eyes.” and there it was, His answer to my prayer, just when i’d thrown up my hands in disappointment and dejection.

and today was another. i went to the counselor and just before he came out and grabbed me, i opened up the “girl meets god” book i’m reading and started a new chapter. how fitting that the chapter was all about confessing and how and why she goes to some pastor every so often to confess her sins–how it helps her and aids in her development and relationship with God and how important it is to have that. i thought that cemented what i was doing, because the timing could not have been more perfect.

so i’m encouraged by all that. and quite content in where all the pieces of everything are aligning, today, this minute, this second. though i’m quite aware that tomorrow could be an entirely different tune or (the modern rendition of the ole cliche) backbeat. ramalamadingdong.

i’m officially two-thirds of the way through “girl meets god” (on page 200 of an almost-300-page novel), a book that holly has been telling me to read probably since i first met her.

the thing that i love about it is how reassuring and sobering it is, because there’s this girl who took something so special and personal to her–her religion and relationship with God–and put it down on paper. that’s a scary thing. it’s a scary thing to even talk to my friends about, much less strangers. and so i enjoy reading the book because it reminds me that people like that exist out there–people who put their hearts on the line. more importantly, it gives me something to aspire to.

tomorrow i have an appointment with a counselor, which i think ties in with all this and the idea of opening up and welcoming in. and trusting that your insides aren’t so dirty or cluttery as you’d thought them to be. in fact, they’re quite cozy, because everyone else’s are just as dusty and unkempt, too.

i think what i’m looking forward to, the most, though is the coupled insight and accountability it will offer. sometimes i’m at my wit’s end for what’s the “right” thing to do. i have quite a knack at arguing myself into any corner and while it helps me see all sides of an argument and not be judgemental (a compliment i’ve much been comforted by), when it involves myself, i end up in a deadlock not knowing which path to take. so i’m looking forward to having someone who doesn’t owe me anything but his time and insights to challenge me and tell me to “buck up” or whatever his advice is going to be.

also, i read a book where a girl went to a counselor and she asked him for homework after every session. i think that’s a grand idea and something that will really fit in well with my learning approach (being that it’s very rules-oriented and almost mathematical or analytic).

so that’s tomorrow during my lunchbreak. i’m encouraged by it.

it’s wednesday, but it so feels like monday. that’s because on monday i put in four measly hours and then sped up to cleveland. the 3.5-hour drive wasn’t too bad; i listened to a bunch of avril lavigne (which i know is so teeny-bopper of me) and of course more than enough motion city soundtrack. because that was the purpose of the trip. they were playing at the agora ballroom with sherwood, the higher and the forecast.

the show was really good although it was super hot: my jeans were stuck to my legs but i was too scared to wipe the sweat from my face because the place was so grimy. (am i getting hyper-hygienically old or what?) we found a spot on the side in time to catch the higher, and the lead singer reminded me of Zack from Gilmore Girls, although it took me 24 full hours to finally pinpoint that. Sherwood was very good–sounded just like their CDs and i saw the guy who we’d chatted with last year at warped tour. they seem like a very nice band; the kind of guys you’d want to be friends with, which i think is the ultimate compliment, and the one i think i’d want to receive most.

and of course, then you had mcs. they played three new songs, one of which i’m pretty amped about. (the title has something to do with “real.” it was totally catchy.) by halfway through their set though, nicole and i had to climb down to the dance floor (we’d been sitting on a railing so we could see) because it just wasn’t the same if you weren’t dancing and singing with all your might. their last set song was “the future freaks me out” and the encore, much to nicole’s delight, was “perfect teeth” which always, always makes me think of her.

All the things I remember
Were they worth writing down
Bury me in memories of CK1 and tight white T’s
Like air guitar in muscle cars with “perfect teeth”
The way we are

we left, happy and hungry and so made our way to denny’s which was a really good nightcap to the night. good laughs and good food. and a good ending to a good evening, all around.

oh, good!

P.S. september 18 for the new MCS and NFG albums. i’m counting down…

(i always think of Rob Bell when i say that.) anyway, i think this living room is just beautiful and very magazine-y. how jealous am i that it actually exists?

livingroom.jpg

don’t worry; i won’t count my way through entries for long. but this is just an attempt to say “yes, I’m still here” and “yes, I meant what I said.” i want to try at this blog thing. i suppose two days might be lofty at gauging success, but there you have it–it’s a start.

and it’s funny to think that my life could be considered a “start” right now. because i’ve been at my job now for 2.5 years. i’ve been out of college for more than three. i’ve bought a brand-new car and already paid it off. i’ve signed a lease and bought a new bed and called the cable company and water company and had to haggle them to get things done. i’ve gone on business trips by myself and introduced myself to big names (within our industry, though). i contact people and tell them i work for a magazine and i get them to give me stuff and clamor for attention. i’ve been invited to weddings without my family; i’ve been a date to weddings. some of my best friends have been the ones getting married. i’ve been teaching the teens for almost two years now–teaching! when did i outgrow being just a student and step into this role? what do *i* know?

and yet, here i am, still feeling like i’m fumbling around and still sorting all this out. by all accounts, i’m grown up. but i still feel like i’m 17. it’s a weird feeling and i was talking to my dad a few weeks ago, and he talked about how he always imagines himself back in his younger years. i’m not sure what specific year, but he said he doesn’t feel his age. i never, ever imagined i’d be like that. but here i am and always feeling puny and insignificant and unsure of myself and out-of-place.

but i want to feel grown up and full of confidence. i wonder if that’s why i try to read more and more–to try to catch up with my age. to match my wits with my calendar-year. or to solve all my problems as soon as possible to speed the aging process.

i’m not sure but sometimes i take a step back and i realize where in life i fall and i’m amazed. how did i get here? was it all a dream? i feel like i was in a trance most of the time and that’s one of the most heartening things I find about God: that it’s obvious, “in hindsight” (shout-out to Miss TLC), that he was there all along, playing puppeteer to my marionette.

today i had to give a testimony during a meeting for church members interested in serving with the youth group. i talked a little bit about how i just one day decided to try it out and didn’t really think too much about it–i just did it on a whim and without really any contemplation. our youth pastor always says, “well, pray about it and then get back to me about your decision.” now, i think that’s very good advice–i do, i do. but sometimes i think that the best decisions i’ve made are ones where i just did and didn’t question. because it’s in that questioning step that i usually am able to talk myself out of something. but volunteering for the junior high ended up being something so perfect and so amazing for me, that i had absolutely no clue and couldn’t have. i had no idea the potential it held. but here i am, with amazing girls who look up to me and who i love and who i get to share with. and i feel like that totally was a God thing–him leading and me not even realizing it at the time; just figuring, why not?

it’s interesting to look back at the path he’s paved… “and be glad in it.” i know i owe it all to him and that in itself makes me eager for the times to come because i have to trust that if he’s gone through all that trouble, all that fishing, all that cleaning off, that he’s got something worthwhile in mind–that he has big plans for me. and i know that it’s a scary thing to say that i hope he does, but i do. i know i’m a scaredy cat and will probably pull a Jonah and run off when he asks me not to, but i do want to fulfill those plans, i want to become that woman and bloom those seeds.

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